Archive for May, 2015
If you never used a pressure cooker before, then you did not find out how it is to cook fast. The pressure cooker may sound like a fancy cooking tool, but it is a rather old invention. This type of cooking pots appeared in France in the 1600s, the creator being Denis Papin. His pressure cooker prototype can be admired even today at the Musée des Arts et Métiers, in Paris. Actually, the pressure cooker is a pot, with a sealed cap and a pressure valve, which uses steam pressure to cook food faster. Of course, the inventor did not manage to create the perfect pressure pot right from the beginning, needing a bit of research to make it safe to use. As the steam pressure gets built in the pot, it can cause a serious explosion of the pot.
The functioning principle of the pressure pot is quite simple. The pot is placed on the stove, having the food and right amount of water in it. Then, the lid is sealed on, due to its rubber ring, which won’t allow air to escape. The pot will also have a valve, letting out the extra pressure, to avoid any unwanted accidents. Some modern pots will also have a pressure indicator, letting us know how much we have to cook a particular food. The sealed pot will increase the amount of hot steams inside, also increasing the cooking temperature, shortening the cooking time. A standard pot will not exceed the water’s boiling point, and that is 212*F. In a steaming pot, the temperature can rise to 250*F.
But the cooking process is not done due to boiling, but by forcing steam pressure onto the food. When hot, steams rise, reaching the top of the pot. The lid will not allow them to escape, and they will be forced to descent by other steams that wish to go up, creating a pressure circuit. Thus, the raising steams forced to descend, are putting their action on the food and cooking it. You might wonder how the high pressure inside the cooker does not destroy the food. The answer is that steam pressure always applies the same force on the entire surface of the food. But leaving the food too much in the pot will make it overcooked, which will give it the mushy look.
If you are wondering what can you cook in a pressure cooker, the answer is anything. There are no limitations when it comes to cooking in a pressure cooker. You just need to be careful with the cooking time and the required amount of water. Rice and veggies are cooked in minutes. Meat, especially red one, is done very nice and tender, in about half an hour, maybe 45 minutes. Even hard beans can be cooked in the pressure cooker extremely fast, without presoaking them in water overnight. The cooker is an affordable kitchen appliance and used very little resources since the cooking process lasts so little. Pressure cookers for stove use are cheaper. Today’s technology brought the best pressure cooker to market like these. It works on the same principle but uses another method to heat the water inside.
So the pressure cooker is a great asset in any kitchen. You cook fast, whatever type of food you wish, and all the flavors of the ingredients will remain inside the pot, making the dish a real delight. It is an excellent tool to help you spend less time in the kitchen, and the success of this pot can be seen in the fact that people use it since the 1600s.