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. About Pressure Cooking .. Recipe

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 that accompany your pressure cooker model.


1. Check recipe for specific cooking method and cooking time. 2. Pour required amount of liquid into the pressure cooker, then add in food. 3. Use the cooking rack if you like. 4. Always check the vent! Move the valve up and down to be sure it is working on a new generation cooker. Hold cover up to light and look through the vent pipe to make certain it is open and unclogged on the jiggle top models. (For more information see Safety Information below.) 5. Then, place cover on pressure cooker and close securely (cover handle should be directly above the body handle). 6. Place pressure regulator firmly on the vent pipe. 7. Heat the pressure cooker over high heat just till the pressure regulator begins to rock, or possibly the valve comes up to the first of second ring as stated in your recipe. (For more information see Pressure Settings below.) 8. Adjust heat lower to maintain a slow, steady rocking motion, or possibly the pressure indicator stays at the appropriate ring. Cooking times begin at this point. 9. Cook for the length of time specified in recipe, then reduce pressure as specified. 10. When recipe states "let pressure drop of its own accord," set the cooker aside to cold. When recipe states "cold cooker at once," cold immediately under a water faucet or possibly by pouring cool water over it. (For more information see Releasing Pressure below.) 11. Pressure is completely reduced when the air vent, pressure indicator or possibly cover lock has dropped. Don't try to force the lid open before the pressure drops. 12. Remove the pressure regulator, remove pressure cooker cover and serve food. SAFETY INFORMATION It's true, the newer pressure cookers have a lot more safety features than the older designs of our mother's and grandmother's time. A lot of people were scared away from pressure cooking because of childhood memories or possibly stories from relatives about kitchen explosions. In the years just before and shortly after WW II pressure cookers were very popular and in widespread use, and a few of those 60 year old diehards are still in use. Old pressure cookers were not manufactured the same as today's new generation cookers, and they lacked any safety features and which's where the tales from urban legends come from. Read and understand your owners manual, as you become more familiar with pressure cooking experience will be your best teacher. Always do a visual inspection before cooking to be sure the lid is clean and in proper working order. To test your pressure cooker take it for a test drive before using it. If the only reason you bought a pressure cooker was to make chicken like KFC, read the warnings and see if it's worth the risks. PRESSURE SETTINGS Most pressure cooker recipes are made to cook at a standard of 15psi. This setting is the standard as determined by the USDA way back in 1917, and till the arrival of the new and improved 2nd generation pressure cooker with multiple pressure settings, all pressure cookers had just which one 15psi setting. Which pressure setting still remains as the standard today. Many pressure cookers will provide only one pressure setting, this is especially true of older pressure cookers with the jiggle top regulator weights. Generally this single pressure setting is HIGH or possibly 15psi, that is just fine because the majority of recipes call for cooking at which setting. Almost all recipes designed for the pressure cooker are made to be cooked at 15psi for a specific time, in fact this setting is so common which most recipes do not even need to mention it. If no pressure setting is stated cook at high, or possibly 15psi pressure for the stated time. If a recipe calls for a lower pressure setting, which will be stated in the recipes. Recipes which are designed for the new cookers may have recipes which require LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH pressure, or possibly on the first or possibly second red ring, that corresponds to the medium and high pressure settings. Some pressure cookers may have more rings and a wider range of pressure setting, others come with a selection switch and canners have a pressure gauge. Some pressure cookers offer variations of the original 'jiggle-top' weights and use a stationary weight which doesn't rock, it just hisses, others have a dual or possibly triple weighted pressure regulator allowing you to set different pressure. REALEASING PRESSURE o Cool Water Release Method: (Fastest method, used to immediately stop the cooking process by lowering the heat AND the temperature.) If a quicker release of pressure is desired, the pot is carried to the sink and cool water run over the lid (but not the valve). This method is mainly used for food with very short cooking times where it is essential to stop the cooking process as fast as possible. For example risotto, polenta, or possibly fresh vegetables where you not only want to reduce the pressure AND stop all cooking so which veggies are still tender-crisp. If you plan on returning the P/C to the stove it will take longer to come back to pressure. o Quick or possibly Touch Release Method: (Quick, but not as fast as the cool water release, this vents the pressure but does not lower the heat of the food.) People often confuse the quick release with the cool water release. The valve on some new pressure cookers releases the pressure quickly with just the push of a button. This method is suggested if you wish to interrupt the cooking process in order to add in some further ingredients or possibly check food for doneness. By releasing the steam this way you can quickly open the pressure cooker without cooling off the pot and stopping the cooking process. Don't use this method for food which foams and is cooked on the first red ring! o Natural Release Method: (Slowest method to gradually drop the pressure and the temperature to finish the cooking process.) A third method of releasing the pressure is to remove the pressure cooker from the heat source and to allow the pressure to subside naturally. If you are cooking beans, potatoes, or possibly other foods that have a skin which you wish to remain intact, this is the preferred method. Many meats and other longer cooking recipes are finished this way. ACCESSORIES AND STORAGE One of the most important accessories you will need is a timer. A couple of extra min of cooking probably will not harm a pot roast, but it could ruin a more delicate dish or possibly any accompanying veggies. A rack or possibly trivot is a common requirement and often comes with the cooker. A steamer basket to keep foods above the liquid is also desirable for cooking some vegetables. For cooking desserts, you will need a 5-c. heatproof souffle dish (which fits in side your pressure cooker); 1/2-c. heatproof ramekins for puddings, custards and timbales; and a 7- or possibly 8-inch springform pan (to fit in your cooker) for cheesecakes. You should also have a heat-diffuser, that prevents direct contact between the heat source and the bottom of the cooker. It will be needed when preparing rice, pasta or possibly bean dishes to prevent sticking and scorching. When storing your pressure cooker, be sure to store it with the lid completely detached and to the side of the pot. If you store it closed, you will trap smells and odors inside the pot to greet you on your next usage. Thoroughly wash the rubber seal and rub it with mineral oil after each use to preserve it. The rubber seal should last through about 150 meals. Store the valve and rubber seal (if not attached) inside the cooker. GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR COOKER Usage: Pressure cookers adapt best to recipes which normally use a moist cooking method such as soups, stews, tough cuts of meats, artichokes, steamed puddings, etc. Add in vegetables at the very end to avoid a mushy result. Generally, cooks in high altitudes over 3,500 feet should increase cooking times by about ten percent. Liquid is an important part of pressure-cooking. The amount of liquid necessary will vary depending on the manufacturer. Some will require as little as one-half c. of liquid and others up to two c.. Tips and Hints: Pressure-cooking is really fairly simple, but here are a few important tips to remember. o Most importantly, be familiar with the owner's manual for your particular cooker. Read it thoroughly and follow all manufacturer's recommendations. o You can use more liquid than recommended, but never use less. o Read and understand the recipe before you begin. o Be sure the lid is properly closed and locked into position before developing pressure. o Use which timer! Timing is as important as developing pressure. o Once you have reduced pressure according to directions, shake the pot before opening the seal to readjust the inner temperature. o Cut same foods into pcs of uniform size to promote even cooking. When mixing foods, cut those which cook more quickly into larger pcs and those which cook more slowly into smaller pcs. o If your recipe calls for browning or possibly searing as a preliminary step, be sure to scrape up the brown bits clinging to the bottom so they are loose when you add in the liquid. This will discourage scorching. o Since flavors are more concentrated with this cooking method, you may want to reduce herbs and seasonings when converting conventional recipes. Choose fresh herbs over dry herbs. o If you end up with too much liquid, simply cook in the uncovered pot till the liquids are reduced to your satisfaction. o If you desire the flavors of foods to mix, let them come into contact with the liquid that transmits flavors. If you don't wish flavors to mix, place individual foods on a rack above the liquid. Steam does not transmit or possibly mix flavors. o When cooking dry beans, cereal grains, lentils, split peas, rice or possibly other foods which

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