Pressure Cookers

All about pressure cooking

If you've never owned a pressure cooker, you're in for a great surprise. Today's pressure cookers are specially designed for safe operation in the home kitchen. By using a small amount of hot, high-pressure steam, electric pressure cookers can make a complete home-cooked meal in about 15 to 20 minutes. Everything comes out perfect every time because unlike microwaves, which can dry out or alter the texture of foods, pressure cookers use the same moist heat that you use on your ordinary stovetop.

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Pressure Cooking Basics

How does pressure cooking work? Unlike slow cookers, which gently heat food over a long period of time, pressure cookers heat food quickly using steam heat. Your pressure cooker has a special lid that locks and seals, keeping all contents inside and under pressure. Steam is generated inside the high-pressure environment of the pot and is directly transferred to the food, cooking it in no time. A special temperature and pressure gauge monitors the condition inside the pot so that your food is cooked perfectly and steam can vent as needed. Unlike old pressure cookers, today's cookers cannot be opened while they are pressurized; they seal completely to ensure safety.

What can be cooked in your electric pressure cooker? Just about anything! Soups and stews are a breeze in your cooker, as are roasts, chicken, seafood, meatloaf and just about any other entrees you can imagine. Side dishes like mashed potatoes, vegetables and rice are also easy pressure cooker favorites.

Buying Pressure Cookers

There are two famous brands to consider if you want to purchase a pressure cooker. Presto pressure cookers are the industry standard and are available in a range of sizes from small 4-quart pots to pots that can hold 20 quarts or more. Thanks to Presto's steam technology, meals cook in about 15 minutes, using only a small amount of energy, which means that pressure cooking is great for the environment to boot!

Mantra pressure cookers are also widely recognized. With the Mantra 5-piece multi-cooker, your pressure cooker doubles as a stock pot and a vegetable steamer. You'll also get an integrated straining lid that makes it easy to make pasta, rice and veggies in no time. Plus, because your meals cook with moist heat, you need little or no oil or fat, making pressure cooking great for anyone who is trying to lose weight or eat more healthfully.