Pressure Cooking - How to Use

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Getting To Know Your Pressure Cooker

Since all pressure cookers work on this same simple principle, there are few fundamental differences among them. The following diagram illustrates the basic features of most newer pressure cookers. Of course, you'll also want to study your own model and get acquainted with exactly how it works.

Controls and maintains pressure inside the cooker and indicates when the ideal cooking pressure - usually 15 pounds - is reached. It’s important to understand what a “slow, steady rocking motion” looks and sounds like when using your Presto® Pressure Cooker. Always maintain a slow, steady rocking motion when pressure cooking. Losing too much steam while cooking can cause the pressure cooker to boil dry.

The pressure regulator fits on the vent pipe and allows excess pressure to be released.

Automatically exhausts air and serves as a visual indicator of pressure within the cooker. When pressure begins to build, it slides up, causing the LOCK PIN to lock the cover on.

Forms a pressure-tight seal between the cover and the pressure cooker body during cooking.

Automatically releases pressure in case the vent pipe becomes clogged and pressure cannot be released normally.

Holds foods out of the cooking liquid. The rack also allows several different foods to be cooked at the same time without an intermingling of flavors. When a blending of flavors is desired, the rack is not used.

The top of the air vent/cover lock can be seen through a hole in the cover handle, enabling you to tell at a glance if there is pressure inside the unit.

The Pressure Cooking Method

These easy steps serve as a simple guide to using a pressure cooker. They are not intended, however, to be a substitute for the manufacturer's instructions which accompany your pressure cooker model.

1. Check recipe for specific cooking method and cooking time. Pour required amount of liquid into the pressure cooker, then add food. Use the cooking rack, if desired.
2. Hold cover up to light and look through the vent pipe to make certain it is open and unclogged. Then, place cover on pressure cooker and close securely (cover handle should be directly above the body handle).
3. Place pressure regulator firmly on the vent pipe. Heat the pressure cooker until the pressure regulator begins to rock slowly. Adjust heat to maintain a slow, steady rocking motion. Cooking time begins at this point.
4. Cook for the length of time specified in recipe, then reduce pressure as specified. When recipe states "let pressure drop of its own accord," set the cooker aside to cool. When recipe states "cool cooker at once," cool immediately under a water faucet or by pouring cold water over it.
5. Pressure is completely reduced when the air vent/cover lock has dropped. Remove the pressure regulator. Then, remove pressure cooker cover and serve food.

introduction | how to buy | HOW TO USE | whole meal magic
frequently asked questions | recipe index