How should you use a pressure cooker? Tips & Tricks

Updated on 27 Jul 2023

A pressure cooker, also known as a pressure cooker, has come under a lot of attention lately. And not without reason, because there are quite a few advantages to using this pan. For instance, it drastically reduces cooking times, uses less energy and preserves more of the nutrients in your food. If you use a pressure cooker, you fill it with a small amount of water, close the lid and set the desired setting with the pressure regulator. This indicates its state during the cooking process. 

After cooking, release the pressure and enjoy a delicious and healthy meal. Not experienced in using a pressure cooker yet? Then read the tips & tricks below. 

Tip 1: consider the amount of moisture required

Cooking your food requires less liquid than an ordinary saucepan, but it is still important to fill the pan with a minimum amount. In most cases, this is water, but of course it can also be wine or stock. It is important to know that a pressure cooker should never be filled by more than two-thirds with water or other liquid. If this does happen, too little space is left for steam to form and the cooker cannot do its job. 

Tip 2: Know when the cooking time starts

When you place the pressure cooker and its contents on the heat source, the pressure increases rapidly. Only when the pressure reaches the pre-programmed limit does the cooking process begin. In modern pressure cookers, the lines on the valve stem indicate the pressure inside the cooker. Older models show this by pushing steam out of the vents. Only when either of these indicators is present does the actual cooking process begin. 

Tip 3: Turn down the heat a little once the cooking time starts.

Has the cooking process started? Then turn down the heat source a little, as you would when preparing food in a regular saucepan. It is important that the pressure remains constant throughout the cooking process. If this is not the case, the result will deviate from your expectations. 

Tip 4: Release pressure responsibly

Modern pressure cookers are completely safe to use. However, it is important that you take care when depressurising the cooker. If you proceed too hastily, hot steam can escape and cause burns. Depressurising a pressure cooker can be done in various ways. The instructions for your pressure cooker will tell you the correct way to do this. The three different ways are:

  1. Let the pan cool gently. 
  2. Release steam through the steam valve.
  3. Cool the pressure cooker under gently running water.

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