A pressure cooker can help you with that!
It's an alternative method of cooking and also a versatile cooking utensil.
Cook food like stews, steamed buns, and even cakes is possible with a pressure cooker! In this article, you'll learn what a pressure cooker is and why you should cook with one.
What is a Pressure Cooker?
It's a cooking device that cooks food using steam pressure. It does so by being an airtight device trapping inside the steam which would then cook the food inside.
The pressure cooker is great if you're softening up meat as the steam pressure affects every part, even the insides of the meat. The steam pressure comes from the water or other cooking liquid. And it imitates the braising cooking method but in a shorter time.
Why use a Pressure Cooker?
Moreover, an electric pressure cooker helps you save time. You can set a timer on it, and you're free to do other stuff. It's beneficial, especially if you're a busy person.
Energy-efficient - With its short cooking time, you save a lot of money and help contribute to keeping the earth clean. A pressure cooker has multiple uses also. Therefore, you won't have to buy other cookware.
A healthy alternative - Unlike rumors say, pressure cooker doesn't kill the vitamins and minerals of food due to high heat. Scientific studies prove that pressure cooking doesn't incur a significant loss in nutrients while other methods like boiling and steaming do. Why so? Because of the airtight mechanism of the pressure cooker. It keeps the nutrients from escaping and is retained by the food.
Modern Pressure Cooker Compared to Old Models
There are two distinct models when you talk about pressure cookers. These are digital (modern) pressure cookers and traditional pressure cookers. You would want to look at digital pressure cookers than traditional ones. Why?
Only contrast to consider is that traditional pressure cookers have a faster cook time, but the difference isn't much, maybe 5 mins?
Modern Pressure Cooker Features You Need to Know
How does modern pressure cooker evolve from its traditional model? Pressure cookers have come a long way. It's been used for the last three centuries to help with cooking food fast. With the advancement of technology, the pressure cooker has also improved. Here are some features you need to know about the modern pressure cooker.
However, with the new modern pressure cookers, you won't have to deal with it. All you have to do is selecting a cooking setting by pressing a button. The cookware will do the rest for you while you enjoy your time and not be with the pressure cooker monitoring it all the time. You can have that free time you want while the modern pressure cooker prepares the food for you.
In modern pressure cookers, there's a pre-set for what type of food you're going to cook. Therefore, you won't have to worry about setting up the pressure. Also, keep in mind that different models of modern pressure cookers have different maximum pressure. They can vary from models and manufacturing. Some are designed to cook a specific food group or are for variety use.
Another method used is by using cold water. It's done by pouring cold water over the ends of the pressure cooker lid. However, make sure you don't spill over the steam vent and other valves.
For modern pressure cookers, they can be opened within 3-4 minutes. NOTE: Do not even attempt using primary methods for traditional pressure cookers in the modern ones since they have electrical components. Modern pressure cookers have internal parts that help in cooling itself.
Safety & Durability
Pressure Release Safety Valves (Spring, Jiggle Top)
Spring Loaded Valves - The design of spring-loaded valves allow pressure release while not dropping the temperature inside the cooker. It's straightforward. When the pressure inside the cooker goes over significantly, it pops up and releases off the steam.
Jiggle Top Pressure Valves - The difference of jiggle-top pressure valves from the previous type is their design. The valves tend to rock when the pressure reaches a significant level. While shaking, they're also releasing pressure off the cooker.
Pop up Indicators
The indicator pops up when pressure builds up and tells you the exact pressure inside the cooker.
Gasket Release Aperture
Encapsulated Even Heat Base Design
Modern pressure cookers are equipped with the new "three-ply base encapsulated design." The design has aluminum as its core with two stainless steel layers sandwiching it. The aluminum helps heat the cooker fast while the aluminum acts as protection as aluminum isn't compatible with exposing in food.
The perks of stainless steel are that it's easily washable. It also doesn't heat up too much compared to other alternatives. Because of this, the quality of your food is maintained.
How to use a Modern Pressure Cooker?
With the technology that modern pressure cooker has, it's effortless to use a pressure cooker for cooking food. Here are the simple steps:
- Add your food and liquid in the pot - the liquid can be water or a cooking liquid. And make sure that the pot is cleaned.
Close the lid and make sure the valves are positioned correctly
- Select pressure setting - All you need to do is to select the cooking program and time, and the cooker will do it for you.
- Wait for the pressure to build inside the pot - for modern pressure cooker you won't have to monitor this.
- Starts the cooking under pressure - The screen will indicate the cook time countdown
- Release the pressure - Once cooking is finished, the pressure cooker releases the pressure to cool it down.
Are Modern Pressure Cookers Safe?
Modern pressure cookers have also evolved and can now cook in different styles. These new brand of the modern pressure cooker is what we call the multi-cooker. If you want to know more about this, you can read our multi-cooker article.