General Question

sfgal's avatar

Does anyone still use a pressure cooker? how do they work?

Asked by sfgal (280points) November 20th, 2007

I have read that pressure cookers are more energy efficient and better for the environment than cooking on a stove top. I’ve never seen a pressure cooker, and haven’t known anyone who uses one. Is there anyone out there who swears by them, or against them? I’m curious if they make cooking easier, and how it’s different from using a pot on my stovetop.

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9 Answers

simplicity49's avatar

Pressure cooking is a method of cooking in a sealed vessel that does not permit air or liquids to escape below a preset pressure. Because water’s boiling point increases as the pressure increases, the pressure built up inside the cooker allows the liquid in the pot to rise to a temperature higher than 100 °C (212 °F) before boiling.
Since pressure cooking depends on the pressure of steam, the process cannot easily be used for methods of cooking that produce fairly little steam, such as roasting, pan-frying or deep-frying. Most pressure cookers sold in the U.S. have an internal pressure setting of 15 psi (1 bar), the standard determined by the USDA in 1917[citation needed]. At this pressure boost relative to sea-level atmospheric pressure, water boils at 125 °C (257 °F). The higher temperature causes the food to cook faster; e.g., cooking times can be reduced by 70 percent. For example, shredded cabbage is cooked in one minute, fresh green beans in three minutes, small to medium-sized potatoes cook in five minutes (depending on thickness and type), and a whole “roast” chicken takes only twenty minutes. It is often used to simulate the effects of long braising or simmering in shorter periods of time.

hearkat's avatar

I recall when my son was an infant and I was making his baby food, the pressure cooker was recommended as the best way to retain nutrients and get a good consistency. Unfortunately, I was unable to afford one at the time, so I can’t give a first-hand account.

Jill_E's avatar

I remember my mom used the pressure cooker 20 years ago. The food she made (fried chicken, veggies) were delicious. I think it was the best fried chicken ever, very tender and very moist.

sarahsugs's avatar

My best friend’s mom is an AMAZING cook and she just bought a new pressure cooker at Sur La Table. She made a delicious mushroom risotto for us in…..SEVEN MINUTES! It was delicious and truly amazing (did I mention delicous?). She said that her generation grew up when pressure cookers were used a lot, but the design was much poorer than it is now so everyone was afraid of explosions/burns. She said her mother used to send the kids out of the kitchen when the pressure cooker was in use. However, now the design is infinitely better and they are way safer and easier to use. I’m planning on registering for one for a wedding gift!

iomar's avatar

Pressure cookers are always used in my family. My mom always cooks meat or other food that takes a long time on stove top in a pressure cooker. Growing up with the pressure cooker all the time fish fishing in the kitchen I always thout this was the only way meat was cooked. Even though my mom loved it, I was always scared of it. I was always nervouse that one they it would explode. Actully, I have heard from some of my familly that it has explode on them a few times. They have been lucky I have not heard of ingeries but alot of mess. I think todays pressure cookers are much safer and I think I will be getting one for my self pretty soon as soon as my divorce is complete and I have my own appartment.

phred78's avatar

Great for soup also!

gooch's avatar

They are great. They conserve energy. They do this by shortening the cook time. Conserving energy is awesome.

syz's avatar

My Mom’s pressure cooker scared the poo out of me as a kid….all of that whistling and hissing. I was sure it was going to explode at any moment.

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