Pressure Cooker Instructions

Pressure Cooker Instructions

Pressure Cooker Tips

On this page we will look at pressure cooker instructions and those  pressure cooker tips that you wish you had known from day one.

Using your pressure cooker is easy and saves you a lot of time and effort, but knowing a few tricks and shortcuts will make life even easier for you.

Some of the tips in my list won’t be news to you since you have read your specific pressure cooker manual to learn the basics of your pressure cooker.

However, take a bit of time to read through my list of pressure cooker instructions to find little tricks and tips and you might just be surprised at what you learn here.


  • Water levels

    A pressure cooker use a moist cooking method and therefore the level of water in your pot is very important. The heated water in your pot converts to steam – so keeping the balance of water, heat and food just right will dictate whether you food turns out perfectly or not. At a minimum you should use half a cup of water, but should never fill your pot to more than half full with water.

  • Time

    Cooking in a pressure cooker can reduce cooking times by as much as 50-70%. The days of spending hours in front of a hot stove are a thing of the past with this nifty pot. The cooking times in recipes are taken from the moment the pot reaches 15 pounds pressure or when the regulator begins to rock. If the cooking time is given as “0” it means that you must stop the cooking when the pot reach 15 pounds pressure and then cool according to the instructions.

  • Cooling down

    Some foods such as vegetable need only a short cooking period and needs to be cooled down very quickly with the quick release method. This can be done by placing the cooker under cold running water for about a minute.The slow release method works best for “heavier” foods like pot roasts or soups. Leave the cooker to cool down naturally by pulling it away from the heat and leaving it until the pressure has been released in its own time.

  • Containers to use in the cooker

    It is sometimes necessary to use a container inside the cooker when you are cooking side dishes, desserts or grains. The beauty of this is that you can use any type of container in your cooker that can be used in a regular oven.Place your container on the trivet and never fill it more that 2/3 full to allow for the expansion of the food. When cooking grains cover the container with tin foil to prevent the vent from becoming clogged up with the foam and sputtering fluids.Don’t forget that you still need to put water in the cooker even if you have the required amount of water in the container with food.

  • Safety tips

    Never open the lid towards your face.
    Never overfill your cooker.
    Don’t use your pressure to fry with oil.
    Stay away from foods that foam and sputter; pasta, oatmeal, rhubarb, split peas, applesauce and cranberries.To prevent burning your hands when taking a hot container from your cooker use tin foil handles. Fold tin foil lengthwise, put it around your container (before cooking) and use that to lift the container out after cooking.

  • Things to avoid

    Dairy products such as milk, cheese and cream tend to curdle or burn and don’t do well in a pressure cooker. Add at the end of the cooking process after you have taken the lid of while the food is still simmering lightly.Certain foods just don’t do well in pressure cookers; pasta, oatmeal, cereals, cranberries and apples. These foods expands rapidly and tend to foam and sputter blocking the vent and also become soggy very quickly. The way around this is to cook them in containers covered with tin foil in your cooker and to keep the cooking times to a minimum.

Go to the High Pressure Cooker page to see all our info on pressure cookers.

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