If you have a pressure cooker and still have the directions, follow those. The manufacturer’s directions are always the best way to start when using a new or unfamiliar appliance. If you don’t have the directions anymore, you may be able to find them on line, on the manufacturer’s website.
These directions are for a stove-top pressure cooker. Mine is an old stainless Presto, and I love it. I have had it for many years and have never had any problems with it.
It is important to clean all the parts very well, including removing the rubber gasket that lines the lid, and the rubber pressure safety valve. If these start to get stretched out, or cracked it is important to replace them. Faulty gaskets and valves can cause accidents.
- When using red meat it’s always best to brown it first
- Never fill pot above the fill line
- When using rice or barley or anything starchy add about 1 TBL oil to the pot to prevent foaming which can clog the air vents
- Once the lid is secured turn heat to high and let cook until the pressure regulator starts to rock, then turn the heat down, and continue to adjust the heat until the rocker is gently but continuously rocking
- Once you have cooked the desired time you can allow the pressure to reduce on its own, which can take a while, and during which time the contents will continue to cook as the temperature inside the cooker can reach as high as 250°F
- NEVER remove the pressure regulator, or try to open the lid until pressure has returned to normal! Your pressure cooker should have a safety valve that prohibits you from opening it, but the rocker can be lifted off, which is a bad idea
- To reduce pressure quickly place cooker in sink and run cold water over the pot
- When pressure reduces, you will hear a whoosh, and the safety valve that prevents you from opening the lid will drop, as will the automatic air vent. Once pressure has returned to normal it is safe to remove the regulator and open the lid, but keep in mind the contents are very, very hot!
Photo courtesy of granniegeek.com