Cooking using a pressure cooker is different ordinary cooking appliances and vessels. The steam powered heat in pressure cookers raise temperatures to very high levels which are attainable with ordinary stainless steel cookware. Pressure cookers alter boiling points thus resulting in much faster cooking. Most people are used to using pressure cookers with conventional thermal cooking cooktops such as gas and electric thus get confused when using pressure cookers with induction burner.
Differences between induction cookers and regular cookers is brought about by the fact that regular cooktops use iron to get heat to the cooking point. Iron then convert electricity into heat. Heating thus takes longer than for induction cookers which heat the pan directly from the copper coil beneath the burner.
Generally, rules of thumb when using pressure cookers with induction burners include the following:
- No need to pre-heat the induction burner
Induction burners respond almost instantaneously, thus cooking zones are already hot almost immediately after powering on. Pre-heating is therefore not necessary and may just lead to burning of food or even worse, overheated oil catching fire. Place your cooking vessel on the cooking zone immediately after powering on.
- Do not bring the induction burner to high heat when using pressure cooker
The mechanics of bringing the food to high temperature too rapidly leads to the food becoming under-cooked since the pressure cooker does not have time to sufficiently expel all the air and vapor in the cooker. This is due to the fact that using high heat brings up the temperature in under four minutes which is not adequate time for the cooker to expel vapour, thus the food is effectively cooking at lower temperature than normal.
- Do not leave a full cooker unattended immediately after adjusting heat
The inside of the cooker and the sides do not reach maximum temperature at the same time thus adjusting the temperature might lead pressure inside the cooker to fall too quickly. Walking away and leaving the food unattended might thus result in food either spluttering or being under-cooked.
In order to maximize use of induction burner with pressure cooker, the following step may come in handy:
Having the appropriate cookware. This is the first step since induction cooktops will only work with cooking vessels with some iron on the bottom end. Energy generated from copper coil beneath the burner is transferred to the iron ore which is then transferred to the cooking vessel, thus heating it up.
To avoid doing away with cookware that might be compatible with the induction burners, carry out simple do it yourself tests to determine compatibility. Put a magnet on the bottom of the cookware and if they stick, they are compatible. If not, then it will be necessary to acquire other compatible cookware.
Power on the induction burner only when ready to start cooking since the temperature response is very rapid. Consult the user manual on powering on in order to avoid damage to the induction burners
Placing the cooking vessel on the burner gets it instantly heated since the cooktop will immediately sense the cookware and starts transferring heat from the electromagnetic currents to the cooking vessel.
Be keen on the time it will take to cook the food since induction burners are relatively faster. To decrease chances of overcooking, make use of the temperature preset features available in most induction burners. This will enable the cooktop to cook the food at that particular heat level. Set the timer to enable you to multi-task during cooking. If leaving the food unattended for a long time, set the warm feature such that after the preset time elapses, the induction burner automatically switches to warm mode, keeping food warm.
Generally, cooking using induction burners and pressure cookers is a big change from normal cookware thus one needs to learn step by step. Food can easily be burnt thus special care should be taken to avoid this. It is also good to consult a more knowledgeable and experienced person on the do’s and don’ts of using pressure cookers in order to stay safe and cook the best meals.