Are you new to cooking under pressure? Most people are new to it and even a little scared of it but many don’t even realize that cooking with a pressure cooker can be a safe, quiet, and hands off experience. Some units even double up as slow cookers making your life in the kitchen a lot easier.
Are Pressure Cookers Loud?
When you bring food to full temperature in a typical pressure cooker you will hear steam slowly escaping, kind of like a very faint hiss. The sound is going to be there as the pressure release valve is present on all pressure cooker models.
Of course if you are working on a model that is designed to whistle then yes, they will whistle but most pots sold in the US do not. Another type of distinct style of pressure cookers is the kind with a top that rattles. Again, if you have one of these then the design of the pot is to make noise. If you have one then you expect the noise.
Electric pots and programmable units typically are not made with a rattle top or whistling feature. They will be nearly silent no matter if you are slow cooking through the night or cooking under high pressure during the day.
Why Do Pressure Cookers Make Noise
You might wonder however why some pressure cookers may be loud while others are not. In all cases during the cooking process steam is created on the inside of the unit. The release valve on all units has to let some of the steam out to keep the pressure from getting too high. The noise created is a byproduct of how the steam is released. In the pots that create a rattle or jiggling sound the release valve has something built in to it to alert you to the pressure release. The same can be said for the whistling kinds. For the more silent pots the valve is designed to simply release the excess steam.
Because electric pots are usually programmable and can turn themselves off if pressure gets to high or a desired cooking duration has been met the pot doesn’t have to alert the user so they stay quiet. Most models that make some noise are the stovetop varieties that require human intervention to stop the cooking process. If you are in the market for a electric / programmable pressure cooker that is not loud and does not make annoying sounds then you will have lots to choose from.
In recent years new release valves have been developed for stovetop pressure cookers which help them stay a little more quiet than their older or cheaper models. Spring release valves allow high end modern stovetop pressure cookers to remain about as quiet as possible.
Likewise electric pressure cookers are able to remain almost silent at all times due to their microproccessoris that can regulate temperature so precisely that stable pressure is achieved and maintained from the beginning the the end of the cookign cycle. This means that steam never should have to escape during the main cooking time and as a result no noise is made. At the end some noise can be made when pressure vents are opened but this is minimal and doesn’t happen at all if a natural release method is used.
There are a lot of pressure cookers out there to choose from and some make more noise than others. Over on CorrieCooks.com where Corrigan has analyzed the noise created by various pressure cookers more than I have. He even has some recommendations on models that make less noise than others. You can start with his post Do Pressure Cookers Make a Lot of Noise before going down the rabbit hole.