A pressure cooker is a hugely versatile and time-saving piece of kitchen equipment. Used for everything from cooking rice to making stews, soups, and casseroles, it’s a true kitchen workhorse. In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at the ins and outs of using a pressure cooker to help you get the most out of this magical device.
What is a pressure cooker?
A pressure cooker is a large pot with a tightly fitting lid that works by trapping steam inside. As the temperature inside the pot rises, the pressure increases, which raises the boiling point of water. This means that you can cook food at a higher temperature than is possible with traditional cooking methods, resulting in faster cooking times and more tender and flavorful dishes.
Types of pressure cookers
There are two main types of pressure cookers: stovetop and electric. Stovetop pressure cookers are heated on the stove and must be regulated by adjusting the heat. Electric pressure cookers, on the other hand, have a built-in heating element and are easier to control since they have pre-programmed settings.
How to use a pressure cooker
Read the manual: Before using your pressure cooker, it’s crucial to read the manual to understand how to use it correctly and safely.
Prep your ingredients: Prep any vegetables or meats you plan to cook and add them to the pressure cooker.
Add liquid: Most pressure cooker recipes require a small amount of liquid, such as broth, water, or wine. Adding liquid helps to create steam and prevent food from burning.
Seal the lid: Make sure the lid is properly secured and sealed before cooking. Most pressure cookers have a locking mechanism that you’ll need to engage.
Set the pressure: Decide on the pressure level you want to cook at. Most recipes will specify the right setting.
Turn on the heat: Set your pressure cooker to the desired temperature and let it come to pressure. Once it reaches the desired pressure level, a safety valve will pop up.
Cook: Cook according to the recipe. When the cooking time is up, turn off the heat and let it naturally release pressure.
Release pressure: Once the pressure has been fully released, you can safely open the lid and serve.
Tips for using a pressure cooker
- Always use the correct amount of liquid to avoid burning or scorching.
- Never overfill your pressure cooker, make sure to leave some space at the top.
- Always make sure the safety valve is in good working order before using your pressure cooker.
- Be vigilant while cooking, and never leave the pressure cooker unattended.
- Use caution when releasing pressure. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and do not open the cooker if you suspect there is still pressure inside.
- Allow your pressure cooker to cool down before cleaning.
Pressure cookers are a magical piece of kitchen equipment that can save you tons of time in the kitchen, while also producing flavorful and tender dishes. By following the above tips, you can be sure to get the most out of your pressure cooker while also staying safe in the process. Happy cooking!