Are you scared of using a pressure cooker? Do you have memories of the pressure cooker spewing rice all over the ceiling, or are you intimidated by the idea of an enclosed vessel having so much pressure without exploding? There is not much to worry about, as today’s pressure cookers come with many safety features, like safety valves that ensure excess pressure is released and you can open the lid safely. However, every pressure cooker manufacturer has different safety features. It is, therefore, best to do due diligence by following the tips and tricks given below for using a new pressure cooker.
5 Tips and Tricks to Use a New Pressure Cooker
These tips are easy to follow and will make your daily cooking experience comfortable and safe.
1. Read the Instruction Manual
You may be a pro at cooking, but it is still recommended that you read the instruction manual before you start using the cookware. While the cooking methods for all pressure cookers are the same, the safety features may be different and if it is not handled or used properly, it may lead to unsafe situations. To avoid this, go through the instruction manual to get a clear picture.
2. Check Your Equipment
Any pressure cooker comes with a few accessories, like a rubber gasket (a rubber ring that lines the cooker lid), a safety valve, and a weight. Even if it is a new cooker, always check if the gasket is in good shape. If it is cracked or dried out, it needs to be replaced; otherwise, the steam will escape, and the food will not be cooked properly. Keep an extra gasket handy in case the one you’re using is damaged.
3. Use Enough Liquid
Pouring an adequate quantity of a liquid, such as water, into the pot is essential for the cooker to create the steam needed to cook food. If the liquid filled inside is not enough, it cannot build the required pressure. Ensure that you pour a sufficient amount of liquid for the cooker to work properly. If unsure, add at least half a cup of liquid or water and if you see that the steam is not building up, open the lid by releasing the pressure, and add more liquid.
4. Do Not Overfill
The main purpose of the pressure cooker is to save time and effort while cooking. A pressure cooker may have a large pot, but that does not mean you can fill it to the brim. Overfilling means overflowing of the food, especially from the pressure valve, which leads to wastage and additional cleaning work. To prevent that, do not exceed more than 2/3rd full of the capacity of your pressure cooker. When using liquids, ensure the cooker is only half full.
5. Release Pressure Safely
There are various ways of releasing pressure. The most common is to remove the cooker from heat and allow the pressure to go down naturally. If you are short on time, the next best way is to continuously pour cold water on the cooker to bring down the temperature and the pressure and then open the lid. Another way is to use the release valve to remove steam, which is called a quick release. But when doing this, you must ensure that you stand at a safe distance away from the steam vent and lift the valve to release the steam and the pressure using a long wooden spoon to prevent injuries.
The best part about these tips is that they are not limited to a certain type of pressure cooker or new pressure cookers only. These will come in handy even for your old pressure cooker and help you prepare meals safely and conveniently.