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The Science of Pressure Cooking

The Evolution:

The Pressure Cooker has evolved since its earlier form made of cast metal, which was invented by the French Scientist Denis Papin in 1689. He publicized it as “A New Digester or Engine, for softening bones, the description of its makes and use in cookery, voyages at sea, confectionary, making of drinks, chemistry, and dying, etc.” Although he had thought it could be helpful for the poor to obtain squeeze out nutrition from bones, the dearness of the earlier models made it a failure.

The later versions, especially Alfred VischerFlex-Seal Speed Cooker in 1930s, gained prominence and slowly the cookware started making its hold in ordinary kitchens. In India it was first manufactured in 1959. Gradually Manufacturers came up with the better versions of Pressure Cooker and its contemporary style is something that can be efficiently operated without any hassle.


The Mechanism:

Maximum people might be aware of the simple physics which make a Pressure Cooker work, but they might not relate it when it is applied in the kitchen. Now, before discussing the detailed mechanism of Pressure Cooking, we must know the built of the same.

A normal Pressure Cooker consists of the following parts –

  • The Vessel or Pot which is the main body
  • A Body handle and Cover handle
  • A helper handle at the front
  • The pressure Regulator or Whistle (known popularly)
  • Vent Pipe
  • Lid or Cover
  • Air Vent/Cover Lock
  • Sealing Ring or Rubber Gasket
  • Overpressure Plug

It is a known fact that water boils at 100 degree Celsius (or 212 degree Fahrenheit) after which water starts producing steam, its gaseous state. If we allow more heat to be exerted on an open vessel, the temperature shall remain same while the intensity, with which the steam is produced, will increase. Now it is here, that the pressure cooker, which is a sealed vessel, differs from the conventional cooking vessels.It seals the steam inside, due to which the pressure inside the pot increases and the liquid is pushed to give rise to the boiling temperature.

The temperature in a Pressure Cooker may rise up to 121 degree Celsius (or around 250 degree Fahrenheit) in a Pressure Cooker. The Pressure Regulator on the lid is indicates the required pressure level. The pressure can be maintained by adjusting or lowering the heat source, since excess pressure gets vented out.

Thus Pressure Cooker does nothing more than creating steam pressure with which raw food is cooked easily. The modern day Pressure Cookers are far more advanced and come loaded with many convenient and safety features, which makes cooking, a smooth experience.

Pressure Cooker: The All-Rounder Kitchen Accessory

Pressure cooker accessories are very important. As long as the accessories are working properly the cooker works fine too. One must be careful to keep a check on the accessories. If things have worn out it is important for them to be replaced immediately.

Gone are the days when pressure cooker used to be a large, noisy and difficult to handle. Their popularity dwindled highly because cooking in such a utensil was extremely difficult. The 2nd generation the pressure cooker gained much attention when it became less noisy, light and easier to handle. The pressure cooker accessories have also become easy to install and clean.

Pressure Cooker Accessories India
Pressure Cooker Accessories India

The one you’ve bought just a few months back is the 2nd generation model. These models do not hiss or pop like its predecessors. With time they have changed and evolved into a super-utensil. Pressure cookers can be deemed as the most efficient cooking vessel that are safe and save great amount of time. Other than fast cooking there are other benefits of cooking in a pressure cooker:

1) Cooking in a pressure cooker needs very less amount of oil. The pressure forces the food to be cooked in the natural oil that comes out from the food material. Thus the food cooked is highly nutritious.

2) The health buffs or people aiming to lose weight can easily pressure cook their food quickly and without much oil. Most of the pressure cooked meals contain very less amount of cholesterol and fat compared to the other methods of cooking.

3) Highly portable and is perfect for the camping trips. A stove-top model can be used to cook in any type of flames be it a make shift stove or a bonfire.

4) It is highly flexible. It suits any size of family easily. With the right kind of accessories one can cook any type of cuisine.

The important pressure cooker accessories are:

Gasket: the seal. It locks the air inside the pressure cooker allowing the steam to build up pressure.

Cooker handle and bracket: very important for moving the hot vessel. These are made of polycarbonate material which does not heat up along with the metal body.

Cooking rack: essential for heating up several dishes at once. Saves much energy.

Cooking pressure regulator: it vents the pressure that has built up. Thus, it makes the pressure cooker a safe vessel. It keeps releasing the pressure depending on the heat.

A pressure cooker is a very important utensil that we all own but hardly use. Go on the net immediately learn how many fabulous dishes you can cook. They are easily available, affordable and energy-saving. Along with the right pressure cooker accessories one can create wonderful dishes within minutes.