Pressure Cooker

You all seem to be such proficient chefs. Well here is a place to share some of that cooking knowledge. Or do you have a cooking problem? Ask away. Jams and chutneys go here too.
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Durgan
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Pressure Cooker

Post: # 258867Post Durgan
Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:04 pm

http://www.durgan.org/URL/?BDUGG 18 April 2012 Pressure Cooker

Pressure cookers have got a bad name, since when cooking items like peas and beans the rocker hole can get plugged from small particles like skins bubbling up blocking the exit, pressure builds up and the safety valve blows and scares people away. When the safety valve blows there is as miserable mess to clean up, usually from the ceiling of the kitchen.

To eliminate the blocking problem, I use a calendar with the handles knocked off. Handles are knocked off with a sharp blow from a hammer, since they are only spot welded. When inserted into the pressure cooker, there is about two to three inches for the water, which doesn't touch any food placed in the calendar, hence the items are steam cooked, and no bubbling occurs. My calendar has been in operation for over 20 years. I have also used the all steel butterfly steam device with feet. It is equally as effective.

The gasket should last for the life of the pressure cooker if a film of vegetable oil is applied to the metal surface, where the gasket sits prior to use. Also the lid should never be used loose to cover the pot, since heat builds up and destroyes the gasket. The pressure cooker may be used as a boiling pot, but never use the gasketed lid as a cover.

The best cooker on the market is the Presto, since it has a dead simple effective closing mechanism. Some of the new types now on the market are complicated with silly elaborate safety devices which are a recipe for trouble down the line, and serve no real purpose.

One more caveat. The bottom of the pot can get warped if placed on high heat with no water, or the water gets all evaporated. If this occurs the pot will not sit flat on the heating surface. There is a bulge.

To finish off a roast or some other products, I do the cooking in the pressure cooker and add any condiments or whatever in another pot to complete the cooking process. In other words all the pressure cooker contains is the product and water for steam cooking.

When beginning the cooking process, let all the air out of the cooker by operating for five or ten minutes without the rocker in place, then apply and rocker for the appropriate cooking time. Air inside the cooker will create an insulation and uneven cooking.

I have experienced all the problems mentioned at one time in my life, so my comments are from very practical experience.

grahamhobbs
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Re: Pressure Cooker

Post: # 258877Post grahamhobbs
Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:31 pm

Some good tips Durgan, thanks

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greenorelse
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Re: Pressure Cooker

Post: # 258881Post greenorelse
Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:28 pm

Yes, thanks Durgan. A couple of things I'd never thought about.

Incorporating some (a teaspoon) oil into the pressure cooker prior to cooking to prevents foaming. I believe use of a colander (!) also reduces this risk, which is perhaps the point Durgan is making.

If I need to mash beans or peas, I let the heat off very quickly, by running the cooker under the cold tap. The beans burst. Otherwise, just turn the heat off and let the beans cool naturally.
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Re: Pressure Cooker

Post: # 258943Post tizzy
Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:45 am

Thanks for the oil tip to prolong the life of the gasket Durgan, I'll give that a try. I find that gaskets seem to become leaky after about 6 months even though they look fine and still feel supple. It makes me a bit cross, tbh, as they aren't cheap to replace.

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Re: Pressure Cooker

Post: # 258944Post Durgan
Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:57 am

I find it hard to improve on the Presto. I even take mine camping. The new Presto even has a grove to keep the gasket in place. The older models only had a grove and it was a bit miserable. I have two Prestos both have the same mechanism. One is tall for canning and ghe other is for daily use due to being smaller.


http://www.amazon.ca/Presto-6-Quart-Sta ... village-20

http://www.amazon.ca/National-Presto-01 ... village-20

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Re: Pressure Cooker

Post: # 258959Post tizzy
Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:22 am

I recently bought a WMF perfect plus which is a German brand and consequently, engineered to the high standard you would expect. It's the quietest pr/cooker i've ever owned - you can barely hear it and it loses absolutely no steam even when i've had it on for an hour and a half. The handle quickly unclips for washing the lid and storage and no part of it is unwashable. It wasn't cheap but I'm seriously impressed with it so far.

Mustardseedmama
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Re: Pressure Cooker

Post: # 260465Post Mustardseedmama
Mon May 14, 2012 11:47 pm

I know on another thread someone (I think it was British Red) said pressure cookers aren't sold in the U.K.? But I'm curious why is that?
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Re: Pressure Cooker

Post: # 260467Post British Red
Tue May 15, 2012 12:44 am

We do have basic pressure cookers, but not purpose designed pressure canners. I know they are, to some extent, interchangeable, but size, proportions and often a lack of relevant weights makes canning in a pressure cooker problematic :)
Com on wanre niht scriðan sceadugenga

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