How Does A Pressure Cooker Pot Work?
One of the great features of a pressure cooker pot is that it can be a real time saver in the kitchen. It can also perform the functions of a few different kitchen appliances, which can save space and money. Because cookers use steam to cook food, they can also create healthier meals than other methods of cooking. Many people have come to embrace these cookers as an economical and convenient way of meal preparation, but still wonder how they actually work. The following is a guide to using a cooker pot, including an explanation of how they work to cook food more quickly than other methods.
A pressure cooker pot, at first glance, look like any regular kitchen pot. The main difference you’ll notice is the notches in the rim of the pot, which regular kitchen pots don’t have. These grooves are matched to corresponding markings on the cooker lid.
To start the process, food is placed in the pot, then a fixed amount of liquid is added to the cooker depending on the volume and type of food being cooked. It is this liquid that steams the food at high heat to cook it quickly and efficiently.
Once the item being cooked and prescribed amount of liquid are in them, the lid is placed on the pot and locked into place, forming an airtight seal through which no liquid or steam can escape.
Pressure cookers work just as their name implies. As the liquid inside the pot begins to heat up, it starts to boil and steam is produced. In a typical non-pressurized pot, even with a lid, quite a bit of this steam will escape around the edges. Because the steam inside cannot escape, heat builds up inside the pot. This causes food to cook faster and more evenly in two ways.
First, pressure buildup within the pot causes the boiling water and steam to heat up more than it would in a non-pressurized environment. Boiling water (and the steam it produces) has a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Under the lid, steam reaches much higher temperatures. Secondly, the pressure inside these cookers actually forces the steam into the food, facilitating efficient and evenly distributed heat transfer.
Pressure inside a pot has its own unit of measure called PSI, or pounds per square inch. Most recipes for pressure cookers call for relatively high pressure (typically of around 15 PSI) which heats the inside of the pot to a temperature of approximately 250 degrees Fahrenheit; an increase of about 40 degrees above foods boiled or steamed in a typical kitchen pot.
Some have concerns about the safety of pressure cookers, but a modern pressure cooker pot is built from high quality materials and is safe to use when the instructions are followed. Proper sealing of the pot and correct use of the vent valve located in the center of the lid will ensure that those who use a pressure cooker pot do it safely, while cooking delicious, healthy foods quickly and conveniently.
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