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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.