People are Using Pressure Cookers Wrong
A lot of moms, homemakers, and cooks use pressure cookers to facilitate food preparations. Pressure cookers are convenient since they quickly tenderize food, like meat. Steam pressure and temperature are used in pressure cooking, and higher temperature lessens the required cooking time of food. A pressure cooker is easy to use since you just need to put the food to cook and water inside the pot, close the lid and adjust the valve to its correct position, choose the appropriate cooking program or pressure setting, wait for the food to cook, and release the pressure when the indicated time is reached. There are many advantages of using pressure cookers than other cooking equipment. Foods retain more of their nutrients when cooked in pressure cookers. Also, when cooking food through pressure cookers, less cleaning of kitchen wares after cooking is needed, and the kitchen is kept cool since there is no long period of exposure to heat or fire from cooking.
Using pressure cookers saves energy and reduces cooking time since the food cooks faster because of high temperature and pressure. Due to the wide range of food types and recipes that can be cooked in a pressure cooker, it has become one of the most common wares you’ll find in the kitchen. Despite the normalization of its use, many people are using pressure cookers wrong. Here are some improper practices and mistakes that people who use pressure cookers tend to make:
- Overfilling Pressure Cooker
You might have heard of many issues and cases of serious injuries caused by an exploding pressure cooker. This happens because of the build-up of pressure inside the cooking pot. The pressure cooker uses the direct relationship of the pressure and temperature of a closed system to make cooking faster and easier. The steam pressure, temperature increase, and the closed system helps in making the food cook faster in pressure cookers. If the food inside the pot takes up more space than intended, the increased volume of the food adds up to the pressure inside the pot, and this leaves no additional room for the pressure to expand. This will most likely result in the gases forcing their way out of the sealed container, and this causes explosions in some pressure cookers.
Another factor that causes these explosions is the integrity of the materials used in the designs. If the materials used are weak or damaged, this will affect the rigidity of the pot and may increase the chances of explosions. These are examples of how defective pressure cookers cause harm to customers. In situations where there are injuries or accidents caused by defective products, product liability lawsuits can be filed by the customers and other parties involved in the incident so that they can be compensated for whatever costs and damages are done by the product and the company responsible for it. However, this can be quite the hassle, so to avoid going through all the ordeal of burn and explosion accidents, complaints, and an endless amount of paperwork, just remember to use your pressure cooker correctly and make sure not to overfill the pot.
- Incorrect Pressure Release Method
A pressure cooker is built to utilize the steam produced by the liquid inside as the main factor for cooking the food faster. Still, the continuous build-up of steam inside the pressure cooker may cause fatigue on the sealing lids and may damage the equipment. Furthermore, too much build-up of pressure may overcook the food as the internal temperature goes beyond the optimal cooking temperature of the food. This is why the pressure cooker has a built-in system for releasing pressure or the steam inside it.
Most beginners fail to properly execute the pressure release method since this method requires the user to monitor the internal temperature while releasing the steam, and this must also be done at specific periods of time. The most common mistake is releasing too much steam, therefore losing a significant amount of heat, and this prolongs the cooking time. Another common mistake is that the pressure release is done too early. There is not much steam or pressure accumulated at this stage, and the internal temperature will go down further before even reaching the optimal cooking temperature.
- Insufficient Amount of Liquid
When cooking with a pressure cooker, most people would be too afraid to add too much liquid for fear of overfilling the pot. But in reality, a pressure cooker needs a good amount of liquid to produce the steam that will help it cook the food inside it. As the water inside the pot reaches a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius, the water molecules will start to evaporate and change into steam. At this point, the temperature shoots upward rapidly, and this process will start cooking the food faster.
If the liquid inside the pot is too little, the dish will dry out, and it may even burn the food due to the direct contact of the food to the bottom of the pan. This may also force the pressure cooker to stop the cooking process if the device is automated. So, when cooking with a pressure cooker, make sure to fill up enough liquid to avoid these mistakes. Some recipes will also indicate the amount of liquid to be used if you will be cooking with a pressure cooker.
- Inaccurate Cooking Time of Frozen Food
Some beginners will think that a pressure cooker will instantly cook frozen food right out of the refrigerator since a pressure cooker can cook food faster than the normal pace. This is a common misconception, and pressure cookers need additional cooking time when dealing with frozen food. When cooking the frozen food, the pressure cooker will need additional time based on the amount of time it takes to raise the temperature of the frozen food from cold (below 10 degrees Celsius) to normal room temperature (around 20 degrees Celsius).
The common mistakes are not accounting for the additional time and setting the cooking time lower than the actual cooking time when cooking frozen foods. The result of these errors is most likely a slightly undercooked dish due to the lower internal temperature since the pressure cooker did not have enough time to reach the optimal cooking temperature.
Using pressure cookers is not the same as everyday cooking on a pan. It has directions on its own and, therefore, limitations. If you are not sure that you are using your pressure correctly, always read the pressure cooker’s instruction manual. Some safety tips for using pressure cookers also include checking the condition of the cooking equipment first and using the appropriate cooking methods.