Kitchen & Pantry

Replacing the pressure cooker’s rubber sealing ring pressure cooker's rubber sealing ring

With the never ending fuel price hikes and the concomitant rise in the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), we’ve been trying to find ways to cut down on our consumption. While I still love to bake, when there’s just Speedy and myself at home and baking a whole bunch of cupcakes is simply too impractical, I bake cakes in the microwave. When I have to bake in the oven, I plan ahead so that two or more baked products can go into the oven one after the other so that the oven needs to be preheated only once. For instance, when I made focaccia, I had a batch of cinnamon rolls that went into the oven the moment that the focaccia came out. And while I still prefer to make homemade broth which entails long hours of simmering, I make broth in a large pot so that I get enough broth for use for several days or even a couple of weeks.

Still, I feel all that is not quite enough. If there are ways to cut down even more on the consumption of LPG, I’d do it. Enter the pressure cooker.

Our pressure cooker had been out of commission for a long time. The rubber sealing ring deteriorated many years ago, we couldn’t find a replacement so we couldn’t use the pressure cooker. I’d have thrown it out and bought a new one but Speedy violently objected. See, the pressure cooker was the first cooking equipment he gave me after we bought our first house in 2001. Although we hadn’t used it for ages, Speedy brought it when we moved to this house — he was convinced that, sooner or later, we’d be able to find a replacement for the rubber sealing ring. That finally happened a couple of weeks ago.

Generic rubber sealing rings are now sold at DIY stores. Speedy was able to buy one for about a hundred and twenty pesos (less than USD3.00). Yes, it’s generic (didn’t I say that already?). Yes, it’s probably made in China (ergo, quite cheap). But who cares? It fits snugly into the lid of our pressure cooker, it seals perfectly and, after half a dozen uses, I can conclude that it is not dangerous to use a generic rubber sealing ring to replace the original that had outlived its purpose long ago.

Pressure cookers come in many sizes and the size is measured in two ways — the capacity and the diameter of the rim. If you’re not sure about the size of your pressure cooker, I suggest you do as Speedy did. He brought the lid with him to the DIY store to get the correct rubber sealing ring. It is best to actually test the rubber sealing ring by inserting it under the lid to find out if it fits well.

That said, expect a lot of pressure cooker recipes in the days ahead.

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