The Fagor Pressure Cooker features a slightly different design from the older traditional models. It is made of 18/10 steel to allow browning directly in the cooker, and has been updated for greater safety. The two main differences are the lock button and the pressure indicator. Pressure will not build up in the cooker unless the lock button is pressed. The pressure indicator serves as a visual reminder that the pot is under pressure and assures that the food is properly cooked.
Read the instructions that came with your pressure cooker. If you do not have the instructions, follow the reference link to online copies of instructions.
Check the pressure cooker gasket for cracks or tears. Make sure the gasket is pliable and properly seated in the lid. Check the lid and pressure valves. They should be clean and free from food residue.
Prepare the food for the recipe and place it into the pressure cooker. Adapt recipes for cooking in the pressure cooker by reducing the cooking time to 1/3 of the original recipe time. Brown meats and vegetables in the cooker as directed in the recipe.
Fill the cooker no more than 2/3 full. Foods that expand and soups and stocks should not exceed 1/2 the volume of the cooker.
Add liquid. Liquid is required to produce the steam. Use at least 1/2 cup of liquid for short cooking times of 10 minutes or less. Two cups of liquid is required for 10 minutes of pressure cooking or longer. Water, broth, wine or any other cooking liquid can be used. Oil can be used in the browning process, but is not acceptable as a cooking liquid.
Put on the lid. Line up the mark on the lid with the mark on the top of the pot. Press the lid down lightly and rotate the lid handle to bring the pot and lid handles together.
Press the yellow pressure-lock button to lock the lid and allow the pressure to build. Turn on the heat.
Select the pressure level that your recipe recommends. Unless the recipe states low pressure or 8 psi, choose pressure level 2, equivalent to 15 psi. Heat the cooker over high heat until the pressure-indicator button has risen, indicating that the cooker is at the recommended pressure level.
Reduce the heat and begin timing the recipe. Maintain the heat so that a gentle, steady stream of steam is emitted.
Remove the pressure cooker from the heat once the cooking time has elapsed. Reduce the pressure by running cold water over the cooker or turn the steam-release valve to release the pressure. If the recipe indicates that the pressure should be reduced naturally, allow the cooker to cool by itself until the pressure-valve indicator shows that the pressure is down.
Remove the lid when the pressure has been reduced and the pressure-indicator button indicates that the pressure is down. The lock will release and the cooker can be opened; if the lock does not release, wait a few minutes and try again. Open the lid away from you to avoid getting burned by escaping steam.
Finish the recipe as indicated.