Last updated: 19 March 2018
Using a pressure cooker with a solar oven is not a well-documented area of solar thermal cooking, but there are a few points that have been introduced for consideration:
- Using a pressure cooker may require a powerful solar oven in order to reach the temperatures necessary for effective results. A parabolic solar cooker may be a good choice.
- Plastic pressure cookers designed for microwave use should be avoided in favor of metal options as the plastic cookers may deform when exposed to the heat of a solar oven.
- As with the traditional use of a pressure cooker, a steam valve should be used to avoid the dangers of over-pressurizing the cooker.
- Of course care should be taken to make sure that the pressure cooker does not build up a pressure that could be dangerous.
The late Barbara Kerr reported that she was able to "pressure cook" in a standard canning jar by screwing the lid on very tightly so that pressure could build and temperatures inside the jar could rise above boiling. It might be dangerous to try this with a jar not designed for home canning.
See this discussion in the legacy Solar Cooking Archive Discussion Groups for more information.