5 Reasons to Own a Pressure Cooker
If you have heard about pressure cookers but never used one yourself, you are definitely 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 for us, today’s cookers are a vast improvement on the pressure cookers of old. It wasn’t that long ago that you needed to run cold water over your pressure cooker for anywhere up to 15 minutes in order 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 stove top 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 family.
Here are five of the 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 why 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 a minimal amount of water to cook the foods so fewer nutrients are lost. 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 that 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 types of problems associated with the older style pressure cookers.
Flexible Cooking Method – Pressure cooking works with a wide variety of recipes and cooking styles, making it perfect for any taste. Breakfasts, roasts, canned fruits and vegetables, taco meat, stews – all of these dishes and more are improved with the use of 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 of the cook! You don’t need to worry about scorching, boiling over, splattering, or sticking foods anymore. Not only does this ensure that your meals taste great, but it also makes cleanup a snap!
What to look for when choosing a pressure cooker
Look for a pressure cooker with a high PSI. (pounds per square inch). The higher the PSI the higher the temperature will be reached and therefore the faster the food will cook. A pressure cooker rated at 15 PSI is a good choice.
Ensure that the pressure cooker you buy has adequate safety features including pressure release valves and a safety lock on the handle to prevent the cooker from accidentally opening.
Look for a pressure cooker with dual pressure speeds. This allows you to cook foods under rapid pressure for a good majority of foods but also allows you to cook at a lower pressure for less robust foods.
Ensure that the handles are secure. When the pressure cooker is full it may be quite heavy so strong secure handles are a must.