Pressure cookers have this terrible reputation of being very dangerous. In the past they have been known to burst and trigger a fire in the kitchen or leave burns all over the cook. It is not like that with newer models and they are very safe to use. Food is mixed with a little water inside the pan. The lid is different in that it clamps and locks shut once this is done the cooker is placed on a burner of a stove. The heat gets hotter and starts to create steam which, in turn, creates a pressure inside the cooker because it can not get out. Pressure will keep rising until it can not anymore for the area inside the pot and then a little valve on the cooker or a weight that is attached to the cooker will start to release this excess steam preventing an explosion. Food is cooked at a much higher temperature without any danger of being burned. It also cooks 70% faster than if you used the oven or a regular set of pots and pans.
When the requirements of the recipe are reached the cooker should be taken off the heat and it needs to sit for a little while. Each cooker has its own system of releasing the steam and most systems include a regulator that is lifted to release any steam that is left in the pot. When this steam is gone so is the pressure and it is time to remove the lid.
Often the cooker will be placed in a sink and cold water will be poured over it. Food is still cooking inside the cooker even though the heat has been turned off. The cold water will do the same as releasing the steam quickly by stopping the cooking process. This stops the food from being over cooked. It should be noted that if you do run cold water over a cooker you will still be required to release any steam or you will not be able to unlock the lid.
There are many benefits that come from cooking with a pressure cooker. Any bacteria or virus that may be on the food before will not come out alive because of the high temperature. The color of the food is kept because you are not using a great deal of water to cook it. If you have a tough cut of meat you can be assured it will come out tender and delicious when you use a pressure cooking machine. After the steam comes out the lid should be able to release easily. If it does not do not force it but wait a little longer and try again. Open the lid so the opening is away from your body so you can avoid any burns from steam or hot food.
Many companies make good pressure cookers but you can find some of the best made by T-Fal Wearever. They have several different sizes including 4, 6, 8 and 12 quart models that run USD $ 35 for the 4 quart and USD $ 65 for the 12 quart cookers. The handle is long and narrow and is made of durable plastic and the pot is made from aluminum that is polished out and natural aluminum on the inside. The 12 quart is a little different having 2 handles that lock at each side of the cooker. All models are equipped with safety valves and all gaskets can be replaced to ensure safety. The 12 quart cooker may go under the name of Mirro and can be used in the canning process. They can be placed in a dishwasher and are rust free. You will never get burned because they can not be opened without all the steam and pressure is gone from inside the cooker. Pressure gauges are included and readable. These cookers come with a 10 year warranty.
Megafesa USA makes another pressure cooker called the 8 Quart Super Fast Pressure cooker for USD $ 90. This one cooks faster than the others because of the material used in making the base of the cooker. There are three different levels of cooking and heat 'slow that cooks at 6 psi, then the medium that cooks at 9 psi and the super fast at a swift 15 psi. The lid will not be able to be removed without all steam is released. This cooker has a safety valve, valve to release over pressure and a safety edged lid window. It is also made of aluminum with stainless steel. It must be hand washed.
If you need to make meals in a hurry you need a pressure cooker. Remember that they do help the environment because less energy is used in order to make a meal. The are very safe because you are unable to remove lids until all danger is past. Prepare a nutritious meal using a pressure cooker tonight.