Recipes for pressure cookers are available at Presto, Power Pressure Cookers XL and Cooking Light. These recipes use the higher cooking temperature and steam of the pressure cooker to reduce cooking time by up to 80 percent.
Pressure cooking saves energy by reducing cooking time. The cook places the food in the bottom of the unit, adds a minimal amount of water, locks the lid in place and starts the heat. A weight sits on top of the exit vent of the cooker to cause steam pressure to build to 15 pounds per square inch and raises the boiling point of the water to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The quicker cooking time and reduction in water help to preserve vitamins and nutrients in the food. A whole chicken cooks in 20 minutes while a potato is ready in 8 minutes.
Cooks find pressure cookers work in the preparation of both main and side dishes. The process helps to tenderize otherwise tough cuts of meat. It works with grains, beans, soups and stews.
While the fast cooking without using a microwave sounds intriguing to cooks, many have heard stories of exploding pressure cookers from the past. As of 2015, manufacturers include safety features in pressure cookers to improve safety. Electronic models have a thermostat that monitors the temperature and adjusts the heat to prevent over pressurizing the device for improved safety.