When you decide to purchase a pressure cooker, the next decision is whether to choose a stovetop pressure cooker or an electric pressure cooker. Both the appliances are very helpful and add speed and convenience to cooking. Even though they both serve the same purpose which is to cook food faster, they have some basic differences which you should know about before picking one for your home.

Stovetop Pressure Cooker

Put in simplest terms, a stovetop pressure cooker is an advanced version of a traditional cooking pot. The basic difference is in its lid which is specifically fashioned to prevent the steam from escaping the pot. The lid also features one or more steam release valves to release pressure.


Since a stovetop pressure cooker has fewer parts to manage than an electric pressure cooker, it is more durable and much more practical in its usage. All the fancy electronics and functionalities which an electric pressure cooker includes may suffer wear and tear over time but their absence in a stovetop pressure cooker makes it less prone to damage.

They also lure customers with their smaller cooking times. They take less time to achieve the desired pressure and less time to release pressure in contrast to electric pressure cookers. The shortened time in achieving pressure is obtained by turning up the flame so that the water boils quickly and pressure builds up faster. After the end of the cooking process you may be inclined to release pressure quickly either to conserve time or to prevent the food from overcooking since as long as the pot has pressure inside it, the food will continue cooking. With a stovetop pressure cooker you have the option of doing a cold water release to release pressure quickly but this is not an option when using an electric model.

Stovetop pressure cookers also provide the additional functionality of a canner. Most of the large sizes of stovetop pressure cookers are ideal for canning low-acid foods like fruits, vegetables and meat. Electric pressure cooker however, may not be used for this purpose.

Electric Pressure Cookers

These are the latest generation of pressure cookers that are specially designed to add convenience and flexibility to your cooking. These models include pre-programmed settings which automatically regulate the temperature and pressure settings to prepare the perfect meals for you. The added functionalities can make it a bit complex for a few people in contrast to the stovetop models.


The biggest advantage that an electric pressure cooker provides or rather its whole purpose it the convenience it adds to cooking. With the automatic modification of pressure and time that they provide, these models do not call for as much supervision as the stovetop models do. Most electric models even include a timer to let you to plan the cooking cycle instead of manually turning the cooker on and off.

The pre-programmed settings of an electric pressure cooker offer many different options besides pressure cooking. They may also be used as a yogurt maker, rice cooker, slow cooker and much more depending on that specific model. Most electric pressure cooker can switch to ‘keep warm’ mode when the cooking cycle ends to prevent scorching of food even if you forget to turn the cooker off.

Now that you understand the basic differences between the two kinds of pressure cookers, you are all set to make your pick. They both offer their own unique set of advantages. It really depends on your own preferences, which model would suit you better. One thing that is assured is that either type you choose you will be creating wonderful dishes in far lesser time as compared to the usual cooking techniques.