Here are six tips to keep in mind when you’re preparing your pressure-cooked meal:
1- To enhance flavors, sauté aromatic vegetables like onions, celery, and bell peppers in some oil in the pressure cooker (always with the lid off!) over medium heat before adding the other ingredients and securing the lid.
2- Same goes for meats. Brown them briefly in a some oil in the pressure cooker with the lid off before adding other ingredients. Be careful: Never warm up the pressure cooker with the lid on.
3- Let the cooker cool down a bit before adding liquids (especially if you’ve sauteed veggies or browned meat in the pressure cooker). If the pot is hot, some of the liquid may evaporate, and it may affect the amount of liquid you need to cook the food and/or make a sauce.
4- Add the ingredients that cook slower (like meat) first and the rest (veggies) at the end; use the quick release valve to release vapor from the pressure cooker. Make sure you follow the instructions that came with your pressure cooker for all the safety tips!
5- Thin down thick sauces (like BBQ sauce) with some water so they do not cake and burn to the bottom of the pot. You need the extra water to vaporize and generate pressure in the pot. If you want a thicker sauce, you can thicken it after the food is fully cooked in the pressure cooker.
6- When the food is done, follow the recipe instructions on how to release the pressure, fast or gradually. Don’t forget to keep this step in mind because it may make a difference in the final result: cooking the food to the right point or having it either undercooked or overcooked.