Benefits of Pressure Cooking
Pressure cooking has many advantages, among which saving time & energy, preserving nutrients and eliminating harmful micro-organisms from food are most significant.
Electron micrograph picture of Aspergillus fumigatus, courtesy of National Institutes of Health, http://www.niaid.nih.gov/
- Multigrain rice,
- Meat & Stew,
- Beans & Chili,
- Steaming, and
- Slow Cook
- Keep warm
- Yogurt (with Pasteurize and Fermented Rice (Jiu Niang))
Instant Pot takes advantage of pressure cooking, which cooks flavorful meal, softens the food and retains vitamins/minerals. Thanks to its micro-processor controlled cooking cycles, meals are made in a consistent fashion.
Instant Pot cooks meals in a fully sealed environment. Nutrients and aroma stay in the ingredients instead of being dispersing around the home. The original juice of fish, meat (e.g. chicken), and fruits remains within the food.
Retaining Vitamins and Minerals
When steaming with Instant Pot, you don’t need to put large amount of 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 oxidized by air exposure at heat, so asparagus, broccoli, and so on retain their bright green colors and phytochemicals.
Tender & Tasty Meal
Meat and bones can be cooked really tender in Instant Pot. After cooking in Instant Pot, the bones pork ribs are completed separated from the meat and become chewable, allowing calcium and other minerals to be easily absorbed.
Under pressure cooking, whole grain and bean based meals are also softer texture and taste better than cooked in other methods.
Another important features is that Instant Pot cooks meals with remarkable consistence. During pressure cooking, heat is very evenly, deeply, and quickly distributed. The Instant Pot’s intelligent programming ensures cooking being consistent regardless the volume of water and the amount of food. This is an unmatched advantage with programmable electric pressure cookers.
- As we know, food cooks rapidly under high temperature. Less cooking time means less energy consumed. Like other pressure cookers, Instant Pot reduces cooking time by up to 70%.
- Secondly, Instant Pot exterior housing is fully insulated with two layers of air pockets between the cooking inner pot and the exterior. It’s cool to the touch in brief cooking and only lukewarm during long operations. Energy is concentrated on cooking the food. This makes it even more energy efficient than the conventional pressure cookers.
- Thirdly, Instant Pot’s intelligent monitoring system only heats the inner pot to maintain a certain pressure level. In a long duration cooking, heating is off nearly 40% of the cooking time.
- Fourthly, because Instant Pot is fully sealed during cooking, much less water is required for cooking (e.g. about 75% less in steaming). This essentially reduces the energy consumption in making a meal. As another benefit, your kitchen will not be steamy hot during the summer.
Comparison to Other Appliances
- Insulated housing Slow cookers typically do not have insulated housing, whereas electric pressure cookers do. This contributes to energy efficiency advantage to electric pressure cookers.
- Sealed cooking A electric pressure cooker is fully sealed under pressure, letting out no steams and no smells. This is not the case for slow cookers. This makes electric pressure cooker a winner in keeping the kitchen clean and the house smell free.
- Programmable electronic control capability in the electric pressure cooker is completely missing in the conventional pressure cookers. It’s the programmable capability that allows the electric pressure cooker to be more convenient and produce the best and consistent cooking results.
- Heat source: Conventional pressure cookers use a separate heat source, e.g. a gas stove or an electric range. Electric pressure cookers come with an integrated heating unit inside. The advantage of an integrated heating element is to create a full feed-back system which controls the entire cooking cycle. This makes electric pressure cooker more convenient (no need to watch over it), pleasant (no loud hissing noise, no steam), safer and more energy efficient.
- Eliminating possible aflatoxins Rice, if not stored properly, may carry fungal poisons called aflatoxins, a potent trigger of liver cancer. Conventional rice cooking at under 100°C (212°F) is not sufficient to kill all aflatoxins. Study had shown that pressure cooking at higher than 100°C (212°F) was capable of reducing aflatoxin concentrations to safe levels.
- Making healthy rice more tasty One very popular healthy rice meal uses whole grain/wild rice and beans, to increase protein, the amino acid lysine and dietary fiber. Whereas whole grain/wild rice and beans can be cooked with rice cooker, the cooked rice often tastes with a rather hard texture. Electric pressure cookers solves this problem nicely, making healthy rice softer and tender.
- Saving time & energy Typically an electric pressure cooker cooks a pot of rice in about half of the time, comparing with a rice cooker. Energy saving is around 25~30% range.