Afraid of Your Pressure Cooker?

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 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7

Do you have a pressure cooker looming in the pantry under layers of dust?  Afraid you will cause an explosion if you break that thing out and actually use it?  Fear no more.  For the past couple of weeks we have been teaching Anne Mary (Age 7) to use the Pressure Cooker as part of her Home Economics class.   This week, she had her final exam in pressure cooking and we took pictures the whole way so you can see how to do it at home.

Step 1:    Find all four of your pressure cooker parts (Five if you count the rubber gasket).IMG_3213

 Step 2:  Inspect the gasket ring to be sure it is in good condition.  It should not feel sticky or hard and dry.  It should be pliable but strong rubber.  Also inspect the vent hole (where the rocker fits) to be sure you can see through it.


Step 3:  Add your meat to the pressure cooker.




 Step 4:  Add your seasonings.  Here Anne Mary is adding Montreal Steak Season from Grill Mates.  We love this blend!



Step 5:  Add your vegetables.  Ordinarily we would add potatoes and carrots, but we just had carrots on hand.


Step 6:  Add the water.  You will not add much water, about 1 cup for the entire 3 lb roast.  Some recipes call for you to add oil.  Anne Mary added one Tablespoon of oil.


Step 7:  Line the Arrows on the lid to match the arrows on the handle as pictured here.  Then turn the handle to lock it into place.


Step 8:  Add the rocker to the top of the vent cover.


Step 9:  Turn the stove to HIGH until the rocker starts to rock back and forth.  Once it starts rocking turn it down until it rocks gently back and forth and makes a hissing sound.  If it rocks too rapidly you will scorch your food.  A 3 lb roast will take 45 minutes to cook once the rocker is rocking.  Set a timer! Once it beeps, turn off the stove and move the pressure cooker to a cool burner to cool.

Step 10:  Once the rocker stops rocking and the steam valve releases (drops down) you can safely remove the rocker.  Be careful!  Some steam may escape and burn you.  After the steam is not longer coming from the top, you can open the pressure cooker, being careful about the steam again.


Step 11:  Serve and Enjoy!



Great Job, Anne Mary!   A+


  1. Melonie (Momma & More)

    WOW – this is fantastic! I’m 33 and have never learned such a skill. Sounds like something to put on my “to learn” list for 2008!!!!

  2. Malia

    Well, I learned this just about 7 years ago! My mother-in-law used hers, taught me how, then bought me one as a gift. I fell in love with pressure cooking when I realized I could cook chicken very quickly and it was yummy! Thanks for stopping by my site today!

  3. Jill

    I started using a modern spring-valve (no jiggler which is safer and easier)pressure cooker more than 10 years ago when my son was little. I didn’t really think about teaching him how to use it but I was able to make great tasting food fast. I teach others how to do it in person and with a DVD titled Pressure Cooking: A Fresh Look, Delicious Dishes in Minutes.
    It’s a skill that we can all learn to our advantage regarding time, money, energy, nutrition and taste. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Jill


    Thanks for the opportunity to tell others about my website where I have my DVD Pressure Cooking: A Fresh Look, Delicious Dishes in Minutes for sale. If they sign up for my email newsletter they automatically get a pressure cooking recipe, and I’ve been sending one out almost every month in the newsletter. (I am a bit of a pressure cooking nut, using it almost everyday.)
    Keep up the good work educating on so many important topics.

  5. Malia

    Hi Jill:
    Thanks for stopping by my website today. When you get a chance, stop by again and post your website in a comment on the section on pressure cooking. I know my readers will be interested in learning about that resource, especially if you still have those for sale. The web address has to be inside the actual comment to show up for others to see.

  6. Melonie (Momma & More)

    This is great news, Jill! I’m going to hit your site next!
    Malia, thanks for these resources. I have a semi-“dumb” question. 😉 My husband keeps saying that all you need for canning is a pressure cooker – I thought it was a different item? Or that only certain foods could be canned in a pressure cooker, maybe? Do you already have something written up in your archives I could read about this? Or any suggestions as to where to go for more info?
    THANKS much!
    Have a beautiful weekend. 🙂

  7. Malia

    Hi Melonie:
    I know you are able to can using a pressure cooker, but not the size I have unless it is tiny little jars. The older pressure cookers were quite large. Canning is something I have not really explored. I am always afraid I will ruin a bunch of food fast. I do freeze tons of things that I know I could can. For example, the tomatoes from my garden. I just dice them and freeze them in two cup portions that I pull out and use in soups and recipes througout the year. Do you know any ladies who can? Your best bet is to find one of those ladies and have them help you. I just did a quick search on the web and it states there very clearly that a normal pressure cooker is NOT safe for canning. Some pressure cookers are safe, but they must state so in their directions. If you DO decide to try it, be sure you follow direction VERY carefully. Canning is a science and improperly canned foods can spoil, or worse, make your family very sick.

    I have made homemade jam, but that was not the same as canning. I used the inversion method and made freezer jam.
    Let me know if you decide to try canning. I would love to hear about it.

  8. Alex

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

  9. TheRoosterChick

    Thanks for sharing these helpful tips.

  10. Deb

    Great site, Malia!

    Decades ago, I did some canning for a few years. If memory serves, and if modern technology hasn’t changed food handling, canning in a pressure cooker is REQUIRED for anything with meat including meat-based broth. I think it has something to do with animal fats turning rancid. I can recall canning a batch of mincemeat pie filling and using a huge pressure cooker. The jars have a 2-part lid, a ring and a flat piece. The ring holds the flat piece in place in the pressure cooker. The flat piece forms a seal. As long as the seal is good, your food is preserved as good as canned goods from a store with the advantage of knowing that you left out the ingredients most folks can’t pronounce.

    I also remember sealing jams and jellies with parafin and using a water bath (huge lidded enamel pot, blue with white speckles) with canning jars with the 2 piece lid for for veggies and pickles.

    I gave all the canning stuff to my sister after I took a job in the city and she married man with chickens and a big garden.

    I have not done any canning in decades. So check for updates…and check my memory!


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