Time is a scarce commodity. Especially in our Western society, where everything seems to be moving faster and faster, time-saving options are often sought. When it comes to cooking, there are many options and developments that make preparing a meal a lot easier.
The pressure cooker is such a development that lives up to its name; the pan is intended to significantly reduce cooking time.
Although cooking under high pressure has been a concept that has been known for a number of centuries, this technique has only been used at home since the 20th century.
The first generation of pressure cookers was not yet equipped with the current safety mechanisms, which meant that they were often under such high pressure that they exploded.
Fortunately, the addition of the pressure regulator has made using a pressure cooker a lot safer.
Because the dishes can be prepared much faster than in a regular pan, you can now even put a tasty stew on the table in thirty minutes. The pans are also very easy to use.
Let’s look at the top two real quick, after that I’ll get more into these and what to look for when buying a pressure cooker:
|Overall best pressure cooker: Tefal Clipso|
|Best premium Pressure cooker: Fissler Vitavit|
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 Best pressure cookers reviewed
- 2 But, what exactly is the secret of the pressure cooker?
- 2.1 The pressure cooker in use
- 2.2 Electric pressure cooker
- 2.3 The benefits of a pressure cooker
- 2.4 Is cooking in a pressure cooker healthy?
- 2.5 Is a pressure cooker dangerous?
- 2.6 Can you do slow cooking in a pressure cooker?
- 2.7 Does a pressure cooker need water?
- 2.8 When should you open a pressure cooker?
- 2.9 Can you cook rice in a pressure cooker?
- 2.10 How high can you fill a pressure cooker?
Best pressure cookers reviewed
Overall best pressure cooker: Tefal Clipso
I myself chose the pressure cooker from Tefal, this Tefal Clipso. Easy for me because in addition to gas, electric, halogen and ceramic, it is also suitable for cooking on induction.
Tefal is a very strong brand and has managed to create a safe and reliable pan with this new line of pressure cookers. You can use it on any heat source and you cannot accidentally open it under pressure, for example.Check the latest prices here
Best premium Pressure cooker: Fissler Vitavit
Fissler is also working on the market with their own Vitavit design, which is a must have if you actually want the pressure cooker mainly because it is so much healthier.
You can set it to different pressure levels for the perfect cooking time for many different recipes and food so that you always have the most healthy cooked vegetables and meat.
It is a bit more expensive of course, but if you see something in the world of quality pans and you think it is important to maintain the most healthy nutritional values from your vegetables, then it is the healthiest choice.Check availability here
But, what exactly is the secret of the pressure cooker?
The pressure cooker, also known as a pressure cooker, is a large, sturdy pan in which, under high pressure, food can be prepared quickly. The pan is usually made of aluminum or stainless steel and, unlike a cast iron pan, is often equipped with a thick bottom that ensures that heat is evenly distributed.
The pan is available in different sizes. Because one third of the pan is needed for steaming, it is recommended to always choose a large size pan. There are even pressure cookers where a corncob fits horizontally.
The pressure cooker is best known for its hermetically sealed lid that can be closed with a clamp closure.
The lid contains a rubber ring, which ensures that the pan is well sealed against air. This prevents the steam from escaping and creates the high pressure that this pan is known for.
The pressure regulator, which was added after the development of the pressure cooker to avoid any explosion, is located on the lid of the pan. The pressure regulator ensures, among other things, that steam escapes when the pressure in the pan becomes too high.
The cooking time of food depends on the boiling point of the water in which the food is prepared and the pressure.
When the air pressure is low, water boils at a lower temperature than it normally is. (At enormous heights, water can already reach boiling point at room temperature.)
Because the water boils earlier and therefore evaporates faster, the food also dries out earlier. It also takes considerably longer to cook (juicy) food, because the water does not reach high temperatures.
In the pressure cooker, dishes are prepared under high pressure, instead of the aforementioned low pressure. Due to the closed lid, the pressure in the pan increases and thus the boiling point of the liquid present is increased.
The higher temperature ensures that the food reaches its doneness faster and because no air or steam escapes, no water is lost.
This preserves the tenderness of, for example, meat. Fragrance, color and nutrients also remain intact due to the rapid cooking.
The pressure cooker in use
Different ingredients each require a specific preparation. Both the total cooking time and the amount of water to be added depend on the dish being cooked in the pressure cooker.
The pan is often supplied with a (steam) basket, which is intended for the ingredients that you want to steam or cook.
The ingredients are placed in the pan with the amount of water needed to prepare them. Because space is required for it
formation of steam, the pan should never be more than two thirds full.
You can then close the pan by means of the closing valve on the lid. There is often a mechanism on the handle of the lid that allows you to “lock” the lid.
This is how it goes much faster than with a frying pan in the oven.
Some pressure cookers have a function that makes it possible to choose from different heat settings. The more luxurious the pan is, the more heat settings it has. After closing the lid, set the desired heat setting. The pan can now be placed on the heat source.
During the time the pan is heated, the pressure increases. Often there is an indicator that shows when the pressure has reached the safety limit, so that you can lower the temperature of the heat source and keep pressure constant.
The cooking time with a pressure cooker is very important. Because dishes are cooked at high temperatures, they can quickly become soggy if the cooking time is too long.
When the necessary cooking time has passed, it is important to release the pressure before opening the pan. You can do this by letting the pan cool, so that the steam turns back into liquid and the pressure decreases.
Although this can take a long time, you can also use this time as an extra cooking time for the ingredients. If you want to reduce the pressure quickly, you can open the pressure valve, also on the lid of the pan, and let the steam escape.
The fastest way to reduce the pressure is to hold the pan under a cold tap.
When there is no more steam in the pan, the lid can be removed and you can enjoy your nutritious meal.
Electric pressure cooker
As mentioned before, the pressure cooker is often made of aluminum or stainless steel. Although aluminum is lighter and cheaper than the stainless steel pans, the material is also a lot more fragile than the latter.
Aluminum tends to dull and is more likely to be damaged, which sometimes makes it difficult to close the lid. Also, an aluminum pressure cooker can react with acidic foods, which can give dishes a metallic taste, as with many copper pans.
In addition to the conventional pressure cooker, there is also an electric version. This variant is also called the third generation pressure cooker.
The electric pressure cooker has the great advantage that it is not dependent on a heat source. Because the pan automatically regulates heat, you can also prepare dishes without supervision. The desired pressure is checked by the pan itself and adjusted if necessary.
These pans are increasingly equipped with technical gadgets, and are sometimes even equipped with a digital screen that shows the various cooking functions. For example, there are electric pressure cookers that include options for cooking rice and even making yogurt. V.
For both the experienced chefs and the “greens” in the kitchen, the electric pressure cooker is a good choice.
The benefits of a pressure cooker
The fact that the cooking time can be shortened with the use of a pressure cooker is something that is clear. The ease with which you can now prepare dishes that normally take a long time to stand is a huge advantage.
The cooking time can be shortened to a third of the usual time it takes to cook the same dish in a regular pan. However, the time savings that cooking in a pressure cooker yields is not the only advantage.
Where speed is sometimes at the expense of the quality or health of the food – as is often the case with fast food – the opposite is the case with the pressure cooker. The big advantage of the short cooking time in which dishes are prepared with this pan is that a lot of vitamins and minerals are retained.
The fast cooking also benefits the taste and color of the ingredients. Multiple studies have shown that high pressure cooking retains more nutrients than any other cooking technique.
So it doesn’t seem to be the temperature that breaks down nutrients, but the cooking time. It has also been proven that the amount of natural toxins in food can be reduced by cooking under high pressure.
Because the cooking time is considerably shortened, a lot of energy is also saved. You also need a small amount of water when cooking.
Due to the closed lid, the evaporated water is converted into steam and therefore no water is lost. In addition to saving energy costs due to time savings, water consumption is also minimized.
In addition to saving time and money, the pressure cooker is also an excellent way to cook sustainably.
Is cooking in a pressure cooker healthy?
The fact is, science shows that cooking in a pressure cooker is healthy, that it can retain more heat-sensitive nutrients than any other cooker.
km method too, because of the shorter cooking times.
Can you leave a pressure cooker unattended?
It is not advisable to leave your home while your pressure cooker is cooking. If you have to leave it alone, make sure it has come up to pressure and absolutely no steam is coming out.
Is a pressure cooker dangerous?
The pressure in a pressure cooker doesn’t exceed about two atmospheres – about the pressure in a soda can. Those levels can be dangerous, but they are generally not high enough to cause the metal to crack violently. In addition, trusted brands have built in protection against accidental opening under pressure.
Can you do slow cooking in a pressure cooker?
A pressure cooker might be something for you! A whole host of slow-cooked stews, curries, bakeware and braises can be cooked in a pressure cooker in a fraction of the time. Since these handy devices use built-up steam or pressure to cook the food, they require a little more care than their slow-cooking counterparts.
Does a pressure cooker need water?
A pressure cooker does require water (or other liquids), so make sure to use at least 1 cup. It’s not a problem to use more liquid than the pressure cooker recipe says, but make sure never to use a smaller amount of water. Pressure cookers can cook very quickly because of the pressurized steam that’s created by the liquid evaporating,
When should you open a pressure cooker?
Pressure cooker opening method:
- Open the pressure valve slightly to release the pressure slowly, or in short bursts 10 seconds apart.
- Count for 10 minutes and then release the remaining pressure by opening the valve.
- If the pressure disappears earlier than 10 minutes, do not remove the lid until the time is up.
Can you cook rice in a pressure cooker?
Combine rice and water: Place the rice, water and salt in the bowl of a pressure cooker. Set and prepare: set the pressure cooker to HIGH and set the timer for 4 minutes. … Open and serve: Carefully release the remaining pressure until the lid can be opened.
How high can you fill a pressure cooker?
Pressure cookers should only be half full when cooking beans, rice and grains and two-thirds for all other foods. Make sure not to fill it more than half full for dehydrated foods and things like rice, beans, and grains, or even fruit. These foods expand or generate a lot of foam (or both) during cooking.