Pressure cookers are a regular fixture among kitchen utensils, but do we really know how far the benefits of using them go? Cooking in them helps to preserve the vitamins and minerals of the food as well as being very fast, but there is much more behind the scenes
Long gone are the first pressure cookers with the valve turning, which, although they are still marketed, have been surpassed by the fast or super fast cookers. This denomination is obtained depending on the maximum pressure they can withstand, the higher, the faster they cook. See the advantages of this type of cookware from the specialized portal CocinaPro.
They save time
Cooking time is reduced by up to 70% when you use a pressure cooker. As you will see below, this not only serves to put the dishes on the table faster, but also brings other benefits.
The reason why this type of cooker achieves this compared to a traditional cooker is purely physical. When the pressure is increased, the boiling temperature of the water rises above the 100 °C at which it boils at atmospheric pressure.
To get the idea graphically, it could be said that the molecules are “pressed” and it is more difficult for them to separate, producing the agitation that translates into temperature. With this, the boiling point is delayed, achieving a higher temperature (around 130 °C depending on the pot) and thus cooking faster.
Less water required
A pressure cooker is a closed system that does not exchange matter with the outside unless a valve is activated and releases some steam. This implies that, throughout the cooking process, the amount of liquid is practically invariant so that the food will not remain dry.
The use of less water is also a safety issue, to keep the pressure within the limits supported by the pot when heating it. In the instructions, the manufacturer usually indicates a lower amount of water limit than it really supports to have a certain margin in case of misuse. Be sure to read these indications to cook safely.
Retain more nutrients
The longer food is subjected to high temperatures, the more nutrients such as fat-soluble vitamins are destroyed. In a pressure cooker, it cooks faster as we have just seen, so it takes less time to degrade than in a conventional cooker.
This is also influenced by the fact that it cooks with much less water because when cooking in a normal pot, this evaporates to a large extent. This is a problem because it does so after having dissolved nutrients such as water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C for example), which are lost along with the steam.
More flavorful and juicy dishes
By avoiding boiling for hours as in conventional cookers, a higher concentration is achieved that makes the flavors more intense. A pressure cooker forms an isolated environment, so food does not dehydrate and is much juicier.
Sauces and spices form a cycle that constantly recirculates through the food. Also, remember that by cooking with less water, the flavor is diluted in a smaller volume.
Save gas or electricity
It is clear that a reduction in cooking time will result in energy savings. Whether you use a gas or electric stove, you will save on your bill. Especially, taking into account that, in the case of electricity, even if you have a discriminating tariff, mealtimes cannot be postponed.
In addition, it coincides with a peak time in the price of daylight due to the high demand that occurs at those hours and that is not something that is left for the night like putting on a dishwasher.
As you have seen, pressure cookers are a marvel in every aspect. Years ago they were almost a luxury product, but now there are excellent models with a good quality/price ratio.