Why are Pressure Cookers Recommended for Cooking at High Altitudes?
Many people live at high altitudes and if you fall into this category, cooking on a pressure cooker is a great way to save time and stay healthy. It might seem strange but your address has a big effect on the efficiency of your cooking methods and the outcome of your recipes.
According to the USDA, a third of the population of the USA live at high altitudes and although you might not even realize it yourself if your home is 3000 ft above sea level you are officially living at a high altitude.
The Western states including Alaska, Colorado California, Idaho, Texas, and Oregon are mainly high altitude locations and because the USA is such a mountainous country, many other states contain areas that are equally high above sea level.
Living at high altitude does affect the way you cook. At 3000 ft above sea level, there is less atmospheric pressure because the air is thinner above and this decrease in air pressure means that water boils at a lower temperature.
Low pressure is a real problem when cooking. It can be very difficult to get a pan of water to boiling point for example and once you have, it evaporates very quickly. In addition, the liquid in your food will dry out very quickly resulting in ruined dried out food.
Correct cooking is important for all recipes but particularly useful when cooking meat.
Cooking meat conventionally at high altitudes is problematic. It is easy for the meat to dry out and if this often happens to your food, you may be tempted to overcompensate which can result in dangerously undercooked meat. Even worse you can end up with undercooked and overcooked patches in the same piece of meat depending on the thickness of the cut.
By contrast, if you live at a high altitude, cooking on a pressure cooker makes everything much easier and safer. Because the pressure cooker is sealed, the boiling point of the water is largely unaffected by external air pressure so you can follow any recipe without compensating with extra time or extra liquid in your recipes.
When pressure cooking at high altitudes, you do need to ensure that you are using the correct weighted gauge. Your manufacturer should be able to advise you on this point but the general rule of thumb is to use the highest weighted gauge. If you don’t have a choice of weights, you may need to extend cooking time slightly in order to adapt to the gauge that you have.
A pressure cooker takes the guesswork from following recipes and always provides you with succulent well-cooked food. So if you live at high altitudes your pressure cooker is an essential cooking appliance that you cannot afford to do without. It is the safest method of cooking, easy to use and always delivers great results without hassle.