Autoclave vs Pressure Cooker: Difference and Comparison

An autoclave is a container that is strongly heated container to be used in chemical reactions and other processes using high pressures and temperatures.

The Pressure Cooker is an airtight pot that is used to cook food quickly by applying high steam pressure with the help of water, which gets heated at high temperatures. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Autoclaves are used for sterilizing medical equipment, while pressure cookers are for cooking food.
  2. Autoclaves achieve higher temperatures and pressures than pressure cookers.
  3. Autoclaves maintain consistent temperature and pressure, ensuring complete sterilization.

Autoclave vs Pressure Cooker 

An autoclave is a device specifically designed for sterilization purposes. It uses high-pressure steam to sterilize medical and laboratory equipment. A pressure cooker is a household appliance that uses steam pressure to cook food quickly. It is specifically designed for cooking food.

Autoclave vs Pressure Cooker

Autoclaves are used in the microbiology industry to sterilize the medical equipment that has been used to keep it free from any type of microbes. It uses dry steam during the sterilization process.

It can also be used to vulcanize rubber to increase its tensile strength or in the electronic industry to develop synthetic quartz crystals. 

Pressure Cookers carry out the cooking process by employing high pressure and steam that helps the food to cook. Airtight containers are used which elevates the internal pressures and allows higher cooking temperatures.

It was invented in the 1600s as an attempt to reduce the cooking time and effort that goes with it.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAutoclave Pressure Cooker 
Purpose It is used to sterilize medical instruments.It is used in kitchens to prepare food. 
Type of Steam usedIt uses dry steam in the sterilization process.It uses wet steam to cook food. 
IndustryIt is used in the medical field as well as in the electronic and metal industry too.It is used at home as well as at restaurants in food preparation. 
Uses Autoclaves can be used to produce synthetic quartz crystals. Cookers can be used to boil hard food items to turn them soft and make them easy to consume. 
Precautions They must not contain liquids else autoclave might explode.The parts that release out steam should be properly checked. It should not be clogged.

What is Autoclave?

An autoclave is a machine that carries out chemical and industrial processes using high pressure and temperature. It uses dry steam to function. 

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In hospitals, it is used to sterilize the medical instruments and other materials employed during the surgery. It can be used on gloves, surgical instruments, injections, glass, and rubber material.

It is important to ensure that all the trapped air is removed from the instrument before use, or it might lead to less efficient results. 

In electronics, it is used to make synthetic quartz crystals or moulding metal to decrease the voids present in the metal and hence increase its tensile strength.

Autoclaves are employed in microbiology, tattoo and piercing tasks, and also in the electronics and metal industry. 

Sterilization plays a vital role in reducing the hazardous effects of biochemical and medical waste.

It makes sure that all the microbes, like fungi, bacteria, and viruses, get inactivated; otherwise, it might be harmful to humans and animals as well as the surroundings that they reside in. 

Paper and liquid materials should be sterilized in another way as there are high risks of autoclaves catching fire or exploding due to the high pressure that exists within them. 

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What is Pressure Cooker?

A Pressure Cooker is an airtight container with a sealed lid that does not allow steam to escape. The steam is pushed out by its top when it gets excess inside the vessel. They use high steam pressure and temperature in order to enable the cooking of food. 

It was invented in the 1600s as an attempt to reduce the cooking time and effort that goes with it. However, third-generation cookers have been launched in the market with many new advances.

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It has several safety features and a digital temperature control system and does not vent steam during cooking. 

Pressure cookers are more efficient and quieter than before, and these conveniences will help make pressure cooking more popular again.

Also, in some scientific research, it has been proved that pressure cooking can play a vital role in reducing toxins in some foods. 

Foods like noodles, spaghetti, pasta, cereals, oatmeals, etc., should not be cooked in the pressure cooker as they might expand too much and create froth, which might block the steam vent and reduce the efficiency of the cooker.

Pressure cookers require water that heats until the desired temperature and produces wet steam, which enables the cooking of food.

pressure cooker

Main Differences Between Autoclave and Pressure Cooker

  1. Autoclaves are used to sterilize medical instruments. Pressure Cookers are used in kitchens to prepare food. 
  2. Autoclaves use dry steam in the sterilization process, whereas Cookers use wet steam to cook food. 
  3. Autoclave plays a major role in the medical field as well as in the electronic and metal industry. Pressure cookers are used at home as well as at restaurants in food preparation. 
  4. Autoclaves can be used to produce synthetic quartz crystals. Cookers can be used to boil hard food items to turn them soft and make them easy to consume. 
  5. An Autoclave must not contain liquids, or else it might explode. Pressure cookers release out steam should be properly checked. It should not be clogged.
Difference Between Autoclave and Pressure Cooker
References
  1. https://doi.org/10.1093/ejo/cjh076
  2. https://doi.org/10.3109/10520299609117171

Last Updated : 23 August, 2023

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16 thoughts on “Autoclave vs Pressure Cooker: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The comparison table was very useful and concise. It really highlights the differences between autoclaves and pressure cookers.

    Reply
  2. This is a comprehensive and well-written article that explains the differences between autoclave and pressure cooker with great clarity.

    Reply
  3. The article is quite enlightening and provides a detailed understanding of the uses and precautions of autoclaves and pressure cookers.

    Reply
  4. The article provides a clear understanding of the differences in purpose, usage, and industries where autoclaves and pressure cookers are used.

    Reply
  5. The article clearly explains the importance of autoclaves and pressure cookers in different industries. It provides valuable insights.

    Reply
  6. I feel the article missed out some key scientific details about the autoclave and pressure cooker. The comparison seems superficial.

    Reply
  7. I found it very informative and well explained. These are two similar devices that are confused. The article does an excellent job of clearing up the differences.

    Reply

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