We know: All About Pressure Cookers

What's a pressure cooker?

A pressure cooker is a specially designed, heavy pot with a lock-on lid and steam release valve that is made for cooking foods at very high temperatures. By sealing in steam and, thereby, raising the pressure in the pot, the temperature also rises beyond normal cooking temperatures.

What are the advantages of a pressure cooker?

Pressure cooking can cook foods faster (takes about one third normal cooking time), and without burning, than many conventional methods. Most food also retains more of its nutritional value better when prepared in a pressure cooker. And, many people like the way the flavor of the foods blends together in the pot.

What kinds of foods can you prepare in a pressure cooker?

A wide variety of:

  • meats (beef, poultry, pork, lamb, etc.)
  • vegetables (beans, rice, broccoli, etc.)
  • fruits (apricots, pears, pineapple, etc.)

Are pressure cookers safe?

People have used them for years, but pressure cooking requires being careful. New makes and model are often safer and better designed than some older models. Remember, the pot must be firmly sealed around the lid and the vent on the top of the pot must be clean and operating correctly. Always read and follow manufacturer instructions.

What features should I look for when shopping?

Some of the features you should ask about are:

  1. Pressure setting dial to release steam and maintain a set temperature
  2. Safety button that only allows you to open the pot when all the pressure is gone
  3. Versatile pot that also comes with a conventional lid so it can be used as a regular cooking pot

How much do pressure cookers cost and who makes them?

Between about $100 and $400.

Manufacturers include:

  • Demeyere
  • Fagor
  • Fissler
  • Kuhn Rikon
  • WMF
  • CookBooks
  • Magefes

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