10 Reasons to Own a Pressure Cooker
If you have heard about a pressure cooker but have yet to use one, you are missing out on a valuable cooking experience. Pressure cooking is a safe and healthy way to prepare a wide variety of foods, from canned fruit to frittatas to delicious baked beans, and they can be made in a fraction of the time that traditional cooking methods require.
Fortunately, today’s cookers are a vast improvement over old pressure cookers. It wasn’t that long ago that you needed to run cold water over your pressure cooker for up to 15 minutes to release the pressure before removing the lid.
The safety features of the old pressure cookers weren’t particularly great either. It wasn’t uncommon for one to explode, and you had to make sure you stood well back when taking your pot from the stovetop to the sink just in case the steam happened to escape and burn your face!
Fortunately, pressure cookers today are much safer and easier to use and a real boon to parents with limited time to cook nutritious evening meals for their families.
Here are ten top reasons why a pressure cooker is a must-have piece of cookware for any well-stocked kitchen.
Food Cooks Faster - This is the most popular reason people buy pressure cookers, and it’s an excellent one. Your meals require only 30% of the time that traditional cooking methods need to finish. Not only does this save you time and effort, but it also saves you money because you need less energy to cook. Furthermore, your kitchen stays cooler, lowering your air conditioning costs in the summer and keeping it more pleasant year-round.
Food Retains More Nutrients - In traditional cooking, many of the food’s nutrients are lost in the cooking process through water evaporation. Pressure cookers require minimal water to cook food, so fewer nutrients are lost. As a result, your food retains the fresh taste and healthy nutrients, ensuring that much-needed vitamins and minerals remain a part of your diet.
Safer Cooking - The very high temperatures used in pressure cooking mean the chances are higher that any germs or bacteria are destroyed during cooking. In addition, the safety features in today’s pressure cookers have greatly improved with more safety valves and venting, reducing the problems associated with older-style pressure cookers.
Convenient - Pressure cookers are convenient for busy schedules, as they can cook food quickly and allow you to prepare meals in advance.
Healthy - Pressure cookers can be a healthy cooking option, as they can help to preserve nutrients and reduce the need for added fats and oils.
Flexible Cooking Method - Pressure cooking works with various recipes and cooking styles, making it perfect for any taste. Breakfasts, roasts, canned fruits and vegetables, taco meat, stews – all these dishes and more are improved with a cooker.
Easy to Use, Easy to Clean - Today’s cookers are easy to use; they add pressure to the food and take it off the cook! As a result, you don’t need to worry about scorching, boiling over, splattering, or sticking foods. Not only does this ensure that your meals taste great, but it also makes cleanup a snap!
Energy efficient - Pressure cookers use less energy than other cooking methods, as they cook food faster and retain more heat.
Compact - Pressure cookers are compact and take up minimal space in the kitchen, making them an excellent option for small kitchens or those with limited storage.
Durable - Pressure cookers are generally very durable and can last many years with proper care.
How Does a Pressure Cooker Work?
A pressure cooker is a kitchen appliance that uses steam pressure to cook food faster than traditional cooking methods. It consists of a pot with a tightly fitting lid that seals in the steam and a pressure release valve that regulates the pressure inside the pot.
To use a pressure cooker, add the ingredients and sufficient liquid to the pot. Then, the pot is placed on the stove, and the lid is securely fastened.
The heat from the stove causes the liquid inside the pot to boil, creating steam. As the steam builds up inside the pot, it increases the pressure. The increased pressure helps cook the food faster and at a higher temperature than atmospheric pressure.
The pressure inside the pot is regulated by the pressure release valve, which allows excess steam to escape when the pressure inside the pot reaches a certain level. This helps prevent the pot from becoming too pressurized and ensures the appliance's safety.
Once the food is cooked, the pressure cooker can be turned off and the pressure inside the pot will gradually decrease. The lid can then be safely removed and the food can be served.
A pressure cooker uses steam pressure to cook food faster and at a higher temperature than traditional cooking methods, and a pressure release valve regulates the pressure inside the pot to ensure the appliance's safety.
What to Look for When Choosing One
When shopping for a pressure cooker, there are several factors that you should consider:
- Capacity: Consider the size of your pressure cooker based on the size of your family and the types of dishes you typically prepare. Larger pressure cookers are better for cooking larger quantities of food, while smaller pressure cookers are more suitable for single servings or smaller meals.
- Material: Pressure cookers can be made from various materials, including stainless steel, aluminum, and ceramic-coated metal. Stainless steel is a popular choice because it is durable and easy to clean but can be heavier and more expensive than other materials.
- Aluminum is lighter and more affordable, but it is not as durable and may not distribute heat as evenly. Ceramic-coated metal is a newer non-stick option and easy to clean, but it may not be as durable as stainless steel.
- Safety features: Look for a pressure cooker with features such as an automatic pressure release valve, a safety valve, and a locking lid. These features can help prevent accidents and ensure that the pressure cooker is safe.
- Ease of use: Consider the ease of use when shopping for a pressure cooker. Look for a pressure cooker with intuitive controls and a clear, easy-to-read display.
- Price: Consider your budget when shopping for a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers can range in price from around $30 to over $200, depending on the size, material, and features. Decide on a price range that works for you and look for a pressure cooker that fits within that range.
- Brand reputation: Consider the brand's reputation when shopping for a pressure cooker. You can look for a reputable brand with a history of producing high-quality pressure cookers. You can read online reviews or ask friends and family for recommendations.