Using the best pressure cookers can be really safe and easy to do so long as you pay attention and know what you are doing. Reading the instruction manual that comes with your cooker is a good place to start.
Each Pressure Cooker Has Its Own Requirements
Each pressure cooker model is different and has different requirements when using it. What this means is that each cooker has a minimum liquid requirement which is how much water the pressure needs in order to boil and build up pressure. The liquid does not always necessarily have to be water.
Some examples of liquids that can be used are broth, fruit juice, and even wine. One thing that should never be used in your pressure cooker is hard liquor. The liquid from meat and vegetable counts toward the minimum liquid requirement. Most pressure cookers require half a cup to two cups of liquid. It is recommended that for stove top pressure cookers one cup be used and for electric pressure cookers, a cup and a half.
Know When Your Pressure Cooker Is Done
Once your cooker has reached the desired pressure level it will have a way to signal to you and it is important that you know how to recognize that signal. There are four types of signals which are spring valves, electric indicators, jiggle valves, and weight-modified valves.
- Spring valves occasionally have an auditory response but mostly they just tend to move a bar or rod.
- Electric cookers emit a beeping noise and they usually countdown their own cooking times which makes it easier for you to tell when the pressure level has been reached.
- Jiggle valves do exactly what you think they do. They jiggle. First they are slow but then as steam begins escaping they move faster.
- Weight-modified valves emit a whistling noise and the valve will move up and down to let out the extra pressure. These tend to be slightly noisy.
Equalize the Pressure Levels
Before you can open the lid of your cooker you must first get the pressure levels to equalize. There are a few ways to accomplish this. First, you can just turn off the heat source and let the steam dissipate and pressure levels drop of their own accord which can take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. After that time is up the locking mechanism holding the lid will release.
You can manually release your pressure cooker’s lid if you know where the vapors will exit from and in what direction. You must lift or even remove the valve and then push the button and move the lever until the locking mechanism disengages. If your cooker is newer is will most likely make a hissing noise and you will feel the lid give way.
Keep Your Pressure Cooker Clean
After each use of your pressure cooker it is important that you clean each part especially the valve to avoid any obstructions that could harm your cooker permanently during use. You need to read the manual that came with your pressure cooker in order to know how to clean your specific model and it is probably a good idea to do it before preparing your first dish.
Check Out Reviews of the Top Pressure Cookers
You can check out our best pressure cooker reviews here and learn about the features that many consumers prefer. In addition, you can get feedback from others who have purchased the cookers you’ve been eyeing so you know if it’s what you actually want.