Increasing dependence upon a home produced food supply, a growing realization of the importance or vegetables in the diet, and the resultant interest in the most efficient method of canning has led, during the last few years, to a greatly increased use, in farm homes, of the steam pressure cooker. The steam pressure cooker makes possible the high temperature necessary to prevent spoilage of foods low in acidity, and is a precaution against poisoning, which has sometimes resulted from home canned food in adequately processed.
The usual steam pressure cooker is a heavy metal kettle with a fitted cover which clamps on tightly, preventing the escape of steam, so that the cooking is done at a temperature considerably above the boiling point of water in an open vessel. The cover is fitted with a safety value and stop cock, which makes possible the control of pressure and temperature and a more exact regulation of the cooking than is possible in the ordinary open utensils.
More complete directions for operating the different makes of cookers may be obtained from the manufactures or dealers.
Direction for Using the Pressure Cooker
Time is saved by having the pressure cooker hot when food is placed in it.
It is great to start with a hot fire under the best pressure cooker in india, then lower the heat after desired pressure is reached. When electricity, gas or kerosene is used the heat may be turned off a few minutes before time is up.
If it takes a long time to reach desired pressure, the time for cooking at that pressure may be shortened. Less water should be added than for boiling, since none is lost by evaporation.
Time is saved by cooking together foods that require the same length of time instead of exhausting the steam to place in the cooker some food that required a shorter time. When time is up, remove cooker from fire. Open the pet cock and release steam gradually. Remove lid when all steam and escaped, and thee gauge pointer stands at zero.
When the cooker is used to get a whole meal, separate pans are used. These may be placed one above the other with pieces of heavy galvanized screening or wire racks between. No lids are necessary, since the flavors do not blend.
Roasts should be seared in the bottom of the kettle before water is added. Steamed puddings are brown breads may be cooked in jars, pans or cans.
In order that products may not be heavy, they should be cooked with the pet cock open. The pressure cooker will serve many purposes, but it is most practical for canning, cooking of meats, chicken, soups, and stews; for cereals and vegetables which require long cooking; and for dried fruits. It is less desirable for the strong flavored vegetables as onion and cabbage.
Soups, stews, or smaller pieces of meat and vegetables may be cooked directly in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Oatmeal or other breakfast foods are better if brought to boiling point in one of the inset pans and then set on the rack with water under it.
Most meats are improved by searing well before placing in the pressure cooker.
Place food in the pressure cooker, wipe off top of kettle, as steam or drops of gravy may cause steam leakage. Put the cover in place and screw down evenly.
After screwing down the clamps, place kettle on a very hot fire. Leave the pet cock open until a steady stream of steam shoots out. This indicated that all air has been forced out of the kettle. Close the pet cock. When the pointer on the steam gauge moves up to near the required pressure, set the cooker on a cooler part of the stove or if using a kerosene or electric stove turn down the heat.
Being to time the cooking, when required pressure is reached. Hold the pressure at the required number of pounds for the required length of time by using more or less heat as needed. Follow directions given in the cook book for amount of pressure and length of time required.