You’ve recently gotten a pressure cooker as a gift from a family member. Great. Only one problem: you’ve never had a pressure cooker before. You have absolutely no idea how it works or what to cook in it. Fortunately, a pressure cooker isn’t too difficult for a kitchen appliance to understand.
Always Use Liquid
It is important to make sure you never forget to include the liquid when you are cooking with a pressure cooker. In fact, you can even safely use more cooking liquid than the recipe recommends – just never use less. A pressure cooker is designed to use pressure to cook things quickly. The pressure creates a very hot built-up and trapped steam. This is why there should always be at least a cup of cooking liquid and you should never fill the cooker more than halfway with just liquid. You also need to avoid overfilling the cooker as you do not want to end up with a big mess either.
What All Can You Cook in a Pressure Cooker?
Most people are a little shocked to learn just how many things you can cook in a pressure cooker. This is because a lot of people do not understand how a pressure cooker works. It utilizes pressure to cook the food faster. This, however, does not mean the appliance is less efficient than traditional cooking. It is just a different method of cooking. Some popular choices for a pressure cooker include:
- Vegetable Soup
- Chicken Stew
- Tamale Pie
The Trick is Timing
When it comes to cooking food with a pressure cooker, the most important thing to keep in mind is the timing. Once the pressure is right, it is important to keep to the suggested cooking time. While the cooking times are approximate, it is always better to discover you have undercooked something than overcooked something. If you need to cook the food for longer, just do it in small intervals to avoid overcooking. The harder the food is when you started cooking it, the longer it is going to need to cook to become soft and tender.
Size Does Matter
As you are exploring different pressure cooker recipes, keep in mind that the size of the portions you are cooking does matter. You want to try to cut the pieces of food to be roughly the same size. This will allow the food to cook evenly under pressure. The larger the pieces of food are, the longer you are going to have to cook the food before you can eat it.
Browning Will Enhance The Flavor
If you are looking for food with extra flavor, consider browning the meat or partially cooking the food before sticking it in the pressure cooker. If you do this before adding the meat and vegetables to the cooker with liquids and seasoning, it will make the flavor more explosive when the food is done.
As you can see, cooking with a pressure cooker isn’t that different from traditional cooking. You can cook just about anything in your new pressure cooker as long as you keep these tidbits of information in mind.