Pressure Cookers are one of the best inventions that we are obliged to have these days, right? Those people who cook often know that some slow-to-cook dishes which involve tenderizing meat, pulses, and boiling rice, potatoes, etc. can take a long time if we choose to cook them by boiling normally.
However, we do not need to wait for that much, all thanks to the pressure cookers that help us cook the same dishes in almost half or even less time. Not just that, while other cooking methods may let the food lose most of its nutrition value, the pressure cooker keeps it intact too.
So, if you are not using a pressure cooker in your home to cook food, you should start using one. And, to know how to properly use a pressure cooker, this article will guide you thoroughly. We will also be sharing some safety tips on using a pressure cooker so that it can also be beneficial for those who already have a pressure cooker at home.
How to Use Pressure Cooker
Using a pressure cooker is pretty simple, as a beginner can also learn to use it in a few minutes. You can follow up on the steps given below and learn to use it. But, before proceeding, we also recommend you go through the product manual as well that comes along in the package box.
Make Sure the Pressure Cooker is Clean and No Signs of Damage are there
So, before we start using the pressure cooker, the first step is to check if it’s in a good condition or not. If you notice any kind of scratches, dents, etc, don’t use that pressure cooker as it can be very dangerous for you. Moreover, you should also check if the valve and rubber gasket is in proper condition, otherwise, the pressure cooker might struggle to work. Once everything is set, we are good to proceed further.
Saute your dish (if needed) before putting in the Pressure Cooker
Generally, food like onions, meat, smell, and taste good after you brown them perfectly. So, if you are cooking something like that, make sure to saute it well before putting it in the pressure cooker because you won’t be able to do it later on. Otherwise, if you are just using the pressure cooker for making some rice or boiling potatoes, you can go on.
Put the food and add the right amount of Water
Generally, when you are following a particular recipe, the amount of water to be added is mentioned. However, if you are using the pressure cooker for boiling rice or potatoes only, make sure you add the right amount of water. It is preferred to fill the container up to half or a little lesser than 2/3rd of its full length. In most cases, there are markings given on the inside surface of the pressure cookers as well.
Heat it correctly and Maintain the Pressure
Once the pressure cooker is ready after you have put all the ingredients inside, close the lid properly and put the pressure cooker on the stove. Now, since the food is soaked into water, you should put the cooker on high heat so that pressure can build up quickly and food gets to cook as quickly as possible. Once the pressure is created, you can put the heat to medium or low levels, if that’s suggested in the recipes.
Remove the Food from Heat and Release the Pressure
After a particular point of time when the food is prepared, remove the pressure cooker from the heat and let it sit. Once the pressure cooker starts to cool down, it will also begin to lose the pressure which is quite important.
Before you open the lid, make sure all the pressure from the container is released, otherwise, you will have a hard time opening the lid, or some accident may also occur. So, better handle it carefully and let the pressure be released completely.
Thicken your Dish (if needed)
When we make food in a pressure cooker, only a little amount of water gets to evaporate out of the container. So, if you are preparing some curry or sauce, you will need to thicken it afterwards. You can simply do it by keeping the pressure cooker on flame after you have removed the lid, and use the cooker as a pan. To thicken a sauce quickly, a mix of cornflour and water helps a lot too.
Clean and Store
Lastly, if you are done preparing your food, take it out and transfer it to some other utensil. Afterwards, you can proceed to wash the pressure cooker. Avoid washing it using a dishwasher as most pressure cookers don’t support that.
You can check for that in your model’s instruction manual as well. Clean the pressure cooker from the inside thoroughly and don’t leave any stains uncleaned to keep it safe from marks or corrosion. Let it dry or you can also use a dry towel to do it quickly, then store it.
Pressure Cooker Safety Tips
Although using a pressure cooker is very easy as we have just discussed above, there are some essential tips that everyone should know while using a pressure cooker to avoid accidents.
Add the right amount of Water
Water is the most essential thing without which a pressure cooker could never work. Since pressure cookers use the pressurized steam to cook the food, there should be the right amount of water added in the pressure cooker before closing the lid. You will generally find the minimum recommended amount of water to be added in the instructions manual of the pressure cooker. On the other hand, if you are following some recipe, it’ll be mentioned there as well.
Do Not Overfill the Pressure Cooker
While the water inside the pressure cooker heats up and starts to evaporate, the steam requires enough room inside. To stay away from any accidents, you should never overfill the pressure cooker. If you look closely on this inside surface, most pressure cookers have markings given on them which you should never exceed while filling water. Just a little more than the half-length of the container is good enough to cook anything in a pressure cooker.
Releasing the pressure before opening the Lid
If your food is prepared, don’t directly open the lid as there will be still some pressure inside the container. Hence, once the food is cooked, the next step is to release the pressure from the cooker. There are basically three ways to do it. First, you can choose to let the cooker sit for a while and cool down naturally on its own after taking off from the heat.
The other option is that you can use the pressure release valve, but be careful as a lot of steam will come out that can burn your hand if you’re not cautious. The third option is to cool down the pressure cooker quickly by placing it under a running tap of cold water. We feel that the first option is the best one as it allows the food inside the container to mix up well with the spices and attains a nice texture too.
This is it for today’s article, we hope you have learned a few good tips on using the pressure cooker the right way. Most people fear to use pressure cookers as they think it’s too complicated. However, that’s not the case at all, and in fact, you can be a master at it after using it a few times.
All you need to do is follow some basic rules while using the pressure cooker, and it will become one of your favourite kitchen tools in no time. Hence, we hope this guide will help you use your pressure cooker in the right way and helps you learn the basics of it well. In case of any further queries, you can openly share your questions and suggestions with us in the comments section below.