How to use a Pressure Cooker correctly : 9 Steps
It is a kitchen utensil from the last century. Said like this it would seem that we are talking about something in disuse, but nothing further. It is the pressure cooker, invented in 1979 by the French physicist Denis Papin, an expert in steam, but it did not come onto the market until 1919. Its ultimate and main goal: to cook faster .
Today, one hundred years later, it continues to fulfill its main objective and the passage of time has been great for it, as one of its biggest buts has improved: security .
In case you are one of those who have never used a pressure cooker or still give you some respect, we give you some guidelines for use :
- Read the instructions for your pot because, although the basic elements are the same for everyone, in some models the mechanism or some of the parts may vary. For example, some work with a pressure selector, others with pressure indicators by rings or some have depressurization valves and in others it is a button …
- Place the food you are going to cook inside.
- Cover them with water. Normally, the pot has a minimum and maximum filling level that must be respected. Attention: do not forget water as it is one of the first safety systems in this type of cooking.
- Close the lid very well . Check that it has the rubber gasket in good condition and correctly positioned. The lid and the pot have to fit together perfectly and the handles should be aligned. In the case of pots with handles, the procedure is the same. When the pot is properly closed you can see that it is not possible to open it except by using the opening tab.
- Set the indicator on your pressure cooker according to the food you are going to cook. In the instructions they usually come in what number and what times are the best according to what you are going to prepare.As a general rule: level 1 is suitable for vegetables, rice, pasta and fish and level 2 is suitable for meat, legumes and harder foods in general.
- Put the pot on the fire . In principle, with a higher temperature until the pressure valve rises and a little steam begins to come out. This means that the pot has reached the correct pressure and the correct temperature. It is time to start counting the cooking time.
- Calculate the cooking time, it will normally coincide with the complete output of the valve (it is usually indicated because the two lines of the valve are visible). At this point you may find that it is impossible to open the pressure cooker even using the opening tab.
- When the cooking time is over, turn off the heat and remove the pot. Let the pot cool. Some people put it under the tap, but it is not recommended. If you want to speed up the process, you can use the depressurization position, available between the pressure levels of the pot.
- When it cools, the valve is lowered, which means that there is no longer any pressure inside. You can now open the potsafely, you just have to be careful not to burn yourself with the steam that comes out. Check the cooking of the ingredients and voila, your express cooking has finished.
What You Can Cook in The Pressure Cooker and It's Times:
- Fish and seafood: 10-15 minutes
- Beef or pork: 50 minutes
- Chicken: 20 minutes
- Beans: 40 minutes
- Vegetables: 5 minutes
- Broad beans and potatoes: 10-15 minutes
- Lentils: 20 minutes
- Rice: 20 minutes
- Harder artichokes and vegetables: 10-15 minutes
The Ideal Time For Each Dish
- Dried vegetables. Add 1 liter of water for every ½ kg and cook for 20 minutes(with previous soaking). Pour a splash of oil into the water and they won’t foam.
- Fresh vegetables. They require half a glass of water for every ½ kg and between 5 and 10 minutesof cooking.
- Pasta and rice. You should cover them completely with the water and cook them for about 5 or 6 minutes.
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- Covered with water, cook in 5 minutes (3 min. Sole, 10 min. Squid). To give them a baked appearance, brown them first with a little oil. If it’s frozen and thick, cook 1 minute longer.
- Roasts of meat. Brown, season and add a glass of white wine. The lamb takes 15 minutes; the rest, between 5 and 6 minutes.
- Meat in sauce. Make the sauce thicker and cover with water. The tripe or similar require almost an hour to cook and the hare 45 minutes. The rest of meats, about 15 minutes.
- To make compotes, for example. With a glass of water for ½ kg of fruit and 3 minutes of cooking is enough.
How To Get Better Results
To obtain the best results from the pressure cooker, follow some of these tips:
- The right water:you should never add more than two thirds (the liquid should not exceed the handles or the handle) or less than a quarter of its capacity. If you prepare foods with a tendency to bloat (such as chickpeas), fill the pot only halfway so that the valve does not clog.
With the pressure cooker you need less water to cook.
- The intensity of the fire:when you start cooking, turn it on high but always lower it when the pot reaches maximum pressure (the spout will have come out completely or, if it is old, when the rotary valve “whistles”).
- The moment to open it:you must wait until there is no pressure inside (the spout will have gone down completely or the valve will no longer turn).
- When to cool it down:in general, the cooking times indicated for each food count how long it takes for the pot to release pressure. There are those who cool it under the tap with a thread of water so that the products do not “overcook” but it is better to avoid it. Patience.
Does it explode? Avoid risks
If, in addition to following the previous premises, the valve are kept very clean and the rubber in good condition (as soon as you see it deteriorated, change it) the pressure cooker is very safe.
- They all include mechanisms to release excess pressure that could build up inside. Especially the latest generation, they no longer involve any risk.
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Of course, each pot is unique. The pressure cooker is not an exact science, that is, although there are general recommendations regarding cooking times and the amount of liquid to add, it is one of those cooking methods in which you have to find the “point” yourself until you get it right. .
- And, keep in mind that it will not work the same if you have an electric, gas or ceramic hob. The traditional ones (with a rotary valve)also cook differently than the modern ones (with the valve on the handle) , or the current super – fast of the latest generation.