A pressure cooker can make your food cook faster and taste better. With ordinary cooking, it needs a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius and the water boils only when the temperature increases. However, with pressure cooker, it can easily reach 120 degrees Celsius to cook food making it a lot faster to finish.
All pressure cookers follow the same principle, i.e. to cook food at 122 degrees Celsius. Despite their similarities, there are a few main differences among the different brands and models available. In this article, you’ll learn the basic parts of the latest pressure cookers available. But because every pressure cooker is different, you also need to familiar yourself of how your pressure cooker works.
Basic Parts of a Pressure Cooker – Getting to Know Your Pressure Cooker
Here are the basic parts of any type of pressure cookers:
Pressure regulator – Known also as weight valve and pressure indicator, pressure regulator maintains the pressure required to cook the food. It emits a sound that’s loud and clear to indicate that a certain pressure has been reached, which is usually 15 psi.
Vent pipe – This is where the pressure regulator is attached. Its main role is to allow excess steam to escape so as to maintain required internal pressure.
Air vent – Also known as cover lock, it sits in the cover of the cooker. As you start to heat the unit, it automatically releases air from the pressure cooker. It also acts as a visual indicator of this equipment that slides up when a pressure build-up is present.
Sealing ring – During cooking, the sealing ring forms a seal between the cover and the body of the cooker.
Overpressure plug – Just like the pressure regulator, overpressure plug releases excess pressure within the cooker.
Cooking rack – It separates food from the cooking liquid. It’s a very useful part of a pressure cooker as it allows you to cook different dishes at the same time. Because the ingredients are separated, the flavors won’t mix.
Cover handle – It has a hole that allows you know if there’s enough pressure inside the unit. It’s used to remove the cover from the cooker.
Some people are still worried about using pressure cooker because of explosion issues that happened with their grandma’s beef stew spewing all over the ceiling. With today’s multiple safety features, pressure cooker will no longer have the same issues as it has of yesterday. Nevertheless, you have to learn how to use it properly.
Before you start cooking, you must always check its sealing ring and make sure that it’s not yet dried or cracked. You need to replace it annually, depending on how frequently you use it.
This is to avoid blocking its vents. Foods that tend to swell as you cook them should only occupy half of the unit.
- Close its cover securely
- Insert the pressure regulator firmly onto the vent pipe
- Heat the unit until the regulator begins to rock gently
- Set the timer
- Adjust the heat when necessary
This will maintain the gentle rocking motion of the regulator.
- Let the pressure cool down on its own
- Remove the pressure regulator and the lid/cover
- Serve the food you’ve prepared.
By knowing how to safely use a pressure cooker, you can prepare meals without having to worry about explosion.
Guest Share – By Andrew Illinois.