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Action: Try a pressure cooker

Save energy, carbon emissions and money with a modern pressure cooker

Pressure cooking is a great way to improve the taste of the food you eat, speed up your cooking, and reduce your carbon emissions (which is the key thing in our opinion!).

Pressure cooking is the process of trapping the steam generated by your cooking pot, and locking the pot so that pressure builds up inside. By increasing the pressure, water temperature can be raised above normal boiling point, so cooking is faster and cleaner.

You must be very careful to use a proper, good quality pressure cooker and to follow the instructions carefully to stay safe.

What are the advantages?

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Modern-day pressure cookers have taken the risk out of pressure cooking. Pressure cookers today have safety features which prevent excess pressure build up, and locking lid handles which will not open until the pressure is released.

Having a pressure cooker in your kitchen offers several advantages. Here are a few:

1. Saves energy (carbon emissions and on your bill)

Pressure cooking is far more efficient than using multiple pots on separate burners, and can result in significant energy savings. This is because pressure cookers lend themselves to one-pot cooking recipes and since foods require less cooking time, less energy is needed to prepare meals. The savings can be up to 70%.

2. Foods retain more of their nutrients

Eating foods that are pressure cooked offers more nutritional boost than those cooked for longer periods using traditional cookware. The longer foods are cooked, the more nutrients are destroyed. Foods cooked in a pressure cooker are ready faster, using less liquid, leaving the food with most of its nutrients intact and less likely to lose minerals and vitamins.

3. Saves time in preparing meals

Cooking time is greatly reduced as foods cook up to 70% faster when a pressure cooker is used, making it a handy tool to quickly get the meal on the table.

4. Foods retain colour and flavour

Because food is cooked for a shorter time in less liquid, it looks and tastes better. It really does … try it!

5. The kitchen is cooler and less steamy

Reducing the heat generated by cooking is key to a cool kitchen. When cooking with regular stovetop pots and pans, the heat and steam rises through the pan and travels upwards. Some of this might be directed out of the house via an extractor fan, but heat also builds in the kitchen while cooking. By contrast, a pressure cooker retains the heat and steam so that none of it escapes to heat up and steam up your house.

6. Less cleaning is required

Cooking with regular pots tends to leave cooking residues on the stove and adjacent surfaces such as walls and counters. Steam and oils escape from open cookware to settle on these surfaces, which requires cleanup. A pressure cooker, however, has a well secured lid that prevents any splashes or spatters from escaping the cooking vessel. This also eliminates any boil overs!

And when meal preparation is complete, there’s only one pot to wash. Less effort, less chemicals, less time!

7. Pressure cookers can also be used to preserve food

Once you get to grips with the basics, you can use your pressure cooker for canning foods and making preserves. You will need to make sure you are very familiar with your cooker and follow detailed instructions which include charts of the foods which can be canned, time schedules and pressure settings for each food type. Doing this can further reduce your impact on our environment by reducing future cooking times, eliminating food waste, and reducing the need for food packaging.

A few tips to help

  • make sure you read up about pressure cooking (read a few online articles) before you start
  • read the instructions and timings carefully
  • learn how to handle the pressure cooker; for example be in the habit of keeping your face away from the pot opening to avoid any residual steam or hot splatters, and put a towel down on the counter surface for setting the hot lid after removing it.
  • pay attention to the PSI (pressure level) of the pressure cooker when you go to purchase one; select one that will give the highest PSI you can afford.
  • pressure cookers are made of aluminium or stainless steel
  • a 12 pint cooker will provide a meal for the average family

Take action

Modern versions of this cooking technology are safer and quieter than the older cookers and the benefits they offer are also too good to pass up. Think about the advantages to you and to the environment, and give it a go.

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