For busy families which do not have a lot of free time to spare in the kitchen, pressure cookers are a life saver! They cook food at high pressures and temperatures inside a sealed container to cut down on the cooking time and energy by over 70% as compared to conventional cooking techniques. If you are new to the use of pressure cooker, and even if you are not, you might not know about some of these professional tips that can help you get the most out of your pressure cooker:
Read the manual:
Before using any appliance for the first time, it is important to read the instruction manual carefully. If they have provided recipes in the manual, follow them exactly to achieve the best results.
Clean After Each Use:
Before storing the cooker, it is important to clean all its parts properly. Remove the gasket from the lid and wash the pot, lid and gasket with soap and warm water. Make sure that the safety valves are clean and do not have any dried food obstructing the valves.
Make sure that the pressure cooker is clean and completely dry before you store it. The best way to store it is to secure the gasket back in the lid and place the lid upside down over the pot.
Add Sufficient Liquid:
Pressure cooker cooks food by trapping steam inside the sealed pot. For steam to be produced, you need to add sufficient liquid to the ingredients. Never use less than 1 cup of liquid when you are pressure cooking your food.
Do Not Overfill The Pressure Cooker:
Never fill your pressure cooker with food to more than three-fourth its capacity. For ingredients that expand more like grains and beans, it is a good idea not to fill the cooker to more than half of its maximum capacity.
Browning the Ingredients:
To make your dish more flavorful, you can brown or saute your ingredients like meat and vegetables before adding the liquid ingredients and pressure cooking the food. In a stove top pressure cooker you can brown the ingredients by cooking for a couple of minutes in a little oil without securing the lid. In an electric pressure cooker, you can select the browning/saute function to brown the ingredients.
Adjust The Heat:
In order to cook the food quickly and achieve best cooking results, turn up the heat setting to achieve required pressure level quickly. When the cooker has reached pressure, turn the heat down in order to maintain this pressure and not exceed it. For electric pressure cookers, use ‘high’ heat setting to reach pressure and ‘low’ heat setting to maintain pressure.
Cut Evenly Sized Pieces Of Ingredients:
Larger pieces of ingredients will take more time to cook than smaller pieces of ingredients. To ensure that all the ingredients cook evenly and prevent undercooking or overcooking of the ingredients, it is essential to cut the ingredients in evenly sized pieces.
Different Ingredients Take Different Time to Cook:
Different types of ingredients have different cooking times which is why it is not advisable to add all the ingredients to the cooker at the same time. In general, meat takes longer to cook than vegetable so it is a good idea to let the meat partially cook before you add the vegetables.
10. Timing Is Important:
Timing is very important when it comes to pressure cooking the food. Follow the timings mentioned in the recipe and if your food is still undercooked, you can cook it some more under pressure in 1-5 minutes interval.