Santa brought me one. I have never used a pressure cooker, so if you offer me hints, please assume that I’m an idiot. I used it tonight for the first time, though, and that cheap, lean rump roast turned into succulent yumminess in 3 hours from purchase to dinner - I kept it simple, seasoned and browned the meat, added broth and aromatics, and programmed for a roast. Instead of putting the leftovers straight into the fridge, I added root vegetables and more broth and cooked again for stew tomorrow night - stew is always better on day 2, right?
But I need to know what I can do with this sucker. Suggestions?
Anything involving tough meat and/or beans is awesome. My general rule of thumb is to cut cooking time by about 2/3 and decrease liquid by, oh, 1/3 from regular recipes. One of our frequent dishes is arroz con pollo - brown your onions and chicken, add your spices and liquid and other veggies and rice, 6 minutes on high pressure, and Bob’s your uncle.
Hard boiled eggs are really convenient. Set the cooker so it’s only at pressure for 1 minute (manual 1 minute). The whites will have a slightly dark color because the proteins “brown” just like they do when you cook meat. Cook the eggs for 45 minutes and the whites will have a light mocha color and a more savory flavor. And as a bonus, the eggs seem to peel a lot easier if they’ve been cooked in a pressure cooker.
I typically unplug the cooker when it beeps that it’s done and remove the eggs once the cooker has cooled off.
If I cook beans, what sort of soak do they need if any? My cooker has a delay timer, so I could use that if I need to pre-soak? And adjust the liquid from a standard stovetop cook how? (Did I mention that I’m a complete idiot with this device?) I was always scared of the pressure cooker, too, after hearing years of housewife horror stories, but rational me says that it’s safer to use this thing than to drive to the grocery store. And thrifty me says that keeping the house cooler this summer can’t hurt!
I too received an Instant Pot pressure cooker… just search Pintrest or Facebook has a few great pages . I was scared but in the last 2 weeks have made … Indian butter chicken, pulled pork, split pea soup. I just got a cookbook in from Amazon too . Good luck! Careful of the steam vent! I reached over to plug in rice cooker and hit it and got a nice burn on my arm for my efforts! ouch
The electric pressure cooker is NOTHING like the scary pressure cooker of old. It doesn’t make that continuous hissing noise. EVERYTHING is automatic, and the digital readout always tells you where you are in the process, including how much time is left. It’s also a slow cooker, a rice cooker, and I’ve made yogurt in it. NOT. SCARY.
I got one a few months ago, and I love it! There are tons of recipes on the internet. Go to Amazon and look at the cookbooks-- most of those authors have websites with recipes. There are also plenty of videos on YouTube.
Pressure Perfect by Lorna Strauss is a very good cookbook.
One of my favorite recipes:
Brown 1 lb ground beef
Sauté half a chopped onion
Sauté chopped green pepper
Add garlic, oregano, salt, pepper
Add 8 oz dry pasta (kind that cooks in about 7-8 minutes, like elbows) and about 1/2 cup water. Stir.
Layer on top 28 oz chopped tomatoes and dollop tomato paste. Don’t stir.
Bring to pressure and cook for 4 minutes. Natural release 2 minutes. Vent.
Give a good stir and make sure pasta is tender. If not let cook, open, for a few minutes.
I love kitchen gadgets, and I’ve been thinking about a pressure cooker for some time so it is all I can do to not hit that one click buy button on Amazon.
But… I don’t get this one. If I have to brown the beef, and saute the onion and pepper which I assume would be done in a large fry pan. Then I add pasta that cooks in under 10 minutes, it seems like something like this is what I make in a fry pan with a lid in about 20-30 minutes on the cook top already.
Don’t get me wrong, it sounds great… I just don’t get why the pressure cooker is needed.
I can understand ribs, stews, etc that normally take hours to get them done in 30 minutes or so.
Incorrect assumption. The electric pressure cooker has a saute function, so you brown <whatever> right in the pot before you cover it and bring it up to pressure. No extra fry pan. (And, in fairness, you could brown stuff in the old-time pressure cooker, too, before you clamped the lid on.)
Why is it NEEDED? If you have to ask… (Do I need another appliance?)
Seriously, I like it because when you get home in the evening, you do not have to have thought that morning, “Oh, I better put chicken in the crock pot,” and because you didn’t, and you want to eat in the next 45 mins to an hour, you don’t have time to fix anything, so you go out… etc.
You can make your chicken dish in 15 minutes of cooking time (total about 20-30 mins, including bringing up to pressure and releasing). If you keep soaked beans in your freezer, you can make pinto beans in 30 minutes of cooking time. The COOKING time is astonishingly short: 15-18 mins for most chicken dishes.
Bottom line: The advantage is that it cooks dishes quickly (which pressure cookers have always done). The advantage of the ELECTRIC pressure cooker is that it is not scary like old-time pressure cookers, and it has extra functions, like saute, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker.
No, it’s all done in the pressure cooker. Sorry if that wasn’t clear. I had a Cuisinart cooker that had a saute and brown functions (brown was hotter and could even get liquids to boil, if needed).
It made it all very easy to do in one appliance. The pressure cooker cooks the pasta (from dry) very quickly (four minutes under pressure + 2 natural release), plus the time to rise to pressure. It only dirties one pan, don’t have to wait for water to boil and the pasta is very flavorful. There may certainly be other ways to make this as well, but I found this made a very good dish and was easy. I wouldn’t buy a pressure cooker to make it, but once I had it, it was a dish I went back to over and over again.
That’s all good. I just need to be able to explain to my wife why I spent $100 on something that I can’t justify as better than the alternative. I’ve got enough kitchen gadgets that some live in the garage now. (some have been used once) My saving grace may be that her college roommates had an old fashioned pressure cooker that they used to make really good chicken in that she loved.
I find I like the pressure cooker for many things I used to use a slow cooker for (ribs, beef stew, soups), because the taste is fresher from not cooking all day long, and yet the flavors and tenderness is there. I’m definitely like you- love my gadgets but hate having ones that don’t end up getting used. I found myself impressed how often I used my pressure cooker. So much so, that when it died last summer, I decided to replace it. The $69 Cuisinart I had was wonderful and did everything I needed it to. I bought a fancier version this time (and pricier), but I’m not sure that was necessary.
One (stupid) advantage of my pressure cooker 9for the pasta recipe, for example) is that it is dishwasher safe and my every day pots aren’t. So, it saved me hand washing!
Especially the chili con carne and green chili chicken. Although I would’ve seasoned the green chili chicken a lot more than the recipe called for and it tasted quite a bit better after the first night. I know how common that is with certain foods, but in this case, it went from just pretty good that night to really good after a day.