Don't Add Too Much Liquid When Pressure Cooking A Cut Of Meat

When it comes to making an epically tender cut of beef, chicken, or pork, no kitchen tool is as useful as the pressure cooker. Harnessing the power of steam, a pressure cooker helps cook your meal faster and helps extract more flavor from your food. While it may seem like a win-win across the board, you may be sabotaging your own dinner plans by making one crucial mistake: adding too much liquid to your pressure cooker. 

The more liquid you add to your pressure cooking braise, the more flavor you're losing to the watery ether. So if you cover the roast or loin with an excess of liquid, the results will be decidedly bland. It can seem like a catch-22 — you need liquid to get your pressure cooker to work, but too much will make your meat taste blah. Luckily, there's an easy rule of thumb to keep in mind to make sure you don't overwhelm your roasts. For a pressure cooker to come to pressure, it needs 1 cup of liquid, no more, no less. 

Too much liquid saps the flavor

So how does this pro tip apply to your meals? Consider our recipe for Instant Pot pork tenderloin. After sautéing the two tenderloins, 1 cup of beef broth is the only liquid added to the pot, alongside other aromatics like herbs and garlic. It passes the 1-cup rule, meaning you'll extract loads of flavor while still getting your cooker up to pressure. But what about a recipe for pulled chicken that calls for 1 ½ cups of broth or water? Short of needing that liquid to create a soup, you're probably safe to decrease that liquid to 1 cup. Otherwise, that'll be one tasteless batch of shredded chicken. 

But what if you need to turn that lingering liquid into a sauce? Don't forget that the meat itself will be releasing a bit of its own liquid into this mix as well, so you'll still have plenty of it left over to reduce into a sauce or gravy. Across the board, the 1-cup rule will help you make the most of your pressure cooker meats.