What Is the Difference Between a Steamer & a Pressure Cooker?

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Steamers and pressure cookers are quick and efficient tools used to create a variety of unique and healthy dishes. While they are often confused, these two items are very unique and serve different purposes in the kitchen.

Function

  • A steamer is used to cook raw vegetables by steaming them with water. A pressure cooker works similar to a steamer, but locks the steam inside at a much higher pressure than a traditional steamer. This higher pressure means that the temperature in the cooker is much higher than the temperature in a regular steamer, allowing you to cook a wider variety of foods including soups, rice, beans and meat

Types

  • Steamers come in several varieties, including a bamboo variety that is placed over a pot of boiling water and a metal type that is placed inside the pot. Pressure cookers come in non-electric stove top versions and electric countertop versions.

Considerations

  • A modern pressure cooker is easier to control than a steamer, because exact settings and specifications can be programmed into the machine. A pressure cooker can also be used for a wider variety of food types than a steamer.

Benefits

  • Both steamers and pressure cookers are efficient ways to prepare food quickly and retain nutrients.

Warning

  • Pressure cookers can use greater amounts of electricity than steamers. Electric pressure cookers, for example, cook food slowly and require much more electricity than a non-electric pressure cooker or a steamer.

References

  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of liz west
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