You will find that all pressure cookers fundamentally use the same parts. The design may differ slightly, but they still use the same components because of how they all need to operate in a specific way to keep from explosions.
What are the parts of a pressure cooker? Some of the parts of a pressure cooker include the pressure regulator, vent pipe, air vent, sealing ring, overpressure plug, cooking rack, and the body of the pot. Understanding the various parts can help you to get acquainted with how it works.
If you’d like to learn more about the parts of the pressure cooker, stay tuned because we will go in-depth on each component and how it contributes to your pressure cooker.
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What are the Parts of a Pressure Cooker
The following parts are indicative of the part itself. Bear in mind that there may be many types and brands, so make sure to examine your pressure cooker’s manual carefully before making any decisions on replacement pieces.
Pressure Cooker – Pressure Regulator
Hawkins Pressure Regulator for Classic Aluminum and Stainless Steel Pressure Cookers
The pressure regulator controls and maintains the pressure within your pressure cooker. You will see a peg that holds in the regulator. They have designed many types of regulators over the years, but you will see three basic styles of regulators: spring valve pressure regulator, modified weighted valve pressure regulator, and weighted valve pressure regulator.
The type of regulator doesn’t matter much but look for one that goes to 15 PSI. You want this level because most pressure cooker recipes require 15 PSI. The pressure regulator rests on the vent pipe, which we will cover next.
Pressure Cooker – Vent Pipe
Your vent pipe serves a quintessential role because it releases excess pressure. Pressure cookers have an infamous reputation for explosions, which is why you need this part. In some cases, the vent pipe may sit on the lid.
You can make use of this as an emergency distiller if you have a few extra pieces and the vent pipe sits on the lid. Be aware, that you must inspect the vent pipe at the end of each user to ensure that no food or foam clogged the vent.
Expert Tip: You need the pressure regulator to sit securely on the vent pipe, or you may break the pressure cooker.
Pressure Cooker – Air Vent
The air vent of your pressure cooker serves as the visual indicator of the amount of pressure in the cooker. Once the pressure builds inside the pot, the cover locks, making it impossible to open on most modern pressure cookers.
This serves as a safety feature to keep the device closed when under pressure. In the past, they didn’t include this feature, and you were never supposed to open the lid because it could cause an explosion. Nowadays, they made it impossible to open, but you still should never attempt to open it while under pressure.
Once the air vent and cover lock drop, you know that the pressure is reduced in the cooker. Simply remove the pressure regulator and serve the food once certain that all pressure in the cooker has dropped.
Read more about pressure cooker vents and valves.
Pressure Cooker – Sealing Ring
The sealing ring fits around your pressure cooker, and it serves to seal the food and cook it better. A sealing ring serves as the pressure-tight seal between the lid and the body of your pot. If the sealing ring is not in place or broken, the pressure cooker won’t build pressure in the way that it should. Your cooker gets an incomplete seal. The ring shouldn’t be dirty either because this can stop it from sealing correctly.
You should replace your pressure cooker sealing ring every 12 to 18 months. The sealing ring can only handle the heat from the pressure cooker for so long before it begins to deform, shrink, crack, or tear, which will stop the pressure cooker from performing to its fullest capabilities. To avoid inconvenience, sealing rings don’t cost too much, and you can buy them as a pair to avoid not having one.
Manufacturers made sealing rings 1 inch too large to provide better resilience against shrinkage from cooking. You might soak the sealing ring for 10 minutes in warm water before you install it for better pliability. At the end of each use, remove the sealing ring to wash off caked-on food and dirt that may have accumulated in the cooking process.
Pressure Cooker – Overpressure Plug
All American 1930 - Overpressure Plug, Black - Rubber Pressure Cooker Plug - Safety Device That Automatically Vents Steam - Fits All Our Pressure Cookers/Canners
Having an overpressure plug on your cooker serves as another safety feature to prevent explosions. Let’s say that the vent pipe clogs with food, making the release of the excess pressure difficult.
In that case, the steam will automatically redirect itself to the overpressure plug. The plug will pop out if this happens to serve as your warning and release the pressure from the pot.
Pressure Cooker – Cooking Rack
E-far 10½ Inch Round Cooling Cooking Racks, Stainless Steel Round Steaming Baking Rack Set of 2, Multi-Purpose for Canning Air Fryer Pressure Cooker, Dishwasher Safe
The cooking rack raises the foods out of the cooking liquid. The use of the cooking rack plays another role. You can separate foods that you don’t want to mingle with. Cooking racks can also be used when you want to sterilize mushroom substrate.
For example, you often put the substrates in special plastics designed for sterilization, but they should never touch the walls of the pressure cooker. Cooking racks keep them from ever touching the walls or bottom.
Racks prevent scorching because the food doesn’t have to touch the direct heat source. In fact, it proves exceptionally difficult not to scorch the food without a cooling rack.
Pressure Cooker – Body
The body of the pressure cooker acts as a normal pot without the lid—believe it or not. The lid holds in the pressure and causes it to build within. Without the lid, you can cook food in it like a normal pot. The use of a pressure cooker can speed up cooking by 10 times, and at the same time, you can save up to 70 percent on energy costs. You might consider the pressure cooker useful for preparing vegetables or cooking meats quickly and effectively.
Stove Top Pressure Cooker – Body
Electric Pressure Cooker – Body
To Finish – Parts of a Pressure Cooker
Hopefully, this explains the parts of the pressure cooker and shows you how each of them works. Understanding the pressure cooker better avoids mishaps, and at the same time, you can do more with it. While knowing the parts can make a difference, you should still consult the owner’s manual to understand your unique pressure cooker.
One-Pot Cooking Rocks