Pressure cookers should be part of every household as they’re a great way to save time and money. With the use of a pressure cooker, you’ll be able to prepare mouth-watering dishes that are healthy and delightful. However, before using one, there are a few things you need to know first. Here are the 9 do’s & dont’s to pressure cooking your food.
1. Do Adjust the Heat
The whole concept of pressure cookers is simple and easy to understand. Basically, water, or any liquid would boil at 212 degrees F. Once it does, steam would be produced, and steam is hotter than boiling water. The trapped heat would cook the food, and so, it’s important to adjust the heat every now and then.
2. Do Brown the Food for Intense Flavors
In order to make your dish more flavorful, it’s important that you brown or saute the food just like when you cook with traditional cookware. For example, for stew, brown the meat and vegetables first before adding other liquids and cooking them in a pressure cooker. Likewise, see to it that you deglaze the pot, and scrape up the browned bits clinging to the bottom using broth, a small amount of wine, or water. This would loosen it up and add flavor to your food. It’ll also prevent scorching.
3. Do Cook with Liquid
Although cooking with the use of a pressure cooker requires lesser liquid as compared to other methods of cooking because there’s little evaporation, it’s important that you still use enough liquid when cooking with a pressure cooker. As a rule of thumb, it’s alright to use more than the suggested measurement, but not less. Keep in mind, pressure cookers are known for cooking food quickly because of pressure and heat build up. Thus, you should use at least a cup of water or any forms of liquid when cooking. In case you end up putting too much liquid, you can simply let it boil, uncovered.
4. Do Time What You Cook
Pressure cooking is all about the timing. This is crucial when it comes to building pressure. The moment you have modified the pressure based on the recipe, then the next step would be to set the kitchen timer and stick with the suggested cooking time. Likewise, keep in mind that most cooking times are approximation, so you have to monitor what you’re cooking.
5. Don’t Pre-Heat the Pressure Cooker
A lot of people have the habit of preheating their pressure cooker on low flame as they prepare the ingredients. The result? They often end up with burnt oil or charred onion. That said said, you should stay away from preheating your cooker because the surface gets easily hot in a matter of seconds.
6. Don’t Leave the Pressure Cooker After Adjusting the Heat
When using the pressure cooker, it’s important that you stay with the cooker even after lowering the heat. This would help you ensure that the food would be cooked properly. Likewise, considering the fact that the base of the induction usually has a much higher temperature than the walls, it only implies that the internal pressure would fall quickly and there would probably be a need to readjust the heat inside. That’s why it’s important to stay close to your cooker for about five minutes or so. This would give you enough time to monitor pressure fluctuations. Then, after the whole process is completed, you have to give your pressure cooker a little more time to make up for the lost temperature.
7. Don’t Fill the Pressure Cooker with Too Much Food
When cooking, don’t fill your pressure cooker with food, and make sure that it’s not packed tightly. Failure to follow these basic rules would prevent the pressure cooker from operating properly and it’ll also affect how the food will come out.
8. Do Start Off High and Finish Low
When using a stove-top pressure cooker, it’s ideal to start cooking with high heat, then after reaching the desired pressure, lower the burner to a simmer. On the other hand, if you’re using an electric pressure cooker, then you don’t have to worry about adjusting the heat, as it’ll be done automatically.
9. Do Release the Pressure
Lastly, when the food is done cooking under pressure, you have to use an appropriate pressure release method based on the recipe you’re making.