The invention of Pressure Cookers has revolutionized cooking by decreasing the cooking time by a massive degree. In addition to decreasing the cooking time by 70%, pressure cooking also decreases the energy used to cook food by 70% as compared to the conventional methods of cooking. It is for this reason that more and more people are buying pressure cookers and incorporating it in most of their recipes.
Although pressure cookers have a reputation of being the cause of many kitchen mishaps, almost all of these stories are associated with traditional pressure cookers from your parents’ or grandparents’ times. Modern day pressure cookers are completely safe and even suitable for being operated by amateur users owing to the multiple safety mechanisms incorporated in their design.
As an inquisitive user of this appliance like me, you might be interested as to how a cooker works or what to look when purchasing a best pressure cooker here and what the mechanism is that makes the cooking process so fast. In simplest terms, pressure cooker is just a metal container with a sealed lid and a valve to control the pressure inside. It builds pressure inside the container by trapping steam. The pressure causes the boiling point of water to rise to around 120 ᵒC as compared to the usual 100 ᵒC. When food is cooked at this higher temperature the cooking time decreases by a significant degree.
To prevent any explosion, the valve ensures that the pressure within does not exceed the required levels. When the pressure reaches the required levels, the valve opens to allow excess steam to escape and maintain the pressure at that highest level. Pressure is directly related to the temperature by the equation known as “Ideal Gas Law”: PV=nRT where P is the pressure and T is the temperature. All other variables in the equation are constant in this case. The equation states that if the pressure is higher the temperature will be higher. By controlling the pressure at which the food is cooked, we can control its temperature and hence the cooking time.
Tough dishes like beans, grains and meat which take hours to cook by conventional methods, take less than 20 minutes to cook in a pressure cooker. Faster cooking also translates into less energy utilized in cooking which means you will be saving loads on your utility bills. In addition, the faster the food is cooked, the fewer nutrients it will lose which makes pressure cooking the healthiest way to prepare your meals. By sealing the steam inside, it ensures that the important vitamins and minerals are not evaporated out of the food with the steam.