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The Pressure Cooker

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					The Pressure Cooker
The Pressure Cooker was invented in 1681 by the French
Physicist Denis Papin. It was originally called “The New
Digester”. The original apparatus was a specially built furnace
that enabled the toughest cuts of meat to be edible, or it could
turn bones into jelly.

The modern pressure works under extreme pressure that
breaks down the food item with high temperatures. The
temperature that a cooker operates is about 40-50 degrees
hotter than boiling water.

During the process of cooking in the cooker it is not the water or
liquid that does the cooking but the steam which is under
extreme pressure that this steam penetrates the food being cooked. Pressure cookers are
especially great for tough pieces of meat or to seal in and preserve vegetables. They are also
known because of the ability to reach such high temperatures to be great killing bacteria in food
for the purpose of canning or pickling.

The pressure cooker is also known for the ability to preserve nutrients due to the shortened
cooking time. The pressure cooker is often confused with the Slow Cooker method which utilizes
                              a slow cooking method anywhere from 4 to 10 hours (depending
                              on your recipe choice).

                                These machines are particularly handy when cooking at various
                                altitudes due to increased atmospheric pressure inside.

                                For a creative element to the pressure cooker a flavored stock is
                                a better option as opposed to simply water. This will infuse more
                                flavors into the meat or vegetables.

                                The method of cooking with a pressure cooker is not one that
                                most chefs or apprentices learn during their studies. It is
                                somewhat of a mysterious method of cooking that has very little
                                application in the commercial kitchen. Some similar elements
within the restaurant/hotel/catering kitchens of late would be the more modern methods of
cooking with steam.

The pressure cooker can be a very handy and quick way to cook, however it is probably one of
the most dangerous due to the extreme pressure that builds up in the pot. It is important to follow
the user manual instructions to ensure there isn’t a kitchen mishap.

Michael Cullen

				
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