Pressure cooking has long been an option in home cooking, whether it's to cook dinner or to preserve food. Historically, a pressure cooker is a large metal pot with a sealed lid and a pressure valve attached. It is placed on the stove and has to be closely watched to maintain a certain pressure as it cooks. This method of cooking is 70 per cent faster than traditional hob or oven cooking. The Cook's Essential pressure cooker is a stand alone unit for the counter and is digital and programmable. Any pressure cooker recipe can be used in this new appliance.
- Skill level:
Remove the cooking pot from the pressure cooker base and wash thoroughly with warm soapy water before first time use.
Insert the removable cooking pot into the base with the guides in the front of the cooking pot, sliding into the channels in the front of the base. Place water in the pressure cooker two-thirds full. Follow Steps 4 and 5 below for this step and program to pressure mode and let the pressure cooker cook for 15 minutes. Turn the unit off and allow to cool. When the pressure valve closes, the pressure is low enough to open the lid. The pressure cooker is now "seasoned" and ready to use; this must be done each time you use the unit. This is important, as it conditions the rubber seals and gaskets to prevent hot liquid spewing out during cooking.
Add the ingredients to the pressure cooker for the recipe you have chosen. Add at least 1 cup water to the ingredients in the pressure cooker. Do not fill the cooker more than a third full for dried beans, half full for stews or soups, and only to the maximum line for pot roasts or other meat recipes.
Place the self-locking lid on the pressure cooker and slide into the lock position. Turn the cooker on with the start button and choose what mode the recipe calls for from the control panel located on the front of the unit. There are buttons for mode, start, stop, steam and quick steam release. Modes will be brown, steam or pressure cook. This will be determined by the recipe you are using. Program the cooking time by pressing the correct mode button and press "Start." The cooker will start heating up and, when the desired pressure has been achieved, the unit will start cooking the recipe. A pressure rod will pop up as the pressure rises. DO NOT OPEN LID DURING COOKING.
Allow the cooker to cook the time that was programmed into the timer. The timer will count down as cooking progresses. Three beeps will sound when cooking is complete. Press and hold the start/stop button down until the lights go out. Make sure the pressure rod is down also. This is an indication when all pressure has been released. Unlock lid to open and serve.
Tips and warnings
- Contents are highly pressurised. Do not open lid during cooking.
- Do not hold the pressure valve down steadily to release steam. Only use short bursts to release steam if needed.