Using Pressure Cooker For Growing Mushrooms

You will need a durable pressure cooker to grow mushrooms at home.

Getting rid of contamination is something you will always have to do. If you want to cultivate, you need to know the sources of contamination and how to prevent the spoilage of your mushroom.

Warmth and moisture accommodate the growth of contaminants. A suitable pressure sterilizer is essential to get rid of contaminants.

How Do They Work

We don't have to bother you a lot with the principles of thermodynamics, but it will help you understand the basics.

Most people understand that water gets hot before turning into steam at atmospheric pressure. So, sterilization using hot water would not make your products get hot beyond 100°c. Unfortunately, many contaminants can survive this temperature.

Nevertheless, water does not turn to steam under sustained pressure even at a higher temperature. An increase in pressure is directly proportional to an increase in steam.

A pressure cooker works by allowing sustained pressure. So, the water becomes hotter without turning to steam. Most pressure cookers work by using a lightweight that sits on the vent on the cooker's lid. As pressure increases, the steam will be able to overcome the weight of the vent. This way, sustained pressure and increased temperature are obtained.

For sterilization, a pressure cooker that can maintain a pressure of 15PSI is good. This allows a temperature of 121°c hot enough to get rid of contaminants. You should note that when using a pressure cooker of lower pressure, sterilization would only be accomplished if sterilization times are increased.

Using A Pressure Cooker

Much care should be taken when using a pressure cooker to avoid accidents. Although pressure cookers are simple, it makes sense to take proper steps when using them.

Here are some tips for using a pressure cooker properly:

Always add enough water to the substrates in the pressure cooker to last the entire duration of the sterilization process.

Use the maximum temperature and let the pressure of the cooker rise. This could take time, depending on the size of your cooker.

Once the pressure has risen to withstand the force of the weight, the weight will start to shake, and steam will be released. Leave the stove at maximum temperature and reduce it after some time. This allows enough heat so the steam will not have enough pressure to move the weight.

Once sterilization is complete, leave it to cool properly before removing anything. An exception is pouring agar plates in which you want to remove the agar before it solidifies. Even still, you have to wait for about an hour before opening it.

Things To Avoid

Running Out Of Water

Running out of water is not good. With water still inside, the temperature will be restricted to the steam temperature at that pressure. Without water, the inside can reach extreme temperature and melt what is inside. Mushrooms cannot withstand this. Overheating also damages the cooker.

Watch the cooker closely always, and if you notice steam is not coming out of the vent, turn it off, allow it to cool, and add water.

Don't put too much water to avoid water leaking into your substrates. Make sure the water stays below the entry points of your substrates.

Blocking The Vent

Once a certain pressure is reached, pressure cookers usually release steam through the vent. If the vent is blocked, pressure will be built. The pressure continues to build until the cooker explodes.

This is why you make sure the vent is not blocked. Always put a safety vent in place.

You could place a firm object on the mushroom bags inside the cooker to prevent them from swelling up and blocking the vent.

Do not exceed the supplied weight of the cooker, as it is designed to withstand the pressure of just the supplied weight.

Using The Wrong Heat Source

Cool top or natural gas stoves are the most suitable type of stove for a pressure cooker. Glass top stove could be damaged if used due to the weight of the cooker. Do not use your cooker on a sizeable outdoor propane burner.


How Long To Sterilize

Usually, most substrates need a pressure of 15PSI to get rid of contamination. With this pressure, steam reaches a temperature of 121°C.

What determines sterilization time is the amount of time it takes for heat to fully penetrate the substrate you are trying to sterilize.

A more significant amount of substrate will take more time than a smaller amount of substrate.

Do not start counting time until the cooker has reached 15PSI. Some cookers take a longer time to reach that pressure.

Best Pressure Cookers

Pressure cookers are usually a bit expensive. But, it is worth it to own if you are into nurturing mushrooms. There are different types of pressure cookers depending on your budget.

The Best Value Pressure Cooker

Presto 23 quart pressure canner is a suitable type of pressure cooker. Although people say it is made of cheap aluminum, it could last for an extended period.

The pressure cooker is easy to use and holds a suitable substrate. The lid snaps onto place quickly, and it has a gauge to monitor the pressure rise up to 15PSI.

The disadvantage is that it has a rubber seal which would eventually break down and crack. This causes steam to leak out the side and prevents pressure from rising. You will need to replace the seal if this happens.

The Best Quality Pressure Cooker

So far, the best pressure cooker is an All American 921 21 quart pressure cooker. It is highly durable and so cost-effective. It has no rubber seal, and the aluminum body is much more heavy-duty. The lid is technical a bit. You may also need to apply wax between the metal seals to maintain a tight seal.

It is available in various sizes.

You should consider this pressure cooker for growing your mushroom if you desire nothing but the best.

A Stoveless Option

If you have enough money and don't want a disturbing noise, consider getting a complete sterilizer unit.

All American makes electric sterilizers in various sizes that can be arranged anywhere. It has an electric heating unit built on it. You just need to fill it with water and plug it into a light source.

Note that you will still need to set it on something not affected by heat. Also, note the voltage of the units. The units that operate on 110V draw a lot of currents and may blow your fuse.

Beat Contamination

A suitable sterilizer is the best way to get rid of contamination. Sterilization ensures the viability of your substrates

This article's statements are vital and helpful, but they have not been examined by the FDA. Don't see this information as an avenue to self-medicate and ignore proper consultation with your health practitioner. Our products are not meant to be used for preventing, treating, or diagnosing any kind of health issue.


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