Should You Follow Pressure Cooking Time Charts or Not?

Should You Follow Pressure Cooking Time Charts or Not?

A pressure cooker can cook virtually anything from vegetables of every description to rice, meats and main courses, potatoes, to dessert. They cook very fast allowing you to prepare foods up to 70% faster while retaining nutritional values compared to other conventional cooking techniques. However, using the best pressure cooker does not mean that you will have exactly the same tastes, texture and preferences of tenderness of food as that of another person. That is why cooking time charts are usually provided by the manufacturer. So should you follow pressure cooking time charts or not? Let’s find out.

Why Use Time Charts?​

If it is your first time to use a pressure cooker it is highly advisable to use time charts. They can be beneficial to you in many ways by reducing the margin of error in cooking tasty food. Time charts provides you with appropriate timings for preparing your food. This means you will not have to worry about ending up with undercooked, dried, scorched or lumpy food. However, if you have a lot of experience with pressure cooking, you may not need a time chart.

When to Use Time Charts​

Time charts can be handy tools if you are just going to use a single ingredient. This is because you will not be needing any recipe to know exactly how long all the ingredients will need to stay inside the cooker. On the other hand, time charts can only be used in the place of recipes only if you know your pressure cooker very well. So if you are thinking of using time charts instead of recipes, ensure you are well conversant with your pressure cooker. This way there will be no room for mistakes.

Factors That May Affect Cooking Time

Time charts should only be used for reference purpose. They show only the approximate timing rather than exact timing. Therefore, they are best suited for skilled cooks. So what are some of the factors that may affect cooking time when using time charts? First, the nature and size of your ingredients. Large sized ingredients may require different cooking time to yield the same results as small sized ingredients. Fortunately, this can be prevented by slicing the ingredients into small pieces or size that is close to the standard food size recommended in the time chart. You can also experiment to find out your own time setting for great results according to your own liking.​

Additionally, different pressure cookers cook food differently. Therefore, depending upon the pressure cooker type you could be using, timings can vary greatly. So don’t try using a time chart that is not specifically designed for the pressure cooker you are using otherwise you might end up with undercooked or overcooked food.​


Still wondering whether you should follow pressure cooking time charts or not? The answer is yes. It won’t hurt if you take your time to consult a time chart for your pressure cooking needs especially if you are just an amateur cook. Time charts will make your cooking experience with a pressure cooker great so go for them anytime you are not sure about cooking time.

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