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How To Use A Pressure Cooker Properly
Pressure-cookers are actually the fastest kitchen appliances in terms of cooking. In fact, pressure-cookers are great for cooking more quickly while retaining the minerals and vitamins which can easily be destroyed when using other cooking appliances. However, using a pressure-cooker is not that easy and there is a little bit of a learning curve. In fact, in case you are using a pressure-cooker for the first time, it is recommended to first learn how to get started safely. In this article I have provided some of the steps and tips that you may follow when it comes to using a pressure-cooker and these guidelines will be of great help if you are new to pressure cooking
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SECTION-1: UNDERSTANDING A PRESSURE-COOKER:
- Get to know what a pressure-cooker is: a pressure-cooker is actually a cooking-appliance which when turned on produces steam which cooks food fast by simply raising the boiling point. In fact, there are 2-types of pressure-cookers whereby the old-type uses weighted pressure-regulator that sits on top of the vent pipe on the lid while the new-type pressure-cooker uses spring-valves and a closed system. However, both types of pressure-cookers do a great and quick job in terms of cooking.
- Check whether a pressure-cooker has dents/cracks before using it: it’s very important to check if the pressure-cooker has any dents before using it to cook because these dents/cracks can be very dangerous since they can release hot-steam and end-up burning you. Additionally, try to check whether the pressure is well-cleaned before using it in order to achieve best results.
- Learn how to fill a pressure-cooker: there should always be some sort of liquid in the pressure cooker before using it to cook anything. In fact, most recipes recommend using water and the pressure-cooker should not be more than ⅔ full of liquid because there needs to be room for the steam to circulate.
- Understand how to use a steamer-basket and trivet: pressure-cookers usually come with a steamer-basket which facilitates in the preparation of seafood, vegetables and fruit while using a pressure-cooker. A trivet is actually a basket-stand which is placed at the bottom of the pressure cooker while the basket is placed on top of it.
SECTION-2: HOW TO PREPARE FOOD FOR PRESSURE-COOKING:
- Prepare food to be used for pressure-cooking: there are several ways to prepare food to be cooked in a pressure-cooker and at times the box in which the pressure-cooker comes may contain a guide showing how to prepare different kinds of food. However, there are some recipe books on the market that can help to show the user how to prepare food going be cooked in a pressure-cooker so you should try to acquire a recipe-book for yourself.
- Determine how much water to pour into the pressure-cooker: read through the user-manual that came with the pressure-cooker in order to get guidelines on to prepare different foods and how much water-amount is required. In fact, you can also find the guidelines online in order to know how much water is required for each type of food when using a pressure-cooker.
SECTION-3: HOW TO USE A PRESSURE COOKER:
- Place food inside the pressure-cooker: place the food to be cooked inside your pressure-cooker and then add the needed amount of water in order to properly cook the given type of food in a pressure-cooker. However, try not fill the pressure cooker with water but leave some space above for the steam to circulate while cooking.
- Remove the safety-valve or weighted pressure-regulator: Take off the safety valve or weighted pressure regulator off and close the lid properly by ensuring that it is locked. Put the pressure-cooker onto a large burner or stove and then set the heat to a high-level. The pressure will begin to convert water into steam as it cooks food.
- Give the pressure-cooker time so that it can gain pressure: after placing the pressure-cooker onto a burner, the pressure inside will begin to rise and when it reaches the designed safety-limit, the pressure-cooker will begin to boil the food. On the old jiggle top-valve pressure-cookers, you will notice steam coming out from the vent and the weighted pressure-regulator will begin to jiggle while in the new pressure-cookers there will be marks on the valve-stem which indicate rise of pressure inside the cooker.
- Reduce the heat to a lower-level: when the pressure-cooker gains pressure, try to reduce heat-level so that this cooker continues to boil food and does not whistle. You should also begin timing the pressure-cooker at this point depending on the recommended time of a specific recipe. Additionally, try to maintain pressure throughout the cooking time for best results. However, in case the heat supply is not reduced, then pressure will continue rising the dead-weight or safety-valve will open (blows a whistle) while releasing steam hence preventing the pressure from raising any further. In fact, the safety-valve is provided to prevent possible rupture of the pressure-cooker while cooking but it not actually an indicator of cooking-time.
SECTION-4: HOW TO REMOVE FOOD FROM A PRESSURE-COOKER:
- Turn off the heat source: after the food has been cooked for the recommended amount of time provided in the recipe preparation, turn off the heat in order to get best results. In fact, if you decide to cook for longer than the recommended time, then food is more likely to become very soft like baby-food which is not good. So it’s best to keep time when using a pressure cooker in order to get well-cooked food.
- Lower of the pressure inside: try to first lower the pressure inside the pressure-cooker before lifting the lid-off. in fact, some recipe guidelines show how to release the pressure but there actually 3-ways of releasing pressure and these include; natural-release method, quick-release method and cold release method whereby you will use any of the specified methods depending on the food being cooked or type of pressure-cooker being used.
- Check whether the pressure has dropped: try to check pressure-cooker in order to ensure that all the pressure has been released by simply moving the pressure-regulator. In case there is sound of any escaping steam, then all the pressure would have been released. On newer-models of pressure-cookers, move the valve-stem and incase there is no sound of escaping steam then just know that there is no pressure left inside.
- Carefully remove the lid: when the pressure has been completely released from the pressure-cooker, remove the lid carefully and then take your cooked food out of this cooker.