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    Can someone please explain to me what happens differently inside my electric pressure cooker when I select, “rice”, “steam”, “meat”, “stew”,”rice” etc. The cooker is either on or off, or up to pressure, so what happens differently between preset modes?


    The exact details will vary according to the brand, but in general, you are setting the pressure level and the time.

    Steam for example will have NO pressure and will set a time ( mine defaults to 15 minutes) you will be prompted to unlock the lid.
    Stew on the other hand will set high pressure and set the timer for 20 minutes or so.

    Most people with electrics end up ignoring the presets and simply set the time, pressure manually. They seem to all have a manual setting. Sometimes called “custom”.

    Depending on your model you will have from 1 to 10 pressure levels — most have two. And will be able to set the timer from 1 to 99 minutes. There is one model that also allows control over the pressure release too. It is generally easier to simply follow the recipe instructions on manual than to remember what each preset does. The Breville is an exception as it shows exactly what is happening on the screen. Most simply have a time display.

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