Why Food Cooks Faster In Pressure Cooker?

Denis Bapin invented the pressure cooker and it is an amazing fact that the pressure cooker cooks food at a faster rate. The article includes all possible explanation of the mechanism of pressure cooker. Tips to handling the pressure cooker also added with this article.

First time in my life, I was totally astonished when I saw the pressure cooker used for cooking around in 1987. It was totally amazing to see all those cooking activities whistling of the pressure cooker. The pressure cooker was invented by Denis Papin in 1679. Before going to the mechanism and parts of cooker, let us see the physical phenomena hidden behind this cooker.
The boiling point and the atmospheric pressure are interlinked. The boiling point of water on the earth at the sea level is 100 degree Celsius. The water gets boiling when the vapour pressure equals the atmospheric pressure. In the higher altitude the atmospheric pressure is low so the water starts boiling in between 70 degree to 80 degrees. At this temperature, cooking is not possible because we need lot of heat for cooking our food items. Due to low atmospheric pressure cooking is not so popular in those places of higher altitudes. Taking this concept of inter-relation between the boiling temperature and the atmospheric pressure, Denis papin dedicated his invention to the people of the world community in the form of pressure cooker. He noted by increasing the pressure inside the cooker, the temperature can also be increased to maximum extent and that gave the idea of designing pressure cooker.

Parts and the mechanism of pressure cooker.

Let us see the parts of pressure cooker.
1. Lid and the base made of alloys of aluminum called Duralumin (Al, Mg, Mn, Cu)
2. Gasket made up of synthetic rubber avoid leaking of steam.
3. Safety valve.
4. Handle made of thermosetting plastic.
5. vent with whistle.

When we add the cooking material with sufficient amount of water within a short time the water gets heated to more than the boiling point of 100 degree Celsius but still the water inside the pressure remain unboiled. So under the extreme temperature the food particle gets cooked quickly. The accumulating steam inside the pressure cooker increases the vapour pressure which finally pushes the whistle to inform the person who are cooking to indicate the food particles get cooked. This is really a fantastic technology invented in the sixteenth century.

Tips for handling pressure cooker:

  • Always keep your pressure cooker clean at the inner bottom. Any kind of burn particle stocked at the bottom may spoil your food.
  • The steam vent and the whistle should be completely washed and check for any blockage found inside the vent or the whistle.
  • Do not open the cooker during the mid hours of cooking.
  • Never try to open the lid of pressure cooker while it is hot.
  • Before opening the lid just release the steam by lightly uplifting the whistle.
  • After taking the pressure cooker off from the stove, pour some cold water to make the temperature normal before opening of the lid.

Benefits of Pressure cooker

  • It saves energy so directly we get benefit economically from this pressure cooker.
  • It cooks faster by saving time for the busy people. This is a blessing for the working people.
  • Whistling sound make you aware of the food cooked. So, there is no chance for burning or wastage of fuel etc.
  • The thermosetting plastic fitted in the handle makes everyone feel comfort in handling.
  • Various cooker available in the market for different use such as rice cooker, milk cooker etc.

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Author: Ramachandran Pattabiraman05 Aug 2011 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

Krishnamurthy sir, we are using the pressure cooker in the houses as a modernised vision of cooking but many elderely people are not of good opinion on the cooking rice in Pressure cooker alternatively they advised us to cook in the method of old type that removing the porridge after well cooking the rice. They are telling that because of using many chemicals in the farms during the production of rice/grains,the chemicals might have formed in the grain itself and while boiling well openly and by removing the porridge out, we would have good cooked rice/grains for our good health. What is your opinion?

Author: T.Krishnamoorthy06 Aug 2011 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

Hello Mr Pattabiraman,
I agree with your opinion but nowadays everything is contaminated around us. In cow's milk we get urea but in actual composition there is no urea in the cow milk. Air get polluted, water get polluted, land also get polluted. So, anyway we have to live on the earth surface. Everyone knows that all metropolitan cities in India are highly polluted but still people like to live on those cities on one or other reason. Hence, In my point of view, the rice should be washed twice or thrice before putting into the cooker. In fact, I am very happy to read your comments.

Author: Ramachandran Pattabiraman08 Aug 2011 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

Krishnamurthy sir, really I am happy to read your reply with a solution to prevent the contamination as I have mentioned.

Author: Swati Sarnobat25 Jan 2015 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

If you want fast cooking then
a. Preferably use a small size pressure cooker.
b. Do not add more water to boil, the water measurement should be correct below.
c. Close the lid tightly as you can.
d. See that the water is not leaking down.

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