How pressure cookers work

Pressure cooker is an appliance found in almost all modern kitchens today. They have acquired quite a reputation in the cooking industry because they are by far the fastest means of cooking food. They not only save time by 70% as compared to other cooking methods but also the energy required while cooking by the same percentage. In addition, the meal cooked in a pressure cooker is more delicious and healthy than that cooked by any other conventional method. 

Pressure cookers cook food faster by utilizing some simple laws of physics. They cook food inside a sealed pot. This pot is air tight. When the liquid boils inside the pot, pressure builds up; this allows food to cook at a temperature many times higher than the boiling point of water. This decreases the cooking time by over 70%.

The key to the functionality of the pressure cooker is the boiling of the liquid, therefore in all pressure cooker recipes you are instructed to add a certain amount of liquid to the pressure cooker pot. Once you have added the ingredients along with the liquid to the pot, you have to close the lid. Newer models of pressure cooker come with automatic locking mechanism to lock the lid in place automatically a little while after the lid is closed. This prevents the lid from detaching when pressure builds up inside the cooker. Usually, the lid comes with a rubber gasket which forms an airtight seal between the lid and the cooking pot.

When you heat the contents of the pressure cooker, the liquid inside it turns into vapor and rises above the liquid. With the lid and the gasket in place, the vapor has no place to escape. This trapped vapor inside the cooker builds up pressure which consequently increases the boiling point of the liquid. This means that the food inside the cooker can be cooked at higher temperatures than the boiling point of water unlike with the conventional cooking techniques. With conventional cooking, food is cooked at the boiling point of its liquid contents and thus takes much longer to cook. 

Most pressure cookers can build a maximum pressure of 15 PSI (Pounds per square inch) which is equivalent to 250 ᵒF of cooking temperature. Whereas with ordinary cooking pan the maximum temperature attained is 212 ᵒF which is the boiling point of water. The general rule is that the higher the pressure, the greater the temperature at which food is cooked and the shorter will be the cooking time. Read the Best Pressure Cookers – Reviews & Top Picks today and see for yourself how it makes your life easier!

Pressure cooking is a fast and healthy way of cooking food that, in my opinion, everyone should adopt. By trapping steam, it also traps the vitamins, minerals, all the necessary nutrients and the natural flavors in food which would otherwise be boiled away. Modern, more advanced pressure cooker models have multi-fold safety mechanisms which make them a convenient and safe option for amateur cooks as well.