A pressure cooker is basically a cooking pot with an air tight lid to keep steam in it. The pressure cooker is used in most homes as an efficient way of boiling, because it reduces the time spent on cooking. Majorly pressure cookers are made out of either steel or aluminum.
A Pressure cooker employs a simple pressure to temperature relationship to work. The principle is; when the pressure increases the temperature also increases. In a pressure cooker, heated water produces steam, steam has more volume than water. This is because the steam molecules are farther apart at this state than at the liquid state thus an increase in the volume.
Since steam will occupy more space than water due to expansion, and the lid is air tight, then the pressure in the pot increases, this in turn increases the temperature in the pot since the boiling pot of the water in the pot has been raised. The raise in the boiling point of water means the food will be boiling at a higher temperature. This increases the rate of cooking and hence less time spent cooking.
The pressure cooker is just a normal cooking pot with a handle and an improved lid and a cooking rack on the floor of the pot. The cooking rack is used to prevent paste food from sticking to the floor of the pot thus easing cleaning. The lid of a pressure cooker has various parts that ensure its efficiency. At the rim of the lid, there is a sealing ring; this is a type of gasket that makes the lid air tight. This may be made of rubber or silicone. A pressure cooker is placed on a stove or any other heating element for heat.
The pressure regulator is used to control the amount of pressure in the pressure cooker. Modern pressure cookers also have a pressure gauge to indicate the pressure in the pot. A safety/ release valve on the lid lets out excess steam from the pressure cooker to ensure correct pressure as set. Some pressure cookers have a backup release valve in case one is blocked then the other carries on. Other pressure cookers have a quick release valve that the user can use to release pressure themselves in case they want to adjust or are done cooking.
A pressure cooker is a very efficient device to have in a modern kitchen. They are both energy efficient and time saver methods of boiling food. Pressure cookers were feared to be dangerous especially with excess pressure, but improvements have been made over time and the safety of the user enhanced. It is advisable to refer to user’s manuals from manufacturers for correct food to water capacities for the pressure cooker and other safety tips. Have a happy pressure cooking.