You’ve all heard of the mighty pressure cooker, but here is why preparedness professionals such as yourself should own one.
First, let me give you a brief U.S. history of the pressure cooker, because post-SHTF scenarios will look a lot like the days of old. Americans embraced Victory Garden efforts during WWII and to preserve all of this backyard food, American families bought 315,000 pressure cookers in 1943, up from 66,000 in 1942. Demand was so high there was not enough to go around. By 1945 there were waiting lists to buy pressure cookers, so the government advised people to form “canning circles” where several families could share one cooker.
That demand meant numerous companies began producing pressure cookers at reduced quality, and the cookers began to take on a poor reputation as inferior construction resulted in pressure cookers blowing their tops and sending food all over the kitchen. Combined poor reputation and the advent of the microwave oven, frozen meals and pre-packaged foods, use of the pressure cooker waned; but today pressure cookers are gaining in popularity again and have multiple safety features with improved vent systems, reducing the risk of unintended stove top explosions.
Why are pressure cookers great for survivalists and preppers? 3 reasons:
Preservation – the pressure canner is required to safely can low-acid vegetables (just about everything but tomatoes) and meat. The problem with not using a pressure canner for these is clostridium botulinum, the bacteria that causes botulism (food poisoning). The bacteria are harmless until it’s in a moist, low-acid, vacuumed environment – like a sealed jar.
Less Water – it only takes a little water in the bottom of the cooker to produce the hot steam needed to cook your grub. Less water for cooking means more water for other things. The sterilizing abilities of the pressure cooker are also used as a way to sterilize water; so if you find yourself need to turn crap water into potable water, the pressure cooker is your friend. The save water and make water!
Less Energy – cook time is reduced by about 70% … let me say that again – cook time is reduced by about 70%. In countries where natural gas, propane and electricity are very high, everyone has a pressure cooker. Canned food also doesn’t require refrigeration; a canner saves energy all around! Need I say more? Okay, I will.
The short cook time means you have just that, more time. Dinner doesn’t take as long to make. Also, because the food doesn’t need to be immersed in water, the food’s vitamins and minerals are not leached away into the water – it’s healthier!
– Ranger Man
BTW: I used the terms pressure cooker and pressure canner. A “pressure canner” is a large “pressure cooker” used for sterilizing jars and cooking very large meals. A pressure cooker is generally too small for sterilizing canning jars, but is more convenient for most cooking purposes.
The top image is courtesy of Phil801 at Utah Preppers.