How to Troubleshoot Pressure Cooker Problems
Like any other appliance in your kitchen, pressure cookers can encounter issues, and influence cooking time, food quality and the like. Fortunately, troubleshooting pressure cooker problems is easier than you may think, and often times doesn’t even require the help of a professional to diagnose the issue. If you’re experiencing a problem with your pressure cooker, read on to learn five of the most common problems and how to troubleshoot them.
1. A Damaged Gasket
The Problem: Your pressure cooker isn’t building up enough pressure.
The Cause: Pressure cookers contain a gasket, which can sustain damage for a variety of reasons or simply wear out over time. As a result, your appliance won’t be able to build up enough pressure.
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How to Troubleshoot It: If your pressure cooker is taking too long to build up pressure, check the gasket and pressure valves for damage. If there is noticeable damage, replacing the gasket may remedy the issue.
2. Steam Is Leaking and Preventing Pressure Buildup
The Problem: Too much steam is leaking from the appliance, hindering pressure buildup. Your pressure cooker may reach the desired pressure, but takes too long to do so and cannot contain it for a long enough period of time.
The Cause: This is one of the most common issues pressure cookers face. This issue is typically caused by a damaged or dirty gasket.
How to Troubleshoot It: Take a look at the gasket and inspect it for noticeable damage. The rim of the gasket should not have cracks or food residue along it. If the gasket does have food residue on it, remove the gasket, wash it in cold water and reinstall it.
3. Vapors Are Escaping
The Problem: Vapors are escaping and food particles have accumulated inside the vent pipe.
The Cause: It’s completely normal for vapors to escape from the valve of your pressure cooker — however, if your pressure cooking is letting an excess amount of vapors escape and there are food particles in the vent pipe, it may mean there is an operational issue.
How to Troubleshoot It: Check the vent pipe for food particles and remove any debris. Check the vent pipe regularly to avoid this becoming a recurring issue.
4. Food Takes Too Long to Cook
The Problem: Food takes way longer than it should to cook evenly.
The Cause: There are a few reasons this may happen — filling the pressure cooker with too much food or water, putting frozen food in the appliance, liquid that is too thick, etc.
How to Troubleshoot It: Inspect the pressure cooker lid, handles and the food contents and make sure these factors aren’t contributing to the problem.
5. The Lid Won’t Come Off
The Problem: The pressure cooker lid is tight and extremely difficult to remove even after the appliance is turned off.
The Cause: There may be too much internal pressure build up within the appliance. When the pressure is released, it may make insufficient pressure, which ends up jamming the lid.
How to Troubleshoot It: Try pouring cold water onto the lid to release excess pressure. If this doesn’t help, remove the pressure valve and allow to appliance to heat on high. This should eventually release the pressure and the lid will loosen its grip.
Tips for Successful Pressure Cooking
As a restaurant owner, you know how great pressure cookers are. After all, they can save you time and money while helping prepare delicious, high-quality meals for your customers. Pressure cooking differs from traditional means of cooking however, so it’s important to understand pressure cooking basics as well as best practices.
Here are easy tips for pressure cooking that will ensure a great meal every time.
Brown meats, poultry and certain vegetables first
Certain foods (think meats and vegetable like onions, peppers and carrots) need extra care before going in the pressure cooker. If you have a stovetop pressure cooker, this is extra simple. All you have to do is add a small amount of oil to the pressure cooker and heat. Add your food in small batches and brown on all sides. Once you’ve done this, remove the food and set aside in a dish. Deglaze the pressure cooker with a small amount of wine, broth or water. Return the cooked food, add the remaining ingredients and set the pressure cooker. We guarantee you’ll love the results
Don’t add too much liquid
When using a pressure cooker, there is less evaporation that takes place. This means you don’t need to use as much liquid as you would in a non-pressure cooker dish. Be sure to always use at least one cup of liquid, but don’t go overboard.
Never fill the pressure cooker with too much food
Overfilling the pressure cooker is a big no-no. Keep it at or below two-thirds full!
Cut food evenly
Remember, food that is cut evenly will cook evenly. There’s nothing worse than eating a dish that has an inconsistent texture.
Start high, finish low
If you have a stovetop pressure cooker, start cooking your dish on high pressure. After you reach pressure, lower the burner to a simmer.
Contact Quick Servant for Commercial Pressure Cooker Repair
If your cooking equipment is underperforming, so does your food! Don’t let a faulty pressure cooker or other appliance hinder your commercial kitchen from preparing delicious food this holiday season and beyond. At Quick Servant, our highly trained technicians are experienced with all leading brands of equipment and provide new installations, repair and maintenance for nearly all commercial cooking appliances. Contact us today and ensure your commercial kitchen is ready for the holidays!