Congratulations on your new pressure cooker, and welcome to a whole new world of home cooking. At Prestige, we’ve been making pressure cookers for decades and have developed extensive expertise in the quick cooking they afford busy families. At this point, you might still be cautious of exactly how to use a pressure cooker or wondering how does a pressure cooker work, but no to worry! Here are our tips on getting the most out of your pressure cooker, from keeping safe to cleaning.
Think about your needs
Pressure cookers come in different sizes and have different capacities. Large pieces of meat or big batches of stew will require a bigger cooker, but if you’ll be making lots of meals for one, you may want to opt for something smaller. If you’re likely to use yours for different types of dish, it’s a good idea to opt for a multi set with various volume options.
Before you pressure cook
Read the manual. Each pressure cooker is different and, as they cook speedily due to boiling hot steam, it’s important to make sure you’re au fait with the safety procedures for yours.
So, what is a pressure cooker for? Pressure cookers are brilliant for cooking cuts of meat to tender, mouth-melting texture in next to no time, but if that’s what you’ll be using yours for (we recommend these lamb shanks or beef stew), then you need to brown the meat before you add liquid to the pot. This seals the meat and creates a delicious caramelised flavour. Likewise, with this ten minute prawn and pea risotto, you need to cook off the wine before you add stock and close the lid.
Liquid is what makes the pressure cooker get food ready so quickly, and depending what you’re cooking, you’ll need different amounts to get the desired effect. Again, it’s important to read up on your specific cooker, but as a general rule, if you’re making a soup or stew, you shouldn’t fill the pan by more than half. For meat and veggies, you can up the amount of liquid and food to two thirds full, but if you’re cooking pulses or rice, err on the side of caution and don’t go over a third full.
You’re likely to be dazzled by the results of your pressure cooker; if you, like us, love the taste of a six hour simmered boeuf bourguignon, you’ll be delighted when you discover you can cook the same meal in a fraction of the time. One important thing to remember when it comes to timings, though, is if you’re not using a recipe, or you’ve altered the amounts of one, you should err on the side of caution. Meat can quickly become tough and vegetables can lose their flavour if they’re cooked for too long, so undercook slightly and check as you go. You can always pop it back on the hob to achieve the desired effect.
It’s absolutely vital that you clean your cooker properly, as any leftover debris could cause problems the next time you come to use it. Luckily, some of our models can be used in the dishwasher, while all of them take advantage of streamlined design and minimal parts, making them easy to clean.
How do you use your pressure cooker? What are your favourite quick cook recipes? Let us know on Facebook, or tag us in your best creations on Instagram.