Pressure cookers are extremely useful in cooking hard-to-cook food items instantly. While these are extremely handy and effective for fast cooking, certain food items must never be cooked in a pressure cooker.
Pressure cookers are one of the most used kitchen equipment in India. These are present in almost all Indian households. One can perform a variety of cooking operations, like steaming, baking and even shallow frying in pressure cookers. The most extensive use of pressure cookers in India is generally done for making Dal and Biryanis. Many people in India have also mastered the art of baking a cake in pressure cookers. But certain types of food must never be cooked in a pressure cooker as it leads to loss of taste and texture. The overall experience of eating the same food might be a lot different after it is cooked in a pressure cooker. In this list, one can see nine food items that should be avoided from being cooked in a pressure cooker to preserve their taste and texture.
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* Crunchy Food
One must avoid cooking crunchy and crispy food in a pressure cooker as it results in giving a very bad taste. Even if fritters or chips are fried in a pressure cooker with an open lid, it will still not fry these food items properly. There will still be a very raw after/taste and one is not going to enjoy them as much as one can after properly frying them. The pressure cooker is fine for sautéing some vegetables lightly but it shouldn't be used for deep frying.
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Cooking pasta in a pressure cooker is also not a great idea. Pressure cookers are very effective in cooking food items instantly and to the core. This is why cooking food items like pulses and rice is always a better option as these are generally harder and take more time to get cooked. On the other hand, cooking food items like pasta may make it too mushy and it might lose its firmness. The best way to cook pasta is to boil it on the gas in a pan.
A lot of people think that cooking seafood like fish and crabs in a pressure cooker will make it very soft. But one must avoid cooking delicate seafood like shrimp, shellfish and fish in a pressure cooker as it will overcook them. To preserve the actual taste and texture of seafood it is very important to not cook seafood in a pressure cooker as the mushy texture will spoil your overall experience.
* Dairy Food
Cooking diary-based items in a pressure cooker may also spoil the taste of the condiments used. Dairy-based items usually curdle under extremely high temperatures. Some products might even lose their taste and firmness. This is why one must never take the risk of cooking dairy-based products in a pressure cooker so that they do not get separated.
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* Baking Food Items
While a lot of people in India practice cooking cakes and pies in pressure cookers to get the right taste and texture, it is not the best idea in all situations. Cooking a cake made up of simple ingredients might give a cake that tastes good, but sometimes the complex ingredients used in cooking a cake might not get cooked properly. Cooking food items like muffins, pies and puffs in a pressure cooker is also not ideal.
* Thick Soups
A lot of people think thick soups are best cooked in pressure cookers as they help in cooking all the ingredients used in the soup properly. If one doesn't have any option but to cook soup in a pressure cooker only, then it is better to use softer ingredients at the end of the cooking process. Also, if there are any dairy-based products involved, then they must also be added during the end as it may lead to curdling.
Fruits are used in a lot of desserts and even salty food items. If one is cooking any dish in a pressure cooker that involves fruit, then remember that there is always a risk of the dish getting spoiled. Fruits already have a pulpy texture which is quite delicate. Under too much pressure, fruits may become mushy. It is always better to go for different cooking methods like baking and steaming if there is involvement of fruits.
* Leafy Vegetables
Leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are also very tender. They don't require a lot of temperature to get cooked and can be cooked at a low flame or temperature as well. Cooking leafy vegetables in a pressure cooker for too long may make them very soft and they might also end up losing their taste. There are a lot of other methods like boiling and blanching that can be used for cooking these leafy vegetables.
These are some food items that one must avoid cooking in a pressure cooker in all cases.