ROARdry (ohbabybabybaby) wrote in vegancooking,

Pressure Cooker Confusion

Does anybody here own a "Manttra Quick and Easy" pressure cooker? (Although you might be able to answer these questions from experiance with another machine, I'm not sure.)
Behind the cut, since it's sort of long and obnoxious but please help me.

I just picked one up an attempted to cook some beans... dreadfully over-cooked.

Two main questions:
1) In "Recipes For an Ecological Kitchen" it suggests using a "natural pressure release" for beans... I didn't see this meathod mentioned in the handbook that came with the cooker... does it work just to turn the heat off and let the cooker sit untill the pressure eventually drops? How long should this take?

2)I'm very confused about this, from the instruction manual "Once the pressure reaches the designed level, the pressure regulator will hiss continuously." Does this mean... once the cooker starts making ANY NOISE AT ALL I should start the time? I waited untill the whistling noise picked up intensity quite a bit before starting the time... when I turned down the heat the noise didn't subside at all. Should I have started the time much early, when the air pressure through the spout built up enough to create a faint... whistling?

There is a "Visual Pressure Indicator" on the lid of the pressure cooker which is... basically... a small piece of metal that pops up when the cooker is "under pressure." I'm assuming that this doesn't mean the cooker has reached full pressure, how much time should elapse from when the VPI pops up to when the cooker is under full pressure?

Basically, I'm having difficult determining when the cooker is under full pressure and I want to know if using natural pressure release is advisable with this machine.

Oh, and if anybody has used "Recipes for an Ecological Kitchen" what's your over-all impression of the book? Is this the best source for vegan pressure-cooker recipes.

I'm so excited about this machine and I desperately want to get over the inevitable learning-curve.

Sorry for the long winded explaination.
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