Pressure cookers have been around for a while (since the 1600s!), and have been long-renowned for making cooking easier through the use of a sealed, high-pressure chamber. Once considered an old-fashioned appliance, modern-day pressure cookers are electrical and high-tech.
It looks a lot like a rice cooker (and can be used as one) but works by creating pressure through the use of steam from heating up the food. By sealing the chamber in which the food is cooking, the steam cannot escape and therefore creates a high pressure environment. In this environment, food cooks a lot quicker.
You can create meals that traditionally take a really long time, in a matter of only a few hours. With the addition of high pressure, the boiling point of water is increased. Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius at normal pressure. In a pressure cooker, water boils at 250 degrees Celsius. This increased temperature means that vegetables, rice, beans, and meat all cook much quicker.
There is no loss of flavor with pressure cooking. Cooking with high pressure and high temperature also encourages caramelization, which is an unusual reaction to take place when cooking with liquids. This means that your pressure cooker meals will have deeper and more complex flavors.
Electrical pressure cookers can be put on an automatic timer, so that you can prep a meal, throw it in the chamber, and leave it while it cooks without having to check up on it.
Almost anything can be cooked in a pressure cooker, from dried beans, to meat, to rice. Its great for meats that need to be braised and tenderized.
Pressure cooking does call for a new approach to cooking. Since the chamber must be sealed throughout the entire cooking process, you will not be able to baby the food, checking in on it and taste-testing it. This might take some getting used to, but the benefits to be gained from saving time is absolutely amazing.
Pressure cookers replace many appliances like rice cookers and slow cookers. By purchasing one, you will find that you will save a remarkable amount of time, and money. The pressure cooker is actually efficient in using energy and won't raise your electricity bills like other kitchen appliances. Don't be put off by the different cooking methods - try one out today!