General

The Return of Pressure Cookers in the Household

A basic pressure cooker with a simple regulator and an oval lid

While pressure cookers are thoroughly loved in the cooking industry, there are a few reservations for their use in household purposes. Incidents of explosions and mishandling have put a question mark on the reliability of this cooking ware. But how this danger slogan got attached to the perfectly fine cooking device and why people run away from using it, let’s discuss!

Before we jump onto the story of why people avoid using pressure cookers, let’s have a look at how this device works.

Working of a Pressure Cooker

Normally, meat and beans usually take a lot of time to get tender. Some foods can even take a day to reach the required tenderness. In the early days of restaurants, cooking something for such lengths was impossible. As a result, menus were limited to the dishes that could be prepared easily. But then, this problem was solved with the invention of pressure cookers.

This device works on simple physics. According to Charles law, when the pressure of any container is kept constant, its temperature increases. This exact phenomenon is applied to the working of a pressure cooker. So, despite what the name suggests, this device doesn’t work on the pressure, but instead, it is kept constant to increase the temperature inside the vessel.

This sudden increase in temperature reduces the cooking time, and even the most stubborn dishes are prepared in less time. The usual preparation time is decreased even up to 10 times in some cases. This allows the workers in the food businesses to produce fresh dishes without wasting their time on prolonged cooking.

Household Use of Pressure Cookers

As far as household use is concerned, this device got a pretty good response at first. But there is another important aspect of the tool that needs attention. While pressure cookers work on simple physics, it is also true that it requires continuous monitoring. After a while, the steam captured inside the pot needs to be released through a piston. This process keeps the pressure from overbuilding, which otherwise bursts the entire device.

Since home cooks are not trained for such stunts, they make mistakes. And after a lot of incidents of mishandling, pressure cookers started to disappear from the household use. From people using it regularly to occasionally, somehow, this device was rejected by the home cooks.

While the boycott to the cooking ware was justified, their return is now anticipated more than ever. The busy schedules have rendered the home cooks in dire need of this instrument. This is why many home chefs are trying to master the skill of using pressure cookers in their routine.

But the point to note here is that those exploding pressure cookers were ancient in all aspects. It required a lot of practice to master their use. But now, this industry has evolved just like others. The new models of pressure cookers are far more durable than their less-reliable and more exploitable predecessors. If you don’t have someone purposely rigging them to explode, you need not fear the pressure cooker.

a modern Stove top pressure cooker with battery operated timer

Thus, if you haven’t tried using a pressure cooker yet, we suggest you get your hands on one and make your cooking a lot easier than ever. You might be worried or scared to try it because of others’ bad experiences, but all you need is a little courage and some skills to practice cooking with it. Just like any new device, you will face a learning curve. But once that initial phase passes, you will understand that the pros of this device surely overcome its cons and even more.

One thing that every new pressure cooker user should keep in mind is to select the device that is perfect for his use. For this, you must check out the market and get what you like the best.

When you choose the cooker that meets your desired requirements, you get more use out of it. Think of this as buying a new car. You cannot just buy anything, but in fact, a lot of thought goes into the selection process. Similarly, think before you buy your pressure cooker. Research about it and then buy what you find the best.

Once you start using pressure cookers in your routine work, you will be surprised by their efficiency. These instruments are great for cooking some of your favorite high-fiber foods, most notably legumes, steel-cut oats, and beets. With these, you don’t have to cook your oats overnight anymore. You can just put them in the cooker, and it’ll be done in no time.

If you are new in this region of cooking, then worry not because here are a few tips for quick cooking dried beans from The Veggie Queen, Registered Dietitian Jill Nussinow:

  • For pre-soaked beans, cover beans with water in a bowl and let sit for 8-12 hours, drain and then cook.
  • Presoaked pinto, black, white, or kidney beans take 4-6 minutes to cook at pressure.
  • Garbanzo beans take 12-14 minutes to cook at pressure.
  • A good ratio is 3/4 cup water for every one cup pre-soaked dry beans.

This process is nearly the same for every dish, except for those who don’t require pre-soaking. So, if you think about it, the dishes which require hours to get done can be prepared within minutes using a pressure cooker. Even though it is preferred to use this instrument for stubborn legumes and oats, you can pretty much make everything in it. Be it lamb ribs or a tasty chili; you can prepare anything using a pressure cooker.

If you want to enhance your cooking experience, then we suggest you try new dishes using your pressure cookers. In case you don’t understand this device at first, do not give up, but keep trying. And after some attempts, you will surely understand the concept of it.

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