Types of pressure cookers, and which one for healthy cooking?
A pressure cooker is an extremely useful cookware, that has been used for decades, across the globe. It cooks by building up steam pressure inside a sealed pot. Pressure cooking greatly reduces cooking time and has become more convenient over time because of improvements in its basic design.
Types of Pressure Cookers
Pressure cookers can be classified into four types:
- First generation:
This oldest pressure cookware type works by building up and locking steam inside a pot made from metal, either aluminum or stainless steel. The lid has a weight changed valve that makes a whistle-like noise when releasing the steam. Steam needs to be released before the pot is opened.
- Second generation:
This is the most popular pressure cooker type and is also made from metal, usually stainless steel. It has a few added advantages over the first generation: improved safety with ability to control steam pressure using spring valve in place of weight-bearing valve, and no noise.
- Third generation:
These are electric pressure cookers and are popular as instant pots, crockpots etc. These typically come with a metal casing and an insert made either from ceramic or metal alloy. They also use spring-loaded valve to control pressure and have microchips to work on pre-programmed settings for creating easy steps for different kinds of cooking.
This is the most unique type of pressure cooker. Unlike the others, this is made from pure and primary clay – an all-natural material that is 100% non-toxic, healthy, and eco-friendly. Here are the features that make this cookware unique:
While pots and pans made from metals and ceramics (which is a combination of metal oxides, glazes, and a small amount of clay) leach both toxins and chemicals into the food. Pots and pans (made in the right way) with this pure and natural material, do not have this issue, because fired pure clay is 100% non-reactive.
The walls of a pure clay pot radiate far infrared heat that penetrates deep into food cooking it evenly and thoroughly at low to medium setting. This heat is gentle on the nutritional cells, so little to no damage occurs to food’s nutrients while cooking.
There is no need to forcefully lock steam inside and then release it before opening the pot. The way steam is kept inside is also remarkably interesting: Pure clay pressure cookers let steam build up only when food is almost done cooking. When moisture finally does break into steam, the inner side of the lid is a few degrees cooler. This cooler spot condenses the steam and sends it right back into the food.
And what is steam? Steam = water-soluble nutrients. Out of the 13 essential vitamins and mineral, 9 of them are water soluble. And in all except the last type of pressure cooker, steam is lost in the kitchen, making the pressure cookware more like a humidifier!
The ability to cook food without contaminating it, and while keeping all nutrients intact makes these timeless cooking pots the healthiest pressure cookers available in the market.
Pure clay pressure cookers cook in about the same time as regular cookers.
Where to get pure clay pressure cookers?
Miriams Earthen Cookware (MEC) – a pioneering all-American company makes pure clay pots and pans and sells them around the globe through their online store. Their ergonomically designed versatile cookware can cook various recipes on different heat sources (gas/electric/glass cooktop) in the healthiest way possible.