A pressure cooker is a firmly sealed cooking pot that cooks food using extremely high pressure. As liquids start to cook, they produce steam, and this steam is confined inside. This creates an environment of very high pressure and temperature. Therefore, pressure cooking is using pressure from the steam to cook food in a tightly sealed pot.
What can you cook in the pressure cooker?
Nearly anything! A pressure cooker cooks food in just a few minutes. It cooks harder things such as chickpeas and beans in less than one hour. It is extremely handy and especially for foods that require to be tenderized, such as simmered meats and roasts. However, people have been cooking all types of other things with it, too, like soft or hard-boiled eggs. A pressure cooker is used most often for stews, vegetables, beans, and pulses.
How to use a pressure cooker to cook food
When people think of pressure cooking, they imagine blowing pots of stew which ended up on the kitchen ceiling of your mother. You will be pleased to know that nowadays, these accidents are non-existent as a result of safety features included on every pressure cooker. These added safety features will guarantee a smooth, delicious cooking
Want to learn more about a pressure cooker? Below are the basic knowledge that you need to know regarding this time-saving kitchen appliance and how to use it. Let’s go!
Prepare your ingredients and add them to the pot.
After preparation, add the food to the pot. Keep in mind that that pressure cooking involves wet cooking methods. Therefore, never cook anything using a pressure cooker without adding at least one cup of liquid at the bottom of it. You must add liquid in the pot for it to produce pressure for the food to be cooked properly. The liquid will help produce sufficient steam to cook the food unless the recipe says otherwise. In pressure cooking, the rule of liquids is to always have at least 1 cup of liquid.
Close the lid
Close the lid and make sure that the valve is at the right position
Select pressure setting
For an electric pressure cooker, select a cooking program and the time.
For stovetop pressure cookers, place on the stove, select the pressure setting, and then turn the heat to high. Wait for the pressure to accumulate inside the pot.
Start cooking under pressure.
For an electric pressure cooker, the countdown of cooking time will display on the screen.
For a stovetop pressure cooker, turn the heat to low and start the timer using the cooking time required.
Use the timer
It is very important to use the timer since the food cooks so fast that just a minute or two can be the difference between a flawless or ruined dish and especially with vegetable recipes. Since you cannot inspect or taste your food along the way, following the recipe with accurate timings is the only way to guarantee delicious food. However, you can stop the cooking halfway by reducing the pressure quickly and opening the lid if necessary.
The majority of the modern pressure cookers are automatically locked as a safety feature until the pressure is low to remove the lid safely. However, ensure that pressure is released completely before opening the lid. There are three ways of releasing the pressure.
Natural release: Allow the pressure cooker to sit and the pressure to reduce with the manual release system. This means that your food will continue to cook as the pressure reduces.
Quick-release: just as the name suggests, it involves pressing a button or removing the heavy jiggle to let the steam inside escape. It permits you to end the cooking immediately. However, the contents inside the pressure cooker will vigorously boil.
Coldwater release (for stovetop pressure cooker only)
This method requires running the whole appliance under cold running water until the pressure goes down and the lock unfastens. The cold water release method permits you to access the food effectively and immediately. CAUTION! The cold water release method cannot be used on electric cookers.
Pressure cooker recipes normally state release method pressure for each particular recipe. Ensure you have followed the instructions stated on the recipe to get flawlessly cooked food.
Pressure cooking FAQS
My food is not completely cooked after the recommended cooking time; what do I do?
Just bring your pressure cooker backup and pressure and cook your food for one minute or two.
Why does pressure cooking cooks quicker than normal methods?
Pressure cooking cooks quickly as a result of high pressure. Food cooks at a very high temperature, and because cooking reactions typically accelerate at higher temperatures, the food cooks quickly.
How does a pressure cooker work?
The cooking liquid in the pot boils and produces steam. As steam is confined inside the cooker, the pressure rises, increasing the boiling point of the liquid. The extremely high cooking temperature results in food being cooked more quickly than the normal cooking methods.
Can I add thickeners while cooking with a pressure cooker?
When cooking, adding a thickener early may have a negative effect since the thicker liquid will produce less steam. If you would like to make sauces or, thicker soups add your thickener after your food has finished cooking.
A pressure cooker can be used to boil, brown, steam roast, poach, braise, steam, or roast food. You can even use your pressure cooker for baking! People with electric pressure cookers are even making homemade yogurt and cheesecakes. Therefore, the potentials on how to use your pressure cooker and what to cook with it are endless! Pressure cooking is an entirely new way of cooking. For sure, there is quite a learning curve. However, fear not! After you get the idea of it, it is very easy.