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|Read this section after you have finished reading Trial Run Before Cooking and before cooking in your Hawkins pressure cooker.|
|The size of the individual pieces of food and not the total quantity determines the cooking time. Cut food in even sizes for even cooking.|
|• Ingredients requiring roughly the same cooking time can be cooked together without mixing their flavours if kept physically separated and not mixed in the same liquid.|
|• Ingredients with different cooking times
may be cooked together by using the following techniques:
· Speed up cooking time by cutting food into smaller pieces and by presoaking lentils, beans and cereals.
· Slow down cooking time by cutting food into larger pieces and by wrapping in foil.
· Start longer-cooking ingredients first, interrupt pressure cooking to add quicker-cooking ingredients and then complete pressure cooking.
|Adapting Your Own Recipes|
|Most foods that can be cooked with moist heat - boiled, steamed, braised and stewed - are suitable for pressure cooking.|
|The Recipes on this website are examples of the correct way to cook in the Hawkins Pressure Cooker. Find a recipe similar to yours and use broadly similar methods, food and water quantities and cooking times.|
|If there is no similar recipe to match for timing, a general rule is to pressure cook one-third the normal cooking time and then check the food for doneness. If undercooked, reclose the pressure cooker and cook for a suitable amount of additional time.|
|There is little evaporation in pressure cooking so liquid quantity ordinarily has to be reduced - always ensuring that there is enough liquid for the entire cooking time.|
|Pressure cooking retains flavours so season with restraint. Taste and add more seasoning, if required, after pressure cooking.|
|Milk, cream and yogurt tend to curdle and froth when pressure cooked in the base of the cooker and should generally be added to recipes after pressure cooking.|
|The Hawkins pressure cooker is suitable for use on domestic gas and kerosene stoves. The Hawkins Ekobase and Futura pressure cookers are suitable for use on an electric hot plate as well.|
|Use a burner to suit the size of the cooker - gas flames should not lick the sides of the cooker.|
|The cooker can be used on wood or coal fires provided it is not in direct contact with hot coals. WARNING: DIRECT CONTACT WITH HOT COALS CAN DAMAGE THE METAL. There should be at least a 1 inch / 2.5 cm gap between the burning coals and the base of the cooker. On improvised fires or commercial burners, limit the heat to the level usually found in domestic stoves. The Hawkins pressure cooker (except the Bigboy) must not be used on an industrial burner.|
|When cooking foods that may sprout such as legumes, bring cooker to full operating pressure on medium heat and reduce heat as soon as full pressure is reached. Remove cooker briefly from heat if the steam seems to be evacuating too forcefully.|
|Frying Prior to Pressure Cooking|
|Some recipes require light frying before pressure cooking. Frying or browning in a small amount of butter, oil or other fat can be done in the pressure cooker body without the lid.|
|Browning meat and poultry before pressure cooking helps to seal in the juices and improves the appearance and taste of the food. If you want to eliminate the additional fat and/or save time, browning can be omitted - it is not necessary for pressure cooking.|
|Brown pieces of food in small batches to keep the oil temperature high so the food is seared but does not cook. Brown all sides evenly.|
|After frying, remove cooker body from heat before adding liquid to the cooker.|
|It is a safety requirement that deep-frying, involving more than ½ cup oil or frying for more than 20 minutes at a time, is not done in the pressure cooker body of an aluminium or anodised aluminium pressure cooker. You may deep-fry for longer periods in the Hawkins Stainless Steel or Futura Stainless Steel pressure cooker body.|
|Do not pressure fry in the pressure cooker. It is designed to be operated only with liquid which produces steam.|
|There must be enough water (or stock, juice, vinegar, beer or wine) in the pressure cooker to make steam throughout the entire pressure cooking time and prevent burning. Oils and fats do not produce steam. If the water quantity is insufficient, you run the risk of either a ruined recipe or having to replace a safety valve - or both.|
|The minimum quantity of cooking liquid required is 1 cup for the first 10 minutes of pressure cooking time plus ½ cup for every subsequent 10 minutes or part thereof. This quantity will prevent boiling dry provided you reduce the heat when cooker has reached full operating pressure.|
|The pressure cooker should never be used as an oven for dry heating or baking as it may reduce the strength of the metal.|
|Start timing recipes when the pressure cooker reaches full operating pressure. Use a kitchen timer or watch/clock. Exact timing is critical to successful pressure cooking. Counting whistles may give you the wrong time required for cooking any particular food or recipe. Pressure cooking is much faster than conventional cooking so timing errors have greater consequences.|
|If the food is only slightly undercooked, you may be able to complete the cooking without pressure. This method is especially suitable for foods which are easily overcooked. If the food requires more pressure cooking, decide how many minutes, ensure there is enough cooking liquid for the extra time, and bring cooker back to full operating pressure and cook the additional time.|
|Cooking times given in our recipes are a guide. More or less time may be necessary depending on the age, tenderness and variety of the ingredients and how well cooked you prefer the food to be. Experience will enable you to adjust the times suitably.|
|"Pressure Cooking Time 0 minute" in our Pressure Cooking Charts and our Recipes signifies that the pressure cooker is to be taken off the heat as soon as the pressure cooker has reached full operating pressure.|
|Cooking on high heat after full pressure is reached does not result in faster cooking. It wastes energy and increases the likelihood of boiling dry and/or spoiling the food.|
|When cooking on wood stoves or camp fires, move pressure cooker to a cooler part of the stove or shift cooker partly off the burner to cook at reduced heat ensuring that cooker is not tilted.|
|There are three methods to release pressure in the
• "Allow to cool naturally" means to remove the cooker from the heat and leave it until the pressure has dropped to normal and the lid can be opened. This takes from about 10 to 20 minutes. This method is required for soups, legumes, recipes containing leavening agents and custards. Some cooks believe that the texture, tenderness and taste of food, especially meat, are improved by allowing to cool naturally whenever possible.
• "Release pressure with slight lifting of pressure regulator" means to lift the pressure regulator slightly with a fork and allow steam to escape so the lid can be opened immediately (in the case of the Futura pressure cooker, press finger-tip control lightly to release steam). This method is required for easily overcooked foods such as delicate vegetables and fish. This method cannot be used when the cooker contains predominantly liquid foods as the food/liquid may come out of the steam vent.
• "Release pressure by placing cooker in about 4 inches/10 cm of cold water in a basin or in a sink for 2 minutes". Open when the pressure has fallen. Do not run water over the lid. This method is required when the cooker contains liquid or frothing foods and you wish to open immediately.
|The method of releasing pressure has a bearing on the pressure cooking time. If you change from immediate opening to cooling naturally, reduce pressure cooking time by 2 to 3 minutes. Similarly, if you change from cooling naturally to immediate opening, increase pressure cooking time by 2 to 3 minutes.|