Pressure cookers are some of the most convenient kitchen equipment available. Pressure cookers are used to prepare food quickly and efficiently thanks to the power of trapped steam pressure. Pressure cookers are faster compared to most cooking methods whether boiling, braising or steaming. The high-temperature environment that is created in a pressure cooker also helps caramelization and browning to occur, which further gives you more variety in the types of foods that can be prepared in a pressure cooker.
How Are Pressure Cookers Made?
A pressure cooker is technically a simple pot that comes with a lockable lid and valve that is used to control the pressure inside the cooking pot. The lid is responsible for trapping the steam, which then causes the pressure inside the pot to build up.
The increase in pressure consequently raises the boiling point of water, which drops the cooking time considerably. All pressure cookers maintain the same mechanism for preparing food. Despite this similarity, there are several notable differences in design and features among various brands, models and manufacturers.
Basic Parts of a Pressure Cooker
The pressure cooker consists of 3 main parts:
- The inner pot, which is where all the cooking takes place
- The lid- the part responsible for sealing in the moisture and pressure
- The base, which is where the heating takes place
The Pressure Cooker Lid
The pressure cooker lid is perhaps the most important component of the entire pressure cooker. The lid is where all the safety mechanisms and systems are placed so it must always be handled with caution and treated with care. The lid is where the pressure valves and the sealing mechanisms are held.
The valve and pipe are where the steam comes through; before you attempt to use your pressure cooker, you must make certain that the valve and pipe are free and clear of any food blockage or residue.
Lids are designed differently depending on the brand in question. If you turn over the lid of some pressure cookers, you might notice a small basket that is put there to prevent food from reaching the pressure valve. Some brands also add a false ceiling to keep these critical components of the pressure cooker safe and free from blockage.
The base of the cooker is where all the heating occurs because it is where the heating elements are situated. The temperature sensor, as well as the programming panel, is also located within the base. The temperature sensor is what helps to keep track of the temperature of the system.
If the sensor detects excessive heat inside the pot, it will automatically shut itself off. The programming panel consists of all the pre-set programs and buttons that are used for operating the pressure cooker. Different models and manufacturers have differently designed panels as well as some similar programs.
The Inner Pot
The inner pot of the pressure cooker is where the food is actually cooked. The pot can be made from different materials including ceramic, stainless steel and aluminum. The inner pot is usually removable and can only be filled to a maximum level for cooking to occur properly and to prevent the safety mechanisms situated on the lid from spoiling.