Why does food cook quicker in a pressure cooker?

Apart from pressure, water and steam also have their roles to play. Ultimately, though, it is the pressure that matters. Here’s what results in quicker cooking. Ordinarily, water boils at 100° Celsius. The temperature rarely rises higher because escaping steam carries excess heat away. If a container of boiling water is sealed, however, the steam is trapped and pressure starts to rise. This force pushes down on the surface of the liquid, preventing water molecules from breaking apart from one another to create more steam. Thus, far less heat is dispersed from the container and, eventually, from the food.

The result of all this is the temperature of the water greatly exceeds 100° Celsius, cooking the food immersed in it much faster and helping to get dinner on the table sooner.

Additional Reading:
Pressure cooking (Wikipedia)

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