Pressure cookers are intended to reduce workload. They are instant cookers and save a lot of time and effort, which is primarily a cooker’s task. In laymen terms, pressure cookers reduce cooking time by two thirds as compared to the conventional cooking time. Hence, it gives you more time to spend on other duties at home.
- Importance of Time Charts
Those who are experienced enough with pressure cooking may not require time charts. However, if you are just starting off with pressure cookers, time charts can be very beneficial for you. They will help you with suggesting appropriate times for cooking so that you don’t end up with scorched or undercooked food.
- When are Time Charts Most Effective?
Time charts are best when you are using a single ingredient. You may not need a recipe then because you will know how much time the ingredients have to stay inside the pot. However, time charts can only replace recipes when you are totally comfortable with your pressure cooker. Therefore, if you are planning to go for time charts, make sure that you and your pressure cooker know each other well.
- Factors Affecting Cooking Time
Time charts are only guidelines for users. Unlike recipes, they do not tell exact timings for a particular recipe. Hence, they are best for expert cooks. Once we say that time charts are general guides, it means that cooking times can vary depending on the nature and size of the ingredients. Larger food ingredients may take longer to cook. However, you can avoid confusion by cutting down the food to an appropriate size, close to the standard food size mentioned in the time chart. Even better, you can cut the food into smaller pieces for less cooking time.
The Importance of Timing
The most common problem that you will find with amateur cooks is that they tend to overcook the food. When using a pressure cooker, the margin of error reduces further because pressure cookers give the best results only when cooking times are closely followed. A minute here and there and your food might end up dry and lumpy.
Are All Pressure Cookers the Same?
No, each pressure cooker is different, just the way we humans are distinct. There can be general likenesses among a certain type of pressure cookers but that doesn’t make all of them similar. Depending on the pressure cooker type, the timings can vary a great deal. This is why a good recipe will also mention what type of pressure cooker is suitable for that particular recipe.
We have now entered into the second generation of pressure cookers which have more safety features as well as increased reliability.
You can see one of the top modern pressure cookers here: Instant Pot IP-DUO Plus60 9-in-1
To familiarize yourself with your pressure cooker, you should first test it enough so that you get comfortable using it. It will also tell how much time it takes to cook a certain product. Older pressure cookers can cause starching and burning of food, so you might want to be careful using them.
Different ingredients tend to behave differently in pressure cookers, so we have compiled for you some common ingredients and how they work inside pressure cookers. These ingredients work well with different release methods.
- Vegetables inside Pressure Cookers
Vegetables are delicate ingredients and if not monitored closely, they can go horribly wrong. Here are some tips for vegetable cooking inside a pressure cooker.
- Self-Cooking Vegetables
If you want the vegetables to cook by themselves, you should use a steamer and trivet. Place the unit inside the pressure cooker and add vegetables inside it. Depending on the cooking time of the vegetable, you will need to put an optimum amount of water inside the container. It also depends on the type of pressure cooker as to how much water you should add to the vegetables.
- Frozen Vegetables
Frozen vegetables can take a little longer to cook, so you are better off giving one or two extra minutes to your food for enough cooking.
- Release Method for Vegetables
To keep your vegetables crispy, you should go for quick release or the automatic release method.
- Beans and Lentils Inside Pressure Cookers
Beans can be a tough ingredient at times. It is because they take time to cook and if not monitored properly, they can overcook instantly. One of the major advantages of pressure cookers is that they can cook beans and lentils in a relatively quicker time.
- Pre-Soaking Beans
When cooking dry beans, you should soak them in water that is four times the volume of the beans. Keep them under water for four to six hours. Once the beans have soaked up enough water, they will become softer and cook at a faster speed. Never soak lentils and split peas in water.
- Not all Beans take the Same Time
It is highly dependent on the type of beans that you are cooking. The cooking time is also dependent on the age and type of bean that you want to cook. Hence, it is important that you refer to cooking time charts for beans and lentils.
- Pressure Release Method for Beans
Natural release methods are most suitable for beans, as they reduce energy consumption as well as will keep the temperature moderate inside your kitchen as the stove operates for less time.
- More Ingredients for Pressure
There are several other ingredients, such as meat, poultry, seafood, rice and grains that you can cook inside a pressure cooker. The techniques, timings and pressure release methods vary according to the ingredient type. Therefore, it is highly recommended that users check timing charts as well as the recipes when dealing with such ingredients.
- Timing Indicators
It can be difficult to stay beside your pressure cooker all the time. Therefore, you should go for an indicator that will alarm when the cooking time is up. In this way, you will be able to get high-quality food every time. There are several types of indicators, such as spring loaded and jiggle top indicators. These indicators make enough noise to let you know when the food is ready.
Now you know all that you need to know about pressure cooking timings. It is highly recommended that you opt for timing charts to help you have a better pressure cooking experience.