How Does Pressure Cooking Work?

Published On: February 28, 2024

Are you part of the pressure-cooking revolution? You may have seen that pressure cookers are back on the market and this time they are part of the multi cooker range. That means that they’re not just pressure cookers anymore, but they come with other functions.

One of the leading brands is Instant Pot. In fact, Instant Pot is the original electric multicooker designed in Canada nearly 15 years ago now, as a 6-in-1 device combining pressure cooking with rice cooking, yogurt making, sautéing, slow cooking and food warming functions. Now, Instant offers a huge range of multicookers to suit your needs, boasting up to 11 different functions. The pressure-cooking function is a convenient way of cooking food quickly with the power of steam pressure.

What’s Steam Pressure?

Even without pressure, steam conducts heat, and cooks faster than dry air, but with increased pressure the steam can rise above its usual maximum temperature and cook even faster. It’s these factors that makes steam pressure cooking faster than baking or steaming or even boiling.

Is This Way of Cooking Just a Fad?

This is not a new way of cooking. In fact, it has been around for a very long while. In 1681 the first pressure cooker called the “steam digester” was invented but it took until 1919 for the first patent to be awarded. In 1938, when the pressure cooker was presented at the World’s Fair, commercial production began for use in the home. This is a cooking method that is tried and tested, and which has been used in both commercial and domestic settings for well over half a century.

So, How Does It Work?

A pressure cooker has a tight-fitting lid and a valve that controls steam pressure. As the pot heats up the liquid inside turns into steam. This steam buildup raises the pressure within the pot. The high-pressure steam has two significant effects:

  1. It raises the boiling point. Normally water boils at 100° C, however in a pressure cooker, the increased pressure raises the boiling point of water. This means the steam can reach temperatures above the usual boiling point.
  2. Faster cooking. With an elevated temperature, food cooks faster than traditional methods, like baking, steaming or even boiling. In fact, pressure cookers reduce cooking time by up to 70% when compared to alternative methods of cooking (www.homeusetool.com).

Is It Cheaper to Cook This Way?

This way of cooking means it is even more energy efficient, and that is something many of us are looking for these days to help manage energy consumption costs. In fact, pressure cookers save 90% of the energy used to boil a pot on the hob (www.bbc.co.uk/food/articles/pressure_cooker_tips).

The Pressure-Cooking Revolution – Mark II

This way of cooking, as you can see, is more energy efficient, faster, but importantly, brings great results in terms of texture and taste. It’s an ideal way to cook food that normally requires long cooking time such as beans, lentils, roasts, rice, and other grains. It’s a great addition to any kitchen and can make cooking easy, healthy, and affordable.
See the range here.

Download the Instant App today and follow step by step recipes whilst cooking with your Instant Pot: App StoreGoogle Play

By Jenny Tschiesche (BSc(Hons) Dip(ION) FdSc BANT)