What’s all the hype about pressure cookers?

Use a pressure cooker to speed up dinner cook times.

“My friend said she saved some money on her electric bill by switching to a pressure cooker. She’s also saving a bunch of time. I have noticed they’ve become more popular. What’s all the hype?” asked a member.

Pressure cookers in one form or another have been around for a long time. In fact, they’ve been called the first microwave.

The earlier models were dangerous due to high pressures, super hot liquids and limited safety features (if any), which often led to explosions. Thanks to enhanced safety features, today’s models are much less likely to explode – whew!

How does a pressure cooker work? First a bit of background: at sea level, water boils at 212° Fahrenheit. Water in a pressure cooker boils at about 247° F. Why? By sealing liquid in a pressure cooker and then boiling it, the steam created raises the pressure in the pot. At a higher pressure, the temperature required to boil water rises.

A higher boiling temperature makes for significantly faster cook times. For example, in a pressure cooker, a typical pot roast would cook in one hour. The same pot roast might take four hours in an oven. Here are some other advantages of using a pressure cooker:

  • Uses less energy than an electric oven
  • Won’t heat up the entire house because it doesn’t emit a lot of unusable heat
  • Its high temperature and moist environment allows you to use cheaper cuts of meat (they will be tender in the end)

If you give the pressure cooker a try, let us know how it goes. For some recipe ideas, visit: http://pressurecookingwithlornasass.wordpress.com/.