Chefs-Emporium-Pressure Cooking

Cooking Under Pressure

Pressure cooking is back with a bang. We all want foods that combine freshness and flavor and, with life’s busy schedule, we want it fast. Pressure cooking delivers hearty foods to satisfy your appetite and provide nutritious meals to keep your family healthy. Today’s modern cookers are safe and easy to use, letting families bring back favorite scratch recipes in half the time. A pressure cooker is one of the must-have tools in any good cook’s kitchen. Size matters and pressure cookers come in all sizes, from small 2 quarts to large 10 and 12-quart models, and every size in between. The smaller 2 to 4-quart size models are great for a secondary pot to cook veggie side dishes and small portions of meat. They are not suitable for soups, stews, or foods that foam, froth or expand. The 6 or 8-quart size is a good all around choice for singles, couples and most families.

Follow these simple tips for pressure cooking success:

  • Get to know your cooker, always read the manufacture’s instructions.
  • When cooking meat, brown the pieces in the cooker first, set aside, then add your liquid.
  • Never use less than the minimum amount of liquid as recommended by the manufacturer. Remember there is no evaporation, so you don’t need much.
  • Do not exceed the 2/3 full level when cooking most foods; or the 1/2 full level when cooking foods that are mostly liquids, foam, froth or expand.
  • Use high heat to establish the desired pressure and then immediately reduce the heat to the lowest level possible that will still maintain that pressure.
  • When not using a recipe, always check the Cooking Time Charts for the best cooking and release methods.
  • Keep track of time as soon as the required pressure level is reached. Since food is being cooked at 250 degrees, a minute can make huge difference when cooking under pressure.
  • Use only the release type indicated in your recipe. There are three methods for releasing the pressure in your cooker, cold water, quick release or natural. Recipes will indicate which release method to use at the end of the cooking process. Do not alter the release type factor in your recipe. When using the cold water release, never run water directly over the vent or valve system.
  • Never use more than 1/4 cup of fats or oils, or exceed the maximum amount as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Always check to make sure the pressure has dropped back to normal before opening the locking lid on a pressure cooker.
  • Storing your pressure cooker is important; the best way to store is to put the lid upside down, on top of the pot. Before storing, always wash and dry the pot and rubber gaskets. Always check safety valves to make sure they are clean and unobstructed.

From our kitchen to yours…Cucina Felice!

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Michele at Chef's
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