Pressure cooking has many advantages, among which is saving time and energy, preserving nutrients and eliminating harmful micro-organisms from food are most significant.
Foods are cooked much faster by pressure cooking than by other methods. Typically an electric pressure cooker can reduce cooking time by up to 70% when compared with other methods.
With much less water used in cooking and a fully insulated external pot, much less energy is required, saving up to 70% of energy compared with boiling, steaming, oven cooking or slow cooking. Electric pressure cookers are the second most energy efficient cooking appliance after microwaves.
Preserving Nutrients & Cooking Tasty Food
With pressure cooking, heat is very evenly, deeply, and quickly distributed. It is not necessary to immerse food in water: enough water to keep the pressure cooker filled with steam is sufficient. Because of this, vitamins and minerals are not leached or dissolved away by water. Since steam surrounds the food, foods are not oxidised by air exposure at heat, so asparagus, broccoli and other green vegetables retain their bright colours and phytochemical properties. The cooked food keeps its original flavour.
Electric pressure cookers, such as Instant Pot, have a unique fully sealed cooking mechanism. No steam and smells spread throughout the kitchen and your home. This makes it a clean and convenient cooking appliance.e
Eliminating Harmful Micro-Organisms in Food
Another benefits of pressure cooking is the fact that food is cooked at a temperature above the boiling point of water, killing almost all harmful living micro-organisms such as bacteria and viruses. Pressure cookers have been used as an effective steriliser for jam pots and glass baby bottles for example, or for treating water.
Electron micrograph picture of Aspergillus fumigatus, courtesy of National Institutes of Health, www.niaid.nih.gov
Rice, wheat, corn and beans may carry fungal poisons called aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are naturally occurring mycotoxins produced by many species of Aspergillus fungi, due to improper storage, such as in humid conditions. Aflatoxins are a potent trigger of liver cancer and may play a role in a host of other cancers as well.
Just heating a food to the boiling point does not destroy aflatoxins. A recent study by Korean researchers showed that pressure cooking was capable of reducing aflatoxin concentrations to safe levels.
Another example is raw kidney beans, often used in making delicious Mexican Chilli. Kidney beans contain a toxin, phytohaemagglutinin, which is only destroyed by boiling at high temperature for at least ten minutes.