Oiling the pressure cooker gasket

FelafelBoy | Jan 15, 2008 10:23 PM

I was told that the gasket for a pressure cooker should be oiled so as to extend its life.

Have such pc users found this to be the case, and if so, how often should they be oiled?

I am finding that I am using my pressure cooker once every few days and wonder if such frequent usage would justify oiling the gasket. How long a time of nonuse would justify the application of oil to the gasket? (I would use canola oil.) Should the oil be removed, that is, rinsed off, before the next use, or can it be left on the gasket? I was told that some people store their gaskets in a ziplock bag.

Would it not be recommended to only oil the gasket if it is not to be used for weeks?

The kind of gasket I am referring to is the kind that comes with the Fagor brand, which I believe is labeled a "silicone" gasket.

So far, I am amazed that the only time steam comes out of the cooker is just seconds at the time the cooker reaches pressure and during decompression time when cold water is run over the cover. Other than that, the cooker operates extremely quietly and with NO steam being emitted from the cooker. (It is amazing to see that the water left inside the cooker looks almost identical to the amount I started with, even after considerable cooking time. That confirms to me that the only water lost is during those few seconds I referred to.)
This phenomena is probably symptomatic of the effectiveness of the gasket providing a very tight seal as well as the cooker being constructed very well. I had heard that the KR pc operated this way, but so far my Fagor 4 qt elite pc has operated with very little water loss and very quietly.

So far, I have used the cooker only for cooking kidney beans, kale, and an entire whole potato. To my surprise, the potato needed about 35 to 40 minutes before it softened to the texture I find edible. (Previously I would cut up a potato and boil it. I suppose I am getting more nutrients by steaming it. Next time, I will cut it up into quarters and therby shorten the cooking time dramatically. This experiment was a reminder that the pc can only perform only certain miracles regarding shortening the cooking time of certain foods. I didn't know that a raw potato, uncut, requires considerable time to cook. If it's cut up into smaller pieces, there is less mass for the heat to cook into.) PS ... I have found that kale does need at least 5 minutes before it becomes tender. I tried a 3 to 4 minute time and the leaves were still a bit tough. (My technique is to bring the water to a boil and then emerse the steamer basket with the kale inside the cooker, rather than to put the kale in first and let it gradually heat up as the cooker comes to pressure. I thought it wiser to only expose the kale to high heat initially and have it cook at that constant high temperature.)

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