Lock it tight, put it on the stove, wait for the high-pitched screeching sounds and be ready to run for cover. Those were the unwritten instructions that came with old style pressure cookers. They did include an element of danger and perhaps unwanted excitement I guess.
Today, pressure cookers have come a long way from the original exciting but dangerous models. They have additional safety features built into them; like the locking mechanisms that do not let you open them until the pressure is released, and they don’t make that noisy screeching sound,
Some models even double as a canner that helps you build up your storage of homemade delicious and pesticide free jars of preserves. Of course, you can always move up to heavy duty models that may be necessary to preserve larger quantities of food. These larger combination models for pressure cookers and pressure canners are heavier with thicker casting that takes more time to heat up which makes them a little bit cumbersome for everyday use.
Pressure cookers offer very specific benefits not shared by any other cooking and kitchen appliance. Here are the the benefits I find most attractive.
Retention of nutrients and condensation of taste
Heat is destructive to most nutrients. Water also leeches nutrients out of your food. The higher the heat and the longer cooking time within increased water cause the most damage to food nutrients.
Other than eating your food raw, you basically have three options in preparing foods that are nutritious. First, you could prepare your meals over low heat and low water which is the basic concept behind waterless cooking. Second, you could prepare your meals in a crock pot that keeps the heat relatively low over a long period. Third, you could increase the pressure that could replace the need for high heat. Using a combination of high pressure and high heat is the basic idea of pressure cooking.
Pressure cooking is faster and uses less water or any other liquid you use as a substitute for water. Faster cooking time preserves the nutrients in a visible way. One look at the vivid colors of the meals you prepare and you know they are full of their natural nutrients. A cooking process that destroys the color and turns very thing to a brownish muddy color is destroying the nutrients.
The closed environment of the pressure cooker prevents anything to leave it. The nutrients and flavors do not evaporate or splatter, they get condensed into your meals and make them tastier.
Some pressure cookers can reduce the time you take to prefer food by as much as 70%
For eco-conscious individuals saving energy, is a way of life. With increasing costs of electricity and gas, even if you’re not an eco-conscious individual, you still don’t want to send your hard-earned money to electricity companies any time you can help it.
In addition to the reduced time that it takes to prepare your food, using one pressure cooker instead of multiple burners can save you some serious heating money.
One of your most precious commodities is time. Everyone I meet these days is complaining about lack of time and how stressful this lack of time makes their lives.
70% faster cooking time means that you spend only a third of your time to prepare food. You could spend the rest of the two-thirds learning to relax and enjoy life. There are also times that you need to prepare food in a hurry without running to a fast food store and then regretting that decision the next day when you look in the mirror. Pressure cookers are great time savers.
Pressure Cooking Is Cool
Pressure cooking is cool. Literally.
Sure you get delicious meals that contains much of their original nutrients, and you could prepare them in record time. But when I say pressure cooking is cool I mean that it does not build up the heat in the kitchen environment especially if you have a small kitchen in a hot climate.
Pressure Cooking Is Cleaner
Anytime I prepare food in the traditional way, somehow my kitchen sinks seem to pile up with more dishes that I could account for. I have also noticed that, with traditional pots and pans cooking, boiling water and frying oil splatters over my stove. After I am done with cooking, I still have to take as much time cleaning my dishes and my stove as I did preparing the food.
I often wonder how many people don’t prepare meals at home because of the cleaning time it requires.
With the pressure cooker, you only have one item to clean, and there are no a oil or other food particles spattered around the stove or kitchen counter in case of electric pressure cookers that you need to clean afterwards.
Double Feature As Canner
Some pressure cooker models can double up as pressure canners. This feature allows you to plan and dedicate a day and prepare meals that you can keep for weeks. It takes the same amount of time for the pressure cooker to prepare 12 jars of jam as it takes for it to prepare one jar.
Planning and preparing large volume foods is a tried and true way to save time. These days, the same way we live paycheck to paycheck, we also live one meal to one meal. The traditional values and ways built around planning instead of reacting are effective.
If you start thinking in terms of preparing food for a longer period your pressure cooker needs to accommodate that. Pressure cookers with the emphasis on canning may not necessarily have full for everyday use. For a single individual or small families preparing healthy meals day today, takes high priority than preserving food. Once you get the hang of this process you’ll find out that there is time to plan and save even more time. It’s just a matter of how you use your resources not how many of them use.
An additional element you need to watch for when reviewing pressure cookers that are best for you is the internal pressure they generate. The higher the pressure, the faster the cooking time. There is a variation between the PSI within pressure cookers that are stove top or electrical. In most cases, for canning, you need higher PSI.
Pressure cooking and a reliable, top of the line pressure cooker has a technology and the safety features to save you time save your energy and save you money and still deliver high quality nutritious meals that taste great.
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