Whether you’re a seasoned camper or an experienced one, we all understand how important pressure cookers are during our adventures. It’s one of the essential tools you never leave behind while out camping right?
With that said, cooking while camping cannot be overlooked, and pressure cookers come in handy. It means that tastier food will be ready instantly and take less energy to prepare.
We all want the best pressure cooker for our camping adventure which is why we took time to do research on some of the best pressure cookers you should consider buying for your adventures.
List of Best Pressure Cookers For Camping
- Best Premium: CULINA One-Touch Pressure Cooker
- Best Budget: IMUSA Aluminum Stovetop Pressure Cooker
- Best Small Pressure Cooker: Instant Pot Duo Mini 3 Quart
Best Overall: Instant Pot DUO60 6QT 7 in 1 Multi-Use Pressure Cooker
It is an instant seven multi-functional that can be programmed—rated as the best pressure cooker with over eight thousand 5-star reviews.
It has several built-in safety features that make it hard to cause burns or explode.
Also, it makes cooking quick, reliable, and tasty, ranging from beans, rice, stews, and soups.
Best Premium: CULINA One-Touch Pressure Cooker
They are stainless steel with a capacity of 5 liters. They cook 70 percent faster than other types of pressure cookers. They have steamer baskets for steaming vegetables and can be on all stovetops.
Best Budget: IMUSA Aluminum Stovetop Pressure Cooker
Made of aluminum. Easy to use and clean. Very good for cooking meats and beans and even veggies. Heat resistant handles and cooks 70% faster and it costs only $39.99.
Best Small Pressure Cooker: Instant Pot Duo Mini 3 Quart
It is perfect for cooking food meant for an individual, couple, or a small family such as rice and/or quinoa.
What Is A Pressure Cooker?
It is an airtight cooking pot that uses high steam pressure, which builds up and gets trapped inside the chamber to cook food (that would otherwise take longer) faster.
A Frenchman named Denis Papin designed the first pressure cooker in the 1600s as he sought to apply the “pressure & steam” of physics in cooking.
He named it “the digester,” it has taken centuries of manufacturing to produce the kind of pressure cookers we have today. They come in different shapes and sizes but work under the same principle, which involves “steam pressure.”
They have a hissing steam valve and a silicon gasket.
Pressure cooking is unique and requires a cook to rely on the manufacturer’s instructions to learn how to use and effectively cook different types of foods safely.
When water has boiled, and the food is placed inside, the lid is placed and rotated. As pressure builds, the unit tightly locks in place, and the only activity that happens is the hissing. When food is cooking on a pressure cooker, it is normal to hear the hissing sound, which is a healthy amount of pressure escaping from the chamber.
But if it does not hiss, it means that the pressure regulator is clogged and needs cleaning.
For this reason, it is not possible to taste or monitor the progress of the food being cooked and avoid overcooking.
One has to put a timer on the food so that fire is put off when the time elapses, fire is put off, and the pot slowly releases the pressure until it is safe to open the lid.
Is A Pressure Cooker Worth It?
Yes, it is worth it! A pressure cooker saves on two aspects; time and energy. When the boiling point reaches a high of 250 degrees Celsius, the extremely hot liquid & moisture penetrates whatever is cooking and are forced to tenderize faster.
When pressure and steam like Papin envisioned builds up in the cooking pot, two things happen;
- The boiling point of water in the cooking pot rises beyond the usual 212 degrees Celsius, which is the limit for ordinary cooking pots and raises as high as 250 degrees Celsius.
- The boiling water builds up hot moisture, which in turn raises the pressure that now wants to escape out but is tightly trapped inside the chamber; it finds its escape by penetrating inside the food cooking, breaking it down, resulting in faster cooking.
But aside from saving on time and energy, a pressure cooker has two other advantages;
- Unlike in other cooking techniques where the nutrients of the food are lost when vapor escapes, pressure cooking retains much of the minerals and vitamins found in different foods, and that is why pressured cooked food is said to taste much better.
- Most campers climb up hilltops or mountains to pitch their tents, and water is said to boil slower in higher elevations. But because pressure cookers have unique designs that allow for precise and constant pressure to be built, a stable atmosphere is created, allowing water to boil faster. The same goes for any altitude.
Pressure Cooker Recipes
Pressure cookers are used worldwide at home or in off-grid locations to cook foods that require tenderizing, such as braised/raw meats, rice, beans, pulses, and other foods considered tough to cook.
But because people want to beat the race against time, softer and tender foods are also cooked in these pots. Examples are; Steamed veggies, Boiling eggs, and Stew.
Tough foods such as beans and other grains cook in under an hour, while rice takes just a few minutes.
Below are two recipes that campers are fond of cooking using the pressure cooker;
Perfect & Fluffy Instant Pressure Cooked Rice
Rice is a great light meal that can be taken for lunch or supper. It is non-perishable and cooked as a “one-pot” meal. It is greatly satisfying after a day filled with activity and adventure.
- Put rice water to boil on a ratio of 1:1 (for example, one cup measuring 250ml of water and rice)
- Put the water to boil, then put the rice in the boiling water.
- Allow the steam to build in the pot for three minutes, then switch off the power source and let the cooker naturally release steam for ten minutes.
Easy To Peel Hard Boiled Eggs
Eggs don’t need refrigeration as long as they are stored below 20 degrees Celsius. They are a good source of proteins and can be eaten for breakfast or to supplement other meals.
There is a method referred to as the “3-3-3” method.
This is three minutes apart timing where the first three minutes is for boiling the water to high temperatures.
The second three minutes is for pressure cooking the eggs and the last bit of three minutes is to cool down the boiling water and release the pressure before removing the eggs and allowing them to cool before being eaten.
- Pour water that will submerge the eggs and allow the water to boil
- Put in your eggs and secure the lid, then allow them to boil for four minutes.
- Switch off your power source and allow the pot to cool down, and release all the steamed pressure inside.
- Open the lid and remove the eggs.
Using the four-minute timer instead of, say, five minutes ensures that the whites of the eggs remain soft and firm instead of rubbery and the yolk is creamy instead of chalky.
The “3-3-3” minute rule applies to stovetop pressure cookers since they gain high pressure faster than electric pressure cookers.
Electric pressure cookers do well with the triple 4-minute rule “4-4-4”.
Can A Pressure Cooker Explode?
As helpful and efficient as they are, pressure cookers pose the danger of an explosion if not handled well or when the pressure inside the pot is greater than that outside it.
Some of the reasons that can make a pressure cooker explode are as follows;
- Manufacturing and design defects such as inadequate seals on the lid cause spilling of food contents and possibly an explosion.
- Sometimes, the pot might have faulty gaskets, which might cause the lid to open while the chamber is filled with extremely hot pressure.
- Pressure cooking depends on water for its pressure. If it runs out of water while cooking, the pressure regulator or the safety plug might save the day by letting the pressure out when it automatically lifts off the lid. But in the worst-case scenario, the cooker is bound to explode which is dangerous and sometimes fatal, especially if someone is nearby when it happens.
- Another reason is the lack of hissing or minimal hissing which points at a clogged vent. The pressure that should be released to balance internal and external temperatures will be trapped and may therefore cause an explosion.
The fact that pressure cookers need timing when cooking and require that the cook follows the manufacturer’s instructions well ensures that safety is practiced so that the cooker does not explode or the one is not burned by the steam.
It also ensures that food is cooked at the right time to avoid overcooking.