If you live in a high-altitude zone, your pressure cooker can make all the difference in the world when it comes to meal preparation. Pressure cookers work developing intense pressure as the water boils away. At high pressure, the boiling point of water is increased significantly which causes food to cook at higher temperatures.
Why Pressure Cooker is used in Hilly and High Altitude Area?
If you live in a hilly or high-altitude area, using a pressure cooker is especially important because it shortens your cooking time considerably allowing you to prepare food faster compared to when any other cooking method is utilized.
Why is cooking in high altitude areas different?
Cooking in high altitude is an art and a science that requires special considerations. High altitudes can fall between 2,000 and 3,000 feet above sea level and at these conditions, the way that you prepare food changes completely. At high altitudes, the boiling point of water tends to be lower than usual. The atmosphere at these sea levels is also usually a lot drier, which means less oxygen and lower atmospheric pressure which in turn increases the cooking time of any meal to be made.
Pressure cookers come highly recommended for high altitude cooks because they prevent home cooks from having to wait for hours to prepare food. Owing to the dry air, they also prevent food from losing its moisture during the cooking process, which would otherwise evaporate at such high altitudes.
Rather than waiting for 8 to 12 hours for your food to get ready, using a pressure cooker allows you to get better results in half that time. Pressure cooker lids seal pressure in the vessel, which creates a high pressure, moist environment that is typically missing in high altitude areas.
If you were to attempt to cook food at high altitudes using any other cooking technique, your food would end up being undercooked, dry or both. To compensate for water’s lower boiling point, you would also have to increase cooking times. Any attempt to increase the amount of heat would just scorch your food because it will cause water to evaporate faster than usual. This is the same reason why pressure cookers are preferred for cooking at hilly areas.
Should you adjust your pressure cooker recipes when cooking in a high-altitude area?
When cooking in a high-altitude area, it is essential to make some adjustments to ensure proper and efficient food preparation. The adjustments that you make will be based on the location in which you are cooking your food as various elevations in altitude will need different cooking adjustments.
The general rule of thumb when it comes to making adjustments, however, is that you should increase your cooking time by at 5% for every 1,000 ft after 2,000 ft above sea level. This means that if you are using a recipe that calls for the standard 30 minutes at high pressure, you should take that amount of time and multiply it by your percentage increase, which will give you the minutes that you need to add to the standard cooking time.