The UK has fallen back in love with cooking, after lockdown restrictions in 2020 and 2021 saw more of us cooking up a storm in the kitchen. But with many of us now back at work in the office, it is once again hard to find the time to devote to the activity. What if there was a cooking appliance that could suit even the busiest schedule? Well, there is – and it’s called the pressure cooker.
Pressure cookers work by increasing the atmospheric pressure in the pot, which in turn increases the boiling point of any water in the pot. The increased boiling point allows things in the pot to cook quicker and more evenly than they might usually, and can also result in tender textures otherwise inaccessible to conventional cooking methods. But what exactly are the benefits of adopting pressure cooker cooking?
For starters, cooking with a pressure cooker is astonishingly simple. Pressure cooker meals are all one-pot wonders, meaning you need very little in the way of ingredient preparation and time management skills. Everything is cooked at the same time in the pressure cooker, meaning you place all your ingredients in, set the cooker, and forget until it is done. Pressure cooker meals can be an excellent gateway into more adventurous cooking as a result, with little effort required to try new dishes and ideas.
The one-pot nature of the pressure cooker also means less cleaning after you cook. Thanks to the simplicity of the meals and cooking process, you limit your prep to one or two chopping boards and eliminate the need for other pans or bowls entirely. The less you need to clean up, the more likely you will be to cook more often. It’s a win-win!
Since pressure cooking decreases the amount of time it takes for food to cook, it can also improve the nutrition of meals cooked in it. Vitamins and other nutrients leach out of food the longer they are cooked, due to their water solubility. Raising the boiling point for the water results in quicker cooking, and less time for nutrients to dissipate – meaning more nutrient-rich finished products, and a healthier diet overall.
Lastly, pressure cookers are also an ecologically responsible way to cook, owing to their relatively minimal energy requirements. Conventional cooking methods with gas hobs require a lot of gas, while electric hobs and ovens can use high amounts of electricity to achieve adequate heat. The simple nature of pressure cooker meals means fewer appliances are used overall, reducing energy usage, while the appliance itself is energy efficient.