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September 2018

Should You Buy an Electric Pressure Cooker?

One of the very best ways to boost the quality of your diet is making more of your meals at home. Research shows that people who cook dinner at home more often tend to consume less calories, fat, and sugar than those who eat most of their meals away from the home. But one of the biggest challenges people face when it comes to regularly preparing home-cooked meals is time.

Pressure cooker and vegetables on a counter

You may have heard of a kitchen appliance called an electric pressure cooker. One popular brand is the Instant Pot, though there are many different brands available today. One of the biggest attractions of these devices is that they can help you cook healthy foods such as meats, soups, stews, and more in a fraction of the time than it would otherwise take.

Making healthy food healthier

Pressure cooking works by sealing in steam and not letting it escape until it reaches a preset pressure. The concept of pressure cooking isn’t new. Traditionally, pressure cookers were used on the stovetop. Electric pressure cookers have been around for about 2 decades. Just like the cruise control function in a car, they require minimal effort—you put the ingredients into the pot, set the cooking time, and the pressure cooker does the rest.

Not only do pressure cookers help you make food at home more quickly, they may also retain the nutrients in certain foods, too. One study found that whereas boiling and steaming caused broccoli to lose up to 34% of its vitamin C content, more than 90% of broccoli’s vitamin C was preserved with pressure cooking.

Is it worth the investment?

If you’re thinking about buying a pressure cooker, the bottom line is that if the appliance would help you make more of your meals at home then it may be well worth the investment. The drawback is that many of these devices can be just that—an investment. Prices vary widely, but range from about $60 to $300 or more. It may also take you some time to learn how to properly use the new device. 



Online Medical Reviewer: McDonough, Brian, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 4/5/2018
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