How a Pressure Cooker Works
Buying a pressure cooker today is a good purchase, because you can save a lot of time with it.
But it is very important to know some details to choose the one that suits you best, since this type of pot cannot be taken lightly, because a bad use can make it become an extremely dangerous object.
The pressure cooker or express has become a basic utensil in food preparation because it can cook food faster (up to 70%) and it preserves more of the nutrients in the food (50%).
This makes them more hygienic, but they are more expensive.
But sometimes we don’t know how to use it correctly, so we leave you some tips to apply next time.
One of the important tricks when handling one of these pots is to never uncover it without being sure that it has completely cooled down.
Do not try to block the safety systems, as this can cause the pressure to change suddenly and you could get burned.
If you have to open the pot earlier than planned, take the precaution of placing it under a generous stream of cold water, until you hear a dry sound: this indicates that the steam is condensed and you can open it now.
It is recommended that you never cook without liquid, the minimum content should be 2 cups.
Take care that the content does not exceed 2/3 of the size of the pot, and if the food you are going to cook increases its volume when it is cooked, take care that it does not pass half of the pot in a raw state.
When cooking sausages to avoid burns, make small holes in the skin, so they don’t steam when you cut them.
Aluminium ones degrade easily with some foods such as citrus fruits, vinegars, tomatoes and wines, because they are acidic.
It is important that you clean the pan immediately after cooking such foods, to prevent it from wearing out.
First of all, take into account that each pot has specific precautions that you should take into account and you will find them in the user’s manual.
This is because some allow you to select the pressure, others have automatic shut-off systems, pressure relief valves or other tools or functions that vary.
It is also important to change the rubber covers to keep them in good condition and children out of the kitchen when there is a pressure cooker on.
Regardless of the model you use, the pot should not exceed 2/3 when you fill it with water or broth (already with the ingredients inside). The reason for this is that with cooking, the volume tends to increase and, if you leave a little space, you will avoid everything spilling out and an accident occurring.
2. The closing
Most of them are closed manually, so you should check that the rubber on the lid is in good condition (no scratches, broken or deformed) to ensure a proper seal. The lid, you must place it so that it fits with the tabs and the handle or handles of the pot.
With some ingredients, such as legumes, it is advisable to cover it until they start to boil.
Before choosing the right pressure level for your food, check that the safety valves have no obstacles (the orifices) that prevent the release of steam. Once this step is done, put the pot on the stove, little by little the valve will start to turn and steam will come out.
Constantly check that the valve does not turn too quickly, if it does, it is an indicator that it is too hot and you should remove the pot from the fire or turn it down until it is regulated.
You can wash it like any other pot or pan, however, by not using oils or ingredients that can stick to the walls of the pan, you can choose to use detergents or cleaners that are not as harsh on the material.
Always take care that the hole where the steam comes out is not obstructed, as it is sometimes covered with grease.
Remove the sealant and wash it with warm water, never with hot water because it would deform and no longer serve you.
Check that the exhaust valve is always clean, and if you see that it jumps, take the pot off the stove very carefully and let it cool down, for no reason try to open it, because it could jump all over your face!
How a Pressure Cooker Works
When cooking the steam cannot escape because the airtight lid prevents it.
The pressure inside increases and raises the boiling point of the water above 212 F, to 266F.
The pressure inside would increase until the pot would explode, but for that reason they have a valve through which the steam comes out so that the pressure does not exceed a certain level.
As the temperature increases, the cooking times of the food are shorter.
Safety tips to prevent accidents
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and make proper use of the pot.
- Wash the safety valve often to avoid blockages. Check its condition before each use.
Do not fill the pot with food or liquid to the maximum capacity to avoid the valve from becoming clogged. Do not exceed two-thirds of its capacity.
- Always introduce a minimum of liquid, about 200 ml.
Do not put the pot on the stove until you are sure that the pot has closed properly.
- Don’t forget to turn down the heat to a medium temperature once the valve has risen.
- Never open the pot until all the steam has been expelled. We have to wait for the valve to go down.
- Do not use the pot if you notice leaks from the seals or the lid does not close tightly. It could run out of liquid inside and burn its contents.
- Keep our pot and all its accessories in good condition (lid, buttons, rubbers…) Some manufacturers recommend changing the gasket rubbers every 1 or 2 years, depending on their use.
- Do not leave the pot unattended while it is running and the fire is on.