Table of Contents
- 0.1 How to use a pressure cooker without whistle
- 0.2 Why do pressure cookers whistle?
- 0.3 Do all pressure cookers whistle?
- 0.4 How does the pressure cooker whistle work?
- 0.5 Why is my pressure cooker not whistling?
- 0.6 How do I clean my pressure cooker whistle?
- 0.7 How do I reduce noise in my pressure cooker?
- 0.8 What does a pressure cooker whistle sound like?
- 0.9 What does it mean to cook for 2 whistles?
- 0.10 How many minutes is a pressure cooker whistle?
- 0.11 What to do if a recipe requires counting whistles but the type you have does not whistle (e.g., Instant Pot)?
- 1 6 Great Pressure Cookers
How to use a pressure cooker without whistle
A pressure cooker is a kitchen gadget that cooks food using steam. Pressure cooking is perfect for cooking meats and vegetables, and other types of food while retaining all the nutrients in the dish because it’s steaming rather than boiling the ingredients. Many people find one drawback to pressure cooking in with some pressure cookers you can’t tell when your food is cooked without an audible noise, which many people find annoying.
In this blog post, we will look at pressure cooker whistles, why they are needed, what they indicate, and if you can use a pressure cooker without one.
Why do pressure cookers whistle?
I think the best place to start is to look at and understand why pressure cookers whistle. In basic terms, a pressure cooker is designed to maintain a high internal temperature over extended periods. As the temperature rises inside the pot, the liquid turns into steam.
The lid of the appliance is sealed using a gasket and a locking system; there is nowhere for the steam to go, and therefore, the pressure inside the cooker rises. If pressure isn’t regulated regularly, it could be severe safety implications.
The steam release valve (safety valve) helps regulate the steam pressure inside the pot to build up too much and cause an explosion.
On some pressure cookers, the number of whistles can also indicate when certain foods are ready. In some parts of the world (such as India), it is common for whistles to indicate when food is cooked. For example, Indian homemakers have figured out that rice is well cooked after five whistles, while meat may require 9 or 10 whistles.
Do all pressure cookers whistle?
Technically, it’s not a whistle that pressure cookers make, but more of a loud hiss. Pressure cookers can are available without whistles (spring valve used instead), and in certain parts of the world, this is common. Most pressure cookers in India are the whistle type, but many of the pressure cookers in North America are not anywhere near as loud as Indian ones as they tend to be the spring valve type.
The noise is a consequence of how pressure cookers work. As mentioned, the pressure builds in the pot, and at some point, it needs to be released. The hiss is the noise of the pressure being released once the pot reaches its operating pressure. This process on most stovetop pressure cookers is achieved with a pressure regulator, which removes the pressure by opening up and allowing steam to escape.
Pressure can also be released without using the whistle on some models with a manually adjustable pressure valve (commonly called an “ejector”) rather than a regulator. The ejector is usually set at medium-high heat to release the pressure every so often.
How does the pressure cooker whistle work?
A pressure cooker whistle is a safety feature that prevents pressure cookers from boiling over by automatically releasing steam when the pressure reaches dangerous levels.
In a pressure cooker, the whistle is typically connected to the lid by an airtight seal. When the pressure inside of the pot reaches dangerously high levels, steam starts to build up in a chamber behind it and pushes against the tightly sealed valve until it’s pushed open enough to release that built-up pressure. The sound made when this happens is what we call the “pressure cooker whistle.”
A pressure cooker can also be designed with a vent, allowing steam to escape without making any sound at all.
When you hear the pressure cooker hiss, it may be a warning to turn down the heat or release pressure via the vent. Some pressure cookers do not hiss, and for these models or those without the vent option in general, you may want to use more caution.
Why is my pressure cooker not whistling?
This is a question that I hear pretty often. There could be several reasons why your pressure cooker is not whistling.
First of all, if the whistle is not working, but you can still hear hissing noises, make sure that you check the lid and that your pressure cooker is correctly sealed because if pressure is not building up inside due to steam escape, there is no way for the whistle to do its job. The liquid in the pot will reach the boiling point and dry up.
Another possibility is that you might not have enough liquid in your pot, causing pressure to release before it can build up sufficiently and make a noise. If you are following recipes, make sure that you also follow the amount of liquid the recipes call for. Another result of this is that your food will not cook as there is not enough steam or pressure inside the pot.
As whistles are made of metal, they can corrode over time, so if yours has rusted or become broken, this could be why. You can remove the parts on most stovetop pressure cookers, so cleaning them shouldn’t be an issue—more on this below.
It is also worth checking the valve to ensure nothing is blocking it or making it difficult to open and close.
This is a common problem with pressure cookers and can stop the whistle from doing its job. If you find this is the case, clean it and make sure it is free from any obstruction.
Finally, you might need to replace this part as it can become worn down over time and, more importantly, stop working correctly.
How do I clean my pressure cooker whistle?
To clean a stovetop pressure cookers whistle, you will need first to remove the part from the appliance. If you have not cleaned it in some time, it may be caked with dirt, food, and grease.
Pressure cookers are easy to clean and do not require strong chemicals that may be harmful; in fact, you can clean pressure cooker parts with natural ingredients, things you will probably already have in the house. Fill a saucepan with water and place each piece inside. Next, add a tablespoon of vinegar to the saucepan, place the pot on your stove and turn on the heat.
Just as the water starts to boil (approx. 2 mins), remove it from the heat and let the water and vinegar cool down, enough so that you can safely touch the water with your hand. Put some baking soda onto a plate, dip the toothbrush into the water, and then into the baking soda. Scrub the parts, and you will see that you’ll quickly remove the dirt as the vinegar has helped loosen the grime.
Clean each area of the cooker until it is spotless. Make sure to clean the inside of your pressure cooker whistle thoroughly as well, scrubbing any stubborn food residue.
Rinse each part out and clean with a paper towel. This process is straightforward, effective, and cheap.
How do I reduce noise in my pressure cooker?
Due to the way that pressure cookers are designed, you cannot reduce the whistling sound it makes (if you are using one designed to hiss). When the pressure gets too great inside the chamber, the pressure cooker releases steam through the valve, which tends to make a hissing sound.
If you prefer no loud whistling sounds, it would be advisable to purchase a pressure cooker that is built not to do so. Good quality electric pressure cookers are a good choice, and they are also more flexible in terms of what they can do. However, electric pressure cookers are not the only option; if you prefer a stovetop pressure cooker that doesn’t hiss, there are some excellent ones on the market, one such brand being Kuhn Rikon. Kuhn Rikon is not only built excellently, but they also look very stylish and a great addition to any kitchen.
What does a pressure cooker whistle sound like?
As mentioned above, the pressure cooker whistle is more like a loud hiss rather than a whistle. If you are not used to this pressure cooker noise, it can sound a little scary (most kids jump out off their skin when they first hear it).
If you were to spend any time in an Indian kitchen, you would probably be familiar with stovetop pressure cookers and the hissing sound they make. However, if you have not, it can be a little disconcerting the first time (don’t forget to warn the kids the hiss is coming).
The heat generated in the pressure cooker results in the liquid turning into steam, and the pressure cooker hisses as this steam is released through the steam vent to reduce the pressure from inside the pot.
If you are not familiar with the sound, watch the video below for a quick demonstration.
As the heat rises, so does the pressure, and the hissing sound will start at around 15 psi (pounds per square inch). This means, if your pressure cooker has reached full pressure or pressure of 15 psi, you will hear a hissing sound. This is your sign that food has been cooked sufficiently and can be removed from the heat to cool down before opening the lid. Still, be sure to take care when opening the lid.
What does it mean to cook for 2 whistles?
You may notice that some pressure cooker recipes (especially some Indian recipes) say to cook the food for two whistles and then take the pot off the heat. What exactly does this mean?
Well, cooking for up to two whistles means that you should let the pressure cooker come up to full pressure and then keep cooking until you hear the release of 2 loud hisses. You then take the pot off the heat and let it cool so that the pressure inside recedes. Do not attempt to remove the lid until the cooker has cooled, as the amount of steam and pressure inside could be dangerous.
How many minutes is a pressure cooker whistle?
Unfortunately, whistles aren’t an accurate representation of time when cooking. While cooking, many people in India can successfully cook by counting the whistles, but in terms of converting this to time, it is pretty inaccurate.
What to do if a recipe requires counting whistles but the type you have does not whistle (e.g., Instant Pot)?
Recipes that call for a certain number of whistles are not suitable with electric pressure cookers. I would recommend searching for recipes similar to the one you want to cook and choose the cooking time from those instead.
In the past, while using my Instant Pot, I was following an Indian curry recipe that called for whistles. As an Instant Pot does not whistle, I just looked up a cooking time for the main ingredient and used it as the cooking time for that recipe. It worked perfectly. Doing this should work just as well for most, if not all, electric pressure cookers.