10 Do’s and Don’ts for Pressure Cooking

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 Do’s:

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.

Quick Cooker Salsa Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Quick Cooker Salsa Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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.

Quick Cooker Strawberry Cheesecake
Quick Cooker Strawberry Cheesecake

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.

Pressing the steam release button

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 Quick Cooker.

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12 Responses to 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Pressure Cooking

  1. Toni October 24, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    Is it possible to cook more than 6 eggs at a time in the PC quick cooker? If so, what is the maximum number that can be cooked and what rack or holder is used?

    • Terri October 25, 2018 at 10:54 am #

      If you have the ceramic pot, out can crack a dozen eggs into it to make egg salad. Cook for 5 minutes, manually release the steam, let sit for 5 minutes and then take out the pot to cool naturally.

    • Donna October 25, 2018 at 5:25 pm #

      I have cooked 30 eggs at one time. I use the small stainless colander (from the PC set of 3) instead of the stand. I still use just one cup of water and the time is 12 minutes with 10 minutes natural release. Perfect every time.

      • shirley klotz November 12, 2018 at 2:44 pm #

        What is the pc set of 3, I’m new to it

    • Lynda October 26, 2018 at 6:02 am #

      I did more by squeezing the on the rack. Wired fine, same timing.

  2. Ellen Vest November 8, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    Has anyone ever tried cooking tamales in the Pampered Chef Quick Cooker? I have a recipe that suggest using a pressure cooker, but it says cook between 15-20 minutes and reduce the pressure with the natural release method. Would that be the same as letting it release over a 10 minute period on the quick cooker?

  3. Ellen Vest November 8, 2018 at 10:19 pm #

    Oh and what would be 8 P.S.I. for the quick cooker?

  4. shirley klotz November 12, 2018 at 2:46 pm #

    Has anyone.cooked baked potatoes ( the whole potato)

  5. Connie Hall November 16, 2018 at 6:58 pm #

    I tried cooking a 3-lb. rump roast. It came out tough and dry. I had to throw it out. What did I do wrong?

    • Linda November 18, 2018 at 6:41 pm #

      Meat needs natural pressure release, not quick release, or it can be tough. Did you let it sit for at least 15 or 20 minutes before releasing the pressure?

  6. Margaret Rice November 17, 2018 at 4:23 pm #

    I am thinking about getting the Quick Cooker. I would like to know if you can do canning in it, like green beans?

    • Kathy Vannoy December 10, 2018 at 10:43 am #

      @Margaret Rice. Great question! I’ve asked and was told the Quick Cooker does not have the same pressure as a canner, it’s a pressure cooker (electric version rather than stovetop pressure cooker like our parents or grandparents used). Quick Cooker should not be used for canning.

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