Inner Lid Vs Outer Lid Pressure Cookers: Which Is Better?

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Though clip-on pressure cookers are slowly gaining traction, the market is still dominated by inner lid and outer lid pressure cookers.

While Prestige sells both inner and outer lid pressure cookers, Hawkins sells only inner lid ones. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Let us explore them in detail to see which is best suited for your needs.

Capacity

When you compare the net capacity of inner lid and outer lid pressure cookers, you find inner lid ones have an edge. BIS calculates the gross capacity of the pressure cooker by pouring water into the closed pressure cooker through the tube vent and then measuring the total quantity of water collected. As outer lid pressure cookers have taller lids compared to inner lid cookers, their net capacity will be lesser.

In our tests comparing various 3-litre pressure cookers, we found that Hawkin’s cooker body measured 3 litres itself. But Prestige and Stahl measured 2.75 litres, while Pigeon Inox and Butterfly Curve with taller lids measured around 2.5 litres net capacity.

Winner- Inner Lid Pressure Cooker

Ease of Use

inner lid vs outer lid pressure cooker
closing the inner lid in place.

If you are using inner lid pressure cookers for the first time, then there may be initial teething trouble learning how to close the lid. You may also have to centralize the lid a little bit after closing to ensure the pressure doesn’t leak from the gasket. But once you get the hang of it, it becomes effortless. Comparatively, inner lid pressure cookers are more lightweight than outer lid cookers because their lid weighs lesser.

Outer lid pressure cookers on the other hand are quite easy to close. There is no learning curve at all. Some of the options like Prestige may be initially a bit tight. So, you may have to push the lid down and then twist and close it. However, within a few uses, it becomes effortless to close.

Winner- Outer lid pressure cooker

Functionality

An advantage of outer lid pressure cookers is that you can remove the gasket and tilt the pressure cooker side-wise to drain excess starch. This is something you cannot do using an inner lid pressure cooker.

inner lid vs outer lid pressure cooker- outer lid cooker has better functionality
draining starch from rice cooked in outer lid pressure cooker

So, while inner lid pressure cookers are ideal for making curries, outer lid cookers are apt for making rice and any dishes where you need to drain excess water or starch.

Winner- Outer lid pressure cooker

Safety

inner lid vs outer lid pressure cooker- isi mark
ISI mark on pressure cooker

Pressure cookers with BIS mark adhere to basic safety standards. So, irrespective of the type of lid, they both have features to safeguard you, provided you keep the vent tube clean. An advantage of inner lid pressure cookers however is that the possibility of the lid blowing up is close to nil.

In outer lid pressure cookers, you might have seen a small tear at the edge of the lid which is a gas release system. If in case excess pressure builds inside the cooker, it can release by blowing off the gasket.

Winner- Inner lid pressure cooker

Durability

The gasket of the outer lid pressure cooker rubs against the edge of the body while opening and closing. Over a period of time, it wears out and needs replacement. Inner lid pressure cookers don’t endure much wear and tear. As a result, its gasket lasts much longer.

The handles of inner lid pressure cookers are also of better built quality as the bakelite handle is attached over a metal frame. But the handles of outer lid pressure cookers are more likely to break and need replacement within a few years of use.

Winner- Inner Lid Pressure cooker

Ease of Cleaning

The body of inner lid pressure cookers has a curved edge at the top which makes it more difficult to clean compared to outer lid cookers. Also, when opening the lid, it is quite likely to come in contact with the curry inside. As a result, you have to take more effort to clean it.

Outer lid pressure cookers are comparatively easier to clean as food doesn’t settle down on the lid. The body is also fairly easy to clean.

Winner- Outer Lid Pressure cooker

Pricing

Unfortunately, you cannot generalize and say that price of outer lid cookers is higher than the inner lid ones or vice versa. Depending on the brand, style and material, the prices of the pressure cookers vary. So you cannot find an absolute correlation between price and type of lid.

No clear winner

Conclusion

Inner lid cookers are lighter in weight, more durable, safer and have a higher net capacity. Outer lid cookers on the other hand are easier to clean and more functional. If you are looking for a pressure cooker for making curries, then our recommendation would be to opt for inner lid cookers. On the other hand, if you need a pressure cooker for making rice and draining the excess starch, opt for an outer lid pressure cooker.

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