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Cooking under pressure enables you to prepare food quickly, nutritiously, and deliciously. The following points explain how this is possible. Please pay special attention to the Safety Information on the bottom of this page to help use your pressure cooker effectively.

Pressure When water (or any liquid) boils, it produces steam. When the steam is not allowed to escape, pressure builds inside the cooker. Under pressure, cooking temperatures can be raised significantly higher than possible under normal conditions. At 15 lbs. pressure, for example, the temperature inside the pressure cooker reaches 250 degrees.

Steam The super-heated steam created by these heightened temperatures results in high-speed cooking (3 to 10 times faster than other conventional methods). This super-heated steam actually intensifies natural flavors, so you can use less salt, less sugar, fewer additives, fewer heavy seasonings, and still get great taste.

Nutrients Pressure cooking also retains more valuable nutrients than other cooking methods. Because foods cook quickly in an almost airless environment, and with very little liquid, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients aren't boiled away during cooking.

Low-Fat Pressure cooking is virtually fat-free cooking, as well. Foods are cooked in a steam atmosphere. And using the cooking rack in the pressure cooker to keep foods out of the cooking liquid means fats already in foods can be cooked out and drained away.

Important Safety Information

To insure safe operation, make sure you always observe the following simple rules whenever you use the pressure cooker:

1. Never overfill the pressure cooker.
Both the overpressure plug, and pressure regulator function to release excess pressure. Neither can perform their function if they are plugged or blocked. Never fill the Pressure Cooker over 2/3 full.

2. Always look through the vent pipe before closing the cooker to make sure it is clear.
Keep your eye on the pressure regulator. When it starts rocking rapidly adjust the heat to maintain a slow, steady rocking motion.

3. Never fill the pressure cooker more than 1/2 full for rice, dried vegetables, and soups.
There are a few foods like rice, dried vegetables, and soups which expand so much when cooking that the cooker should never be more than 1/2 full. Also dried vegetables must be presoaked, and rice must be cooked in a bowl. There are some foods that expand so much as a result of foaming, frothing, and sputtering that you should never pressure cook them. Never pressure cook applesauce, cranberries, rhubarb, split peas, pearl barley, oatmeal, or other cereals, noodles, macaroni, or spaghetti.

4. Replace the sealing ring and overpressure plug.
Replace the overpressure plug if it becomes hard or when replacing the sealing ring. Replace the sealing ring if it becomes hard or soft and sticky.

Worksheets:

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