Here are answers to some of the most common questions I get asked about cooking and using pressure cookers, as well as ordering products.
You may also want to check out Pressure Cooking Basics for some simple guidelines to using your pressure cooker.
Q. How much time can I save by using the pressure cooker?
A. Using the pressure cooker cuts cooking time by 50% or more. For example, when you cook brown rice it takes only 22 minutes at pressure versus 45 for regular stovetop cooking. Some things cook even faster. Beans (presoaked) that take about an hour on the stove cook in about 5 to 8 minutes under pressure.
Q. What size pressure cooker should I buy?
A. The answer depends upon your needs. I suggest that you get the largest cooker that fits easily in your kitchen or boat galley (yes, they are great for bringing along when taking long boat trips). You can cook 1 cup of rice in an 8-quart cooker but you can’t fill your 4-quart cooker more than one half to two thirds full. If you want to be able to cook large batches of soup, stew, chili, stock or other foods, then you want to get at least a 6-quart cooker. Buying a set with 2 cookers (link to Duo Combi set) allows you to have a choice of cookers for your daily needs. You can cook a grain in one cooker, remove the pressure lid and put on the glass lid to keep it hot, and then use the other cooker for preparing your main course. You’ll likely have an entire incredibly delicious and healthful meal in less than an hour.
Some of my students purchase a small cooker and later buy a bigger one since they use it so often. If you have any questions about what might be best for you, please email me.
Q. How hot does it get in the pressure cooker?
A. The liquid inside the pressure cooker turns to steam which is about 250 degrees F. It’s about 40 degrees hotter than boiling water. This is partially what’s responsible for the faster cooking time in the pressure cooker.
Due to the high temperature, it is extremely important to be sure that when you remove the lid of the pressure cooker you tilt it away from you so that you don’t get burned by the steam.
Remember that the food is hotter than most food cooked on the stove top. When my son was little I always had to put an ice cube in his pressure-cooked soup so that he could eat it.