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Frequently Asked Questions about Pressure Cookers:

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Q: How is the Duromatic pressure cooker valve different than the old-style weight valve?
A: The spring-valve of the Duromatic pressure cooker by Kuhn Rikon allows the user to determine the exact time at which the interior of the pan comes to pressure and, thereby affords much greater accuracy in the timing of cooking. When the first red ring appears, the internal pressure has been raised 8 pounds per square inch above the external pressure. When the second red ring appears, the internal pressure has been raised 15 pounds per square inch above the external pressure.

The weight-valve system on older pressure cookers and on some contemporary pressure cookers has no clear indication of when full pressure is achieved; the user must guess as to when this has occurred. Obviously the spring-valve system of the Duromatic pressure cooker by Kuhn Rickon allows the user greater accuracy in timing and, consequently, superior cooking results.

The weight-valve system allows a great deal of steam to escape. When a large amount of steam is escaping, there is a constant hissing noise, and increased likelihood of a clogged valve, and greater evaporation of moisture. The spring-valve system of the Duromatic pressure cooker allows cooking with less water (thereby retaining more of the vitamins, minerals and natural taste of the food, almost eliminates clogged valves, and is much quieter than cooking with weight-valve system.

Q: At which pressure do I cook most foods?
A: Most foods can be cooked at the higher pressure(second red ring) or 15 pounds per square inch (PSI). Foods that have a tendency to foam such as rice and soups must be cooked on the first red ring. Instruction manuals and recipes will indicate if cooking at the first red ring is desired and cooking times are already adjusted.

Q. Must I alter cooking times at higher elevations?
A: Yes. As you have probably experienced, it takes much longer to cook foods such as beans and brown rice at higher elevations. This is due to the fact that the temperature at which they come to a boil, and therefore cook, is lower than it would be at sea level. This �law of nature� makes a pressurecooker extremely valuable at higher elevations because it allows the
user to raise the cooking temperature and this speeds cooking. In order to compensate for the lower external pressure at elevations above 2000 feet, the cooking times in a pressure cooker must be altered according to the formula below: For every 1000 ft above 2000 ft elevation, increase cooking time by 5%.

Q: What are the benefits of using a pressure cooker?
A: Healthy meals! Because very little water is used in pressure cooking and because the pressure cooker is a �closed system,� few vitamins and minerals are lost to the cooking water or dissipated into the air. Because they are not exposed to oxygen, vegetables not only retain their vitamins and minerals, but their vivid color as well.

Low fat, high protein beans and legumes, healthy additions to any diet, are frequently avoided because of their long cooking time under normal cooking conditions. In a pressure cooker, however, most beans and legumes can be cooked in less than 15 minutes.

Better Taste! This is the direct result of the health benefits explained above. Moreover, for dishes such as stews and pasta sauces the pressure actually causes the ingredients to quickly mingle and their flavors to intensify. Pressure cookers keep the flavor in the food.

Faster Cooking! The cooking times for most foods in the pressure cooker are approximately 1/4 - 1/3 the times for those same foods cooked in traditional manners, and in many instances, faster even than in a microwave.

Some sample times include:

Food Pressure Cooking Time Traditional Time
artichokes 10-14 minutes 40-45 minutes
black beans 10-12 minutes 2 1/2 hours
whole chicken 5 minutes /lb 15 minutes/lb
white rice 5 minutes 15-25 minutes
brown rice 20-22 minutes 45-50 minutes
whole new potatoes 5-6 minutes 25-30 minutes
beef stew 15-20 minutes 2 hours

The decreased cooking time required for foods cooked in a pressure cooker results in proportionally reduced consumption of energy. An additional benefit, especially on hot summer days, is that the kitchen doesn�t heat or steam up when a pressure cooker is used, as it does when conventional cooking methods are used.

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