Pressure cooking is a method of cooking in a sealed vessel that does not permit air or liquids to escape below a preset pressure. Because water's boiling point increases as the pressure increases, the pressure built up inside the cooker allows the liquid in the pot to rise to a temperature higher than 100 °C (212 °F) before boiling.
Pressure cookers are generally made from aluminium or stainless steel. The former may be stamped and buffed or anodised, but this metal is unsuitable for the dishwasher. Expensive stainless steel pressure cookers are made with heavy, three-ply, or copper-clad bottoms for uniform heating. Most modern units are dishwasher safe, although some manufacturers may recommend washing by hand. The higher temperature causes the food to cook faster; e.g., cooking times can be reduced by 70 percent. For example, shredded cabbage is cooked in one minute, fresh green beans in three minutes, small to medium-sized potatoes cook in five minutes (depending on thickness and type), and a whole "roast" chicken takes only twenty minutes.
- Cooks foods much faster compared to other methods.
- Uses less fuel than boiling/steaming the same quantity in an ordinary pot, due to the shorter cooking time.
- Hygienic compared to open cooking in a pot or utensil. The food is cooked above the boiling point of water, maybe killing more germs.
- Easy to cook with in comparison to other modern gadgets.
- Pressure cookers can be used to prepare a wide variety of different recipes, covering most cooking styles and foods.
- Allows higher quality cooking at high altitudes.
- The pressure cooker pan can be used as an ordinary saucepan for cooking larger quantities of food.
- Several foods can be cooked together in the pressure cooker. Besides saving fuel, this reduces the amount of washing up.
- Easy to clean pressure cooker after cooking.
- Kitchen is kept cleaner because, compared to traditional, open boiling, almost no steam and oils escape to the atmosphere to end up deposited on the walls.
Some examples of pressure cookers are the Presto 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker