For most people, even experienced cooks, pressure cooking is a mystery. These cookers can be dangerous appliances if not used correctly, but they can help cut cooking times when they are used properly. This information will help unravel the mystery surrounding pressure cooking.
What is Pressure Cooking?
Pressure cooking is not new; in fact it has been around since the 17th century when it was invented by a Frenchman experimenting with the physics of using steam to cook. Pressure cooking involves cooking with steam in a sealed pot at high pressures. Using a pressure cooker helps to reduce cooking times for all types of foods.
How Does Pressure Cooking Work?
The sealed pot in which you cook has a valve on top of it that helps to control the steam pressure inside of it. As the pot is heated, whether on top of a stove or by electricity, the liquid inside of the pot forms steam, which causes the pressure to build. This helps to raise the boiling point of the liquid inside of the pot, which normally is 100 degrees Celsius, to 121 degrees Celsius.
The high pressure of the steam also forces liquid into whatever is being cooked, making the food moister and helping it to cook faster. Certain foods, such as meat, will also get tenderised much quicker as well.
What Foods Can Be Made with Pressure Cooking?
When used correctly, almost any type of food can be made with pressure cooking. It is very useful for tenderising meats that normally take several hours to cook, but you can also make stews, soups and vegetables. Some people have perfected cooking at this high pressure and can make more delicate items like hard-boiled eggs. However, if you want to have beans for dinner, pressure cooking is a great way to make them quickly.
Using a Pressure Cooker
When you want to use pressure cooking to help make a dish, you heat up the cooker first before adding your ingredients and then seal the lid. Unlike most cooking, you cannot taste the food as the lid needs to stay in place to properly prepare the food inside the cooker. Most new pressure cookers will include a chart in the box so you can tell how long to cook certain foods.
If you want to try pressure cooking, it is best if you buy a new electric cooker as they are safer to use than old ones that were heated on a stovetop. Old pressure cookers can be tricky to use because the pressure builds so high that you need to know how to use them properly or they can break apart. However, there are still risks to using modern ones today.
When pressure cooking, allow the pot pressure to equalize before removing the lid and make sure you open the steam valve away from your face or you risk being scalded. When done correctly, pressure cooking is a great way to fix foods fast when you don’t want to wait for hours for a meal.