A pressure cooker is a pressurized pot that makes use of a combination of heat and steam to cook food. Contrary to what most people think, the pressure cooker does not get its cooking power from high heat. Instead steam and pressure provide the cooking power. This appliance features a valve that functions to seal the steam so as to create a high-pressure environment. This feature helps to increase the boiling point of the liquid in the pot and force steam into the food being cooked. This enables the food to get cooked quickly.
A pressure cooker is an indispensable kitchen appliance that helps to save time and energy. Moreover, it adds to the taste of the food. However, a few homeowners fear using it due to safety concerns. As a matter of fact, the pressure cooker is safe to use provided you know how to use it.
Modern-day pressure cookers are perfectly engineered that you do not have to worry about your safety or handling. They are more advanced, reliable and safe to use than ancient pressure cookers. The following are some of the safety features that come with modern pressure cookers.
i) Pressure release valves
The valves regulate pressure by ensuring it does not go past a preset value. When sufficient pressure has built up in the cooker, the valves release the pressure by opening up.
ii) Locking device
The ideal pressure cookers come with a locking device situated on the top of the lid. The device responds appropriately to the pressure developed inside the cooker. Locking devices keep the user safe by only opening once the pressure inside the device reduces to an optimum level that is safe to take the lid off the cooker. Some pressure cookers have interlocking lids which offer more safety since they are strong to allow the carrying of the pressure cooker with its handle without having to worry about the cooker opening up.
iii) Automatic pressure control
The ideal pressure cooker features a pressure sensor mechanism which maintains the operating pressure between 70kPa-80kPa, and 10.12psi ~ 11.6 psi. Still, if the pressure exceeds 105kPa , the steam release will be pushed up to allow the steam being released to bring down the pressure inside the pot.
iv) Pop up Indicators
This is another invaluable safety feature in the modern pressure cooker. They function to precisely and accurately indicate the pressure values inside the pot. The indicator is kept with its stem inserted inside the cooker. The indicator will pop up every time pressure builds up, and the readable value on the indicator tells the exact pressure inside the container. With this feature, the user can know when the highest value is reached.
v) Automatic temperature control
Most modern pressure cookers feature a thermostat under the inner pot which functions to regulate the pot’s internal temperature so that it’s within a safe range. However, this will depend on the kind of food being cooked.
vi) Lid close detection
The modern pressure cooker will not activate pressure cooking if the lid is not properly closed or its missing.
vii) Gasket release aperture
Apart from the pressure valves, modern pressure cookers feature a gasket release aperture positioned under the lid. When pressure inside the cooker reaches the highest limit, the gasket is pushed upwards to release pressure through the aperture. This ensures the temperature and pressure are maintained inside the appliance.
viii) Leaky lid protection
Sometimes, the cooker lid can have a leakage due to various reasons. That means it will not reach the preset pressure level, something which may cause the food being cooked to burn. A modern-day pressure cooker will detect this by measuring the pre-heating time and if its unusually long, the appliance will automatically switch to warm mode to avoid food burning.
ix) High-temperature warning
In some instances, water or moisture may run low in the pressure cooker. In such a case, pressure will not build up inside the pressure cooker. Instead, it will start heating up, but the moment it reaches the maximum temperature level, the cooker will stop heating.
x) Safety handles
Unlike old-day pressure cookers, the handling of today’s pressure cookers is no longer a challenge as it used to be. They come with handles made of hard rubber and suitable plastic that can withstand high temperatures. The handles make it absolutely easy to carry the cooker even when it’s full. Some pressure cookers have longer handles to allow it stay cool hence preventing the user from burning their hands.
One way to use your pressure cooker safely is knowing how to release pressure safely. A majority of modern pressure cookers have safety features that make it impossible to open the appliance until the pressure has been released. There are three ways in which you can release pressure.
1) Quick release
Remove your pressure cooker from the heat and flip the switch. The food will stop cooking immediately by releasing steam. It’s important to ensure the pot is pointing away from you. It may take up to one minute to release the pressure.
2) Running water release
This is the recommended method for releasing pressure. Once you remove the pot from the heat, run water over the sides in the sink. Ensure the pressure vent is facing away from you.
3) Natural pressure release
In this method, the user has to wait for the pressure valve to drop. The pressure will release slowly as the food continues to cook. However, this way of releasing pressure may take significantly longer than other methods.
The modern-day pressure cookers have made cooking fun and stress-free. These pressure cookers have replaced the ancient pressure cookers with intelligent designs and efficient cooking. These pressure cookers offer safety, durability, and convenience to the users.