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Pressure Cooker is a savor

What is pressure cooking?

Pressure cooking is a method of cooking in a sealed container (pot) that does not allow air or liquids to escape below a preset pressure. Because the boiling point of water increases as the pressure increases, the pressure built up inside the cooker allows the liquid in the pot to rise to a higher temperature before boiling.

Pressure cookers have several other names. An early pressure cooker was called a steam digester, big pressure cookers were called pressure canners; autoclave (in hospitals for sterilizations of medical instruments), retorts (in the food industry).

What pressure cooker is made of?

Pressure cookers are generally made from aluminum or stainless steel. Most of them are unsuitable for the dishwasher, and though some are claimed to be dishwasher safe, it is better to clean them by hand. Higher quality stainless steel pressure cookers are made with heavy, three-ply, or copper-clad bottom (heat spreader) for uniform heating.

How does a pressure cooker work?

A special sealing ring serves as a gas-tight seal which does not allow air or steam to escape. The only way the steam can escape is through a regulator or a safety valve on the lid when the pressure has built up. Contemporary designs of pressure cooker have a pressure-activated interlock mechanism that prevents the lid from being removed while the cooker is pressurized.

When cooking, the pressurized steam inside keeps the lid tightly in place, preventing accidental removal.

How to use a pressure cooker?

The food ingredients are placed in the pressure cooker, with a small amount of water. The lid is sealed, the pressure settings are selected and the pressure cooker is placed on a stove, at the highest heat until the cooker reaches full pressure, then the heat is turned down and cooking is controlled by the recipe timing.

As the internal temperature rises, the pressure also rises up to needed measurement. In pressure cookers, a relief valve or pressure regulator weight release steam to prevent the pressure from rising any further.

The higher temperature causes the food to cook faster; cooking times are typically reduced by about 70 percent.

Advantages of pressure cooking.

Foods are cooked much faster by pressure cooking than by conventional method. Less energy is required. Less water is necessary. Because food is not immerse in water, vitamins and minerals are not dissolved away by water, and thus pressure cooking is healthier than other cooking methods. Some food toxins can be reduced by pressure cooking.

Cooking at a temperature above the normal boiling point of water kills bacteria and viruses. The pressure cooker can also be used as an effective sterilizer, for example for jam pots and glass baby bottles. With pressure cooking, heat is very evenly, deeply, and quickly distributed.

Safety while pressure cooking

Early pressure cookers used to have a reputation as a dangerous method of cooking with the risk of explosion. If the lid could be opened while the contents are boiling under pressure, it would result in a dangerous frothing and explosion of superheated liquid, which can severely scald any person close to a cooker.

Modern pressure cookers typically have several safety features to prevent opening the lid while internal pressure exceeds atmospheric pressure. However there is still a risk of explosion, especially if cookers are not maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. It is very important to follow the manual instructions. 

Advantage of pressure cooking at high altitudes.

A pressure cooker is often used by mountain climbers to compensate for the low atmospheric pressure at a very high elevation. The pressure cooker adds cooking tremendously at high altitudes, where the low atmospheric pressure otherwise reduces the boiling point of water (water boils at temperatures significantly below 100 °C (212 °F), and the boiling water is not effective for cooking or preparing hot drinks, the food remains undercooked even after being boiled for hours.

Lightweight camping and mountaineering pressure cookers are available. Shepherds often use pressure cookers in base camp.

All American Pressure Canners

Since American women love to can, the best way to can is by using pressure canners.

The U.S.D.A. recommends that pressure canning is the only right way to can meat, fish, poultry and all vegetables.

The pressure canners have the capacity needed to prepare large quantities of food.

All American Pressure Canners feature an exclusive “Metal-to-Metal” sealing system.

All models feature a readable pressure gauge for accurate pressure control.

Pressure Cooker Recipes

Chicken legs with scallions and carrots recipe

Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in the pressure cooker; add 2 minced shallots and sauté until they are transparent. Add some sage leaves and 4 chicken legs. Mix, allow meat to brown and season; next spray a glass of dry white wine. Add 16 scallions and 4 peeled and sliced carrots. Close the pot and cook it all for 8 minutes from the ringing.

Pasta with chickpeas (4 servings)

2 celery sticks; 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil; Pepper; 150 g of chickpeas; 1L of vegetable or beef broth; 1 leek; 1 onion; 1 stick of rosemary; 200 g of short pasta or noodles;2 carrots; 1 potato

  • Soak chickpeas in cold water for 12 hours and drain.
  • Place chickpeas in the pressure cooker along with the broth and rosemary leaves. Close and calculate 30 minutes from the ringing. After 30 minutes, turn off heat, allow steam to escape and open the pot.
  • Meanwhile, peel and wash the potato. Peel onion and celery. Dice all these vegetables and add them to the chickpeas.
  • Close the pot; pressurize it again and for 5 minutes.
  • As soon as possible, open the pot and pass all the vegetables through the beater as well as ¾ of the chickpeas.
  • Place the puree and chickpeas in the pot again. When it begins to cook, add pasta and simmer for time indicated in the wrapper.
  • Season soup with raw oil, sprinkle a pinch of pepper, mix and serve.

Option: with same amounts and following same procedure you can prepare pasta and bean soup.

Quick Ratatouille Recipe

1 medium onion; 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil; 1 tbsp of oregano; Salt and pepper; 750 g of red, yellow and green peppers; 400 g of processed tomato

  • Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and white filaments. Wash them and cut them in more or less thick stripes.
  • Heat the oil in the pressure cooker and brown minced onion for 2 minutes at medium heat. Add the peppers, stir and fry them 2 or 3 minutes before adding processed tomato. Stir and add the oregano, salt and pepper. Soak it with 4 spoonfuls and mix well.
  • Close the pot and as soon as the valve begins ringing, reduce the heat and cook for around 4 minutes. Let steam escape and open the pot. The ratatouille is ready to be sampled, hot or lukewarm.
  • Tip: the oregano can be replaced by minced parsley adding it when cooking is done. If we wish for a fuller ratatouille, prolong cooking times for a minute or two.
  • Option: varied vegetables. Cut a pepper, zucchini, carrot, an onion, a potato and a small eggplant and cook it during 5 minutes in the same amounts of oil, tomato and water. Put it all in a pressure cooker and season it with salt, pepper and herbs. Close the pot and cook the vegetables during 4 minutes from the ringing.

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Comments 7 comments

Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 6 years ago from HubPages, FB

Very interesting and practical. Thanks.

ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 6 years ago from USA Author

Next step is to try it.

billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

Pressure cookers do savor the taste - thank you for the review and recipes :)

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago

Nicely done. Glad you included recipes, so I can try some of them. Thanks for the useful hub.

ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 6 years ago from USA Author

Hi, Angeline. I am sure you are the master!

I was actually very amused to learn that pressure cooker is so helpful for those who live in high altitudes.

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

Thanks for this useful Hub - I hope to try out a Recipe.

ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 6 years ago from USA Author

Thank you, Lady_E! I am going to do the same! It is fun to try new recipe every time.

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