Opening a Pressure Cooker
The Pressure Cooker mechanism is an extensive topic, which has only
increased its scope with the advancement in technology. Although it is a vessel
that is being used since long kitchens, there are many facts related to them,
which are not known to many. The pressure cookers today have many variants.
They are differentiated into electric, gas stove and induction base pressure
cooker. Again the designs are available in the diverse range, which is chosen
as per whims or utility. The benefits and disadvantages related to each type
The adding of food ingredients and water, cooking, and accessorising the
cookware; all involve different approaches. Opening a pressure cooker is also a
different matter to be dealt with. This is because, the way and the period
within which it is opened, affects the outcome of food that is in the stage of
being prepared. The opening method, which works for one type, may not work in
case of the other.
The lid of a pressure cooker can enable food to be cooked in different
manners, by pressurizing and depressurizing the vessel. Thus, it may be called
the most important part of the utensil. The effects of opening a pressure
cooker can be described as follows:
The natural release of steam from cookers is the oldest technique existing
of pressure release. In this process, the vapour is allowed to come out
naturally without any intervention. The time taken is around ten minutes in
which may extend in case of high fill level or electric cookers being used.
This method is ideal for expanding and frothing food items like the fruits,
legumes, grains, and for desserts, meats, as well as, stocks. The grains like
rice can cook in residual steam, even after the cooker is removed from heat
Under the quick or normal releasing technique, the steam is allowed to vent
out in a relatively short time. This is done by relieving the cooker of its
vent weight or whistle or by giving small jolts to remove remaining steam
pockets. This is useful for processes like stewing, in which additions are to
be made in between while preparing a dish. The opening process is also used in
quick-cooking foods. The duration of this method is around 2-3 minutes. The
foaming items like grains and meat, etc. are not suitable to be cooked under
Another type of opening method of the lid is the slow normal releasing
method. This method is quite similar to the above method only differs in the
sense that the normal venting out is allowed slowly. Short bursts of steam are
ensured using interventions, and the gap between each burst should be kept
around 10 seconds. The intervention is closing and opening of valves or vent.
The cold water or base immersion techniques that were used with aluminum
pressure cookers are no longer advisable. It is because the stainless steel is
used more by a pressure cooker manufacturer at present.