This week we celebrate the modern pressure cooker and our new book, Pressure Cooker Perfection. Check back daily for tips, tricks, videos, and recipes that will help you get the most out of this essential kitchen time-saver.
You’ve heard the old stories about exploding pressure cookers and meals that ended up on the kitchen ceiling. But those tales are exactly that—old. The new models are safe, versatile money-savers and flavor-concentrators. The pressure cooker, often unfairly banished, deserves to sit on the front burner of any kitchen.
We love pressure cookers for many reasons. A big one is that current models are safe kitchen appliances (as opposed to the explosive pots of days gone by). This is in large part because modern pressure cookers are now far easier to use than the old-fashioned jiggle-top models. (Bonus: They’re quieter, too.) They have simple, intuitive methods for locking and unlocking the lid and reading and maintaining pressure levels. If too much pressure builds up in one of today’s well-designed pressure cookers, there are multiple safety features that allow that excess pressure to escape safely without creating a mess.
What sets pressure cooking apart from other cooking methods? You are cooking food with superheated steam that’s at a temperature up to 38 degrees higher than what’s possible in a normal pot. That translates to shorter cooking times, and since cooking requires much less liquid than usual, flavors concentrate. You also use less energy because you turn the heat down just enough to maintain the pressure level within the pot.
In the video below, the Test Kitchen’s testing senior editor Lisa McManus elaborates on why every modern kitchen needs a pressure cooker.