Pressure cookers have become a staple in kitchens around the world for their ability to cook food quickly and efficiently.
The temperature of a pressure cooker can get up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, which is well above the boiling point of water. This means that a pressure cooker can get hotter than an oven or stovetop.
Why Does Food Cook Faster in A Pressure Cooker?
If you’re cooking a meal in the oven, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more for your food to be cooked through.
A pressure cooker, on the other hand, can cook your food in about half that time.
A pressure cooker is a pot that cooks food using steam at very high temperatures. When you put your food into a pressure cooker, it will cook faster because of the higher temperature.
The boiling point of water is raised to 250 degrees Fahrenheit when in a pressure cooker.
This means that liquid turns to steam and makes its way up through the liquid or food.
Once inside, it wants to escape quickly so it does so by pushing on the outside of the container which causes more heat to be generated from within.
If we take a look at how a pressure cooker works, it becomes clear that three key factors contribute to its fast-cooking times:
When you put food into a pot with no lid on it, water boils faster because it has more surface area exposed to heat from the burner or heating element.
In an electric or stovetop pressure cooker, however, this isn’t always true.
Since the pot is sealed shut, pressure builds up inside of it.
It means that when you cook at low heat with a pressure cooker, water can still boil even though all of its surface area isn’t exposed to the burner’s heat.
This allows for faster cooking times than simply boiling your food on medium or high heat in an uncovered pot.
Water boils even faster in a pressure cooker because of the steam that is formed when it comes to a boil.
Steam cooks food and makes certain foods cook much faster than they would otherwise.
For example, if you’ve ever made rice on the stove before, then you know how long it can take for your pot to come up to a boil.
Once it does, you have to let it sit for an average of 15 minutes before the rice is cooked all the way through.
In a pressure cooker though, that same pot will come up to a boil much faster. This means your food can be ready in as little as half the time.
Just put some cold water into the pot, add your ingredients and close the lid. After a minute or so of pressure building up inside it will come to a boil.
The size of the pressure cooker pot also contributes to its fast-cooking times.
A small pressure cooker would cook food faster than a large one because it has less surface area for water and steam to travel over.
What matters is the amount of space there is between the top and bottom. The bigger a pot’s distance, the more time it will take for heat to travel from one end to another.
In most cases, this means that smaller pots cook food faster because they have less space inside them.
What Are the Pros and Cons of a Pressure Cooker?
Like every item you use, there are pros and cons. Thankfully, the advantages of using a pressure cooker outweigh the cons.
The key is to know how to use the kitchen appliance to work in your favor. Here are some advantages and drawbacks of pressure cookers;
- The ability to cook food quickly to save time and energy.
- Keep flavors inside the pot instead of leaking out into your kitchen.
- Using less energy than other cooking methods.
- The kitchen appliance is easy to operate.
- You can cook a variety of foods.
- They are dangerous if improperly used.
- You cannot see what is going on inside of them while cooking.
- Some foods can cook much faster than others and can overcook.
Which Food Is Not Suitable for Pressure Cooking?
Even though these kitchen appliances are convenient. Not all foods are suitable for pressure cooking.
For example, rice, potatoes, and pasta will cook much faster than they would on a stovetop or in an oven.
It is not recommended to cook them with a pressure cooker. Also, other foods such as eggs and dairy products can be dangerous to pressure cook.
The potential to overcook these foods is likely.
If you don’t mix the ingredients correctly or take off the lid at just the right time, then there’s a good chance that too much steam will escape from within leading to dangerous conditions.
In general, it’s best to either cook these foods on a stovetop or in an oven.
It will take longer but you’ll have more control over the process and won’t risk your kitchen getting filled with steam from one side of the pot to another.
Read this to find out if you can use a pressure cooker on an electric stove.
Are Pressure Cookers Dangerous?
Pressure cookers are dangerous if not used correctly. Therefore, you should always read the manual that comes with your pressure cooker before using it for the first time.
You should also make sure to keep an eye on things while cooking and take off the lid as soon as steam starts coming out of the pot’s valve (you’ll know this is happening when you hear the hissing sound).
By doing this, you’ll avoid too much pressure building up inside your pot.
Can A Pressure Cooker Explode?
If you don’t let enough steam escape from your pressure cooker, then it will start to build up inside the pot.
When this happens and there is too much pressure for too long of a period, then an explosion can happen.
Are Aluminum Pressure Cookers are safe? Find out what we think.
A pressure cooker can get to temperatures of about 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
They cook faster than normal stovetops because they use higher pressure and temperature.
You can cook a variety of foods in a pressure cooker except for pasta, rice, and potatoes.
The rule generally applies to foods that require a very short time to cook and require close examination and control.
The advantages of pressure cooking include the ability to cook faster, using less energy.
Moreover, you retain nutrients in the food and the kitchen appliance is straightforward to use.
However, care should be taken when using a pressure cooker to avoid accidents.
The appliances can blow up if the pressure is not properly controlled.