How To Use A Pressure Cooker - Pressure Cooker Pros
Pressure Cooker Pros

How To Use A Pressure Cooker

Pressure cooking, as you’re most likely well aware is a fast, efficient and healthy way that you can cook your meals. The domino effect of increases in temperature and pressure is what makes the pressure cooking method so much faster than other cooking methods.

It’s efficient as a knock-on effect because it’s fast and as a result, less energy is used- even your economic cuts of meat–from cows, pigs, sheep, etc., can be cooked without becoming tough. It also saves you money in the long run as none of the meat that you buy goes to waste. It is essentially making the meat cheaper per gram, or at the very least not cost more per gram.

The pressure cooking method is also healthy as the nutrients, minerals and vitamins-as well as moisture in the case of meat cuts-are retained within your food. If you’ve already read through our pressure cooker reviews and now want to learn how to actually use your appliance to make delicious meals, then continue reading for a full guide.

What To Expect When Your Pressure Cooker Arrives

Please be aware that when your pressure cooker first arrives, it may not be fully assembled, and so one of the tools that is very useful to have at your side and on hand is a Phillips Screwdriver. The assembly work, in normal circumstances, is very light and consists of no more than screwing the handles on.

Always check that there are no cracks or dents in your pressure cooker and affix the sealing ring to the inside of the pressure cooker pan itself-if you have a stove top pressure cooker.

How To Use A Pressure Cooker

Although there is some other preliminary work that will have to be carried out (frequently) by you before you can use the pressure cooker, it’s only for health and safety reasons. I know, I know–a major pain, but very important when dealing with pressure cookers-and is only a single minor task.

You MUST make sure that the vent pipe of your pressure cooker is completely clear, as any food blockages will mean that the excess steam and excess pressure have nowhere to go.

If this happens, it means that the internal pressure could build up excessively. As a result, your pressure cooker will be unable to regulate the pressure inside of the pot, and the pressure in the cooker could potentially build up to a level harmful to either you or others around the pressure cooker.

The pressure gauge and safety valve also indicate when the pressure inside the pressure cooker is at a safe level, as does the rising and falling of the weighted pressure regulator in the older pressure cookers commonly known as “jiggle tops.”

Using A Stove-Top Pressure Cooker

Read a recipe for the relevant dish that you wish to make, either from a recipe book or on the internet after carrying out the necessary food preparation outlined in a table beneath this article. If applicable to your brand of pressure cooker, put all of your ingredients in the pressure cooker, add the desired amount of water, secure the lid, and turn on the range to whatever temperature is needed and cook for the time specified by the recipe you are using.

Keep in mind that you can only start timing when the rocking of the pressure cooker becomes regular-again, this is only applicable for stove-top pressure cookers. Use either oven mitts or a tea-towel to lift the lid, then remove the food from the pressure cooker, plate up and serve–or eat!

Using An Electric Pressure Cooker

Depending on whether your pressure cooker has only one single pressure cooking function or is a multi-cooker; you read the recipe, turn the pressure cooker on, put the ingredients into the pressure cooker, lock the lid, set the timer for your meal, and press the relevant button.

If it’s a single function pressure cooker, then multiple buttons such as a timer for delay and browning/keep warm if it’s a multifunction pressure cooker and pressure cook, or slow cook–whichever is most relevant for how you want your meal to come out.

Once all the ingredients are added to the pot, and you have selected the appropriate settings, you can then sit back and relax while you wait for your food to finish cooking, plate up and either eat or serve!

Taking Care Of Your Pressure Cooker

After the food has been served, rinse and separate out the different parts of the pressure cooker and wash in warm soapy water before drying with a tea-towel. Alternatively, isolate the parts of your pressure cooker and place them individually in the dishwasher. The majority of pressure cookers are dishwasher safe and relatively easy to clean. Once the components are clean, dry them thoroughly and put them away when the cycle is finished.

You should avoid using any kind of abrasive or harsh chemicals on your stainless steel pressure cooker as well because this can damage the cooking surface and may result in scratches. If you choose to wash the pressure cooker by hand, separate all the parts as previously mentioned-the lid, pot, gasket, and pressure weight-and then wash each part separately using only mild soap, a sponge, and hot water.

If there is stuck on food that is proving difficult to remove, boil some water inside of the pot and the heat from the boiling water will help loosen up the particles. You can then continue to clean the appliance as usual. For a burnt pressure cooker, you should fill the pot halfway with water and add some onion.

Cook the water and onions with the lid off for approximately twenty minutes and then wash it as usual. Surprisingly, as the water boils, it should remove any burnt food that is inside the pot. This method is best for stovetop pressure cookers.

Storing Your Pressure Cooker

When your pressure cooker is not being used, it needs to be properly stored in the kitchen to avoid damage. After cleaning, make sure the device is completely dry before you store it. If not, then bacteria can begin to grow. When storing your pressure cooker in the kitchen, make sure it is being put in a clean and dry place.

To prevent any chance of bacteria growth, you can also sprinkle some baking soda inside of the pot. Doing so will also help keep any odors from sticking as well. Make sure the small amount of baking soda you use comes in contact with the base and the walls of the pressure cooker.

Before storing the pressure cooker make sure the gasket is in place, and the lid is placed upside down on the cooker. Sealing the lid during storage will keep any smells trapped inside and may negatively affect your next meal cooked with the pressure cooker.

Other Maintenance Tips

Every six months or so, you should be inspecting every square inch of the pressure cooker to make sure all the parts are intact and working as they should. Always inspect the gasket, knobs, pressure release valve, and the handle and watch for any signs of damage or wear and tear. If anything feels loose, be sure to tighten it.

Some recommend replacing your gasket once a year to make sure it works properly. You may not notice that this part is loose while cooking and a loose gasket can result in evaporation of liquid and burnt food.

Older pressure cooker models come equipped with a pressure weight. If your device has one, you want to clean it and make sure there is no residue. For a newer model, you should be inspecting and cleaning the valve assembly. Each part, as already mentioned, should be washed separately in hot water with mild dishwashing soap.

Finally, if the handle feels loose, be sure to tighten it and applying a small amount of grease to the handle can also help improve its overall performance. Following all these maintenance and care steps will help ensure that your pressure cooker is performing at optimal levels for years.


So if you’ve vaguely heard of the merits of pressure cooking before, but not yet ventured to try and invest in one yet, then hopefully I will have changed your mind by the time you finish reading this article. If you are someone that may think that a pressure cooker is unsafe, unpredictable or unable to cook your food to the baseline standard that you have for whatever it is that you eat, whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner; then I would highly recommend that you buy one.

A pressure cooker isn’t only fast, efficient and healthy–it’s also straightforward and easy to use and clean and will make you high-quality and delicious meals day after day.

Food Preparation Table Guide

Type of Food Type of Preparation Time Needed
Fruit Wash in water with one tablespoon of rock salt and the juice of one lemon Twenty minutes
Vegetables Defrost frozen vegetables
Wash fresh vegetables in water with one tablespoon of rock salt and the juice of one lemon
Twenty minutes
Rice and other grains Soak wheat berries and pearl barley in lukewarm water
Do not soak rice or oats
Four hours
Dry beans and chickpeas Soak the beans in unsalted water Between four and six hours
Seafood Wash in cold water Ten minutes
Meat and poultry Brown meat in either pan, or pressure cooker (without the lid on) – for stove-top pressure cookers only.
Electric pressure cookers often have browning as one of the functions that you can use just before you start cooking
As long as it takes for the meat to brown

Leave a Comment:

Ashwin says October 21, 2016

Excellent Post!

Add Your Reply