Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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autoclave the industrial counterpart of the domestic pressure cooker (see pressure cooking), a vessel in which temperatures considerably higher than the normal boiling point of water can be reached by increasing the pressure. At atmospheric pressure water boils at 100 °C (212 °F); at 20 lb pressure at 126 °C (259 °F).

An autoclave, like a domestic pressure cooker, makes it possible to cook in a shorter time. It is also important in sterilization, since the higher temperatures which it attains are effective in killing bacteria which can withstand normal boiling.