Pressure Cooking Secrets

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Article By: Calphalon Team
Originally Published: 5/13/2013

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Bring faster and more flavorful cooking to your kitchen, even during the week, when you discover the convenience and simplicity of cooking under pressure. Calphalon's 6 Qt. Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker has a number of features that makes it easy and safe to use, including a lid that locks and unlocks with the touch of a button. It cooks foods faster than conventional cooking methods as well as preserves essential vitamins and nutrients, too.

With the Calphalon Pressure Cooker, cooking times can be reduced 50 percent or more, depending on the food. For example, rich, flavorful stocks can be ready in under an hour, and meats cook in a quarter to half of the time. Pressure cooking gives you the ability to quickly and efficiently cook foods that have varying consistencies at the same time, like hard beans and tough meats. And since foods cook faster with a pressure cooker, you also consume less energy – up to 30 percent less compared to conventional cooking processes.

Ready to start cooking? We've put together some great tips to get you started.

Pressure Cooker 

Remember that even pieces mean evenly cooked food. Food should be cut into uniform-sized pieces so that they cook in the same amount of time.

Brown or sear ingredients in advance. If desired, brown ingredients before adding them to the pressure cooker to caramelize and add flavor. The pressure cooker uses moist heat and does not tend to brown ingredients during the cooking process.

Seasoning food. Flavors tend to intensify in the pressure cooker, so use half the amount of herbs and spices that you would normally use. Add salt and pepper at the end to taste.

Calphalon 6 Qt. Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

Don't fill your pressure cooker with too much food. Never fill more than two-thirds full with food or one-half full of beans, grains or rice. These will expand and can block the safety systems. Also, never pack food tightly into a pressure cooker.

Start off high and finish up low. When cooking in a Calphalon Pressure Cooker start cooking over high heat. After you reach pressure, lower the burner to a simmer or medium-low on an electric stovetop.

Use stop-and-go cooking for perfect results. When making a recipe that contains ingredients that cook at different times, begin by partially cooking slow-to-cook foods, such as meat, first. Then use a quick-release method to stop the pressure cooker (remove the pressure cooker from the cook top, place in the sink, and run cool water over the lid of the pressure cooker). After the pressure indicator pin drops, open and add the faster-cooking ingredients — such as green beans or peas — to the meat. Bring the pot back up to pressure again and finish everything up together at the same time.

Set a timer. Have a kitchen timer handy so that after the pressure cooker reaches and maintains pressure, you can set it for the cooking time specified in the recipe.

Cooking time. The cooking time at high pressure doesn't include the time it takes to get to high pressure, which will depend how full the pressure cooker is. Instead, start the timer after the pressure indicator pin rises.

Water. General rule of thumb is to use 1 cup of water with recipes. Always follow recipe instructions. Never use under ½ cup of water in a pressure cooker.

Bear in mind that high altitude means longer cooking times. You may have to increase the cooking times if you live at an elevation of 3,000 feet above sea level or higher. A good general rule is to increase the cooking time by 5 percent for every 1,000 feet you are above the first 2,000 feet above sea level.

After food is cooked. Stir the food and allow it to rest for 3 to 5 minutes.

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