Cooking is an integral part of every household. In turn, a pressure cooker is a very important utensil that is used for cooking food quickly. A pressure cooker is like any other pot in the kitchen, except that it has a more elaborate lid. This lid seals the cooker completely, and when the boiling process starts in it, it traps the steam inside. Consequently, it leads to a higher cooking temperature and saves cooking time.
This trapped pressure is measured in pound of force per square inch (PSI).
The gasket or rubber ring is a very important part of a pressure cooker, as it allows the pressure to build up inside the pot. It is fitted on the side of the lid. It is essential that you keep the gasket clean and free from any food particles to ensure a good seal.
There is a minimum of three valves in the latest pressure cookers, for safety reasons. They allow the automatic release of pressure in case it builds up too high. Different valves are used for different cookers.
Reasons to Use a Pressure Cooker
There are lots of reasonable as well as beneficial reasons for using this useful kitchen tool. Some of these include:
Nutritional Boost: A pressure cooker consumes less time and water in cooking food. It is able to hold in more vitamins and minerals than with conventional cooking methods.
Timesaving: Cooking in a pressure cooker is about 70 percent faster, which enables you to cook food speedily. You can put all the ingredients together and do something else as well, in the time you would normally take to cook your food.
Energy Efficient: Since a pressure cooker takes less time, the amount of energy consumed is also reduced.
Cooler Kitchen: As all the heat and pressure is trapped inside the pot, the kitchen keeps cooler compared to conventional stove top or oven methods.
Cleaner Kitchen: Since all the food is cooked inside a covered pot, there is no need for cleaning all the messy splashes or spatters you would normally need to clean up after cooking.
Tips for When Buying a Pressure Cooker
A good variety of pressure cookers are available in the market. Generally they range from four to eight quarts. A six-quart model is capable of performing most of the jobs, but you should opt for a larger model if for example, you have a big family.
Pressure cookers are made up of aluminum or stainless steel. Stainless steel is preferred over aluminum, as it is of a higher quality and results in better cooking. There is also less danger of food sticking to the bottom. The heavier stainless steel models are best for their ability to brown or sauté food before cooking it under pressure. This means there is no need to shift the food into the pressure cooker from another utensil.
Pressure cookers have really made cooking more easy and convenient. Just remember it is always recommended to go through the user manual and safety precautions first before using your pressure cooker for the first time.