Food - Drink
Always Keep The Lid On For These 3 Common Cooking Methods
Cooking methods that take place in a pot or pan without a lid on top, such as pan-frying, sauce-simmering, and searing, are meant to release moisture from food, while cooking food with the vessel covered does the opposite. Boiling, steaming, and braising should always be done with a lid or cover over the food for several reasons.
Cooks Illustrated explains that covering your pot while boiling water keeps the heated water vapor from escaping, trapping energy in the water and causing it to boil faster, so you can boil your food more quickly, as well. Though the water will still boil without a lid, it will take longer and require more energy input from the heating element.
With steaming, the lid on the pot is like a roof on a house: without a roof, any sort of heat or warmth won't stay trapped inside, since heat rises upward. The best way to steam food is to place it in a perforated basket with a lid on top, to allow the steam in the pot to rise and envelop the food without any of the steam or heat escaping.
Braising is a moist-heat cooking technique used to tenderize tougher cuts of meat, and keeping the lid on is essential to control the temperature inside the pot while it slowly simmers. Removing the cover and allowing air inside will immediately cause a temperature change in the pot, ruining the slow and even cooking job on the meat.