How to Use a Pressure Cooker

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How to Use a Pressure Cooker
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Learn all the parts of the pressure cooker and how to use it to cook garbanzo beans.



2 cups dried garbanzo beans

Water to cover


Wash and rinse the beans and put them into a large bowl. Cover with water and soak 8-10 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the beans.

Place the beans in the pressure cooker. Pour in enough water to cover the beans by about 2 inches.

Insert the gasket into the lid of the pressure cooker. Close the lid. Close the steam release switch and lock the lid.

Turn on the heat to medium-high. When the pressure indicator has popped up, lower the heat to low, set the timer for 9-14 minutes (for other beans, check the bean cooking chart in the "Resources" section on this web site), and let it cook. When the time is up, turn off the heat, remove the pot from the burner, and (in this case), let the pot cool.

When the pressure indicator has dropped (about 20 minutes later), it is safe to open the pressure cooker. Remove the lid and you have cooked garbanzo beans.

Additional Tips

Every modern pressure cooker comes equipped with a steam release, a pressure indicator and a locking system. Read the manual for your pressure cooker before using.

There are three methods for using the pressure cooker: natural release (or letting the pot cool on its own); quick release (turn the steam release knob and the pressure will release); or cool water method (take the pot to the sink and run cool water over the lid). The first method is good for beans and grains. The second and third methods are used for delicate vegetables, unsoaked beans or for dishes that need immediate cooling.

Recipe by
Karna Knapp