How to use the pressure cooker properly is still a mystery to many people. From fear to misinformation, you still have a long way to go to feel safe using this cooker, which is much simpler than it sounds.
Is using a pressure cooker dangerous?
In the past, pressure cookers used to be dangerous, even exploding during use, and this ended up generating this fear that has been perpetuated until today.
However, all pressure cookers today - and for some time now - are manufactured with safety valves in the lid, which break and release the air without having to open, should the pressure inside the cooker become too high. This mechanism prevents explosions and accidents.
However, the misuse of pans can still make it a dangerous object.
How to use a pressure cooker: prior care
The first step is to check if your pan is certified by Inmetro. This certification guarantees that quality control tests have been carried out and that the utensil is being used properly, which already eliminates issues of factory defects that can lead to accidents, such as explosions.
Then, just follow the step-by-step good use practices.
How to use a pressure cooker: step by step
Whether electric or traditional, using a pressure cooker is a simple task that makes everyday kitchen work much easier.
To use it without problems, please note:
- Whether the valve and rubber are in good condition
- The pan and valve are clean, with no residue preventing the steam from circulating.
- The ratio between water and food in the pressure cooker
- The cooking time of each food
How to use stove top pressure stove
A pressure cooker that is too full, exceeding two-thirds of its total capacity, can cause problems.
In this case, with less space for the creation of steam, which is responsible for cooking, it ends up coming out of the pan valve carrying the liquids and pieces of food, thus causing the valve to clog.
If this is a common practice in the use of the pressure cooker, and the valves are not cleaned after each use, or if the cooker is not certified by Inmetro, an explosion may occur due to the increased internal pressure of the cooker.
Another important point is that the water in the pressure cooker should be higher than the food or in an equal proportion. This will ensure that the food cooks and that the cooker does not burn.See_also: How to remove coffee stain from fabrics and surfaces
Paying attention to the cooking time of each recipe is also essential. According to Inmetro, the pan forgotten in the fire, when it goes through the certification process, is not at risk of causing explosions. However, the structure of the pan can be damaged, as well as the food and there will also be a waste of gas.
After turning off the heat, make sure all the pressure has gone out before opening the pot. First, check if there is still steam coming out of the valve, if not, release the handle fastener and do not force the lid.
That way, even if there is pressure inside, the pot will remain closed and the lid will release by itself once all the steam has escaped.
How to use electric pressure cooker
Electric pressure cookers work in much the same way as stovetop pressure cookers. The care taken with regard to the proportion of water and food, cleaning and cooking time of the recipes is the same.
A big difference that gives more security to users of this type of cooker is the built-in timer: as soon as the pressure starts, the timer starts counting the determined cooking time and the cooker automatically shuts off after it is finished.
Pay attention when closing the lid, which needs to be locked and with the pin, which has the correct direction for the cooking position, as indicated by the pan manufacturer.
How to clean pressure cooker
Common, everyday cleaning should be done immediately after using the pressure cooker, using running water, a sponge and detergent.
However, sometimes a forgotten pot on the fire or one that is too full may need your attention and a heavier cleaning. Set aside a few items and get to work:
- Cleaning cloth
- Lemon juice
- Alcohol vinegar
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Cream of tartar
How to clean burnt pressure cooker
The most important thing to ensure quick cleaning is to clean the burnt pressure cooker right after use.
To do this, boil 1 liter of water with 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar and the same amount of lemon juice. If you cannot find cream of tartar, replace it with alcohol vinegar.
Put the mixture in the pressure cooker and leave for 15 minutes, then scrub with a sponge or clean cloth.
Another option is to use baking soda: sprinkle it on the bottom of the pan, add water and bring to a boil. When it comes to a boil, turn off the heat, wait for it to cool down a bit and scrub with a steel sponge.
How to unclog a pressure cooker
Whenever you wash your pressure cooker, as a maintenance measure, you need to remove the valve, soak it in water with detergent and clean the hole in the lid where the valve fits.
To clean it, use an open paper clip and pass it through the holes where the steam passes. In addition to the valve, this is also a space where pieces of food carried by the liquids can accumulate.
You can also use the clips to clean the valve holes.
5 questions about pressure cookers answered
Still have questions about the best way to use your pressure cooker? Our guide can help you with the most common questions about everyday use.
Is it normal for foam to come out of the pressure cooker?
If foam is coming out through the safety valve, which is usually a rubberized red pin on the side of the lid, it means the exhaust valve - or pin - is clogged or not working properly.
This is because what comes out of the pan is not exactly foam, but water mixed with steam, in contact with hot aluminum, which ends up evaporating very quickly.
Therefore, turn off the cooker immediately and wait for the pressure to release to open the lid. Then, check both the pressure release valve and the metal part where it fits. Use a clamp to clean them.
If the foam is coming out the side, then you need to look at the sealing rubber, it may be loose or badly fitted, and then needs to be replaced or adjusted properly.
In case of problems with the rubber there is no risk of explosion, but the steam that comes out of the sides can cause burns to those handling the pan, as well as making it difficult to cook food.
What are the signs that the pressure cooker will explode?
Although pressure cooker explosions are not common, the use of uncertified cookware, misuse and poor maintenance can lead to this type of accident.
The first visible sign that the pressure cooker may explode is the swelling of the aluminum, both on the lid and on the body of the cooker.
Remembering that the cause of the explosion of the pressure cookers is the non-exit of the steam when there is clogging in the valve. This occurs due to lack of maintenance or when there is any other type of problem in the manufacture that can prevent correct operation, something common in pans not certified by Inmetro.
Is it dangerous to pour water into the pressure cooker?
Pouring water into the pressure cooker can be dangerous, but not because of the possibility of an explosion.
Placing the pan under running water may help the pressure to subside faster, however, contact with cold water causes the steam to be expelled more forcefully. Therefore, you need to let the water fall gradually, dripping down the side and be careful not to burn yourself.
Can you lift the pressure cooker valve?
It is not recommended to lift the pressure cooker valve to rush the steam out, as this can cause the valve to clog and make opening the cooker more difficult rather than easier.
With the valve clogged, the steam will take longer to escape and the lid will remain closed by the safety lock.See_also: Learn how to save gas!
3 tips for caring for your pressure cooker
Now that you know all about your pressure cooker, it's time to use it without fear. But don't forget these three golden rules to take care of your pressure cooker and avoid accidents:
1. after use, always wash the exhaust valve and the valve support on the lid. This is part of the maintenance of the pressure cooker and prevents the accumulation of food that causes clogging.
2. clean your cooker right after use: detergent is your ally to keep your pressure cooker clean.
3. observe the ratio between the water, the food and the size of the pot: the pot should have at least ⅓ of its volume free, so that the steam can circulate and create the pressure safely.
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