I am all about saving money and getting the most bang for my buck, however, I do live by the rule ‘pay now, pay later, but pay you will’… in other words, you can buy the cheapest or mid-grade item right now, because its ‘cheap’, but you wind up having to replace it later on down road because it wears out faster, quits working or doesn’t work properly because its ‘cheap’.
The flip side to that saying is that sometimes you can find great items, expensive ones on ebay, craigslist or yardsales and be cheap but get the ‘expensive’ product. And that is what I usually like to do, find what I what I want at the cheapest price available.

But sometimes, like with pressure cookers, you really don’t want to buy used (too much of a risk and many time pieces are missing and yes, you can buy the replacements, but that just adds to the cost doesn’t it?) so last year, when I went looking to purchase a pressure cooker I turned to Amazon to get one at ‘cheaper’ price. There were two available by Presto and here is my tale of two pressure cookers:

Of course I wanted to save money so I went with the cheaper 6 quart Aluminum pressure cooker (about $25 at the time) by Presto. And this is a direct quote:

• Cooks three to ten times faster than ordinary cooking methods, saving time, energy, and money.
• Pressure regulator maintains the proper cooking pressure automatically.
• Strong, heavy-gauge aluminum for quick, even heating.
• Includes cooking rack and complete 64-page instruction/recipe book.
• 9-3/4 by 16-2/3 by 8-1/2 inches; 12 year limited warranty.
4 and half stars from over 300 people…heck yeah I thought! The other one available was the Presto 6 quart Stainless Steel pressure cooker and at the time was almost twice the cost…nope, I thought, why spend the extra money for something ‘fancier’ and honestly what I thought was just a ‘shinier’ version designed to make Presto extra money?
And of course, I had done my research on pressure cookers and found mixed comments on using them on induction and glass cook tops (I have a glass one). So…I went cheap, ignoring my ‘pay now, pay later, but pay you will’ rule….

Fast forward over the past year…I used this aluminum pressure cooker weekly, not one problem…everything came out perfect, no problems, quick, easy meals…until one day last week…I put in my meat, proper water amount, etc. did everything I was supposed to do, got it wobbling properly and knew I had at least 20 minutes before it would be ready so I jumped in the shower (that one of the pleasures of using a pressure cooker by the way, get it going and move on to something else). When I got out of the shower I smelled the food, which is not usual, but this was really strong…something was a foot. Got dressed quickly and went to check on the cooker and the closer I got the more burn smell I got and then I noticed the whole POT was wobbling along…NOT A GOOD SIGN!!!
Alright, even though the timer said I had at least another 10 minutes to finish cooking I took it off the burner and did my quick cool down, the pot itself definitely no longer sat flatly on the stove, in fact it very rounded at the bottom. Got it open and the meat was burned beyond recognition, 1 inch think burned crap on the bottom of the cooker…lets just say, something went horribly wrong this go around. Warped and burned beyond saving it was…sigh…trash…complete failure on many levels…so much for trying to save money…

So, I bit the bullet and purchased the stainless steel version, a bit more money, but having used stainless steel pots and pans for YEARS I know this one will last forever….it even clearly states:

• Chicken, fish, meat, and vegetables cook to perfection fast; Helps tenderize economical cuts of meat
• Pressure regulator maintains the proper cooking pressure automatically; Complete 64-page instruction/recipe book included
• Ideal for use on regular, smooth-top and induction ranges; Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
• Cover lock indicator shows when there is pressure inside the cooker and prevents the cover from being opened until pressure is safely reduced
• Helper handle for ease of handling; Extended 12-year limited warranty

You can check the stainless steel one out here:
<a href="Presto 01362 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

Good news is that now that the old one has died I now have another base plate, weight regulator…threw away the seal as I suspect that the seal also failed since the pot warped on the base…at least I was able to salvage something from ‘trying to save money’…sometimes its just not worth it and in a SHTF situation, or another situation where you might not be able to replace something easily, just keep this little story in mind… cheaper is not necessarily ‘better’.

I have used my stainless steel pressure cooker and to be honest, wow! What difference I notice in the texture and taste of the food and the clean up was so easy (the aluminum was a bit of scrub to clean well)…all over the type of metal used…who woulda thunk it? So ladies and gents, do yourself a favor and spend the extra money if you are wanting to get into pressure cooking…it’s a great way to save time, money (energy bills) and get the slow cook taste in no time…get stainless!!

And be sure to browse the books for pressure cooking for great recipes and a few other favorite things I have found:

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