Posts tagged: pressure cookers

Which Electric Pressure Cooker Operates at 15psi?

By , May 29, 2013

InstantPot steam release 2 267x300 Which Electric Pressure Cooker Operates at 15psi?Because most pressure cooker recipes are designed for 15psi pressure cookers. Many users are looking for 15psi electric pressure cooker.  We are asked whether Instant Pot operates at 15psi.

To answer this question, we need to clarify a concept here.  The max working pressure of a pressure cooker is the pressure which pushes up the safety device (i.e. steam release, pressure valve or by some other names) and the cooker starts letting out steams to reduce pressure. The max working pressure of stove-top pressure cookers ranges from 12psi to 21.7psi. For the high-end stove-top models, it is typically in the 16~21.7psi range. This is specified in product document and also commonly marked at the bottom of the steam release.

Instant Pot has a max working pressure of 15.23psi (105kpa). This is marked on the steam release handle, see the image on the top.  One of the design objectives of Instant Pot is not to let out steam and make noise during its operation.  So normal working pressure has to be below 15.23psi.  Instant Pot’s working pressure is in the range of 10.15~11.6 psi. If you have small amount of food/liquid in the cooker, Instant Pot may touch 15.23psi momentarily due to the heat conduction delay.

When a stove-top pressure cooker reaches its max working pressure  and starts whistling out steams, you’d turn down the heating to stop the whistling.  In such a condition, your stove-top pressure cooker may be operating at a pressure level similar to Instant Pot. You only cook the food at the max working pressure when it’s whistling continuously.


  • Does Instant Pot have the same 15 psi max working pressure as common stove-top pressure cookers? Yes! It’s 15.23psi.
  • Does Instant Pot cook your food constantly at 15psi? No, it’s in the range of 10.15~11.6 psi.
15psi1 150x150 Which Electric Pressure Cooker Operates at 15psi?

Illustration of Instant Pot working pressure curve

You can see the working pressure chart on the right. Most electric pressure cookers available on the market work like this, but may not have the same max and working pressure range.

If your recipe specifies cooking at 15psi, you can adapted to Instant Pot by increasing the cooking time by 7~15%.

Note: the max working pressure is not an indicator of the max safety pressure that the cooker can withstand. If a cooker is certified with UL or equivalent, it should withstand 5 times the working pressure without leaking.

Many electric pressure cooker has a max working pressure of 13.05psi (90kpa).  You can find this out by looking at the bottom of its steam release.  A properly certified and manufactured cooker always has such rating on the parts.


Evaporation Rate of Pressure Cookers

By , November 16, 2012

Water evaporation 200x300 Evaporation Rate of Pressure CookersLaura Pazzaglia is the creator of the popular, dedicated to make pressure cooking hip. She is more than a prodigious cook, writer and educator.  Laura has also devised a simple but ingenious benchmark to measure one key aspect of pressure cooker performance.  She calls it evaporation measure. In her own words, this is done as:

“Starting with a “cold cooker” (not heated from a previous test) pour exactly 1000g of water into the liner and pressure cook for 10 minutes, with natural release. Then remove the lid and shake vigorously into the base and pour the contents into a zeroed-out bowl on digital scale. Record the weight of remaining water. “

Dividing the missing water amount over the total gives you evaporation rate.  It’s a straight forward measure of leakage of a pressure cooker, which works for both electric and stove-top pressure cookers, probably for stock pots too.

Why is evaporation rate important?  set 4 hires 250x250 Evaporation Rate of Pressure Cookers In “Modernist Cuisine” (so far the most comprehensive and authentic  book on the art and science of cooking), Nathan Myhrvold states that sealed cooking pots trap most aromatic volatiles which make stocks more flavourful (Volume II, pages 292). We also blogged about the astonishing discovery by Dave Arnold at the International Culinary Center that leaking steam means leaking flavour. Dave Arnold’s experiments showed that not all pressure cookers are equal in preserving flavour in stocks.  Leaky ones do a bad job, sometimes worse than a stock pot.

Hence, the evaporation rate is not just a simple leakage measure but an indicator of the quality of food the pressure cooker prepares.

What did Laura find out?

“Instant Pot only had an average 2% evaporation during ten minutes of pressure cooking (compared to Cuisinart 4% and most stove top pressure cookers 3.5%).”

In comparison, an uncovered pressure cooker at a vigorous boil for the same amount of time and same weight of water and the evaporation rate is 30%. You can read Laura’s meticulous review of the Instant Pot IP-LUX60 here.

Laura has very high standards. Instant Pot didn’t earn a perfect score. She gave IP-LUX60 a “Very Good” rating. We really appreciate Laura straight to-the-point approach and constructive criticism.  These give us something to strive to improve upon in our next model.


Irena’s Peasant Cabbage Soup – made easy with electric pressure cooker!

By , August 17, 2012

Submitted by Teresa B. Gcabbagesoup1 300x175 Irena’s Peasant Cabbage Soup – made easy with electric pressure cooker!.

My parents came to Canada in 1948 from a war torn, impoverished country where they only cooked with the vegetables they grew and ingredients they bartered from neighbours. They made a wonderful life for my brother and I in Canada and Cabbage Soup was our weekly staple food.  Much of anything can go in it but I will present it the way we had it. They wasted nothing.  It was always served with mashed potatoes (if potatoes not cooked in it) or with rye bread from the local bakery!  My mother is now 94 and unable to cook for herself.  I now provide her with meals and thanks to the electric Instant Pot, I manage to cook a wholesome cabbage soup and many other soups for her in a very short time.  It took Mom hours to make it.

I first of all make the broth:


  •  Chicken Carcass and or chicken bouillon or chicken broth

Weekly I purchase a rotisserie chicken from Costco.  We use the meat for fresh sandwiches.  When the carcass looks like it has had it, I break up the carcass, still have the wings and place it into a pot I have that goes into the pressure cooker – looks like a sieve but in pot form. I use this pot so I do not have to strain it when done.  If you do not have this pot (used to come with the stove top pressure cookers) you can just put everything into the interior pot of the pressure cooker and cover with water.

Pressure cook the carcass for 60 minutes.  When done just strain through a sieve.   You now have your broth.  Throw out the cooked carcass and bits.

If you do not have a chicken carcass to make the broth, you can use broth from a can or powdered chicken bouillon mixed in water.  At any rate I have about 8 – 10 cups as I make a large amount for our family.   I use both the carcass, covered with water and also add powdered bouillon because it has salt in it….therefore I do not add any extra salt.  It is not an exact science.  Use as much or as little broth as you like.

If you are using premade broth or bouillon in water , of course you would not be pressure cooking it at this time….no need, only if you are actually using a chicken to home make the broth with.

Rest of Ingredients:

  •  ½ of large onion diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed and diced
  • 2 large baking potatoes, peeled (some like to leave the peel on), quartered lengthwise and sliced into ¼ inch slices.  If you do not eat potatoes, just leave them out….still delicious
  • 1 clean tomato from the garden – cut up
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Around 3- 4 cups Fresh cabbage – shredded – depends on size of your cabbage
  • 2 – 3 cups of drained and rinsed sauerkraut.  I use my own that I make, but I know you can purchase it anywhere in jars.  If you want the soup more or less ‘sour’ you would adjust the sauerkraut accordingly.
  • Ham or garlic sausage, or a smokie, or leftover cooked pork/chicken cut in small pieces….or no meat if you are a vegetarian.  Still tastes good.  Sometimes mom diced bacon, fried it and put it in.  Like I said, they used what they had and wasted little.
  • Carrots diced – as many as you like.


  • Put a couple of tablespoons of oil into the pressure cooker pot.
  • Press sauté function
  • When heated up, put in the onion and celery and sauté until onion is translucent and soft – to bring out the flavour.  It takes just a few minutes.
  • Then add in the garlic and sauté, but careful not to burn as it will be bitter then.
  • Put broth back into pot with the onions/celery and garlic and add all the rest of the ingredients.
  • Choose the soup cycle on the pressure cooker and cook.  When done, serve with parsley garnished on top!

Absolutely delicious, full of fibre and flavour and very easy and economical to make.  Takes no time at all!



Leaking Steam Means Leaking Flavour

By , June 21, 2012

In his fascinating blog, Dave Arnold,  Director of Culinary Technology at The International Culinary Center, detailed an amazing discovery in making flavourful soup stocks.

Stove top vs Electric Pressure Cooker 300x121 Leaking Steam Means Leaking FlavourWhat’s the discovery?

“All pressure cookers aren’t created equal. The cooker you use affects flavor.”

Dave and his team of chefs and interns repeatedly tried cooking chicken stocks in two types of pressure cooker and conventional pot, did double blind testing with their eyes closed to factor out the hint of color as an indication to flavour.

To make the long story short, they concluded:

  • Stove-top pressure cookers with a jiggler type regulator  (which makes a continuous chu-chu-chu-chu sound as it operates) make the worst stocks for leaking out flavour in the steam. They are worse than the conventional stock pot.
  • Pressure cookers with spring valve regulator, which allows you to turn down heating to prevent steam leaking, make the most flavourful stocks.

Simply put, escaping steam affects taste.

I’m not sure whether the professional chefs are interested in testing home kitchen oriented Instant Pot.  But I’m rest assured that Instant Pot virtually leaks no steam during operation.  And you don’t need to stand by to turn down the heat.  For most of us, cooking is not a job or profession.

You can find Dave’s blog here:

2012 Winter Recipe Contest Winners

By , March 31, 2012

3 Instant Pot IP LUX60 300x185 2012 Winter Recipe Contest WinnersThere were 43 submissions with 50+ recipes for the contest.  Wow!  The user base of electric pressure cooker is surprising strong and enthusiastic!

Thank you all for participating.  It’s joyful interacting with you.

Meanwhile, it’s very difficult to choose the winners. We had debats and come up with the list based on our criteria set out on the contest terms, i.e. details of description, practicality and creativity.   A little confession to make. Our staff are apparently leaning toward recipes with pictures attached. Pictures are one key part of the description and they make the recipe enticing.

  • Kellie F.:NOT Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon“. The recipe reflects the value and advantages of electric pressure cookers. A complicated dish with complex tastes can be made within 45 minutes.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2012 Winter contest.  We’ll contact you in email for shipping detail. To all participants, by continuing sharing, we will all end up as winners.

At Instant Pot Company, we also learned something beyond recipes.

Teresa G. said: “This is like a great cookbook!”

Indeed, we’d love to make a great cookbook useful to all users. We shall continue encouraging sharing of recipes.  The contest must go on.  Every season, we’ll award 2 free Instant Pot to two authors of recipes submitted during the period.  Please keep your recipes coming.