Things You'll Need
A Tower pressure cooker is a steam-operated pressure cooker design for use on standard cook tops. The pressure cooker has a locking handle mechanism which prevents the lid from flying off if it reaches a too-high cooking pressure. However, it is important to keep watch on the unit regardless to ensure that the pressure does not get too high. Pressure cookers work by pressurizing the steam inside the unit, increasing the boiling temperature of the liquid inside, which lowers cooking time. These instructions are for a 6 quart cooker, but if your Tower cooker is larger or smaller, adjust the instructions as necessary for safety.
Place the trivet rack inside the pressure cooker. Make sure the gaskets and seals on the pressure cooker are in good condition and fit snugly around the lid of the pressure cooker. Check the valve to make sure it is open and not clogged and that it is securely attached to the lid of the machine. Make sure the screws of the handle are fastened tightly.
Pour in about ½ cup of a cup of water into the pressure cooker. This will vary by size of cooker. According to the Towel manual, you should never fill the container more than two-thirds full of any material; water, food and trivet included. For foamy foods, never fill the cooker more than half full. Foamy foods include dehydrated foods and grains.
Place the food on top of the rack. Do not add more food than will fill up two-thirds of the pot. The pressure cooker needs the room at the top of the pot for air and steam to build up. Fill the pressure cooker between half and two-thirds full with food. You can use any type of food, including beans, vegetables, rice and even meat.
Place the pressure cooker on the stove. Turn on the burner to "high." Allow the pressure cooker to reach 15 PSI of pressure, or the pressure necessary for your food. The pressure will vary depending on the food type and amount in the cooker. The recipe you use for the food will tell you the maximum pressure. The valve on the pressure cooker lid will indicate what pressure the unit has at the time.
Turn down the heat on the stove to medium or low to maintain the 15 PSI of pressure. This temperature will vary depending on the stove. Keep a watch on the pressure, and turn the heat down or up as necessary.
Remove the pressure cooker from the heat after 15 to 20 minutes have passed. Cooking times will vary depending on the food that you are cooking at the time, but most foods are done within the 15 to 20 minute range. Wait for the pressure gauge to fall back to "0." Carefully release the pressure from the unit and open the top. Take care not to hold your arms or face over the top of the cooker as you open it to avoid burns.
Check the temperature of the food inside. Most grains and vegetables are cooked to a temperature of about 145 degrees. However, the cooking temperature for meats are much higher. Beef must reach an internal temperature of 155 degrees, and pork and chicken must reach 165 degrees before they are safe for consumption.
Take care when operating the Tower pressure cooker. Never leave the pressure cooker unattended, and always follow the exact cooking directions for each food outline in the manual.
Wait until the pressure gauge reaches "0" before taking off the lid. Open the lid away from your face to avoid steam burning your face, arms or hands.
Always check the internal temperature of food before eating to avoid food poisoning.