7 Useful Tips for Using Your Pressure Cooker

Pressure cookers are perfect for healthy cooking: they can reduce cooking time by up to 50% and retain all the nutrients. This appliance is ideal for making slow cook dishes fast. Pressure cookers are also economical because they reduce the amount of power needed to cook a dish and can make any cut of meat more tender. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your pressure cooker!

1. Always read the instructions first

The heat created by the steam can leave you with a nasty burn if you don’t handle the appliance properly. Nowadays, modern pressure cookers have several safety features to prevent this from happening. Make sure you always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for your specific pressure cooker to avoid getting injured.

2. Liquid is important

You can’t and shouldn’t use your pressure cooker without some sort of liquid. Pressure cookers cook with steam. So, if you don’t add a liquid, you won’t have any steam. Instructions will let you know the minimum and maximum amount of liquid required for the machine to work properly. Keep in mind that different recipes might require different amounts of liquid.

3. Brown the meat before cooking it

Meat looks and tastes better and more tempting when it’s been browned. But a pressure cooker doesn’t brown food, so it’s important to do this before you put the meat in the pressure cooker. In the case you’re in a hurry, feel free to skip this step. It’ll still taste delicious!

 4. Keep the pressure up

Recipes will tell you to start cooking from when the proper pressure has been reached. Turn the hob up to full power so that it can reach the proper pressure level as soon as possible and the pressure cooking process can start. If it takes too long to reach the proper pressure and temperature, food can overcook and suggested timings won’t be correct. Once the correct pressure level has been reached, turn the heat to minimum while still keeping pressure constant. If you are not sure how to go about this process, check the instructions provided by the manufacturer for details.

5. Respect the minimum and maximum marks

Don’t exceed the minimum and maximum mark on the interior of the pot on your pressure cooker. A pressure cooker shouldn’t never be more than 2/3 full, and no more than half full for liquids. Overfilling leads to food being shot out from the pressure release valve. You also need enough free space within the pot for the steam to accumulate and enable cooking.

6. Release pressure safely

Most pressure cookers have three ways to release steam: turning the heat off and letting it to release gradually, on its own time; opening a pressure release valve (always use stove gloves for this!); and putting the pressure cooker in cold water. Modern cookers have a safety feature which stops you opening the lid to prevent accidents and possible burns. Never force the lid open. If you’re in a rush, run the cooker under the cold tap, until the pressure indicator drops, and the lip will come off easily.

7. Clean it and don’t use it as food storage

Pressure cookers are not designed for storage food. Wash them under a running tap and wash it with dish soap, taking off the rubber gasket (that seals the lid) for a thorough clean. Some pots are dishwasher-safe and others are not, always check the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Once in a while, deep clean every part of the pressure cooker to avoid any buildup. Dry your pressure cooker thoroughly. Leave it out it for a few hours to make sure it’s completely dry before storing it in the cupboard.

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