A handy guide to making the most of your pressure cooker.
Nathan Myhrvold has a high-tech kitchen lab, but the device he calls magical is a basic pressure cooker.
Fifteen pounds per square inch (PSI) is the most common setting for pressure cookers. Products vary, however, so be sure to consult the owner's manual.
Steam coming out of the cooker's valve indicates pressure is too high; reduce it by lowering the heat.
Never try to force the lid open; to depressurize quickly, run the lid (but not the valve) under cold water.
To caramelize carrots in a pressure cooker, Nathan Myhrvold adds a bit of baking soda: It increases the pH, which speeds up the Maillard (browning) reaction.