There are stove top pressure cookers that use the heat of the stove, as well as countertop units that you plug into a wall outlet. You can also manually set the pressure-cooking time for two or three minutes.
For foods that don’t have preset buttons on the device, there are plenty of helpful charts online that will tell you exactly how long different ingredients should cook for. The world is your oyster when it comes to cooking with an electric pressure cooker, whether you want to try making oatmeal, risotto, chicken, or soup.
The results are often creamier and smoother than what you would get from a stove top or oven recipe. Even without pressure steam conducts heat and cooks faster than dry air, but with increased pressure, the steam can rise above its usual maximum temperature and cook even faster.
Pressure cookers trap steam in an enclosed space through an air-tight, locking lid. The longer the water boils, the more the steam pressure builds within the vessel.
Pressure cookers have three advantages over oven cooking, the high heat conductivity of steam, the increased temperature from steam pressure, and high energy efficiency. The conductivity and increased temperature can cut cooking times to a fraction of their oven or stove top counterparts.
This means that if you were trying light a fire under a pot of water on Mt. Everest, the water would begin to boil once it reaches 71 °C, because there is less pressure 8,848 m above sea level.
Changing the pressure conditions inside a sealed cooker means that the water is able to get much hotter without evaporating and when it finally turns into steam, the moisture-laden air is hotter than the steam that would come out of your tea kettle. The trapped steam begins to work its magic immediately, since water is a good conductor of heat and all food stuff contains water.
A pressure cooker is made up of a pot, a lid which fits precisely on the pot with a locking mechanism; a rubber ring that goes between the lid and the pot so that no air can escape; a valve on top of the lid with a release whistle. The rubber ring that goes between the pot and the lid, ensures that no air escapes from inside the container; if it did, then the pressure would not be able to build up.
The valve on the top is a safety measure that makes sure the pressure does not build up to dangerous levels inside the pot. It is designed to allow some steam to escape after the pressure inside reaches a certain point.
Ask your mum how long different foods would take to cook inside a pressure cooker. Safety features, how to do an Instant Pot water test, what’s the difference between a natural pressure release and a quick release, and what will happen step by step through the cooking process.
I’m going to help you get started with all the tips and tricks that I have learned through trial, error and research. It is a multi-use appliance that can cook foods quickly at high pressure.
Steam pressure builds up inside the pot, which creates a higher temperature environment that cooks foods faster. Unlike old-fashioned pressure cookers, the Instant Pot has many safety features that make it safe and easy to use.
I’ve been amazed at the versatility of my Instant Pot and the flavor and texture of the foods that I am able to cook in it. The high pressure inside the Instant Pot can tenderize even tough cuts of meat.
If you haven’t taken your Instant Pot out of the box, now would be a good time to do so. To open your Instant Pot, turn the lid counterclockwise and lift.
The Instant Pot manual is filled with safety instructions, but these two are the critical ones to remember: Alternatively, you can use an oven mitt to carefully turn the steam release valve to the “venting” position when you are ready to release the pressure in your Instant Pot.
Depending on which Instant Pot model you have, the float valve may be red or silver. Make sure the float valve has dropped and then it is safe to open the Instant Pot lid.
Open the lid slowly, tilting it so any hot steam will not blow towards your face. The heating element should always be free of debris and dry before you use you the Instant Pot.
After washing, I always dry my stainless steel inner pot thoroughly before returning it to the base unit. Check that the silicone sealing ring is fitted properly onto the lid and is clean and free of tears.
Remove the steam release valve from the Instant Pot lid by gently pulling it straight up. Some foods, such as applesauce, pasta and oatmeal may froth and foam when you cook them and can clog the steam release valve.
Check the steam release valve each time you use your Instant Pot. If it is dirty clean it under running water and then put it back on the Instant Pot lid.
Check the float valve to ensure it is clean and free of debris. Making sure that all parts of your Instant Pot are clean and in good working condition can help you to have the best success with pressure-cooking.
A water test helped me to determine that the Instant Pot wasn’t working properly. Note: If you have the Instant Pot Ultra, you will use the dial to select cooking programs and change the cook time and then press “start.” Instead of a steam release valve that you turn, the Instant Pot Ultra has a steam release button that you will press if you want to manually release the pressure.
Make sure that the power cord is firmly connected to your Instant Pot. Check that the silicone sealing ring is fitted properly into the Instant Pot lid.
Wait for 10 seconds and the Instant Pot display will say “On” and the cycle will begin. Once it reaches pressure the float valve will pop up, the Instant Pot will beep once, and the cook time will begin to count down from 5 minutes.
You may also notice a plastic smell the first time you use your Instant Pot. It will switch to the keep warm mode and the display will begin to count up minutes instead of down.
When the float valve drops remove the Instant Pot lid. If neither of these was the problem, you may want to contact Instant Pot customer service for further assistance.
Now that you have completed the water test, you are ready to cook in your Instant Pot! There are a few basic things that you need to know when using an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker.
Depending on which Instant Pot model you own, the buttons may be labeled slightly differently. I recommend following recipes from a trusted source while you are learning to use your Instant Pot.
Pretty much every Instant Pot recipe you will find will direct you to cook at high pressure. Program Buttons : Depending on your Instant Pot model, the program options might include Soup/Broth, Bean/Chili, Meat/Stew, Cake, Egg, Rice, Multigrain, Oatmeal, Yogurt, Steam and Slow Cook.
If you cook hard-boiled eggs or baked potatoes, for example, you will set them on the trivet. Closing the Lid : You will see a track on the back upper edge of your Instant Pot base.
If your Instant Pot is plugged in, you will hear a chime when the lid closes. The steam release valve is meant to be a bit wobbly and will fit loosely.
You will need to turn the valve to the sealing position every time you pressure-cook in your Instant Pot. Use a natural release for foamy foods or when your Instant Pot is full to avoid hot foam coming out of the steam release valve or float valve.
You need to be careful when you turn the valve as hot steam will immediately begin to escape. Wait until the float valve (pin) on the lid drops to let you know that all the pressure has been released.
However, you may need to adjust the cook time based on the size/width of meat and vegetables. For example, a small 8 ounce chicken breasts will cook faster than a large 12 ounce chicken breasts and a small sweet potato will cook faster than a large sweet potato.
Read all recipes and directions carefully to determine how long to cook your food. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you.