The science behind pressure cooker - How it works!

The science behind pressure cooker – How it works!

 

 

The pressure cooker is one of the most used cooking material in our daily life. We all love the food made in the pressure cooker. But have you ever think that how does it work? Why food in the cooker is made so quickly?

Before we discuss further let’s focus on the need and use of this useful invention.

It was first invented by Denis Papin in 1679 by the name of Steam Digester, later the invention was modified and final product named as Pressure Cooker. It was primarily made for high altitude places like mountains or any place having less atmospheric pressure. Generally, the boiling point of water drops by 1C per every 294 meters of altitude. In that case without the use of pressure cookers, boiled food may be undercooked due to the quick vaporization of water(at less than 100°C).

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How does the pressure cooker work?

It has very simple science of cooking food in very less time and efficiently.

The Boiling point of water is directly proportional to the pressure used

The closed chamber of cooker increases the pressure inside which increases the boiling point of water. Normal water boils at 100°C but after a certain increase in the pressure boiling point of the water, inside becomes slightly greater. The more pressure increases, the boiling point of the remaining water inside the chamber increases.

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How increase in boiling point affects cooking

The science behind pressure cooker - How it works!
Pressure & Steam

The basic of food cooking is to put warm water molecules inside the food grains. When we cook food, water molecules that are not yet vaporized enters into the food grains and make it digestible. But the problem is when we cook food at normal pressure then the highest temperature achieved is 100°C. After 100°C, the water gets vaporized due to which it takes more time. But when we cook food in a pressure cooker the pressure inside the cooker becomes very high and increases the boiling point of water in the same container(Say 110°C or 120°C or more).

This increase in the boiling point allows more water molecules to stay in the liquid state without being vaporized. This also creates equal pressure on all the food grains and results in non-smashed uniform cooking.

Parts of Pressure Cooker

The design includes several parts like-

  • Pot
  • Valve
  • Lid
  • Rubber ring
  • Whistle
The science behind pressure cooker - How it works!
Parts of Cooker

The most important parts of the assembly are as follows-

Rubber Ring– It is for not allowing any air from inside to outside the container and maintains the pressure inside.
Valve– It is to ensure the pressure is below a dangerous level. If the pressure reaches a dangerous level due to any reason then the valves allow air to release and protect from the pneumatic blast. So it is very necessary to look for the valve while cleaning it.

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Another helpful part is Whistle which releases the pressure accordingly and indicates the number of times its pressure reaches a certain level. We count the number of whistle according to the food type.

So, I hope you understand the science behind the Pressure cooker. Comment your thoughts on this in the comment section below.

 

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