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What is your advice for correct utilisation of the pressure cooker?

Using a pressure cooker is easier than you might think. Just follow a few simple basic rules, that remain the same for all recipes:

- Keep the pressure cooker in good condition, cleaning it after each use.

- Ensure you never cook ingredients without any water (no steam is produced otherwise). Lagostina recommends using at least 250 ml water or liquid and some models come with a convenient graduated measuring cup: the Lagostina ecodose. Pay attention however, not to fill the cooker above 2/3 of its capacity (corresponding to the level mark), or half its capacity when cooking food like rice, dry legumes, etc. that increase in volume or form foam while cooking.

- Always close the cooker lid well and ensure the operating valve is not in the vent position. Otherwise the cooker will not pressurise.

- In order to pressurise the pressure cooker in the shortest possible time, it must be placed on a source of heat set to maximum power (energy savings). Lower the flame by 2/3 when the valve starts hissing, the cooking time begins from this moment.

Correct reduction/adjustment of the flame or heat source power aims at obtaining "lighter" steam venting from the operating valve and increases the energy savings for the cooking time.

- When the cooking time is up, turn off the heat and let the steam vent off completely, setting the operating valve to the venting position. The Leverblock locking device will only then allow the pressure cooker to be opened. Leverblock® is a safety system patented by Lagostina: it is a small red piston that allows the pressure cooker to be opened in complete safety only when all the steam has been vented. You can only open it when it lowers!

- To find out more, have a look at the Simone Rugiati Video tutorial section!

 

Steam and/or food oozes out of my pressure cooker's operating valve, should I worry?

That means that the cooker is probably too full, or the heat is too high, or that you are cooking rice or dry legumes that increase in volume or form foam while cooking! To prevent this sort of problem, always adhere to the operating instructions. During the initial heating stage, however, it is absolutely natural for the condensate that has built up during the transient stage leading up to boiling to escape.

 

Is there a risk that a pressure cooker might explode?

Lagostina has always been committed to developing and producing products that guarantee absolute safety and ease of use and it has been working on improving the technologies in pressure cookers for over 50 years. The determination in always focusing on high quality and innovation assures exceptional performance and a 25 year guarantee.

All Lagostina pressure cookers pass strict tests prior to being placed on the market, highlighted by the CE marking and by the certifications complying with European regulations EN 12778, according to which pressure cookers must be fitted with several safety devices:

1. Pressure control system: a weight or spring device that keeps pressure constant allowing excess steam to escape;

2. Opening safety system: the Leverblock locking device that, in addition to signalling the presence of pressure, also prevents the pressure cooker from being opened when there is pressure inside it;

3. Safety systems against excessive pressure: should the operating valve be obstructed for any reason during use, the safety valve would kick in.

Lagostina uses 2 types of safety valves:

-- Dual mechanical operation, visible on the lids of traditional pressure cookers

-- Spring operated, inserted in the control module on the latest generation range of pressure cookers such as Clipsò + Precision

 

When is it safe to open the pressure cooker after cooking?

The pressure cooker may only be opened when the steam inside it has completely escaped and the Leverblock locking device has therefore gone back down to its original position. Do not try to force the cooker open if the Leverblock is still up!

 

What are our standards for stainless steel?

To make our steel products we use AISI 304 (type 18/10) stainless steel, an alloy consisting of 18% chrome, 10% nickel and a carbon percentage not exceeding 0.03%. The steel is defined as stainless due to its resistance to corrosion, assured by the formation on its surface, at the molecular level, of a thin film of chrome oxide that is created due to the chrome contained in the steel combining with the oxygen in the air. In addition to improving resistance to corrosion, nickel considerably increases ductility, i.e. the ability to deform permanently without breaking.

The corrosion resistance of stainless steel, however, may be decreased by any external cause that prevents the formation of the chrome oxide film, especially foreign matter remaining on the surface such as food residue, salt, etc. It is therefore incorrect to think that stainless steel is indestructible and cannot corrode. Its resistance and durability are brought about by the correct choice and processing by the manufacturer as well as by proper use and maintenance by the consumer.

There are, in fact, materials and products that produce surface alteration when in contact with stainless steel. However, by following suitable use and maintenance instructions, it is possible to avoid any series issues.

 

What are our standards for non-stick pans?

To make our steel products we use AISI 304 (type 18/10) stainless steel, an alloy consisting of 18% chrome, 10% nickel and a carbon percentage not exceeding 0.03%. The steel is defined as stainless due to its resistance to corrosion, assured by the formation on its surface, at the molecular level, of a thin film of chrome oxide that is created due to the chrome contained in the steel combining with the oxygen in the air. In addition to improving resistance to corrosion, nickel considerably increases ductility, i.e. the ability to deform permanently without breaking.

The corrosion resistance of stainless steel, however, may be decreased by any external cause that prevents the formation of the chrome oxide film, especially foreign matter remaining on the surface such as food residue, salt, etc. It is therefore incorrect to think that stainless steel is indestructible and cannot corrode. Its resistance and durability are brought about by the correct choice and processing by the manufacturer as well as by proper use and maintenance by the consumer.

There are, in fact, materials and products that produce surface alteration when in contact with stainless steel. However, by following suitable use and maintenance instructions, it is possible to avoid any series issues.

b. What are our standards for non-stick pans?

The inner coatings of Lagostina non-stick pans are made with multiple layers of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), an extraordinary plastic material that causes the "slippery" component of non-stick pans. PTFE consists of tetrafluoroethylene molecules, exclusively containing carbon and fluoride. The non-stick coating is not attacked by acids or alkaline bases and is very stable when heated. The health authorities in the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Europe and other countries have approved use of PTFE non-stick coatings in the cookware sector. It is an inert substance that has no chemical reactions with food, water or detergents. If ingested it is totally harmless; the particles are not toxic and are expelled on their own like normal fibres. The non-stick coating is so safe that it is used also in medicine to coat pace makers and artery replacement prostheses, and has even been injected into patients with severe kidney conditions. For all non-stick coatings Lagostina guarantees the absence of PFOA, cadmium and lead. PFOA is used to manufacture polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a component of the non-stick coating. At 300° C (572° F) PFOA has a life of 0.14 seconds, 99.2% of this component is destroyed in one minute. Lagostina products are subjected to this temperature for 10 minutes during the production cycle. The absence of this component on the finished product is therefore assured, both for its absence in the raw material and for the methods it is treated with. The guarantee on Lagostina coatings covers manufacturing defects, such as bubbles in the coating, flaking and various localised lifting. It does not cover defects caused by misuse or professional use or by wear.

To preserve the non-stick properties of the product;

- avoid heating it excessively when empty;

- never overheat cooking fat and oil;

- slight scratches and abrasions that might appear with use do not alter the coating's non-stick performance;

- to preserve and avoid scratching the coating, we recommend using tools made of nylon, silicone or wood.

Should you burn food in the product, fill it with water and clean it after a few hours. To restore the non-stick properties of the product, rub the coating with a wad of cotton wool soaked in oil.

 

Is the pressure cooker easy to clean?

In order to keep it in perfect operating condition, all parts of the pressure cooker must be kept clean. Avoid using abrasive products, bleach or chlorinated products.

Wash the cooker after each use: prolonged contact with salty or acidic food might affect the metal and give rise to the formation of stains or discolourings inside the cooker.

These may be removed using lemon juice or diluted vinegar or with a normal stainless steel detergent, such as Lagostina's Polvere di Stelle.

These stains are not attributable to manufacturing defects and do not alter the product's quality and functionality at all.

The pressure cooker's operating valve requires washing more carefully. After each use, extract the movable part of the operating valve and ensure all holes, including those in the fixed part, are free from scaling and are not obstructed.

Wash both the fixed and movable part under a strong water jet ensuring there are no obstructions.

After washing, fit the valve back onto the lid and ensure it is positioned correctly.

To wash the cooker body, use normally available dish washing detergents. Do not use abrasive products, bleach or chlorinated products.

Never wash the lid in the dishwasher.

 

Stains have formed on the cookware surface, what should I do?

During use, stains or different colours may appear on the surface due to lack of proper care or natural phenomena:

 

1) Whitish or golden stains, together with white or reddish dots in the middle.

This type of stain is attributable to the “pitting” phenomenon, which is nothing but surface corrosion caused by undissolved salt.

To prevent its formation, always add salt to the water or hot or boiling liquid.

Dissolve the salt by stirring the liquid or other ingredients. If these small stains should appear due to lack of precautions, do not worry as they do not affect the cooker's quality and functionality at all. These stains however, are in no case attributable to manufacturing defects.

 

2) White stains.

Sometimes when the cooker is exposed to intense heat, small white limescale spots may be observed on the bottom, due to a natural phenomenon caused by the degree of water hardness.

Also in this case, the cooker's quality and functionality are not affected at all. This is not a manufacturing defect.

 

3) Wide bluish-purplish discolourings

This characteristic colour that may sometimes appear on the surface of the cooker is due to some products used for cooking or to the starch contained in some foods, such as pasta or rice.

They may be easily removed by rubbing the inside of the ware with a soft cloth moistened with lemon juice or vinegar or with a specific product for cleaning stainless steel.

 

4) Bronze-like colour on the inner and outer surface

The surfaces may evenly turn this colour when the empty container is inadvertently left on the heat.

It is good practice, when using gas rings, not to let the flame extend to the sides of the cooker. You will save energy and prevent overheating the casserole.

 

In addition to the above precautions it is good practice to follow other instructions:

a) Immediately wash cookware after use with hot water and a detergent, avoiding the use of abrasive products, steel wool or synthetic scourers;

b) Do not leave food in the cookware for long since it contains natural salts and acids;

c) Either when washing by hand or when using the dishwasher, never use bleach or chlorinated products (they are very aggressive on steel, especially when hot);

d) Do not keep the dishwasher closed at the end of washing.

 

How often should I replace the safety devices/gasket/Leverblock locking device?

We recommend replacing the safety valve every 3 years (ensuring you use the original Lagostina replacement safety valve), the gasket every 5 years and the Leverblock handle locking device every 5 years. Always contact your trusted dealer or an Authorised Service Centre, exclusively using original Lagostina spare parts.

Can you cook anything in a pressure cooker?

You can cook practically anything in a pressure cooker: from soups to meat, fish and vegetables, and even make delicious desserts.

Meat remains incredibly tender, fruit and vegetables retain most vitamins and minerals that they would otherwise lose with conventional cooking in a pan or, worse, if immersed in boiling water for several minutes. Fats do not undergo modification processes and are therefore healthier.

Fish and any delicate food can be cooked quickly, lifted off the water thanks to the basket that can be fitted in the cooker, being not only cooked to perfection, but also having a wonderful texture and a unique taste that will require less salt or other condiments.

For more detailed information, refer to the Recipes section of the website or download the At full steam app.