Pressure cooker and a homemaker
Introduction of pressure cooker was a novel experience for any homemaker, as it seemed that all their dreams of fast cooking were coming true. With time, cooking in a pressure cooker took a new meaning as its basic mechanism was modernised so that it might prove more beneficial in long run. You can cook almost anything in pressure cooker for instance liquid starters like soup, main courses, like vegetables, potatoes, rice and even desserts like cake.
Five simplest methods for better use of a pressure cooker
In order to get maximum benefits out of a pressure cooker one has to follow some simple and basic rules. These are as follows:
1. Store it in its proper place
- It is prudent to give a cooker a place of its own as it is an important member of a kitchen. One must make a proper place for storing it as placing it randomly anywhere will damage it or its parts.
- It is better to check safety valves of a cooker before every use as sometimes dirt or food items may accumulate inside it. It is also necessary to confirm flexibility of rubber gasket before interleaving it under the lid. This may seem unnecessary precautions but is vital for unobstructed and safe use of a pressure cooker
- After its use, it is important to clean a pressure cooker properly by washing lid, pot and rubber gasket with warm water and mild soap.
- Before storing, it is sensible to dry it well with a cotton cloth
- Best way to store a cooker after its usage is to placethe lid on top of the pot but upside down. This will keep a lid away from any damage
2. Cooking with liquids
- Pressure-cooking requires use of least amountof liquids as evaporation is also minimum compared to conventional method of cooking where much more amount of liquid is required to prepare a dish.
- In a pressure cooker, you must pay special attention to the fact that it is better to use more than lesser amount of required liquid because in that case excessive pressure might spoil the dish or in few cases damage the cooker.
- The in-built pressure in a cooker helps in fast cooking and it is necessary to know the usage of proper amount of liquid so that dish is not spoiled
- While cooking a liquid item it is vital to keep a cooker half full, otherwise the liquid will easily emit outside with excessive pressure
- If too much liquid remains after cooking a dish it is better to keep the pot under minimum flame so that liquid boils itself to required consistency
3. Adjusting the heat
- Basic concept of cooking in a pressure cooker is very simple. Once water or liquid inside a pot starts boiling it produces steam. This hot and trapped steam helps in faster cooking
- To get best results it is necessary to start cooking over high heat
- As soon as pressure builds up and first whistle is heard it is prudent to lower the burning flame, so that pressure remains but at a slower pace
- While using a gas range it is easy to maintain the flame at high or low according to requirements but in an electric cooking range it is necessary to use twin burners, one for high heat and other for low heat to maintain pressure
- In case, pressure starts dropping you can simply raise the burner up to get required pressure for better cooking results
4. Adjusting the size of food items
- One must take in to consideration that larger pieces of food items take longer to cook than smaller pieces
- In order to cook food evenly it is vital to cut every piece in an uniform size
- While cooking it is important to know, which item takes more cooking time and which item takes less time. In case of dishes where items are to be added at regular intervals, one must start with ingredients that need the most time and gradually add items that need considerably lesser cooking time.
- Therefore, when preparing such dishes, start with cooking the item whose size is biggest, then add next sized item and lastly the smallest cut item.
- One has to follow this routine at regular intervals but end result is encouraging as the dish retains its texture and flavour
5. Adjusting the timing
- Timing is as important as maintaining sufficient pressure in pressure-cooking
- You must remember that timings are approximate timings and have to be adjusted according to requirements
- If there is some misunderstanding it is better to undercook a dish than overcook it as an undercooked dish can be cooked properly at a later stage but it is difficult to manage an overcooked dish
- Harder the consistency of food item to be cooked, longer is the time it takes for its cooking process
- If any dish requires to be cooked for a longer time it is better to let it remain under minimum flame for best results