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From: Guy (
Subject: Re: question from newbie
Date: December 2, 2004 at 11:11 pm PST

In Reply to: question from newbie posted by VegJen on December 2, 2004 at 7:57 am:

The best way to prevent foaming is to vent steam from your pc for 1-3 minutes after sealing a rapidly boiling pressure cooker. In fact, some pc's have a built in valve which is designed to do just that. I think Fagor is one of the brands which has the extra valve. The pc's that I own, Fisslers, all have that valve. It is a simple pin valve that closes when enough steam is developed inside of a boiling pc.

What happens when I close the lid on my pc's is that steam exits the small valve until quite a bit of boiling action causes the pin to rise and close. Then the cooker is sealed so the main pressure valve can start rising to top pressure.

From what I understand, it is the purging of oxygen from the pc which eliminates foaming. With my pc's I never have foaming problems even though I cook brown rice, beans and the king of foam producing foods, oats, in my pc's with ZERO oil.

When I first purchased a pc with the extra valve, I thought it had a design flaw so I would manually lift the valve with the end of a table knife to close it so the pc would more rapidly gain pressure. At the time I used a couple of teaspoons of oil to reduce foaming. It never did completely solve the problem as all too often the pc would spit foamy goo all over the back of the stove. At least the design of the pc directed it away from the handle and user. I subsequently read somewhere on the internet about how oxygen in pc's was the culprit in causing the problem. I figured out that the extra valve was not some sort of design flaw and that its purpose was to eliminate foaming. It has worked 100% of the time since I read about the solution to foaming without using any oil.

If your pc does not have the extra valve it may be possible to manually perform the task by holding the main pressure valve open for 1-2 minutes after sealing. On certain pcs you may be able to do it by simply leaving a selectable pressure setting lever at zero pressure for a minute or so after closing the lid. My first pc had settings of zero, 5, 10 & 15 psi. By setting it to zero for a couple of minutes steam could escape for a couple of minutes after closing the lid so foaming would be prevented. Hope this helps.

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