Pressure cooking is a popular cooking method in many households. There are many benefits to pressure cooking. Pressure cookers prepare food up to 70 percent faster than the oven or stovetop. Because of the high heat and short cooking time, pressure-cooked food retains more vitamins and nutrients compared to other cooking methods. Plus, the flavors of dishes are richer and more developed. To use your pressure cooker the right way, check out this list of 10 do’s and don’ts for pressure cooking so you can get homemade, nutritious meals made faster.
Pressure Cooker Dos:
1. Read the instruction manual. This is one of the most important things to do before you start pressure cooking. Every pressure cooker is different and has its own set of instructions you need to follow. There are safety features on pressure cookers you should know like where the steam-release valve and button are located and if the body of the pressure cooker is cool to the touch when it’s cooking.
2. Add enough liquid. When you use a pressure cooker, you need to have enough liquid in the pot for it to come up to pressure and cook the food properly. The rule of liquids in pressure cooking is to always add at least 1 cup of liquid unless the recipe states otherwise. The liquid will help create enough steam to cook the meal.
3. Start with easy recipes. Pressure cooking can be intimidating so it’s smart to start off with a few easy recipes to get you comfortable with this cooking method. Once you feel more confident, start experimenting with more advanced recipes.
4. Use this cooking method to build flavors. The pressure cooker locks in the flavors and helps maintain the texture of food to create better-tasting meals. Use the inner pot to saute veggies or sear meat to add flavor to the dish before cooking it under pressure.
5. Make desserts and side dishes in the pressure cooker. If you have a ceramic pot for your pressure cooker, you can make a main dish and a side dish at the same time. It’s perfect for one-pot meals. But did you also know you can make desserts in a pressure cooker? Get a springform pan to make fuss-free cheesecakes and custards that won’t crack.
Pressure Cooker Don’ts:
1. Don’t open the pressure cooker while cooking. Most modern electric pressure cookers make it impossible for someone to open them while pressure is building on the inside. But, regardless, you shouldn’t attempt to open one while it’s in use. If you need to open your cooker while food is cooking, turn it off first and release the pressure before opening.
2. Don’t release the pressure before it’s time. Follow recipe steps when it comes to releasing the pressure. There are two options, the recipe will tell you to either manually release the steam or wait for it to naturally release. If you release the pressure too early, your food might not be completely cooked.
3. Don’t overfill the pressure cooker. The pressure cooker isn’t meant to be filled all the way. Don’t fill the pressure cooker with food past the max level, which is usually ⅔ full. Overfilling may clog the steam-release valve or develop too much pressure.
4. Don’t add thickeners. Pressure cookers work off the steam pulled from the liquid inside the pot, so it’s important that you don’t add thickeners like cornstarch or roux before the food starts cooking. When you cook a thick sauce, soup, or stew, adding a thickener too soon can have a negative effect on the way it cooks because less steam is released from a thicker liquid. If you want to make thicker soups or sauces, add your thickener after the food is done cooking.
5. Don’t give up after one bad experience. If you are struggling with your pressure cooker, don’t give up. It takes time to understand a new way of cooking and find how it best fits your cooking routine.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker yet, check out our Pressure Cooker.