If you’re a social butterfly who regularly invites family and friends over for Sunday night dinner, then you know that cooking large quantities of food is vastly different from cooking for four or five people. Let’s not get started on the clean-up process that follows thereafter. That’s a whole other discussion to be had. For now, let’s get back to the topic at hand.
While using a conventional small-or medium-sized pressure cooker for your day-to-day kitchen-life is certainly a time-saver, it’s not practical to use the same pot to cook food in small batches for 8 or more people. So, it might be time to pull out the big guns and get a restaurant electric depot-style cooker to make your life easier.
Whether you run a small catering company, like to batch-cook, or simply host big dinner parties now and then, a restaurant electric depot-style cooker may just be what the doctor ordered. It takes the headache out of cooking large amounts of food for several people.
But which one should you pick? Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the right one.
Restaurant Electric Depot-Style Cooker: Size Matters
Choosing which size of an electric pressure cooker you should go for ultimately boils down to what you cook, how often, and how many people you’re cooking for. Many conventional pressure cooker models come in 6- and 8-Qt sizes, which are ideal for serving around four to six people. However, if you plan to be cooking for seven or more guests, then you need to get a 10- to 14-Qt cooker to do the job.
The GoWise USA Pressure Cooker 14 Qt provides one of the most convenient hands-off ways to get dinner on the table when you’re cooking for a large gathering. It comes fully loaded with safety features that make it fail-safe, not to mention all the different customizable controls you can use for different recipes to get fast, consistent, and high-quality cooking results. It cooks faster than stovetop cookers and keeps food warm for up to 20 hours.
One of the best things about electric pressure cookers is the multiple benefits they provide. You ideally want to find a cooker that functions as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, soup/stew maker, can sauté, cook meat and poultry, and also double-up as a pressure canner. That way, when you’re not using it for the actual preparation of food, you can put it to good use in food preservation.
The Power Pressure Cooker XL 10 Qt, for instance, comes all these features. With just one click of a button, you can sauté your meats and vegetables, or use its pressure canner feature to safely preserve your favorite foods in mason jars. It also has a sophisticated temperature, pressure, and time control system that takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out how long it takes to cook the food.
Make Sure the Price Is Right
Let’s face it. Pressure cookers don’t come cheap, especially if you’re looking to buy a high-capacity one. However, that doesn't mean you should break the bank to get your hands on one. Besides, if you think about it, when's the next time you'll have to buy one?
It’s not the sort of thing you need to cost into your recurring monthly expenses. Pressure cookers are built to last a long time, so in the grand scheme of things, it’s worth the investment. There are so many electric pressure cooker models on the market that are just as affordable as they are durable.
The Crock-Pot 10 Qt Express Multi-Cooker is an all-in-one pressure cooker that comes with a host of features. You can brown/sear, sauté, slow cook, boil, and steam your foods, and even make yogurt. You can also cook meat/poultry, rice, beans/chili, grains, as well as different kinds of yummy desserts like cake and soufflé.
If you have an infant in the household, the sterilize feature will come in handy to keep all their feeding bottles and other utensils germ-free. If you’re wondering how much it costs, brace yourself. It retails for just under $120. Talk about getting great value for your money!
Go With a Reputable Brand
With so many brands manufacturing pressure cookers, it can be quite an uphill task when it comes to picking the best one. Some of the factors you need to consider when selecting which brand to go with include the availability and affordability of the replacement parts if you need to, for instance, replace your rubber gasket, pressure release valve, or cooking pot.
You also need to think about how durable the cooker is. So, you want one whose cooking pot is made of food-grade stainless steel to make it dishwasher-safe and long-lasting since it won’t have any chemical coating. Additionally, go for a well-reputed brand whose appliances are backed by a long-duration warranty.
Instant Pot’s Duo Nova Electric Pressure Cooker 10 Qt. is an excellent pick when it comes to brand choice. The company has been around for more than a decade and has cornered the market with their multi-cooker range appliances. Their range of pressure cookers is among the fastest moving appliances in the market today. Other top brands with a sterling reputation for producing high-quality pressure cookers include GoWise USA, Presto, Cuisinart, Crock-Pot, Power Pressure, and Breville.
Pick One That’s Fail-Safe
In the past, pressure cookers earned a bad reputation for being prone to exploding when their pressure built up to dangerously high levels. It’s partly the reason why many people still shy away from using them when they relive childhood memories of food splattering all over the kitchen ceiling and walls.
Today’s electric cookers, however, are built with the latest cutting-edge technology that makes them fail-safe - the Megachef 12 Qt Digital Pressure Cooker, for instance, has been perfectly engineered with manual and automatic pressure release valves, an interlocking lid, as well as automatic pressure and temperature control. It’s as safe as they come.
Get It Right From the Start
Using a restaurant electric depot-style cooker certainly comes in handy when cooking for many people. Remember to refer to the user manual to get accurate cooking times for your recipes.
Larger cookers take longer to reach pressure, so it's something you need to have at the back of your mind when using these time-saving appliances. Use the tips in this guide to help you pick the right one for your cooking needs.