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Mushroom cultivation requires a sterile environment and specific conditions. Otherwise, there is a high risk of mold or mildew growth ruining your hard work. Once you’ve done this process a few times, it becomes easy.
One of the first things you’ll need aside from spores is a good pressure cooker. Keep reading to see our top choice for the best pressure cooker for mushrooms, as well as advice on the best method for growing mushrooms.Invalid table id.
Tefal Secure 5 Neo Stainless Steel 6L Pressure Cooker
The Tefal pressure cooker is a best seller for a reason—it is easy to use and performs great. It also has several safety features that make it better for novices.
Among its many safety features are a safety pin with an indicator that monitors pressure, a safe-closing system that stops pressure build-up if it is not properly sealed, and a safe opening that stops you from opening the cooker unless pressure has been released.
It also features a gasket that releases pressure over time and a safety valve that depressurizes the pot if the gasket malfunctions.
- 2 Cooking programs depending on ingredients and results desired
- Auto-lock system allowing the lid to close safely with audible noise
- Ergonomic handles for added comfort
- 5 safety devices for use without any risk
- All hobs compatible including induction. Check that the gasket is properly positioned inside the lid.Make sure that the safety rod or pressure indicator is positioned correctly. Remove and replace if necessary.
The steamer basket is nice for growing mushrooms because you can easily stack more than one layer of jars.
Something to note, however, is that there is not as much control over the heat and pressure. You’ll need to consult the user manual to know what setting/heat level to use to achieve 15 psi.
Several safety features
Fail-safe for pressure release if the gasket fails
Holds 6L and comes with a steaming basket
Can stack more than one layer of jars
Need to read the user’s manual to achieve the right pressure
Morphy Richards 2.7L Pressure Cooker
The Morphy Richards pressure cooker is made of sturdy stainless steel. It does only hold 2.7L, however, so it’s not the best choice if you want to process many jars of substrate at once.
There are two easy steps that let you adjust the pressure setting valve, helping you reach and hold the right pressure.
When you aren’t using this for growing mushrooms, you can use it to brown, boil, roast, braise, and steam a wide variety of ingredients. Something to note is that the valve will need to be replaced with time—it is a little flimsy.
This sturdy pressure cooker comes with a 1-year guarantee on parts with the option to pay extra for a 10-year guarantee. It is very affordable, which makes it great for people who are just starting to grow mushrooms.
Made of durable stainless steel
1-year guarantee with an option to purchase an extended warranty
Has several functions in addition to pressure cooking
The valve is a little flimsy, will probably need to be replaced frequently
Tower Pressure Cooker with 6L Capacity and Steamer Basket
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The Tower pressure cooker is affordable and works well for braising, steaming, browning, boiling, and more. It is a versatile cooker for your kitchen and can be used to help grow delicious mushrooms.
When setting the pressure, there is a two-step process. However, this can be harder to understand if you are not familiar with pressure cookers because the company does not include a detailed instruction manual.
The base of the cooker is thick, being made of encapsulated aluminum and steel. This lets the cooker heat to temperature and then maintain it, ensuring your jars sterilize easily.
This also comes with a 1-year guarantee with the option to purchase an extended warranty. It is also easy to clean, which is something you’ll appreciate when you are using the cooker for food in between sterilizing your mushrooms.
As an added bonus, the Tower company provides several recipes to get you started (including a yummy one for mushroom soup).
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Something to note while cooking is that moisture can drip down from the handle. Monitor this opening and replace the seals and gaskets as needed.
Two-step process to set the pressure
Recipe ideas provided
The thick base maintains heat well
1-year guarantee and option to purchase an extended warranty
High capacity for holding jars of substrate
Liquid can leak from the handle sometimes
No instruction manual included
Is Pressure Cooker Good for Growing Mushrooms?
Pressure cookers make it significantly easier to sterilize the substrate, which is the matter that mushrooms grow in. Basically, you’ll put the ‘ingredients’ for the soil in the jar and pressure cooks it for an hour to sterilize it.
Once sterilized, you keep the jars inside the cooker until you’re ready to move on to the next step to maintain the sterile environment.
Best PF Tek Method for Growing Mushrooms
The PF Tek Method for growing mushrooms is considered one of the best methods for mushroom cultivation.
In addition to a pressure cooker, you’ll also need organic brown rice flour, vermiculite, perlite, wide-mouth canning jars (1/2-pint, 8 oz. or 250 mL jars are ideal), and a spore syringe that has the strain of mushroom you want to grow.
You’ll also need some items you may have around the house, including a large Tupperware or aquarium (to create a humidity chamber), a hammer and nail, aluminum foil, and a lighter.
Step 1: Preparing the Jars
First, take the hammer and nail and make 2-4 holes in each lid. You want the lid to be facing rubber side up while you do this to avoid tearing the aluminum foil in the next step. Space them evenly near the outer edge of the jar.
Step 2: Preparing the Substrate
The substrate is the mixture that your mushrooms will feed off of. You can think of it as food or fertilizer. If you are going to mix 12 8-ounce jars, you’ll need 9 cups of vermiculite, 3 cups of brown rice flour, and 3 cups of water. Add the dry ingredients, then the water.
Once the substrate is prepared, you’ll want to loosely fill the jar with it. Leave about 1/2-inch of space between your mixture and the top of the jar. Then, wipe up moisture in the clear area and fill the jar the rest of the way with dry vermiculite to create a layer between air contaminants and the growing medium.
Step 3: Sterilization
You’ll need your pressure cooker for the sterilization process. Close the jars with the inner lid upside down, with the rubber side facing up. Then, place foil over the lid and make an airtight seal over the holes.
Add 3-inches of water to the pressure cooker and add your jars. You can stack them if you need to so they all fit.
You’ll want the cooker to reach a pressure of at least 15 psi. Then, you’ll need to sterilize for an hour. After the hour, let the cooker stand for three hours (you could also let it sit overnight).
Step 4: Inoculation
It’s important to take precautions to prevent contamination in this step. You’ll want to leave the jars in the cooker until you are ready. When you are, prepare them in a small, clean room (like a bathroom). If you have a HEPA glove box or flow hood, you can also use one of these.
To inoculate the growing medium, you’ll remove one jar at a time from the pressure cooker and heat the syringe needle until it is red hot (this sterilizes it).
Then, remove the foil, insert the needle into the hole in the jar lid, and inject about 1 mL of the fluid into the substrate by putting it against the wall of the glass jar. Do this in each nail hole, then replace the foil. You’ll want to reheat the needle if it comes into contact with anything else.
Step 5: Incubation
Next, you’ll want to give the spores time to incubate. Store them in an area that is between 80 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit and dark. You’ll see the first white spots after 3-4 days, but you’ll want to wait 3-5 weeks to let the fungus completely take over the substrate.
Step 6: Creating a Fruiting Chamber
The fruiting chamber creates a high-humidity environment that encourages mushrooms to flourish. Fill a strainer with perlite and soak it for 5-10 minutes. Line the bottom of your container with it and set down foil squares where you want to position the mushrooms.
You’ll also want to put holes in the side of the container if possible because this creates a CO2 and O2 exchange. Place a cover over the top to trap humidity.
Step 7: Birthing and Flushing the Mushrooms
Next, you are going to birth the mushrooms. Take the lid off the jar, flip it upside down, and tap it until the cake falls out. Then, soak the cake in water in the refrigerator for about 24 hours before adding them to your growing environment.
After the soak, place them in the growing chamber and wait for the flush, which is when the mushrooms come out. Expect to harvest in about two weeks, then soak the cake for 24 hours between flushes. Expect about 3-4 growths with each substrate cake.
Which is the Best Pressure Cooker for Mushroom Cultivation?
The best pressure cooker for mushroom cultivation is one that reaches a psi of at least 15 and holds it for a long period of time.
Maintaining this level of heat and pressure is necessary for sterilizing the growing medium. You’ll also want one with a large capacity if you plan on inoculating large batches of mushrooms.
The best pressure cooker for mushrooms will maintain a psi of at least 15 and hold a large capacity of jars.
By mastering this method, you’ll be able to have a new batch of mushrooms every few weeks. You can also trust the mushrooms you have grown, knowing that they have eaten sterilized substrate.