A pressure cooker cooks food three to ten times faster than using a regular pan. Here are some basic rules for pressure cooking:
- Follow the safety rules in the instruction manual of your pressure cooker. A pressure cooker is safe when used properly, but it can be very dangerous if the safety rules are not followed.
- Prepare foods according to the recipe. Be sure not to overfill the pressure cooker.
- Seal and place the pressure regulator on the vent pipe, if necessary.
- Heat on the medium to high setting until full pressure is developed. Each pressure cooker has its own distinctive noise when the pressure is fully developed. In some pressure cookers, the pressure regulator begins to rock, in some it whistles, and in others it just makes a certain noise. Once the pressure is fully developed, the cooking time begins. Lower the heat to maintain a slow, steady pressure and cook for the length of time indicated in the recipe. The time needed to cook the food to the desired consistency may vary based on the pressure cooker. Remember, food cooks much faster in a pressure cooker.
- Remove the pressure cooker from the burner. If I have time, I let the pressure drop on its own by letting the pressure cooker cool at room temperature. This, of course, causes additional cooking and for some recipes that may be acceptable. If the instructions state to cool cooker at once, cool the cooker under cold running water.
- After the pressure has dropped completely, open the lid carefully. Do not force the lid off.
- Lift the cover carefully at arm’s length, because some steam will force out as you open the cooker.
- Again, remember to follow all the safety rules and enjoy the time saving of a pressure cooker.
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