Cooking with pressure cookers, user's manual and instructions

Cooking with Pressure Cookers - FAQs 

Q. How do I know when the pressure cooker is operating correctly?

As long as the cooker lid is closed, the lid handle is directly over the pan handle and the pressure control is gently jiggling you can be sure the cooker is maintaining the proper internal pressure. The pressure control never needs to be tested or adjusted for accuracy.

Q. How does the pressure cooker work?

The pressure cooker produces pressure by heating water thereby generating steam (similar to the steam that raises the lid of your conventional cooker). The pressure cooker keeps the steam inside, allowing the excess to escape through the vent tube. The pressure control automatically maintains a constant internal pressure.

Q. If I use high heat will the food cook faster?

No. Using high heat for cooking will only waste energy and result in excessive loss of cooking liquid (water). However you must use high heat to initially bring cooker up to pressure.

Q. Why does steam escape from the overpressure valve at the beginning of the operation?

At the start of cooking the internal pressure is low and not sufficient to activate the red center piece of the overpressure valve. The purpose of this is to eliminate the cold air inside the cooker at the start of cooking. However, if during cooking, steam continues to escape, make sure that the overpressure valve is clean and the red center piece is in the correct position. Remember to only open your cooker when the pressure is down. If the overpressure valve continues to leak, replace with a new certified overpressure valve.

Q. When should I change the rubber gasket?

The life span of your rubber gasket depends on the type of food and how frequently you use your pressure cooker. If you notice steam escaping between the pan and the lid (as long as the gasket and the lid are clean and properly installed), stretch the rubber gasket slightly and test it again. Should the leakage continue, replace it with a new certified rubber gasket.

Q. What should I do if, during cooking, steam stops coming out of the vent tube?

Turn off the heat and wait while your pressure cooker cools to room temperature. Open it and remove the pressure control, check the vent tube against the light and clean it with a wire, check the level of food and water (if in excess, remove part of it), close the lid correctly, replace the pressure control and resume cooking.

Q. What makes the rubber gasket stretch, shrink, swell or stiffen?

The stretching or swelling may occur when there is an accumulation of grease from food or excessive oiling. Wash it thoroughly after each use. Stiffness or shrinkage is caused by pressure, heat and age. If this occurs, replace it with a new certified gasket.

Q. When cooling my pressure cooker under the water tap, it whistles; is this dangerous?

While being cooled under water, the initial pressure is quickly reduced producing a vacuum. The whistle is produced by the incoming air. This is normal and not dangerous.

Q. What makes the cooker lid hard to close?

In a new cooker, the gasket is dry and often very snug fitting. Pressing down on the cover with one hand, while you close the cooker with the other, will often help. You may lubricate the gasket with cooking oil or shortening for the first two or three uses. Caution: Excessive lubrication will cause the gasket to swell and not fit properly.

Q. Why won’t my pressure cooker come up to pressure?

- Inadequate heat supply. Make sure your range is set on HIGH HEAT until pressure builds up.
- You are using the cooker on a ceramic or glass top range, which is not recommended.
- The bottom of the cooker is warped.
- Your range or burner is not flat and level.
- The gasket is bad (old, cracked, ripped, etc.) and needs to be replaced.
- The cover is not in a fully closed position. Remove the cooker from heat and cool. Turn the cover-clockwise until it stops to a handle-over-handle position (cover handle over pan handle).
- If the control is not seated correctly on the vent tube.
- If the cover handle is cracked. Replace with a new handle.

Q. Can I use my pressure cooker on a flat top (glass or ceramic) range?

No. Our cookers are manufactured with a concave bottom, meaning a large area of the bottom is not in contact with the heat source. This will prevent the transfer of heat and not allow the cooker to come up to pressure if used on a flat top range.