I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t discover the joys of pressure cooking until three weeks ago. Ridiculous, right? I know that the process of pressure cooking has been around for more than a century but I’ve never really given it much thought. In fact, I was quite against the idea because to me, it was only for people who were too lazy or too impatient to cook.
You see, I was brought up a very traditional way. My mom baked in a brick oven that was fueled with firewood and my dad chopped wood for our fireplace. That’s right, we didn’t have centralized heating in our home. Instead, we had a fireplace in our living room and radiators in our rooms. Although I don’t practice simple living to that extreme, I have used traditional methods when cooking. In fact, I even had a brick firewood oven built in our backyard. To this very day, it’s still what I use in baking breads, oven roasting meats, and cooking homemade pizza in.
That said, I never really had any problem in simmering a particular dish for long hours so I didn’t see the need to invest in a pressure cooker Besides, I had some backward beliefs about pressure cookers. For one thing, I thought pressure cooking wasn’t healthy because the food would lose all of its nutrients because of high the high heat and pressure that the food was being subjected to.
Next, I thought they were a hazard because they could explode if too much pressure is contained inside. I had a friend whose pressure cooker blew up and scattered Bolognese sauce all over her kitchen. It’s a good thing she was in her living room when it happened or else she could have been seriously hurt.
Last, pressure cookers were expensive. The cheapest pressure cooker in the market is around $100. I’m no cheapskate especially when it comes to things for the kitchen. However, I just couldn’t justify the thought of spending that much on a pot.
All this changed when I was gifted with a pressure cooker set by my sister. The first thing I did I opened the gift was laugh. I asked her if I’ve ever served her rubbery meat because I couldn’t understand why she was gifting me with a pressure cooker. She told me in reply that it was about time that I stepped into the 21st century when it comes to my kitchen.
In the days that followed, I kept researching about pressure cookers and how they affect the quality of the dish being cooked. It was then that I was able to disprove my initial thoughts about pressure cooking.
First, it’s not true that essential nutrients in food. According to my research, pressure cookers are able to preserve a lot more nutrients because cooking time is a lot less. Since the food is cooked faster in a pressure cooker, less nutrients are broken down. Next, pressure cookers these days are equipped with safety features that eliminates the risk of explosion. My last point (that pressure cookers are expensive) is still true but since I was given one as a gift, my argument was kind of moot.
Since I received my pressure cooker, cooking has been a lot easier. I no longer have to wait hours for dinner to be done. This has allowed me some free time to play with my kids and enjoy quiet time. It has also improved my dishes especially in the broth department. Broths have always been a problem for me because I am rarely able to make that perfect gelatinous broth no matter how long let the pot simmer. Overall, I think a pressure cooker is something everyone should have in their kitchen.