Modern pressure cookers have multiple safety features for preventing the explosion issues that were experienced by the old pressure cookers. Lids, for instance, have locks which must be activated prior to the pressure building up, and they won’t open till the pressure is released. Many pressure cookers have valves for releasing excess pressure. Still, there are certain things for ensuring the safe and proper use of your pressure cooker, which are as follows.
- Always check your equipment prior to cooking. Ensure that the rubber gasket is not cracked or dried out. Generally manufacturers advise annually replacing the gasket, depending on how often the cooker is being used. You can also keep an extra one in hand for being on the safe side. You must also check that the rim of the pot is completely cleaned and there is no dried food left on it as it would break the seal.
- Avoid overfilling your cooker. The cut off limit for majority of the foods is two-thirds full. This is necessary to prevent the likelihood of food jamming the vents. Foods such as grains and beans that tend to foam and swell when they are cooked should only be filled for half of the pressure cooker.
- For cooking in the pressure cooker, you must use sufficient liquid. This is because the cooker needs liquid for creating the steam which cooks the food.
- Special care must be taken when you are cooking foods that foam and froth. The pressure release vents and steam valves could be blocked due to the froth. Such type of foods includes oatmeal, pasta, split peas, rhubarb, cranberries, and applesauce. While cooking these foods you must follow a trusted recipe and ensure that the quantity is under the recommended maximum fill line.
- Avoid pressure frying as using a large amount of oil in the pressure cooker could be extremely dangerous and could melt certain parts like the gasket.
- Safely release pressure from the cooker. There are three ways for releasing pressure from the cooker: natural release, cold water release, and quick release. Natural release method involves removing the cooker from the heat and allowing the pressure to naturally go down. Cold water release involves running cold water on the cooker’s lid while it is closed till the pressure is released. Quick release uses the steam release valve for expelling the pressure. While releasing pressure you must take extra care as hot steam would be released from the cooker.
- Properly clean the cooker and its parts. The gasket should be removed and washed separately. The lid and pot should also be hand washed separately. The valve should be cleaned using a wooden toothpick while ensuring that it moves freely and does not breaks.
- While storing the cooker put the lid upside down or side by side with the pot. Avoid sealing the lid on the pot for storage.
With these tips you could ensure safe and proper pressure cooking. Choosepressurecooker.com offers detailed information on pressure cookers and expert ratings and reviews for different cookers.