I got a pressure cooker... now what?

I recently got a pressure cooker as a gift, and, I am pretty excited to try it out.

But I don’t want it to explode. My grandfather managed to blow one up and had to go to the hospital because it went while he was in the kitchen, and he burned himself pretty bad on the chili he had inside.

Does anyone have a favorite recipe for one of these things? I would love to try, and I will post pictures of it done (or of my blown up ass kitchen.)

you get some old stringy tough pressures and cook them up in about 15 minutes, very tender.

read the directions about not using too much heat after the pressure comes up. they are safer these days. fill only 1/2 to 2/3rds full. don’t put in lots of stuff that could boil and froth. know how to make sure the regulator is working. open only when the pressure is down.

it gets hotter inside. good for cooking large meat to very tender. you can cook things like potatoes quickly. you can put in a pile of long to cook pumpkin in 10 minutes.

Stews, soups, and pot roasts work well in pressure cookers. Most anything that can be boiled, simmered, or steamed can be cooked faster in a pressure cooker. Modern pressure cookers should be very difficult to blow up. If it’s made of aluminum the top is probably to deform and release pressure before exploding. Just follow the directions that came with it. One thing to remember is that after bringing it up to pressure, indicated by steam releasing from a valve, the temperature can be lowered just to the point where the steam release continues.

Uh, what? :):confused:

So you can cook potatoes fast in a pressure cooker. You can do them fast in a microwave. Why would someone chose one method over the other?

It recently occurred to me that you could make an excellent small still out of a Presto pressure cooker. You could ferment the mash right in the cooker, and the pressure release valve would serve as the airlock, letting the CO2 out and keeping bacteria from getting in. After the fermenting is finished, you just remove the rubber overpressure plug and put a rubber grommet in its place, and then stick your ¼” copper coil directly into that. When your vodka is ready, all you have to do is take it apart, scrape out the yeast reside with a rubber spatula and throw it in the trash, and toss the whole thing in the dishwasher.

if i got a rice cooker, what would i cook in it?

for single or enough to feed a few people then nuking is good.

when you want to make enough for a couple meals and do it quickly then a pressure cooker is good.

Thanks for all the posts! I have only really seen pressure cookers used to seal mason jars. When I was a kid, we had 4 acres of purple hull beans, and when we picked them all my mother would pressure cook the jars and they would seal. We would all have to stay outside when this was going on.

I am guessing because my grandfather blew his up way back in the day, it was probably made out of stainless steel.

What I don’t really understand is how to adjust the temperature after the steam starts. I have a cheezy electric stove, so would I bring it up to steaming on high, and then just crack down the dial to medium or simmer?

My cooking pretty much entails the grill outside, or spaghetti, so this is all new to me.

Now you download “Under Pressure” by Pete Townshend.

I personally find the time savings of a pressure cooker vs boiling potatoes the normal way to be minimal. Microwave would be better if time and ease is your concern (but I prefer boiled potatoes for some reason. Other vegetables I love in the microwave.)

For me, the pressure cooker really shines for those dishes that normally take 2-4 hours to cook, like stews, braises, and broths or stocks. The problem with broths or stocks is that my pressure cooker isn’t quite big enough to handle the quantities of broth or stock that I do at a time. But for a stew, you can knock down the total cooking time to about 30-45 minutes, including the time it takes to get the cooker up to pressure. Same with beans.

yes after it comes to pressure then turn the heat down to low or simmer. instructions will tell how much steam should be escaping to hold a safe cooking temperature.

You could take it to the Red Sox victory parade down Boylston St. in Boston on Saturday.

On second thought, don’t do that.

I think they’re all pretty much designed to go to 2 atmospheres and stop there, at which point the water and vapor inside is at about 250 degrees F. So just turn it to the lowest possible setting that will maintain that pressure. I’ve been doing brown rice in a pressure cooker for almost 30 years, and I turn the flame to the absolute lowest possible setting (it’s practically sputtering) and it works perfectly. Any higher and there might be some scorching. You just have to maintain the 2 atm. The old Prestos had a rocking regulator on top that would gently sway back and forth to indicate proper pressure. If it went too low, it would stop rocking. It also made a really cool soft choo-choo train noise. The new ones did away with that.

Step 1: Don’t turn it into a bomb
Step 2: ?
Step 3: Profit

I found pressure cooker risotto to be a revelation. I was initially skeptical but it turned out amazing.

Beans & legumes are the biggest win. I pressure cook garbanzo beans for hummus and navy beans with a ham hock for white bean soup.

Also, making stock in a pressure cooker has turned it from a once every from months giant production to a oh, I guess I need stock, let’s whip some up.

Good Eats’ chili recipe uses a pressure cooker.

Some sort of beef short ribs or braised beef seem to be the most popular things the top chefs use pressure cookers for.

Beans are good too.

I like to do large beef chuck and pork shoulder roasts. Cook them to tender and then portion and freeze for several individual meals.

Seconding the “fast short ribs” suggestion.