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When I cook yellow lentils at home, the valve of the pressure cooker seems to clog up. How do I prevent this? By clog up, I mean that the pressure cooker sits quietly on the burner and then all of a sudden there is a gush of steam coming from the valve. My pan is ten years old. I soak the lentils for a few hours, rinse, and add some oil and salt to the cooking water. The lentils and the water only take up the bottom quarter.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

You may need to add more oil, say a generous tablespoon. Also, I don't think you should need to soak those lentils first, the pressure cooker should be more than able to take them apart without any advance soak. Also be sure to use plenty of water. At least 8 cups for 1 pound of beans.

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Even in a regular pot, lentils do not need to be soaked before cooking. (They'll take about 30-40 minutes to cook in a non-pressurized pot.) – Martha F. Sep 28 '10 at 21:28
I started soaking hoping it would reduce the foaming. So it doesn't really help? Do I need a new pressure cooker? – papin Sep 28 '10 at 21:42
  1. make sure your pressure vent is unclogged. I take a bamboo skewer and shave it down with a pen knife to be able to clean it.
  2. make sure the regulator is clean. I prefer the simple weighted regulator but the types do vary. One cooker I have you need to rotate, push down, and rotate further before it comes apart. (and on the one I bought used, it was filthy with old dried red lentils underneath.)
  3. Are you over-filling the pan? On a six quart/liter cooker a pound of lentils doesn't even require the cooker to be half full of water, even if you don't presoak. Never go over 2/3 full on any cooker when cooking any bean or pulse.
  4. I use a "dash" of olive oil, which may be a over a tablespoon.
  5. Don't have it on the stove on full blast. My cooker has a pin that comes up to lock the lid on sign of first pressure. Turn the stove down a bit before the weight starts to lift, and come up to full pressure a bit more slowly.

One of these will surely work for you.

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