Which Electric Pressure Cooker Operates at 15psi?

Because most pressure cooker recipes are designed for 15psi pressure cookers. Many users are looking for 15psi electric pressure cooker.  We are asked whether Instant Pot operates at 15psi.

To answer this question, we need to clarify a concept here.  The max working pressure of a pressure cooker is the pressure which pushes up the safety device (i.e. steam release, pressure valve or by some other names) and the cooker starts letting out steams to reduce pressure. The max working pressure of stove-top pressure cookers ranges from 12psi to 21.7psi. For the high-end stove-top models, it is typically in the 16~21.7psi range. This is specified in product document and also commonly marked at the bottom of the steam release.

Instant Pot has a max working pressure of 15.23psi (105kpa). This is marked on the steam release handle, see the image on the top.  One of the design objectives of Instant Pot is not to let out steam and make noise during its operation.  So normal working pressure has to be below 15.23psi.  Instant Pot’s working pressure is in the range of 10.15~11.6 psi. If you have small amount of food/liquid in the cooker, Instant Pot may touch 15.23psi momentarily due to the heat conduction delay.

When a stove-top pressure cooker reaches its max working pressure  and starts whistling out steams, you’d turn down the heating to stop the whistling.  In such a condition, your stove-top pressure cooker may be operating at a pressure level similar to Instant Pot. You only cook the food at the max working pressure when it’s whistling continuously.

So,

  • Does Instant Pot have the same 15 psi max working pressure as common stove-top pressure cookers? Yes! It’s 15.23psi.
  • Does Instant Pot cook your food constantly at 15psi? No, it’s in the range of 10.15~11.6 psi.

Illustration of Instant Pot working pressure curve

You can see the working pressure chart on the right. Most electric pressure cookers available on the market work like this, but may not have the same max and working pressure range.

If your recipe specifies cooking at 15psi, you can adapted to Instant Pot by increasing the cooking time by 7~15%.

Note: the max working pressure is not an indicator of the max safety pressure that the cooker can withstand. If a cooker is certified with UL or equivalent, it should withstand 5 times the working pressure without leaking.

Many electric pressure cooker has a max working pressure of 13.05psi (90kpa).  You can find this out by looking at the bottom of its steam release.  A properly certified and manufactured cooker always has such rating on the parts.

 

2 replies
  1. Nick
    Nick says:

    I keep seeing #’s like this floating around and they make no sense to me. Normal atmospheric pressure at sea level is 14.7 PSI. That means a electric pressure cooker working at 10-11 PSI would be operating at a *lower* pressure than ambient, not higher! So when you say 10-11 PSI you really mean above ambient atmospheric pressure – i.e, in the range 24.7 – 25.7 PSI?

    Reply
    • mjun
      mjun says:

      While you’re correct about normal atmospheric pressure at sea level, pressure cookers operate as if ambient air pressure starts with a base of 0. This is largely for standardization purposes, and why electric pressure cookers operate at 10-12 psi while stovetop cookers operate at 15 psi, across the board.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *