Pressure cookers?

Discussion in 'Aphrodite's Kitchen' started by desertgirl, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. desertgirl

    desertgirl Active Member

    I received a pressure cooker as a wedding gift two years ago. I have no experience using one, and was slightly intimated by it, so it's been sitting under a cabinet since it was opened.

    Today, I stumbled on a pressure cooker recipe, and was amazed by the time given to cook stew was 6-8 minutes! I downloaded more recipes, and rice dishes in under 10 minutes??? Cooked potatoes in 8 minutes? I'm boon-doogled. Is that really possible? Are pressure cookers that great?

    My husband and I usually make dinner from scratch every night, and sometimes we don't eat until around 7pm (which is too late for people that go to bed before 10pm)! Seems like a pressure cooker might be a miracle tool.

    Anyone have any pressure cooking tips? And recipes? I'm pulling the cooker out tonight to make something. Not sure what yet.

  2. Myste

    Myste New Member

    I have one and love it. Keep in mind that the 6-8 minutes or whatever is time AT pressure. You have to get it boiling, get the lid on it, and get it up to pressure. Still, it's a heck of a lot better than 30-45 minutes or whatever! I've made stews, beans, soups etc and they all turn out good. Think of it as a crock-pot on steroids!

    I use mine fairly often for making chicken stock - some people poo-poo using a pressure cooker because the stock ends up cloudy but I could care less - it's yummy and flavorful and makes wonderful soups/stews/etc. I freeze the stock in 2c portions with about 1c split into 2T portions in an ice cube tray. Any time I get a rotisserie chicken I save the carcass.

    My absolute most favorite pressure cooker recipe is "refried" beans though. I never buy canned ones anymore because mine equal or beat most restaurant ones too. I use this recipe.

    I don't play with the pressure cooker nearly enough because I hate our stove - it's an older glass/ceramic top that takes forever to change the heat so it requires a bit more fiddling than normal. Definitely a good tool to have though!

  3. desertgirl

    desertgirl Active Member

    Thank you Myste! I'm making the beans tomorrow (going to soak them tonight)! The stock sounds so good too--I cook so many things using chicken stock, but have never made my own.

    I think I found tonight's recipe: Saffron fish stew. I have all the ingredients on hand. I don't have any chicken, but when I do I'll try the chicken cacciatore or the coq au vin. I'm so excited that I can come home from work and prepare a meal that usually takes forever to cook. Preparation will still take time of course, but it's the 40-90 minute cooking times that deter me from making certain dishes.

    Why oh why is the pressure cooker not an exulted kitchen tool????

  4. desertgirl

    desertgirl Active Member

    Made potato stew last night. The pressure cooker does not solve my time woes! Haha, I had no idea it would take a while to heat up to rocking the pressure cooker I have is HUGE, so I wonder if that adds to the time to build up pressure?

  5. Myste

    Myste New Member

    It will add some time, you need to make the right size batch for your cooker. Mine's a 7 litre one which is just about right for what I do. Our stove takes forever to boil water (15 minutes min!) but it doesn't take too much longer than that to get up to pressure - maybe 20 minutes total. I seriously pondered getting an induction burner for it - then realized I managed to get an anodized aluminum model that won't work on induction! It probably wouldn't save me much time for things like soups, but 40 minutes for a pot of beans vs 3 hours+ or 45 minutes for stock instead of the 6+ hours I used to simmer it for... I'll take it.

  6. iampam

    iampam Active Member

    Mmm I love to make chicken stock in my crockpot. I have a chicken carcass and veggie scraps in my freezer just waiting to go, maybe I should get that started tonight. [​IMG]

  7. labby06

    labby06 Active Member

    I bought a pressure cooker a few months ago and I LOVE it! DH yelled at me about why I need ANOTHER kitchen gadget, but now he loves it too! He even wants to take it camping this weekend, which I still don't understand since camping is all about cooking over the fire but whatever!

    I have an electric one, so it's a little different than the over the stove ones. My favorite thing to make in it is pasta and chicken because it's super quick and super easy. I throw in a box of uncooked pasta, a jar of spaghetti sauce, add some water to just cover the pasta, and throw 2 or three frozen chicken breasts on top. I set it for 6-8 minutes or so and walk away. Mine will come to pressure and start counting down once pressure is reached and then will go to a warm mode while it releases the pressure. It takes about 7 minutes or so to get to pressure, so within about 20 minutes it's done. I manually release the pressure, take out the chicken breasts and cut them up, put them back in with some mozzarella cheese and put the lid back on for a few minutes until the cheese melts. It's yummy and easy!

    I've also made roasts in it which have turned out well and have tried a few different pork chop recipes. No matter what I try though, I still can't come to actually like pork chops. DH really liked them though! I also made chili for DH which he really liked. It takes a lot of experimentation but once you get it down you can make some really good stuff in a short amount of time!

    Mine doubles as a slow cooker and rice cooker too! I have yet to try those features and I'm not really sure I ever will (that's what the crock pots are for!), but they are options! It also has a brown feature for browning your meats prior to cooking which is nice since it means one less pot to dirty, although the stove models will do the same.

  8. labby06

    labby06 Active Member

    Oh, and another tip I found along the way. I bought one of these to use in my pressure cooker. It helps keep the food off the bottom but allows the liquid under it to boil to create the steam. It definitely helps to keep the things on the bottom from burning and makes it easier to lift the food out (depending on what you are making!)

  9. AliBaby

    AliBaby New Member

    I've had a pressure cooker in my cabinet since Christmas 2008! I've never used it because I'm scared of the explosion warning I read about in the manual! But, it sounds like I should get it out and try a few recipes. I DID buy a rice cooker with a steamer on top that is AWESOME! It doesn't save time, but it's like a crock pot in the aspect that you set it up and leave it for a while. Come back for the last 10-15 min to steam veggies or meat. I've made the most tender salmon and chicken in the steamer part!

  10. desertgirl

    desertgirl Active Member

    Try it, Ali! All the gadgets have safety release valves, so yours won't explode! I have a rice cooker and a steamer too, but I hardly ever use it.

    labby, the pasta and chicken sounds good. Uncooked noodles? I'll have to try. The pressure cooker did come with a thing to keep food off the bottom. Very handy, but not as handy as the one you linked. Labby, do you guys do dutch over cooking when you're camping? If not, I think your husband would love it! My husband LOVES his dutch oven, and is always 'showing off' his new recipes when we camp with other folks. The best is dutch oven cobbler!

  11. labby06

    labby06 Active Member

    Yes, uncooked pasta, that is the best part about the recipe and what makes it so super easy! Sometimes I will even throw in a few herbs and spices to kick up the flavor a notch. All depends on what kind of mood I'm in.

    The first time I made it I left it naturally release the pressure and I think it cooked a bit too long because the pasta was a bit overcooked. I now manually release the pressure when it is done so it stops cooking and it gets much better.

    I also found that if you do a meat and potatoes combination type dish put the meat in first, and then in like the last 5 minutes of cooking add the potatoes. THen they don't get super mushy. This also works for adding veggies too if you don't want them to be mush.

    We're attempting short ribs in it tomorrow which is why he wanted to bring it camping apparently. I think he wants to try to slow cook them though. We may start it early and put some in, and then pressure cook the rest after those are done and do a comparison.

    We do have a dutch oven and do cook in it occasionally on the fire, but our usually camping fare is steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs, mountain pies, stuff that typically doesn't go in the dutch oven. But now that you mention it I may have to find some new recipes to use that for too!


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