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From: Guy (adsl-63-195-90-90.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net)
Subject: Re: barley in soup
Date: March 24, 2004 at 11:09 am PST

In Reply to: barley in soup posted by Deb Weston on March 21, 2004 at 5:01 am:

I have posted about this before but is worth repeating. Using a pressure cooker with a double boiler pot completely eliminates scorching. It adds a litte to cooking time but the results are, in my opinion, worth the extra time & effort.

Simply find a steep sided bowl (or pot without handles) or a pot to sit on top of the tripod which comes with most pcs. For example, I have a 10 liter pc and found a 6 quart pot. I removed the two handles and bent back the steel brackets. It fits just about perfectly in the pc. I'd suggest measuring the inside diameter & height about the tripod inside your pc and go shopping to find something that fits. For my 10 liter unit I found a pot at Macy's for $20.00 which works great. I found a ceramic steep sided serving bowl at Crate & Barrel which fits neatly into my 4.5 liter pc. To make the bowl sit level I use a trivet that was supplied with one of my pcs to make a flat surface for the bottom of the bowl.

Another advantage to using a pc like a double boiler is that there is much more control over how much water is necessary to cook a wide variety of foods. Because there is no worry about scorching it is great to be able to use less water than normal pressure cooking. It is nice to be able to select the thickness of any foods that I cook rather than make them more watery to reduce the risk of scorching. For example, I often cook lentils and split peas. When I cook split peas it is always to make soup. I use a ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part split peas and it comes out with the amount of liquidity that I like in a soup. When I cook lentils I use 1 1/3- 1 1/2 cups water for each cup of lentils. It comes out very thick. A similar ratio would have a higher risk of scorching if cooked without an insert.

One final benefit that I like is that foods cooked in an insert are more intact than when cooked without one. Don't think it affects flavor but I do like the appearance & texture better. Hope this helps.





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