FAQ About Pressure Cookers
As far as kitchen gadgets and gizmos go, sometimes you can't beat the classics for best all-around value. Investing in a good pressure cooker saves you time and money, and even results in healthier meals for you and your family. Not sure how they work or what to look for? Read on.
Why use a pressure cooker?
Because pressure cookers reduce the cooking times by as much as 90% they also result in significant energy savings, making the addition of a pressure cooker to your kitchen an environmentally friendly (and cost-effective) decision. Reduced cooking times also produce healthier meals. The longer you cook food, the more essential nutrients are evaporated or boiled away. When cooked under pressure, foods retain much higher levels of vitamins and minerals because the cooking time is significantly reduced.
What kinds of food can you cook in a pressure cooker?
Only your imagination (and recipe box) is the limit to what you can cook in a pressure cooker. Any foods you already boil, steam, roast, or braise can be cooked in a pressure cooker. Fresh vegetables, chickpeas, beans, rice, chicken breasts, and pot roast are all standard pressure cooker fare. Add a little bit of water and voilà, dinner is cooked with zero splatters and without dirtying an array of pots and pans.
What are the differences between electric pressure cookers and stove top pressure cookers?
Electric pressure cookers offer incredible set-it-and-forget-it convenience. They feature built-in timers and a range of cooking presets to take the guesswork out of creating mouthwatering meals. Load them up and add some water and you're off to the races. Stove top pressure cookers, by contrast, require more vigilance and can't be left fully unmonitored. They tend to cook foods faster, with the ability to reach higher temperatures and pressure levels. Stove top pressure cookers, however, lack the automated presets found in electric models. This means you need to manually adjust heat, moisture, and pressure levels throughout the cooking process, making them more suited to advanced chefs.
What features should I be looking for in a pressure cooker?
A delay start timer is perhaps the most helpful feature you can find in an electric pressure cooker. It allows you to load up your cooker with foods that won't spoil, such as veggies or rice, and set it to begin cooking before you get home from work. When you walk in the door dinner will be ready and waiting. You'll also find the inclusion of a cooking rack, basket, or both quite helpful. These let you raise certain foods up off the bottom of the cooker (and out of the water), as well as cook different types of food simultaneously.