Pressure Cooking FAQs

Are pressure cookers safe?
Many people have heard horror stories of the old stove top ‘jiggler’ model pressure cookers blowing their lids and sending both the lids and the contents of the pot onto the ceiling. Those days are gone. Today’s pressure cookers have multiple built in safety features to prevent this from happening. There are valves that allow built up pressure to escape. The lids lock in place once the cooker comes up to pressure and cannot be opened until all of the pressure has been released. And as with most things, read the manual! It contains all of the information you to need to safely operate the pressure cooker you own.

How long should certain foods be cooked under pressure? Use these handy charts as a guide.

What is Pot in Pot cooking?
Most recipes allow you to put your ingredients directly in the removable pot inside your pressure cooker. However, some recipes tell you to put your ingredients inside a pot or a pan that fits inside your pot. Cheesecake is an example of a recipe that requires Pot in Pot cooking.

What types of containers can be used inside a pressure cooker?
Any vessel that can be safely used in a standard oven may be used in a pressure cooker. This includes containers made of aluminum, ceramic, heat-proof glass (such as Pyrex*), silicone, and stainless steel.
Never use plastic in a pressure cooker!
* Pyrex has been in the news recently because of the baking dishes ‘exploding’ in the oven, or even on the table when they are still hot from the oven. Were these freak accidents or are they real concerns? Who knows. According to reports, in 2007 Pyrex changed their formula for making glass. The dishes made since then are the ones in question. The older dishes seem to be fine. My only advice is to exercise caution when using Pyrex. I am not well-versed on this problem. I’m only going by what I read.

What is the difference between an Instant Pot and a pressure cooker?
An Instant Pot is a brand of pressure cooker. While all pressure cookers are essentially the same, manufacturers add features to their cookers that may or may not differentiate them from all of the other brands on the market.

Can frozen meats be cooked in a pressure cooker?
You want to put dinner together in a hurry but you forgot to defrost the meat. No problem. You can cook meat from frozen in a pressure cooker. Check out the tips and tricks from Hip Pressure Cooking on
How To Pressure Cook Frozen Meat.

Dried Beans. To soak or not to soak?
The debate rages on between those who insist that you must soak your beans before you cook them and those who say it doesn’t make a hill of beans of a difference.
The Soakers say that that soaking releases phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that are going to be in your gut causing you gas, heartburn, reflux and whatever other digestive problems you are likely to experience you when you eat something that isn’t easily digestible. That’s good enough for me. I’m soaking. Here’s the link if you want to read more.
You Must Soak!

The Non-Soakers say soaking is for the un-cool. No need. I’ll let you read and decide for yourself. Personally, I don’t care to run the risk of my beans retaining their ‘musicality’. But as I said, decide for yourself.
Be cool. Don’t soak!