How to use a Pressure Cooker

Using a Pressure Cooker has got to be the BEST way to cook meat, in my opinion. My uncle used to cook the best ribs, carrots, and potatoes that I've ever had in a pressure cooker.  I'm not a big cooked carrot fan but boy, when he made this, he knew to make extra because the juices of the meat infused with the potatoes and carrots making them SO sweet and delicious.  He would use the yellow Yukon Gold potatoes and when they came out of the pressure cooker, they were so good that they didn't even need butter!! Imagine that...no butter on potatoes!! YUMMO!
Using your pressure cooker doesn't have to be seasonal, it can be used year-round.

For the Summer:  It's actually a great appliance for the hot summer months because it doesn't heat up your kitchen! You can enjoy healthy simple rice, beans or potato salads!


For Fall and Winter: You can make delicious soups and stews in no time at all.


In the Spring:  In your pressure cooker, you can keep most of the color found in fresh, spring vegetables because pressure cooking maintains the natural color and flavor of foods, if not enhancing them.

Some models of pressure cookers can be used for canning, making jellies, and jams and it will help you stock your pantry with your favorite sauces and meats.

There are also tons of benefits from using a pressure cooker such as:
  • FAST. Saves up to 70% in cooking time! Your favorite recipes can easily be adapted to cook in 1/3 of the time.
  • EASY. Just load the ingredients and liquids into the cooker, close the lid, bring to pressure and cook, then release and open the lid. It’s that simple!
  • HEALTHY. Because foods are cooked under pressure, up to 50% more vitamins and minerals are retained. Also, shorter cooking times retain more nutritional values of food as well as the natural color. In addition, it cooks without oil.
  • SAFE. Fagor Pressure Cookers have three safety valves that permit any possible excess pressure to escape, so the cooking experience is completely secure.
  • VERSATILE. All types of foods can be cooked in a pressure cooker – from vegetables, rice, stews, soups, chicken, fish, meat, even desserts.
  • ENERGY EFFICIENT. Because pressure cooking reduces cooking times up to 70%, this means a tremendous conservation of energy.
  • OFFERS GREAT TASTE. The steam pressure breaks down the fibers in food in a very short time, leaving food moist and succulent, with an intense intermingling of flavors.
How A Pressure Cooker Works (excerpt from The Ultimate Pressure Cooker Cookbook, by Tom Lacalamita, Simon & Schuster) 


A pressure cooker is basically a metal pot with a lid. The lid components vital to the function and operation of the pressure cooker are the rubber-sealing gasket, pressure regulator, and pressure-relief valves. When the lid is properly locked into place on the pressure cooker, an air- and steam-tight seal is created. As the cooking liquid in the pressure cooker is heated over high heat to the boiling point (212 °F), steam is created. Since the steam cannot escape from the sealed pressure cooker, it remains trapped inside and pressure is created. The internal cooking temperature will vary depending on the different levels of pressure created by the trapped steam. The amount of pressure is measured in pounds of pressure per square inch (psi). Some of our models only cook at high pressure, while others have two pressure levels. In developing and testing the recipes contained in this book, high pressure was used for each recipe with excellent results. For the most part, foods cooked under high pressure are cooked at 250 °F, which is 38 °F hotter than when food is boiled in a normal pot and speeds up the cooking process considerably.

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