Does anyone still use a pressure cooker?

Back when I was a kid, my mother used a pressure cooker.. A big, heavy, cumbersome steel thing. I used to be terrified of it, because to would go “off” unexpectantly and menacingly shoot hissing jets of steam at me.

Still, in theory, cooking with pressurized steam seemed (and still seems) a good idea. Incredible shortened cooking time, saving energy, etcetera.

But nowadays, pressure cookers seem to have entirely vanished from modern kitchens. No-one that I know still uses them. Not even the people I know who’ll otherwise want to own every cooking gadget on the market. !

So what’s the deal on pressure cookers? Have they just gone out of fashion, like the vegetable-juicer and the cheese-fondue-set? Have they improved since the seventies? Does anyone still own and use one? Should I get one? :confused:

My mother has one. She doesn’t use it very often though. Only when she wants to cook meat, or other foods that need a lot of time. And modern pressure cookers aren’t big and cumbersome anymore.

Sure, I use one all the time. I got hooked when I lived in India, where families use them daily, primarily to cook various daals (lentils) from the dried form. It really really shortens cooking time for dried beans and is useful for other stuff too. Outside of India I have seen them more of less commonly available in Europe, though less so in the US.

But I sympathise with how other people feel about them. It took me quite a while to get used to the slight risk of ‘meltdown,’ and the whistling will still startle me if I am not expecting it.

My mother still uses hers often and has recently bought cheap ones (secondhand) for my brothers. They both swear by them now. New ones are quite expensive.

Still use them? I hear they’re making a bit of a comeback.

They’re great for making good meals in a very short period of time.

It’s the next thing I’m planning on buying for my kitchen, that and a double cast iron griddle for morning pancakes. :smiley:

We use ours to make pork roast, and sometimes a pot roast – comes out tender and juicy. I used to cook a lot of bean dishes in mine when I was a bachelor, as dried beans will cook completely in 20 minutes in a pressure cooker.

Love them, I make all sorts of things in them. Cant be beat for anything with beans and rice [except cassoulet d’isigny which needs long slow cooking to taste right] and you can get a respectable pot roast or pulled pork nonBBQ[isnt done over real heat, is done in a pressure cooker quickly. Cooks the whole hunk of pig in sauce so all you have to do is shred it=)]

Also use mine for canning - preparing large batches of juice and cooked fruits for the jams and jellys=)

LOVE mine! The newer models are safer and easier to use. The lid on mine actually fits inside at an angle, then flattens to seal up against the inner lip. It has two release valves, one of which you can use a fork to open and release the pressure- no running under cold water and waiting.

To feed 8 people:
Thai curry- 12 minutes.
Gulash- 11 minutes.
Beef stew- 11 minutes
Daal- 18 minutes

Potatos- 4 minutes
mixed veggies- 3 minutes

Get one, you will love it.


I bought one (one sale for a ridiculously low price) on sale at Loewes just a couple of years ago. I use it all the time. It’s a great way to make soup fast. I also cook pork chops (with onions and balsamic vinegar) and whole chickens (with white wine, herbs and lemon). Yum!

I like mine for brown rice and beans and vegetable stock. Quite the time-saver.

My FIL has used one for years. Makes great roasts, ribs and such quickly, and they come out very tender. He has only had two accidents, one was years ago when the seal broke and the thing exploded roast all over the kitchen. He was recounting this story to me a couple years ago, when, in the middle, he reached over and kind of shook the pan, then took a few quick steps back. I was holding my then 1 yo daughter, and I noticed the rattling of the pressure valve had stopped. I grabbed my daughter close and was turning around when it blew. Somehow the roast had shifted and blocked the valve. <blam> Nothing like cleaning grease and gravy off the ceiling.

But, two explosions in more than 30 years of use isn’t too bad, I’d say.

I just used mine to cook carrots the other day. 8 minutes and done.

I’ve also used it for soups, beans, and sweet potatoes.

As long as you don’t fill it more than two-thirds full, or with a cut of meat that can block the pressure-relief valve (as DaddyTimesTwo illustrated), they’re safe and easy to use. Keep the rubber seal in good condition by coating it with a light layer of oil after washing, and make sure the pressure valve isn’t clogged.

I use mine several times a month. You ever tried to cook a mess of dried pinto beans for this evening’s chili without one?

I have 'em in 4qt and 6qt, and there are foods that, to me, just can’t be done right without a pressure cooker. These are cabbage, broccolli, cauliflower, asparagus, and green beans. I like these a bit softer than squeaky, and the pressure cooking does it without destroying the flavor.

Mine are the weight-on-a-spike kind, but I’ve never had one blow up. The are now automatic p-c’s that precisely regulate the pressure without relying on the cook’s vigilance

We use ours to make Seville orange marmalade. The initial cooking of the oranges takes just 10 minutes instead of two hours. Of course, to finish making the preserve, you have to transfer to an ordinary open pan but it does speed up preparation time. We also use the cooker to make split pea or lentil soups. Again much quicker.

Wow, the cookingtimes listed are truly impressively short. But do you mean you put dried beans in the cooker? Right from the package, without soaking them in water first? And the beans don’t come out soft on the outside and still raw inside? :eek:

And how can you make a roast when you’re only boiling the meat? Wouldn’t it become soggy?

Can anyone recommend a small cooker for just two persons, that isn’t too complicated to operate?

It’s OK to make a small amount in a pressure cooker. You don’t need a special cooker. I use mine a lot for soups, stews, and things like pot roast. (Not in the summer!)

Probably not the best marketing ad slogan…

I had to laugh when I read the title of this thread…my mother had a pressure cooker and whenever she would use it, we kids would run to the living room and wait until she was finished cooking for fear we would all be blown up.

(I think she used to use it so often simply to get us out of her kitchen.)

[Pressure Cooker Advisory Board]

If you have an old-fashioned pressure cooker, you two can be asplosion free if you follow these simple tips:

Do not fill your pressure cooker more than 2/3 full. Your cooker may even have a line in it indicating the highest safe filling level. If you place a large piece of meat in your cooker, make sure that it does not protrude over the 2/3 line.

Beans, rice and other starchy foods can produce foam, which can block your cooker’s valve. To safely cook these foods, put them in a metal bowl small enough to fit in your cooker and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Put about 2 cups of water in the cooker and place the bowl on the rack.

Before you put the lid on your cooker, always check that the rubber seal is clean and uncracked, and look through the pressure stem to ensure that it is clear and not blocked by food debris.

Consult your pressure cooker’s owner’s manual for more safety information.


Maasricht, I throw in brown rice and dry, unsoaked kidney beans and cook for 30 minutes, then allow the pressure to drop on its own. The beans cook all the way through, no prob.

I still have one. I haven’t used it in years. I had forgotten all about it.
I think the last time I used it the seal leaked steam. Anyone know where to get a new gasket for one?