If you follow the Gundry way of eating, then a pressure cooker is a key appliance for your kitchen. Pressure cookers make certain foods safer to eat, they cook food faster, and the food tastes amazing. But it’s also very important to know how to use a pressure cooker safely.
Read on to learn the ins and outs of using a pressure cooker and some easy pressure cooker recipes that will have you cooking like a pro in no time.
Cooking With Water, Heat, And Pressure: How Does A Pressure Cooker Work?
The idea of cooking with a pressure cooker may feel a little daunting at first. So, let’s take a clear look at how it actually works.
Here’s the secret to pressure cooking: steam under pressure. A sealed pot, with steam inside, builds into a high-pressure state. This decreases cooking time.
This also allows temperatures to build higher than boiling point. If water boils at 212 °F, that’s the hottest temperature that it will reach in an uncovered pot. But that same water under pressure can get up around 250 °F.
This hot steam simply cooks foods quicker, while retaining more of their nutrients and flavor 1
The principle is the same as with atmospheric pressure. Let’s say you’re camping at high altitudes. Because there’s less atmospheric pressure, your water will boil at a slightly lower boiling point. It’s the direct opposite of what happens in the pressure cooker – where increased pressure is boiling water at a much higher temperature.
The Parts Of A Pressure Cooker
- The Gasket – This rubber ring fits just inside the inner edge of the lid and creates a strong seal.
- The Vent Pipe – This pokes out of the top of the lid and is a quick release valve where steam will escape.
- The Pressure Regulator (Jiggle Top) – This weight valve produces and regulates pressure. It’s placed over the vent pipe. On some cookers, this part will whistle as it releases steam.
- The Safety Valve – This valve can release pressure and prevent an explosion if the pressure level gets too high (if steam is prevented from escaping, or if there isn’t enough liquid in the cooker).
- The Insert – This metal steamer basket allows you to cook multiple food items at once or smaller amounts of food.2
Practice Caution When You Use A Pressure Cooker: High Heat And High Pressure
When you’re cooking with both high heat and high pressure, always be cautious. Even though the pressure cooker has been around for years and used all over the world, it still needs to be used with caution.
Here are a few safety tips for using a pressure cooker:
- Maintain the rubber gasket (the seal.) Keep it clean and in good shape.
- Don’t overfill. Foods expand under pressure.
- Be wary of second-hand cookers – check for cracks or broken seals. In fact, regularly check your own cooker for cracks or loose screws.
- Always follow the recipe. The amount of liquid used is tied to the pressure that will build.
- Stay away from the steam. When you open your cooker, be exceptionally careful and make sure it’s facing away from you. Scalding steam can cause serious burns.
- Learn how to release pressure safely. Using the pressure release function (if you have one), let it cool until the pressure drops, or run cold water over the lid of the cooker (if using a stovetop pressure cooker ONLY). Don’t rush this step.
All in all, don’t be afraid to use a pressure cooker. It’s a wonder of a kitchen appliance that can save you cooking time.
Steamer Options: Stainless Steel And Electronic Pressure Cookers
There are two kinds of pressure cookers on the market. The traditional stove-top, stainless steel cooker or the more modern electronic pressure cooker.
As far as kitchen appliances go, either is a terrific choice. Just be aware that electric pressure cookers usually require a longer cook time than stovetop cookers as they have a slightly different cooking pressure. That said, they’re a lot easier (and safer) to use.
So follow recipes according to the type of pressure cooker being used.
Easy Pressure Cooker Recipes: Ingredients And Steps
Cooking under pressure has so many benefits. Aside from being quick and flavorful, it can also protect you from lectins. Because of their lectin content, foods like beans, grains, tomatoes, and potatoes can wreak havoc on your gut if not cooked properly.
The best way to destroy these lectins is to use a pressure cooker. While it won’t get every last lectin, it can do a pretty good job. So, it’s a great tool for healthier eating.
Unfortunately, this won’t help with grains. But, if you must eat lectin-containing vegetables and legumes (like black beans and lentils), pressure cooking them is a great choice.
There are so many incredible recipes out there, just waiting for you to discover them. Here’s a couple to get you started.
Note: It’s helpful to get to know your own type of cooker and to read any instructions or recipes they may include for more precise food cooking times and directions.
Recipe 1: How To Pressure Cook Legumes
Pre-soak legumes through several changes of water. This helps to remove lectins and decreases the cooking time.
Using an electric pressure cooker with enough liquid (water) to submerge all of the beans, cooking times are as follows for pre-soaked legumes:
- Black beans: 6-8 minutes
- Garbanzo beans: 10 -15 minutes
- Kidney beans: 8 -10 minutes
- Lentils: 10 -12 minutes. Lentils prefer a ratio of 1:2 with water.
Recipe 2: Grain-Free Pressure Cooker Risotto
This delicious, creamy risotto is also grain-free.3
1 medium head of cauliflower (or cauliflower rice)
- 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 lb small shiitake mushrooms, sliced (or cremini or white mushrooms)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup bone broth (or chicken broth or vegetable broth)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp tapioca starch
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- Cut cauliflower florets from the roots.
- Use a grater or a food processor to grate the cauliflower into the size of rice.
- Add coconut oil to an electric pressure cooker and set it to “Sauté.”Make sure to thoroughly coat the bottom of the pan.Let it heat for 5 minutes.
- Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic Cook stirring for 7 minutes until the mushrooms have sweat and are tender.
- Add coconut aminos, and stir, cooking for 5 minutes or until the vegetables have browned. Turn off the cooker.
- Add cauliflower rice, coconut milk, bone broth, nutritional yeast, and sea salt. Stir everything together.
- Seal the lid. Make sure the pressure valve is set to close, and set the pressure cooker to “Manual” for 2 minutes.
- Once it finishes, immediately release the pressure valve and open the lid.
- Sprinkle tapioca starch over the risotto, and stir until thickened. Add more salt if desired. Add ground black pepper.
- Serve warm, sprinkled with chopped parsley.
Easy, Delicious, Beautifully Cooked Food – In Minutes
Steam has proven itself to be a wonderful heat source for cooking. With reduced cooking time and an easy cleanup, the pressure cooker may become your new favorite kitchen appliance.
Dr. G’s Pressure Cooker Recipe (turkey, kale & lima beans)
A Comprehensive List of Deadly Nightshades
15 Ways to Reduce Lectins in Your Diet