How To Pressure Cook - Infographic

Think pressure cooking is complicated? No way! Here are our instructions on how to use either a stovetop or electric pressure cooker in just 5 steps.

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How To Pressure Cook - Infographic
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This pressure cooker infographic contains the following text:

Pressure cooking takes 1/3 the time of conventional cooking, it saves the most nutrition and it’s safe and easy, too!  Here’s how to do it.

How to use Electric Pressure Cookers

  1.  Add food plus 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) of liquid into the pressure cooker. NOTE: Maximum fill  is 1/2 full for beans & grains; 2/3 full for everything else.
  2. Close the lid and position the valve to the correct setting
  3. Choose cooking program and time.
  4. Display counts-down cooking time
  5. Release pressure!  NOTE: Keep fingers out of the way from the steam & tilt the lid away from you.

How to use Stovetop Pressure Cookers

  1.  Add food plus 1 cup (250 ml) of liquid into the pressure cooker. NOTE: Maximum fill  is 1/2 full for beans & grains; 2/3 full for everything else.
  2. Close the lid and position the valve to the correct setting
  3. Select pressure setting and turn heat to HIGH (use MEDIUM on induction).
  4. When pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain pressure & start timer to count cook time.
  5. Release pressure!  NOTE: Keep fingers out of the way from the steam & tilt the lid away from you.

Inside the Pressure Cooker 

This process usually takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes..

  • Food boils without pressure, pushing air out of the valve,
  • Pressure safety pin locks closed,
  • Trapped steam builds pressure until  the desired setting is reached reached

Read your pressure cooker’s instruction manual and follow the safety precautions.  If you need help, join us at the forums!

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  1. Crap does not give actual timing to pressure cook for novice users

    1. Sharon, just click on the menu that says “cooking times” at the top of every page on this website. It will give you the cooking time for every ingredient you might want to cook.

      Welcome, anyway.



  2. 4qt. Cooks Essential electric PC has a steam feature. I can’t find in the manual info on how or when to use this feature. Do I use it for rice?

  3. Welcome Stephanie,
    You can use it whenever you would have steamed food before. Personally I would pressure cook rice. See for details

    I would only use the steam function for very delicate foods, if at all. Just because a machine has a function, that doesn’t mean you have to use it.

  4. My Go wise USA is different then that one showing here!
    My first time I had a hard time getting to start, now I am using it for second time and I fill it in with the food and push one button chicken and its cooking, I think? says 35. What is psi?
    Is it this easy? I will see.

    1. PSI is Pounds per Square Inch if that was your question. This is a measure of pressure.

      If you were wondering if “35” was PSI, then no. It is way too high. It may be kPa (another pressure measurement system) but is more likely to be time in minutes.

      Cooking is a pressure cooker can be that easy. But it can also be tricky. Be sure to work through the pressure cooking lessons on this web site. They are more than worthwhile.

  5. I have my moms old micro matic stove top cooker. The only gauges it has is on the round thing that sits on top for presure. HELP im cooking a whole chicken in it and pray i dont blow something up. This pot is at least 40 years old.

  6. When the pressure cooker starts steaming – are you supposed to close the steam valve and continue cooking?

    1. That will depend on what type of pressure cooker you are using.

      For electrics, you should have the valve in the closed position from the start. The pressure cooker will handle things from there.

      For stovetops, it depends.
      Many modern stovetops will close the valve automatically. Some will need to be moved to the correct position at the start of cooking. With older style weight controlled pressure cookers, you will want to leave the weight off until steam comes out then put it on.

      But in all cases, yes, you continue cooking (and start timing) once the cooker builds pressure. That cannot happen until the valve is closed.

  7. I grew up watching my mom and her old pressure cooker. The round, hockey puck, had different holes, I think.
    And was designed to jiggle from the escaping steam. The noise made us crazy in that tiny apartment, but
    allowing the steam to escape is what kept it from blowing-up. The things she made were magic and we were happy to endure the noise.

    1. Thank you for sharing your lovely memory, John! I hope you post here means that you’ve been passed the ladel and will soon create your own memorable meals for your own family.



  8. Thank you so much for these great instructions. I will be a pro in no time.

  9. Many posts about having trouble with the lid coming off during cooking, steam escaping, being burned by hot liquid etc. I have the opposite problem. I cannot get the lid on!! My husband & I have measured the various pot & lid diameters & they all appear to be correct. He’s an engineer & has become so frustrated with it, he was asking for a hammer!!!
    Oh Dear – what could the matter be? The sealing ring looks brand new. I’ve even tried putting the lid on without it but that didn’t work either. Is there a magic trick we’re not aware of?
    Thanks in advance!

  10. Almost all pressure cookers use an interlocking flange that needs to be engaged to lock the lid. You line up the flanges so they do NOT interfere, put the lid on then twist so the flanges lock together. Pretty much every model has a slightly different way to indicate “Locked” and “unlocked”. And many also have a button to push or a knob to twist. A very few need a PhD in lid placement prior to succeeding.

    It would help if you told us the make and model of yours so you can get more specific information.

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