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How To Use Pressure Cooker

One of the most convenient ways to cook food is using pressure cooker. However, if you are not keen on how to use one, here are some general guidelines which you can follow to make cooking a little bit easier.

Before you start to adapt to these guidelines, always remember that these are general ones and not to be used as a substitute as far as the manufacturers’ instructions are concerned.
There are basically 5 easy steps to follow:

Determine The Type of Pressure Cooker To Be Used
Actually, pressure cookers whatever type they are follow the same principle, using heat in order to produce steam right inside a close container that will reach a boiling point that makes cooking a little bit faster compared to the traditional one.

Knowing what type of pressure cooker you have at home will make it a bit easier for you to operate. There are two types of pressure cooker namely: first generation (older version, use of jiggle tops which contains the pressure regulator) and second generation (newer version, using closed system spring valves).

Filling In

It depends upon the recipe you are trying to follow to cook for your food; the amount of liquid that you need to fill in differs.

Generally, jiggle tops (older version) uses a cup of water while new valves cooker uses half a cup of water. This measurement is good for about 20-minute cooking. However, it is highly recommended to do a test drive to know which brand works for you better.

For recipes that require longer cooking time, you need to pour in more water. Precaution – never ever attempt to fill the pressure cooker more than 75% of its space. Remember, you need to have the right amount of space in order to build in enough pressure to cook your food.

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Achieve the Recommended Pressure

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For jiggle tops, you need to take off the regulator right before you close and lock the lid. Never use the very large hobs on your burner or make the heat setting put on super high. Then, you need to watch carefully for the steam that comes out right from the vent pipe. After which, you need to change the pressure regulator found right on the top.

For new valves cooker, this type gives you a more accurate result when it comes to knowing the pressure. The marks that you can see on the valve stem let you know the amount of pressure. Standard ones give you a 10 and a 15 PSI. However, there are some cookers that do have 3 settings which consist of a 5, 10 and 15 PSI.

Most recipes use 15 PSI (which is the default setting of almost all cookers) to be more accurate, please see the instruction guide provided by the manufacturer.

Cooking Time

Once the right pressure is achieved, you must lower down the heat setting in order to have the right level of pressure all throughout your cooking time.

Take note that there are certain foods that require less or more amount of cooking time, therefore, you need to refer to a cooking time chart. If you are frying, grilling or broiling food you need to be attentive.

It is best to use a timer when cooking. In this way, you will not have foods that are either half cooked or over cooked.

Releasing Pressure

Before you even attempt to remove the lid, you need to release the pressure right inside from your cooker. Do not get the lid by the use of force. Use one of these three release methods:


This is the longest release method that is applicable for roasting food. This may take up to 10-20 minutes. Doing it this way makes the pressure within the pressure cokker slowly reduce itself on its own.

     Cold water

Just put the pressure cooker right on your sink and then, turn on the faucet. Let the water run through the cooker (with the lid close of course) until such time the pressure lowers down. It’s a big no to use this type of release if you are using an electric pressure cooker.


This is one of the basic features that most pressure cookers do have whether first or second generation. It manually releases the pressure off from the lid. It takes a little bit longer compared to cold water method but shorter compared to natural release.

One way to know that the pressure has been release is when you do not hear any sound of an escaping steam.

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