We have SO many people coming into our stores, shuffling their feet and shyly saying, 'So, er, what exactly IS pressure cooking?'

We just want to say, once and for all, that not knowing what pressure cooking is, is nothing to be ashamed of!

You aren’t alone in asking these questions. So many ask, what is a pressure cooker? When was it invented? How does it work? Why do I need a pressure cooker in my kitchen? These are all GREAT questions.

So let us (hopefully) answer all of your questions. 

What is a pressure cooker, and what does it do? 

How a pressure cooker functions is simple: steam pressure. They are designed as a sealed pot, with a lot of steam inside. The steam builds up high pressure, which helps food cook faster. 

How does it do this?

A pressure cooker works has two key components to its success;

  1. Raises the boiling point of the water in the pot. When cooking something wet, like a stew or steamed vegetables, the heat of your cooking is limited to the boiling point of water (212°F). But with the steam's pressure now the boiling point can get as high as 250°F. This higher heat helps the food to cook faster.
  2. Raises the pressure, forcing liquid into the food. The high pressure also helps force liquid and moisture into the food quickly, which helps it cook faster and also helps certain foods, like tough meat, get very tender very quickly.

Is it a healthier way of cooking?

Sure is! Pressure cookers create nutritious meals in record time and preserve vitamins and essential nutrients. They do this by cooking food 70% faster than most other methods, in an almost airless environment with very little liquid. Pressure cooking is virtually fat-free cooking, as foods are cooked in a steam atmosphere, so fats can be cooked out and drained away.

Are they really worth the money though?

Absolutely. Pressure cooking is one of the most economical ways to cook. 

Super-fast cooking means lower bills and more for your money at the supermarket. Using gas or electricity, cooking every night adds up. The difference can add up quickly when you compare the savings between 8-10 hours in a slow cooker or 1-2 hours in the oven or using a regular cooking pot.

Also, when cooking with a pressure cooker, you can buy the cheapest cuts of meat and still serve up tender, moist and delicious meals. An additional benefit, especially on hot summer days, is that the kitchen doesn't heat or steam up when a pressure cooker is used as it does in conventional cooking methods, so you don't waste more money in cooling bills.

A good quality pressure cooker pays for itself in energy saved!