Pressure Cooker Guide: 7 Tips and Tricks

pressure cooker

Trying to cook calmly under pressure? Forget all your troubles. With these simple, foolproof tips and tricks, you’ll surely get an A+ for your pressure cooking skills.

Let me get straight to the point. Here are the seven tips for you:

Tip #1: Always follow instructions. I’m talking about the instructions for your pressure cooker, of course. Take time to read.Don’t underestimate the power of manuals.

Tip #2: Read your manual. I’m serious! You have to follow the instructions. Get to know your pressure cooker more so you canmaximize its potential.

Tip #3: Use also the necessary amount of liquid. Not less and not more. Use enough liquid. Generally, up to two cups would suffice. Again, check your manual.

Tip #4: Never fill the pressure cooker more than two-thirds full. Leave some space for the steam to build up and create pressure. Another reason why this can never be done is because heated food expands. So you also need space for the food to do so.

Tip #5: Heat it up then take it down. If you’re using a stovetop, start off with high heat. Once you reach pressure, take the heat down to a simmer. This adjusting tip won’t be necessary for an electric pressure because it will do it automatically.

Tip #6: Own a kitchen timer. If you’re using a stovetop pressure cooker, this is pressing. A kitchen timer comes in handy especially if you’re in a hurry. Once the pressure cooker reaches and maintains pressure, you can set it for the required cooking time for a specific dish. Electric pressure cookers, however, already have their own timers so you don’t have to buy one separately.

Tip #7: If you value convenience, opt for an electric pressure cooker. Pressure cookers are so easy to use. After pressing a button, you can just leave it to do its work until it’s done. Electric pressure cookers require you to set the pressure level first (high or low) then the desired cooking time. After these two effortlesssteps, press Start and wait for it to alarm or beep to indicate that your food is ready to serve.

Ready for the tricks?

Trick #1: Store the pressure cooker with the lid upside down on the pot. Why? Constantly locking the lid may damage the rubber seal and if it’s wet, opening it would be strenuous.

Trick #2: Evenly cut pieces = evenly cooked food. If you want all your food pieces to be cooked the same, then remember to cut them into consistent sizes. Otherwise, you might have thin pieces overcooked and thick pieces undercooked.

Trick #3: Stop-and-go is the best way to go. Most dishes require you to cook ingredients that have different cooking times. So start by adding the ones that are slow-to-cook like meat.Then, stop. Use the quick release method to stop the pressure cooker (stovetop) then go and add the ingredients that are fast-to-cook like beans or peas.With this trick, you’ll be able to finish cookingthe ingredients perfectly at the same time.

Trick #4: Brown meats, poultry, and some vegetables. Browning is good. Meats, poultry, and some vegetables like carrots, chopped onions, and peppers need to shine, too.So brown them first before deglazing the pot for more exceptional flavor. If you’re a stovetop user, you can do caramelization over medium heat with a small amount of oil. Don’t cover the cooker. Add the food in small batches and brown them on every side. Then remove the meat, deglaze the pot with a bit of water (you can also use broth or wine), and scrape up the bits from the bottom. Return the cooked food again and start your cooker. You can still do the same with an electric pressure cooker under the Brown setting.

Trick #5: High altitude means longer cooking times. A good rule of thumbis to increase your cooking time by 5% for every 1,000 feet you are above the first 2,000 feet above sea level.

Trick #6: Release the Kraken! When the food is cooked completely, use any of the three release methods to release the pressure. (To be continued on the next trick…)

Trick #7:Cold-water release method shouldnever be used with your electric pressure cooker.
Never ever never ever do this. It’s a mortal sin to submerge your electric cooker in water. Also, remember to unplug this before you clean.