Many people shy away from the pressure cooker because of the stories they have heard their Grandmothers tell of how they exploded and went all over the kitchen. Those stories are probably true but the new pressure cooker, both electric and stove top, have so many safety gadgets on them that you no longer hear about those problems.
I was one of those people, but my story came from an aunt (my Grandmother’s sister). So for many years I never used one. What a mistake! I can’t image not using one because of both the speed, flavor and health benefits (retaining a high quality of nutrients). They are also very popular with the men in our family (next to the grill). I think they like working with a “machine” that produces wonderful meals that everyone praises them for.
Just look over the following tips before using your pressure cooker to make sure you will get the highest quality meals possible:
1. The top tip is to read the users manual that comes with the pressure cooker. Most of us don’t read manuals, but this is one manual you need to thoroughly read. With the variety of pressure cookers on the market, there are many variations and with each variation there can be a different method used.
2. One of the best tips for a pressure cooker, is to make sure the cooker is cleaned after every use. This is important because residues left on the pot, gaskets, or lid can affect the pressure and sealing mechanisms that will effect the cooking and safety. Read the owners manual for thoroughly cleaning the valve and the gaskets on the seal.
3. One of the most important things you need to know about pressure cooking is to never fill over 2/3 of the pot. Most pots have a 2/3’s mark on them.
4. Sear meats directly in the pressure cooker. This adds extra flavor and texture to the meat. To sear meat, means to brown the meat on all sides on either medium high or high temperature. Sear without the lid on. This extra browning will add extra color to your meal. Do not do any deep frying in the pressure cooker, whether the lid is on or off. This only adds extra oil to the meat and it is not necessary. Meat does not need to be thoroughly cooked, as it will finish cooking during the pressure cooking process.
5. All marinated food should be well drained and patted off before placing in the pressure cooker.
6. If using a stove top pressure cooker, timing is key in achieving good results. The best way to get perfect timing is by using a simple kitchen timer. Once the desired level of pressure is reached, start the cooking countdown by setting the timer. This pressure cooking tip will help you to not overcook the food. Overcooked food cannot be reversed, so this is a very important item to get the precise cooking time.
7. Never shake the pressure cooker while it is cooking. This can cause the automatic valve to release steam, which will create a drop in pressure.
8. Make sure you know how to work the lock on your specific cooker. The lid needs to be locked into place before you are ready to begin cooking. As a safely feature UL now requires that all units have a safety lock that prevents the pot from being opened until all the pressure is gone. This is a major advancement between you grandmothers pressure cooker and the modern pressure cooker.
9. Food is always extremely hot. When opening the lid make sure you use hot pads. also – do not put your face over the pot as the steam could possibly burn you.
10. Keep children away from the pressure cooker. This is not a kid-friendly appliance. They can help you prepare the food by cutting up the vegetables. The cooking process needs to be done by an adult that has read the manual and knows not to remove the lid until the cooking process has been completed and the pressure level has been reduced to a safe level.
Here’s One of Our Top Pressure Cooker Recommendations