It can be quite frustrating to end up with burned food after all the work that went into preparing the ingredients. Scorching can happen within a few seconds. Many times, it is out of your control. The solution to avoid scorching when cooking is taking the right steps before you start cooking.
Why Does My Food Burn?
In this post, I will be writing about the reasons food burn, and tips to avoid scorching. You can save a lot of time, money, and energy by implementing the right procedures to prevent scorching. First, let’s start with some of the reasons foods burn while cooking.
The type of pot you use for cooking matters
It is best to use pots that have an adequately fortified base. Enhancing the base of a pot to prevent scorching is done by using high-quality pots only. But what are the features that show a pot is of high quality?
The manufacturers of high-quality pots ensure the base features a 3-ply bottom consisting of stainless steel, aluminum, and stainless steel, in this order. The sandwiched base made like this has more capacity to distribute the heat energy from your electric cooker evenly. The chance of scorching is remarkably reduced when the heat is evenly distributed.
Cookware made from aluminum increases the chances of scorching when foods that contain much sugar or sauces are cooked. In the early days, it was almost impossible to leave the kitchen while your food is cooking without experiencing scorching. Now, the newer and improved pressure pots and other cookware with the 3-ply vessels can be left unattended until the cooking time is reached.
For many people, burning food while cooking is no longer a regular experience. The introduction of new and improved pressure cookers has reduced the chances of scorching. Many of the sauces that became less popular because they always got burned can now be cooked without fear of scorching.
The modern pressure cookers have vessels that ensure an adequate distribution of heat. However, it is essential that you should regulate your heat source to ensure the heat energy is directly under the vessel.
Using gas burners
The alternative to electric cookers is the gas burners. You cook with flames from the vents; this means you will be cooking with remarkably high heat energy, which can cause scorching. To avoid burning your food when using gas burners, it is best to cook with a small or medium sized burner instead of the biggest burner on the cooker.
Excess heat from your cooker can cause a rapid increase in pressure, which will burn the food you are cooking. If you must use a big burner, ensure the vent is regulated to manage the heat energy produced. To get it right, you may need to experiment a little bit, to know which setting is perfect for the food you are cooking.
Using electric cookers
While electric cookers are easier to regulate regarding the generation of heat energy, your food can still get burned. This is how scorching can happen, if you leave the pressure pot on the electric burner after it has been turned off, the heat filaments, which are slowly losing heat energy, can cause scorching. To avoid this situation, take the pots away from the source of heat after reaching the cooking time.
Wrong cooking time
You may also be experiencing scorching all the time because you are using a wrong cooking time. This can happen if you get a poorly written recipe with wrong information. There are standard cooking time charts you can use to know the exact time to remove your pots from the source of heat.
Tips to avoid burning food when cooking
Control the heat energy
You can control the heat energy generated by your burner by studying how it operates and using an experimental approach. In the case of foods that burn quickly, such as thick sauces, it is best if you add thickeners after cooking the food. Alternatively, you can first boil the ingredients in an open pressure pot. After boiling, close the lid to cook under pressure. The high temperature already attained will cause the food to be cooked quicker, so your cooking time is significantly shorter.
Maintain the recommended liquid level
The pressure cooker has been marked to show you the recommended level for liquids poured in before you start cooking. Exceeding this limit can cause scorching because there will be a delay in attaining the right pressure to cook the food.
Avoid adding dairy products to foods cooked under pressure
If you must add dairy products such as cheese, milk, or cream when cooking, it is best to add these ingredients after cooking. The effect of pressure on dairy products can cause scorching very quickly.
Use a heat diffuser
If you have pots and pans that are of lower quality, you can avoid burning food by using a heat diffuser. It is a metal plate placed over your heat source before your pressure cooker or pots. The heat diffuser helps to control the heat energy transferred to your pot. Please note that the heat diffuser you use should have the same measurement with the base of your pot.
Monitor the Pressure
Some pressure cookers have a gauge to show the pressure generated in the vessel. To avoid scorching due to high pressure, reduce your heat source immediately, the pressure you need is reached.
It is highly unadvisable to multi-task while cooking; it requires your full attention. When you are present, it is easier to identify signs or scorching by smell or sight and lower pressure to salvage the food.
Use a rack or trivet
Racks are used as support accessories that can reduce scorching. Racks and trivets can hold meats, vegetables, soups, and other foods at a high level, a few inches, above the water level.
Cleaning burned foods from pots
At the sight of burnt food in your pots, you may think it will be hopeless to remove the stains. Don’t discard that pot yet; there are ways to clean and restore your pots.
One of the best methods is deglazing
Deglazing is done by pouring some cold water into a hot pot that has just been used for cooking. Place the pot over a low flame and leave for a few minutes. After a while, you will notice the burnt food at the bottom of your pot become loose. Use a scraper to scrap these burnt pieces away completely.
There are also some products sold in the market to be used for the removal of grease. Also, if you are trying to remove stains from brightly colored finishes, avoid scratching and ruining the surface by using non-abrasive cleaners. These tips work, find ways to apply them often, hopefully, you won’t ever experience scorching again.