By: Leanne Ely
Ever come across a recipe that you have all of the ingredients for, but you’re lacking in the hours of cooking time it requires? (This always happens in that precious hour you have before supper is due to be ready, doesn’t it?)
Enter the pressure cooker.
A pressure cooker is a special pot with a very tight seal that traps in hot steam. This puts the contents under pressure, cooking the food very quickly. You can find stovetop pressure cookers and electric pressure cookers.
You can cook almost anything in a pressure cooker, from vegetables to dessert, and the cooking happens about 70% faster than it does using other cooking methods. If you want a batch of bone broth in a hurry, cook it up in a pressure cooker. It takes about 1/3 of the amount of time that’s needed with a regular pot.
The other great thing about pressure cooking is that the food’s nutritional value is retained better than with many other cooking methods.
Using a pressure cooker is a pretty simple method of cooking, but whether you use a stove-top or electric model, you must read the instruction manuals so that you can learn how to use this kitchen tool safely and efficiently!
There are some things you’ll want to keep in mind for best results, regardless of which type of pressure cooker you use:
Don’t overfill it. Your pressure cooker should never be packed more than two-thirds full with food. If you mess with this rule, the pressure cooker won’t work properly.
Watch your liquids. You’ll have less evaporation when cooking with a pressure cooker. That means you lose less liquid than you would cooking in a regular pot. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll need at least one cup of liquid when pressure cooking, but you should never fill your pot more than half full with liquid.
Brown meats. Always pat your meat or poultry dry before you season it and then brown in butter or oil. You can brown your meat right in the pressure cooker and then deglaze by adding a small bit of liquid, before adding the meat and additional ingredients to the pressure cooker.
Try inexpensive cuts. Tough cuts of meat work well in the pressure cooker, so save some money on the grocery bill by using these less expensive pieces of meat.
You’ll be amazed at how quickly food can be prepared in a pressure cooker. You can cook chicken pieces in about 12 minutes!