A pressure cooker comes in handy when preparing slow cooker type recipes and dishes but don’t have the time to wait, especially those of us who lead hectic lifestyles and have little to no time to spend in the kitchen cooking. So, what are some of the best ways to ensure that you get the most out of your pressure cooker?
Below are 5 tips to get the most out of your pressure cooker
1. Always check your kit before use and read instructions before using a new set
Pressure cookers usually come with safety and usage instructions. Be sure to read the instructions thoroughly (especially when using a different type of cooker to what you are used to). This ensures you are in the know of the do`s and don’ts which guarantee you safety all through. The heat generated from the pressure cooker can be dangerous if not properly handled. Checking your kit is also important as it ensures you use a fully functional cooker. Further, checking your kit will help you determine the parts that need replacements such as the rubber gasket. Also be sure to counter check the valves to ensure they are free from debris. All these play a vital role in securing your safety and that of your loved ones during use.
2. Liquid Matters
The science behind pressure cookers is that they cook through steam. Therefore, be sure to check your liquid levels to allow for sufficient evaporation and transformation into steam. Once again, the instructions will guide you on the recommended amount of liquid to use. Always try to balance the liquid levels depending on the type of recipe but never go below the recommended levels. Also, do not overfill the liquid such that there is insufficient space for the steam to cook up the food. Use the marks placed on the sides of the cooker as a guide on the preferred levels (almost all cookers come with minimum and maximum markings inside the pot). If you overfill, then be ready to clear the mess as some of the food will be ejected. Thus, be sure to observe the following:
Do not put more than two-thirds of liquid when cooking veggies and meat
Avoid filling the cooker when dealing with liquids such as casserole and soup
Foods that have expansion tendencies such as pasta and rice should not be more than a third full
3. Time every meal
The golden rule of using a pressure cooker is, it is always better to undercook than overcook. If you spoil your recipe that`s it! However, if you undercook, you can systematically bring the food back under desired pressure.
Do not shy off from adding liquid if need be. Some foods such as brown rice will require more time than white rice; fish and vegetables require relatively little time as considered to other foods. Therefore, do not hesitate to take your time to understand the recommended heat levels of your recipe before cooking.
4. Release the pressure
There are three recommended ways to release the pressure of your cooker. The first involves taking the cooker off the heat and consequently allowing it to cool gradually (ideal for foods that require long cooking times). Second, you can turn the valve that releases pressure (be sure to use gloves to avoid burns from the hot steam that will rush out.) lastly; you can use a tap with cold water to cool the pressure cooker (appropriate for delicate recipes that might overcook). Select the method that best suits your preferences. However, allowing the cooker to cool itself might take longer than the last two methods.
5. Always clean and store your pressure cooker appropriately
It is critical to note that pressure cookers are not designed for storing food. Be sure to clean the cooker using a running tap and also take of the lid seal for a thorough clean. Rely on the instructions to guide you on the appropriate cleaning methods and how to unblock the individual parts that may block over continuous use. Ensure that your pressure cooker is thoroughly dried to allow for air to circulate. Finally, rest the lid in an upside down position as opposed to fitting it back on its pot.
Observing the above tips will ensure you get the most out of your pot. Not only will you cook better meals, but also your pressure cooker will last longer to ensure you get the service you desired during purchase. In case you encounter any challenges, do not hesitate to refer to your user manual as different cookers come with their respective instructions.