Prestige is perhaps best known for its pressure cookers, which work by building up steam on the inside of airtight pans or pots. This creates intense pressure that cooks ingredients in one-third of the time required for traditional pot-cooking methods. Pressure cookers retain more of the foods’ nutrients during cooking than other methods and can be used to prepare bulk foods for long-term freezer storage. They are also helpful for preserving fresh vegetables through canning. Prestige’s pressure cookers range from 3- to 6-liter aluminum and stainless-steel cookers. Here's how to use one!
Before using your pressure cooker for the first time, wash it in hot, soapy water. Rinse the cooker and let it dry completely before using it. Conduct a simple recipe to orient yourself with your pressure cooker, and to learn how to use it.
Place 1/2 pint of water in your pressure cooker. Add 1 lb. of peeled potatoes, cut into 1-oz. pieces, into the water.
Place the lid on your pressure cooker and close it tightly. Place the 15-lb. weight that came with your pressure cooker onto the vent tube. Listen for it to click into place.
Place the pressure cooker on your stovetop and turn the heat setting to “High.” Watch for steam to begin to emit from the center of the lid’s safety plug. Watch for the plug to rise and fill the hole in the lid, indicating that steam is sealed in the cooker, which will cause the temperature inside the cooker to rise.
Listen for a faint hissing sound to appear, which indicates that a proper cooking temperature has been achieved. Reduce the heat setting to “Medium,” and set a timer for four minutes. Listen for a continued, faint hissing sound and if you hear a loud hissing sound, reduce the heat further to “Medium-Low.” Conversely, if you do not hear any hissing sound at all, raise the heat slightly until you hear it.
Turn off the heat and place your cooker in your kitchen sink. Turn on your faucet so cold water runs over the cooker. Be careful not to allow water to run into the vent tube or safety plug. Watch for the plug to drop down, exposing the safety hole, indicating that it is safe for you to remove the pressure cooker’s lid.
Remove the pressure cooker’s lid by sliding the top handle to the right and pulling off the lid.
Do not use your Prestige pressure cooker in the oven. Never use your pressure cooker without adding water, milk, stock, wine or some other liquid to it.
When cooking with liquids other than water or stock, or with foods like rice and pasta, use a “Medium” setting instead of “High” heat.
When using your Prestige pressure cooker to cook pudding, milk and any recipe for which you want to perform a slow release — as opposed to the quick-release method described above — remove the cooker from the heat and allow it to stand undisturbed for about 15 minutes. Wait for the plug to drop through the safety hole on its own, which indicates that the lid is safe to remove.