If you own a pressure cooker you would know what an asset it is! It not only saves the time and energy required to cook food but the important nutrients and the flavors of the food as well. Meat that comes out of a pressure cooker is so tender and flavorful the like of which you cannot dream to get from the traditional cooking methods. Special things require special attention and care from the user’s end. We take good care of our favorite dresses, by washing them carefully with hand and storing them somewhere safe and clean, don’t we? We take care of our favorite china tea set, taking it out only on special occasions and eyeing every guest sneakily to check if they’re handling it with care! I know I do this! If you take care of all your favorite things, pressure cooker deserves the same care in return for all its hard work and the help it provides in the kitchen. By taking good care of it, you are actually helping yourself by increasing its life and keeping its performance up to mark. Here are a few tips you can follow:
- Clean and dry your pressure cooker immediately after every use. Leaving food residue in the cooker for long periods of time promotes the growth of bacteria and the dried food becomes harder to clean. Also, the decomposing food, if left for long periods in the cooker, can cause indentations in the metal.
- You can use a dishwasher for cleaning only if your pressure cooker is dishwasher safe. Read the instruction manual to see if it is dishwasher safe.
- To wash it, separate all the parts, lid, pot, gasket and the pressure weight and wash them separately with hot water, sponge and mild dishwashing soap. Take special care while washing the gasket, trying not to stretch it or deform it. Use a toothpick to clean the inside of the pressure weight making sure no food residue is left stuck in it.
- If you want to remove dried food stuck inside the pressure cooker add a cup of water along with some dishwashing liquid and cook on low flame without the lid. As the water starts to boil, the food residue will start coming off. Turn off the flame and wash the usual way.
- If you want to clean a burnt pressure cooker, fill it half way with water and add a few layers of onion. Let it cook without the lid for around twenty minutes before turning the flame off. Now wash it the usual way, burnt food should come off easily.
- Let the pressure cooker dry completely before storing it. Storing it without completely drying it can promote bacterial growth.
- After it has dried, you can store it away in a clean dry place.
- For added security against bacteria and moisture, you can sprinkle a little baking soda inside it on the base and the walls. This will also keep the cooker free of any food odors.
- A small pressure cooker can be stored inside an airtight jar.
- Store it with the gasket fitted back in the lid and lid placed upside down over the pressure cooker. If you seal the lid on the cooker while storing it, the food odors are preserved and will have an adverse effect on the meal cooked the next time you use it.
- Give a detailed inspection to your pressure cooker every 5 or 6 months.
- Keep a close check on the gasket, knobs and handle of the cooker for any damage or loosening. You will need to replace any part that is damaged.
- Generally, it is a good idea to replace the gasket once a year because it becomes loose with time. If the gasket is loose, you may not even notice it while cooking. In this case the liquid will boil and evaporate if you are not supervising the cooking, resulting in burnt food. Who wants that!
- For older models of pressure cooker that come with a pressure weight, ensure that no residue is left stuck inside it, clear the path with a needle or toothpick. For newer models, take apart the whole of the vale assembly and clean each of it separately with hot water and mild dish washing soap.
- Tighten the handle and screws if they become loose. Grease the handle with a little oil to improve its performance.
Follow these tips and your pressure cooker will serve you with a 100% performance without causing you any trouble. The point is, you take care of your pressure cooker and in return your pressure cooker will take care of you!