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From: BobK (
Subject: Some comments on Ohsawa or pot in pot cooking
Date: June 27, 2005 at 1:49 am PST

I have been using an Ohsawa pot or pot in pot method to cook grains for some time now and occasionally have had the grains either bubble over or the grains boiling
up and hitting the lid of the inner pot. With the lid on the inner pot the grains will be on the outside of the pot and in the pressure cooker water. If I donít use the lid on the Ohsawa pot the grains would occasionally boil up and hit the pressure cooker lid and again boil over into the pressure cooker water. Seeking to find a way to stop this I performed a series of experiments. One of these was to put 4 cups of water into the inner
pot, put varying amounts of water in the cooker, close the cooker, bring to full pressure
and immediately do a quick release under water and measure the temperature of the
water in the inner pot with a candy thermometer. I live at about 4700 ft. above sea
level. At this altitude water boils at about 200 to 205 degrees and the inner temperature
of the pressure cooker is about 240 to 245 degrees for a 15 pound pressure cooker.
What I found was that the temperature of the inner pot was between about 175 and
190 degrees, a difference of between 60 and 75 degrees between inner and outer pots.
The difference depends upon how much water is in the inner pot and whether or
not the inner pot is in contact with the water. So thinking that this temperature difference
might be causing the inner pot to boil over I started to boil the water that I add to
the grains and have had no problem since in the past 6 or so months. The procedure that
I now use is to set the inner pot on one of those meat racks with water about one half
an inch to an inch up the side of the inner pot, put the grains in the inner pot bring the
pressure cooker water to a boil while boiling the water for the grains in a separate pot
and add it to the inner pot, close the lids of the inner pot and pressure cooker and
bring to full pressure. I have not had a boil over or grains boil up and hit the lid of the
inner pot since doing this. If I soak the grains I use the amount of cooking water to soak the grains and heat the inner pot water and grains separately and add to the inner pot.

There are some other advantages. Starting with cold water when the pressure cooker
reached full pressure I couldnít seem to get the stove temperature right, I was always
adjusting it. Now I just adjust once at full pressure and that seems to be it. The timing
at full pressure is reduced to nearly the time for cooking without the inner pot. I have never had to wash either the lid or the pressure cooker pot since I started cooking grains this way, just rinse them off.

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