home Forums Kitchen Chit-Chat OMG, don't pressure cook liquor, even in a jar, even with vanilla

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  • #37467
    Laura Pazzaglia
    Keymaster

    UPDATE: An official consumer alert has been issued regarding pressure cooking with liquor. You can view it here:

    Consumer Alert: Don’t Pressure Cook With Liquor & Other Recipes for Disaster

    ————– ORGINAL POST ————————–

    I really don’t want to put out a THIRD consumer alert in 30 days but it appears that the level of determination people have to willfully injure themselves and encourage others to do the same is bottomless.

    So, today, I will share the new “technique” and my personal experience and I will leave it up to the readers to decide whether they want to, as the blogger mentions in the introduction to this technique, blow yourselves away with this life-changing innovation.

    This technique involves pouring vodka, or some other liquor, in a jar with a vanilla bean and pressure cooking it.

    Guys, IT IS NOT SAFE TO PRESSURE COOK LIQUOR!!!!

    I have personal experience with this as does another well-known website that is based in Seattle with Chefs who participated in the writing of a defining cookbook on modern cookery.

    Basically we both had our stovetop pressure cookers on a gas range shooting flames. How? I had run out of white wine and I thought it was a good idea to braise chicken in Limoncello. They were caramelizing bananas under pressure and thought that Rum would make a good addition.

    It appears that pressure cooking alcohol vaporizes it ALL AT ONCE – so the waft of steam that is coming out of the valves is not water vapor but combustible alcohol vapors. If this can happen with a stovetop pressure cooker, it can happen with an electric pressure cooker – any SPARK would ignite these vapors.

    I love and encourage that people are curious. But, seriously, do your research reading physics texts and websites, or ask engineers questions. Don’t get your information from a sales clerk at your local liquor store – no matter how endearing his back story and peg-leg might be.

    Google “ethanol 15psi” and you’ll learn this is the operating pressure for combustion of ethanol fueled car engines.

    I’m NOT going to put out an alert, but I already contacted my new friends at the UL Standards, USDA’s National Center for Home Food Preservation and a facebook group that keeps sharing how to do this as well as the blogger herself – in the hopes they will encourage people NOT to do this, and either take down that post or WARN people that they will LITERALLY blow themselves away by pressure cooking alcohol.

    I apologize for the sassy tone of this post – but be aware of the advice you get from casual bloggers that recommend covering pressure cooker valves, filling the pressure cooker to the brim and making vanilla-infused rocket fuel.

    Ciao,

    L

    P.S. I have not had problems with pressure cooking wine or beer – it appears that anything more alcoholic than that could be problematic. I can’t tell you how much or how little is alcohol OK. The hip kitchen is NOT equipped to test these things and neither is yours.

    #37471
    HelenAdams
    Participant

    Bizarre, not that I doubt you. When I was very young I worked in a fine dining establishment. My first flambé, no one told me to bring a wet towel (in case) and I set the tablecloth on fire and beat it out with a steak knife. Strangely the guests applauded.

    I am guessing a tablespoon or so in a cheese cake is ok and the real danger of liquor in a jar is the jar breaking and the liquor fumes escaping?

    #37473
    Laura Pazzaglia
    Keymaster

    Like I said, I can’t confirm how much or how little is OK to use – but I have not had any pressure cooker cakes burst into flames.

    The jars in the “technique” are not sealed, so the alcohol vapors will be in the pressure cooker body and coming out of the valves.

    Ciao,

    L

    #37496
    HelenAdams
    Participant

    All I can say is eek. Luckily I have no desire to do this :) Like the Dulce de Leche I just buy iot :)

    #886291
    Laura Pazzaglia
    Keymaster

    Please note that an official consumer alert has been posted on this website regarding this practice. You can read it here:

    Consumer Alert: Don’t Pressure Cook With Liquor & Other Recipes for Disaster

    Thank you,

    L

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