Benefits of Pressure Cooking

  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.


Saving Time & Energy

Foods are cooked much faster by pressure cooking than by other methods. Typically electric pressure cooker can reduce cooking time by up to 70% comparing 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 comparing with boiling, steaming, oven cooking or slow cooking. Electric pressure cookers are the second most energy efficient cooking appliance after microwaves.

Preserving Nutrients & Cook 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 oxidized by air exposure at heat, so asparagus, broccoli, and so on retain their bright green colors and phytochemical. The cooked food keeps its original flavor.

Electric pressure cookers, such as Instant Pot, has a unique fully sealed cooking mechanism. No steam and smells spread throughout the kitchen and your home. This makes it an ideal clean and convenient cooking appliance.

Eliminating Harmful Micro-Organisms in Food

With pressure cookers, 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 cooker have been used as an effective sterilizer, for jam pots and glass baby bottles for example, or for treating water.

Rice, wheat, corn and beans may carry fungal poisons called aflatoxinsAflatoxins 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. 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 Chili. Kidney beans contain a toxin, phytohaemagglutinin, which is only destroyed by boiling at high temperature for at least ten minutes.

Electron micrograph picture of Aspergillus fumigatus, courtesy of National Institutes of Health, http://www.niaid.nih.gov/

Benefits

Convenience
Instant Pot has 12 single-key operation buttons for the most common cooking tasks, including:
  • Rice,
  • Multigrain rice,
  • Congee/Porridge,
  • Sauté/Browning,
  • Soup,
  • Poultry,
  • Meat & Stew,
  • Beans & Chili,
  • Steaming,  and
  • Slow Cook
  • Keep warm
  • Yogurt (with Pasteurize and Fermented Rice  (Jiu Niang))
These one-button operation keys are carefully designed to achieve consistent cooking results. Of course, if you prefer to set you pressure keeping time for your own recipe, you can do so with the manual setting. The following features are most notable to the one-button operation keys. Intelligent pot 297x300 ConvenienceIntelligent Programming These buttons are programmed intelligently based on thousands of experiments to achieve the best cooking results. Take the “Rice” button as example. During rice cooking Instant Pot estimates the amount of rice and water by measuring the pre-heating time.  The pressure keeping duration is then varied based on this measurement. Detailed considerations are taken during every rice cooking stages of soaking, blanching, steaming and braising.  See Pete Vegas’ “Rice 101″ to learn more about the science of cooking rice. Each function button can further be refined to vary food taste in the range of “rare”, “normal” and “well-done”. Automatic Cooking Instant Pot also provide convenience in fully automated cooking process, timing each cooking task and switch to keep-warm after cooking. Unlike conventional pressure cookers, you do not need to have a timer to manually monitor the cooking time. Planning Meal with Delayed Cooking Delayed cooking (up to 24 hours) can also be done with Instant Pot, allowing you to plan the meal ahead of time. Most importantly, you don’t have to stand around in the kitchen to watch over the cooker in operation. You are no longer tied to the kitchen to make the meal. Needless to say, Instant Pot also reduces cooking time by up to 70%. It works wonders when you come home after work and have to get dinner on the table in a hurry.
Healthy & Nutritious Meals

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.

Lock in nutritrion 156x180 Healthy & Nutritious MealsTrapping Flavor in Food

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.

healthy steamed meal 300x225 Healthy & Nutritious Meals

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.

Consistent Results

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.

Safety Features
In the past, most pressure cooker disasters could usually be attributed to user error. Instant Pot was carefully designed to eliminate and avoid most of the potential problems. UL Logo Safety FeaturesInstant Pot is made by the No.1 electric pressure cooker manufacturer with over 10 million units already in household use worldwide. Instant Pot products are certified by UL/ULC providing unprecedented peace of mind in safety.
Instant Pot's pressure sensor mechanism

Instant Pot’s pressure sensor mechanism

The stove-top pressure cookers use the weight of pressure regulator on the lid to limit the cooking pressure. Instant Pot’s patented pressure sensor technology regulates the pressure in the inner pot in a much more precise and automatic fashion.  When pressure builds up in the inner pot, the Flat Flexible Board (see diagram on right) shifts downwards to trigger the pressure sensor.   Conversely, when the pressure is lightened, the  Flat Flexible Board moves upwards and again triggers the pressure sensor.
Pressure control mechanism in the base

Pressure control mechanism in the base

The pressure sensor controls the power of the heating element to maintain the pressure within a preset range. The photo of the actual pressure sensor is shown on the left. This technology revolutionized the safety of pressure cooking. Apart from this unique innovation,  Instant Pot has 10 level of safety protections. Safety mechanism 600x265 Safety Features 1. Lid Close Detection If the lid is missing or not closed properly, Instant Pot will not activate pressurized cooking.  Only the keep-warm and sauté (in applicable models only) functions work with the lid being open. 2. Leaky Lid Protection In the case that the cooker lid has leakage (e.g. the steam release not closed properly, the sealing ring being missing), the cooker will not reach preset pressure level.  Allowing this to continue would risk burning the food. Instant Pot detects this by measuring the pre-heating time. If the pre-heating is unusually long, the programming will be switched to Keep-warm to avoid burning the food. 3. Lid Lock under Pressure If the cooker is still pressurize, the lid will be locked to prevent accidental opening.
Anti-blockage shield prevents jamming of the steam release

Anti-jam shield prevents jamming of the steam release

4. Anti-blockage Vent During cooking, food particles could jam the steam release vent. Instant Pot has specially structured vent shield (see picture on right) to prevent jamming the steam release.
Temperature sensor under the inner pot

Thermostat under the inner pot

5. Automatic Temperature Control The thermostat under the inner pot regulates the temperature of the inner pot to be within a safe range, based on the type of food being cooked. 6. High Temperature Warning If the cooker is operating without water or moisture, pressure will not be built up in the pot. Over heating become the most likely outcome. Excessive temperature may also build up due to situations such as,  missing inner pot, inner pot not in proper contact with heating element,  or inner pot having heat dissipation problem (e.g. burnt starch at the bottom of the inner pot blocking heat dissipation). Under such conditions, Instant Pot will stop heating when the temperature is over a certain limit. 7. Extreme Temperature & Power Protection Instant Pot is equipped with a special fuse which disconnects power  at excessively high temperature, i.e. 169°C ~ 172°C or 336°F ~ 341.6°F, and extremely high electrical current. A extremely high electrical current drawn by the cooker indicates an unsafe situation. 8. Automatic Pressure Control The patented pressure sensor mechanism (shown in diagram at the top) keeps the operating pressure between 70kPa-80kPa, or 10.12psi ~ 11.6 psi. 9. Pressure Regulator Protection If the pressure exceeds 105kPa (15.23 psi), the steam release (comparable to the pressure regulator in stove-top pressure cookers) will be pushed up to allow the steam being released to bring down the pressure inside the pot.
Over-pressure leaking mechanism between the cover and inner pot

Over-pressure leaking mechanism between the lid and inner pot

10. Excess Pressure Protection If the pressure becomes too high and  pressure regulator protection malfunctioned, Instant Pot’s internal protection mechanism will activate, shifting the inner pot downwards to create a gap between the lid and the inner pot. Steam will be released from the gap into the internal chamber and heating stopped.
Energy Efficiency
Instant Pot is one of the greenest kitchen appliances, saving up to 70% electricity in comparable cooking to other appliances, e.g. oven, boiling pot + stove, steamer, etc. It is highly energy efficient thanks to the following features.
  • 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.
Clean & Pleasant
Conventional pressure cookers used to have a image of a steaming, spitting monster of a pot, noisily rattling on the kitchen stove. This is no long true with Instant Pot. During operation, Instant Pot is absolutely quiet. It is fully sealed when pressure builds up in the inner pot. There is no steam escaping from the pot, and hence, no smell in the kitchen or spreading in your home. This also keeps the aromas and  flavor of ingredients in the food. Instant Pot cooks food without heating up the surroundings. In the summer time, this is particularly appreciated, reducing the electricity in both heating the food and cooling the kitchen. Another important benefit is that Instant Pot keeps your kitchen clean. There are no messy spills, splashes or spatters to clean up and no boiled over foods. Aroma are trapped in the food and only released when the lid is open. It is truly a kitchen-friendly appliance. Being a multi-cooker, Instant Pot can reduce the number of cooking appliances in your kitchen, saving you money and helping to minimize clutter and keep the kitchen organized.

Comparison to Other Appliances

Electric Pressure Cooker versus Slow Cooker
Both slow cookers and electric pressure cookers can produce very similar dishes but operate in entirely different ways. Slow cookers  cook in a relatively low temperature (at approximately 79°C–93°C or 175°F–200°F range) over a long period of time. Meanwhile, electric pressure cookers run at much higher temperature (over boiling point at 115°C~118°C or 239°F~244°F). This difference in cooking mechanism results in drastically different cooking time. Typically an electric pressure cooker makes a dish under an hour, whereas the minimal cooking time for a slow cooker is 4 hours. An Electric pressure cooker saves about 75% electricity comparing to a slow cooker making a similar dish. Apart from the difference in cooking temperature, there are two other physical differences
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
One disadvantage often cited against slow cookers is that vitamins and other trace nutrients are lost, particularly from vegetables, partially by enzyme action during cooking. When vegetables are cooked at higher temperatures these enzymes are rapidly denatured and have less time in which to act during cooking. Another disadvantage of slow cookers is that they don’t heat the food at a temperature high enough to remove common toxins (for example in raw kidney beans, and some other beans). On the other hand, electric pressure cookers are very good at detoxifying food, owning to its higher than boiling point operating temperature.
Electric Pressure Cooker versus Conventional Pressure Cooker
Both conventional and electric pressure cookers operate based on the pressure cooking principles. Two key differences set them apart.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
To determine which one is the right choice, you should look at your intended cooking tasks and the benefits. Convenience Instant Pot has 8 one-key operation buttons for the most common cooking tasks.  It is a 5-in-1 kitchen appliance. On top of these, delayed cooking allows you to plan the meal ahead of time.  There is no need to keep time and set alarm when pressure level is reached. Fast cooking There is no doubt that higher pressure cooks faster. Convention pressure cookers work at a range of pressure level, commonly at 15 psi (e.g. Fagor Duo) and also the complete range of 13psi (e.g. T-Fal Sensor 2), 12psi, 11psi, 10psi (e.g. T-Fal and WMF) and even 8psi (e.g. Lagostina Endura). Meanwhile Instant Pot operates between 10.15 and 11.6 psi. With the set-and-forget programmable cooking, the slight difference in cooking becomes irrelevant. Energy efficiency When comes to energy efficiency, Instant Pot is an undisputed winner. Instant Pot has a fully insulated housing, minimizing energy being dispersed without cooking the food. Its microprocessors controlled cooking cycles turns off heating automatically when the desired pressure is reached, and switches on heat when the pressure drops. Heating is only on ~60% of time. Safety Conventional pressure cooker typically come with two or three safety valves, with the only mechanism of releasing steams to reduce pressure. Instant Pot comes with 9 level safety protection, including safety valves, pressure control, temperature control and fool-proof operation detection. Experiences show that most pressure cooker disasters could usually be attributed to user error. Instant Pot was carefully designed to eliminate and avoid most of the potential problems. Better cooking result Most chef would agree that the difference between a 15psi cooker and a 11psi cookers is limited, i.e. 2~3 minutes of cooking time. However there’s a huge difference in the consistency of the cooking result. Thanks to its programmable cooking and micro-processor controlled precision, Instant Pot produces consistent tasty food 100% of time. With these benefit comparison, it is very clear that Instant Pot is the clear undisputed winner.
Electric Pressure Cooker versus Rice Cooker
Cooking rice with an ordinary pot requires a lot attention. Temperature adjustment has to be done at the right moment to avoid spills and burning. This was why rice cookers were invented and have since become an indispensable kitchen appliance to Asian families. Electric pressure cookers are an improved invention based on rice cooker. The key improvement is pressurized cooking. Instant Pot comes with pre-programmed buttons for cooking rice, congee and porridge. Comparing with rice cookers, electric pressuring cookers have three key advantages
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Electric Pressure Cooker versus Steamer
When it comes to steaming, electric pressure cooker and steamer work in the same way. Generally, electric pressure cookers can replace electric steamers in all steaming cooking for dishes such as vegetable, fresh pasta, fish, etc. Electric pressure cooker works better for two reasons. Faster and Deeper Under high pressure, steam penetrates the food in very evenly, deeply, and quickly manner. This is why electric pressure cooker is faster than ordinary steamer. Electric pressure cookers are especially good for tough pieces food, such as big potato or yum, fish or meat. Clean and Green Electric pressure cooker such as Instant Pot has a fully sealed cooking environment. No steam escapes the cooker. You only need a small amount of water (e.g. a cup of water) to steam vegetable (corns, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) fresh or frozen. And it takes just a minute or two. This makes electric pressure cooker more energy efficiency leaving your kitchen cooler and free from excessive humidity.