parts of a pressure cooker

A Word About Using a Pressure Cooker

Pressure cookers cook ingredients at lower temperatures under pressure.  Foods cook quicker, retain more nutrients, and meats tenderize.  Once you’ve learned to use one safely, a pressure cooker is a valuable tool.  But, once you have the lid locked in place, do not remove it until the cooking is finished and the all the pressure has released from the pot.  Do not remove the lid as soon you turn off the heat or remove the pot from the burner.  Wait for the pot to cool down, and for the steam to stop venting.  Newer pressure cookers have release valves, so you can release the steam and pressure, and open the pot sooner, but don’t try that on one as old as my Grandma’s.  (My mother did once, and the whole thing exploded hot boiling food all over the kitchen, sending her to the hospital with second degree burns.)  You shouldn’t be afraid to use one, but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation.