If you don’t have a pressure cooker in your kitchen, then you’re missing out on a whole new world of culinary possibilities. This must-have device works like a charm to develop the same rich flavors and characteristic textures that you would get after a traditionally labor-intensive time-consuming slow-cooking process.
Some urban legends tell of a time when pressure cookers were known to explode, sending food splattering all over the kitchen ceiling. This is perhaps the main reason why some people shy away from using them.
Modern-day pressure cookers are vastly different from what they used to be. They are designed with cutting-edge technology that renders them 100% fail-safe. That aside, they are an excellent way to cut down on cooking time while retaining the same intense flavors of your favorite meals.
The secret to this lies in the high pressure-cooker temperature. It essentially means that making a delicious risotto would take six instead of 25 minutes. A rich bone broth would take 90 minutes instead of the usual three to four hours using traditional methods.
Not sure about the pressure cooker temperature you should use? Here’s everything you need to know about the temperature levels associated with different pressure cooking techniques.
Pressure Cooker Temperature for Browning
One of the best-kept secrets when it comes to a great-tasting slow-cooked meal has everything to do with browning the meat at the very beginning of the process. The caramelized surface renders a rich mouth-watering flavor to the finished meal.
If you thought that you couldn’t achieve this same flavor intensity with a pressure cooker, well, you thought wrong. The Instant Pot IP-Duo is just one of the many pressure cookers that are hot on the market right now. Browning of foods like meat, poultry, and vegetables is just one of its many capabilities.
For regular browning, set the temperature to 320°F. If you want a darker shade of brown, you can go up to 338°F. If you’re looking to get a light brown color on your meats and vegetables, a temperature setting of 221°F will suffice. Always leave the lid open during the process to prevent the cooker from pressurizing.
Pressure Cooker Temperature for Sautéing
Sautéing involves cooking food quickly over high heat using very little oil. It’s perfect for cooking tender cuts of meat like scallop, filet mignon, and chicken breasts, as well as delicate vegetables that may lose their flavor if any other cooking method is employed.
It helps to keep the flavors vivid and intense while maintaining the desired texture of your food. While you can use a saucepan to sauté your meals, a pressure cooker such as the Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 will also get the job done. It comes with a sauté feature to get your food toasty and tasty.
Depending on what you are sautéing, there are three temperature ranges that you can toggle between. There are the “normal” sauté temperatures that range between 320°F and 349°F. Next are the “more” sauté temperatures that range between 347°F and 410°F. Finally, there is the "less" option for sautéing, which has temperatures ranging from 275°F and 302°F.
Pressure Cooker Temperature for Canning
If done properly, canning is an excellent way to safely preserve food. It involves placing food in cans, mason jars, or similar containers before heating them to extremely high temperatures to destroy bacteria and other microorganisms that cause food to spoil.
While it is recommended that you use a pressure canner for canning foods, high acid foods like fruits which can be water-bathed can also be canned using a conventional electric pressure cooker. As long as you do it in small quantities, you don’t necessarily need to use a pressure canner.
The water bath, however, needs to reach temperatures of up to 413°F. With the Power Pressure Cooker XL 8, you can get the best of both worlds. It is both a pressure canner and cooker all rolled into one sleek package.
Pressure Cooker Temperature for Steaming
Steaming is a cooking method where the hot vapor is used to conduct heat into the food without the food coming into direct contact with the heating source. One of the top benefits of steaming vegetables is that it doesn’t require the use of any oils and fats.
Additionally, foods cooked this way retain most of their original vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Steaming your veggies using a pressure cooker like the GoWise USA Ovate 12-in-1 Cooker is the easiest and most convenient means of doing this. Pressure cooker steaming occurs at between 240°F and 250°F.
Pressure Cooker Temperature for Braising
Braising is a cooking technique that combines browning, searing, deglazing before finally braising. During the process, meat that has been browned in a pressure cooker along with vegetables and spices is submerged about halfway in broth or any other liquid that the recipe calls for. The lid is then locked in place and set to high pressure.
Braising temperatures typically get to well over 250°F. The LUX LCD 8 Quart from Zavor has a “meat” and “poultry” setting, which is typically what you would use if you were braising meat or poultry.
Pot roast is one of the meals that use this technique. It gives meats and vegetables a rich taste that would otherwise be impossible to achieve using any other cooking method.
Pressure Cooker Temperature for Baking
One of the best things about pressure cookers is their ability to control temperature, intensity, pressure, and time with a lot of precision. If you have the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus pressure cooker and have been wondering what the “bake” button is for, well, it holds the key to making the perfect cake.
Depending on the type of cake you’re baking, pressure cookers bake at high pressure to give you a light or dense cake after 40 or 50 minutes, respectively. They do this at a default temperature of 365°F. Cakes baked this way are super moist and decadent.
Out With the Old in With the New
Millions of people all over the world use pressure cookers. They are extremely convenient since they drastically cut down on cooking time, as well as safe since the high pressure-cooker temperature kills any bacteria and microorganisms that may be present in the food.
They have inbuilt safety features that offer a host of different ways to release pressure both during the cooking process and when you’re done. You can’t go wrong with them.