I’ve always seen my parents cook with a pressure cooker. When I started cooking, I was quickly offered one and since then, it has been part of my daily life. The pressure cooker saves a lot of time and saves energy. Stay with us, we teach you how to use it well in your everyday kitchen.
The history of the Pressure Cooker
Did you know that Pressure Cooker is a registered trademark of SEB since 1966 and that its generic name is the pressure cooker? On the other hand, the term pressure cooker with a lowercase c, as is the case with the term fridge, has entered common parlance. So we can talk about its pressure cooker for any pressure cooker.
It was in the aftermath of the Second World War that the pressure cooker became very popular. In the 50s, there were still many restrictions and the food was not very varied(source: the book Ma cocotte bien aimée by Aurélie Brayet). The idea was to find a way to cook the “low pieces” of meat quickly without consuming too much energy. These economical pieces indeed need long cooking to become tender.
Pressure cooker, how does it work?
The principle is to cook the food in a liquid or steam but at more than 100 ° C (under pressure), which is not possible in a conventional saucepan.
To speed up cooking, it was necessary to successfully heat water in a hermetically sealed container so that the water, once at 100 ° C can be transformed into steam but without escaping from the container. The molecules of the steam collide, the pressure rises, as well as the temperature. To avoid problems, the pressure cooker is equipped with a valve that allows excess steam to escape during cooking.
The first pressure cookers appeared in 1902. At SEB, the launch of the Super Cocotte in 1953 is a family affair. They have shown technical innovations and very good communication.
SEB relied on a network of small hardware and retailers by organizing showcase competitions and rewarding the best sellers. SEB’s strength was also to rely on a cookbook written by Françoise Bernard, a bubbly and passionate woman who understood that her strength was to transmit the technical cuisine of chefs using a language understood by all.
Did you know that Françoise Bernard is a nickname made up of the most common first names at that time?
How to use your pressure cooker?
Once your pressure cooker is closed and then placed on a heat source, the pressure will rise and the steam will escape through the valve. When the valve “whispers”, lower the fire as you go. Cooking in a casserole does not require much energy and this is what makes it economical.
The cooking time is calculated once the valve whispers. Initially, refer to the book that accompanies your casserole.
Good to know: the cooking time is on average 2.5 times less than that of a conventional casserole.
At the end of cooking, the pressure cooker is removed from the heat and the pressure (steam) is removed by removing the valve. To avoid turning your kitchen into a sauna, you can put your casserole in the sink and run cold water on the lid, which lowers the pressure in a matter of seconds. In both cases, when nothing escapes from the valve, it’s good.
Good to know: for quite a few years, pressure cookers are not likely to explode because you will not be able to open them as long as there is pressure inside.
Precautions for use:
- Remember to change the joint regularly. If you see during cooking water escaping from the lid, it is because your casserole is no longer waterproof and you have to change the seal.
- Please put enough water but not too much either (refer to the instructions for your cooking utensil).
What recipes with your pressure cooker?
Steamed vegetables or potatoes
For this, put a little water in the bottom of the casserole, lay the vegetables in the steam basket, and start the casserole. Cooking takes 2.5 times less time than if you cook the vegetables in water.
You can also cook vegetables in broth, without using the basket, it is very convenient for example to make soups. In this case, bring back the onions and other flavors in olive oil, add the vegetables, mix, add broth and start the casserole. Huge time saving, especially with vegetables that take time to cook such as carrots for example.
The pressure cooker is the queen for this. Remember that this was its primary function. Proceed as in a cast-iron casserole or in a sautéer (color the meat and flavors then cover with broth) then start the casserole to cook your simmered dish under pressure. Cooking takes almost 3 times less time than in a traditional casserole and your meat will be well melting because the process of cooking under pressure accelerates the transformation of collagen from so-called firm meats into gelatin, which will make them well melting.
The pressure cooker will do you great services to cook pulses that take time in traditional cooking. Do not forget to soak them and put enough water. Count a cooking time about 2.5 times less than in a conventional casserole, 25 minutes for dry beans or chickpeas, and about ten minutes for lentils.
Choose cereals that take a long time to cook, such as spelt or whole rice, and cook them by absorbation.
And yes, you can make desserts in a pressure cooker. We think about it for example to make compotes of apples, pears, or fists but also to make spilled creams (we put the preparation in ramekins that we put in the steam basket. On the same principle, we cook fluffy chocolate for about ten minutes.
The recipe that is a pleasure: the minute blank in a pressure cooker
Whisk 5 eggs with 50 g of sugar and the seeds of a vanilla pod. Add half a liter of milk and whisk. Pour into a buttered mold, cover with a sheet of baking paper, place the mold in the basket of the casserole, pour water to the bottom, and cook for 14 minutes, from the moment the valve whispers.