About pressure cooking
Do you want to create nutritious flavor-packed meals in minutes? Then pressure cooking is for you! Pressure cooking can save you time and money. You can make foods that are ultra-tender, low in fat, and full of flavor. Although the pressure cooker has been around for a long time, they are the perfect tool for any modern kitchen. Learning to use a pressure cooker can be easy.
There are many types of pressure cookers on the market today. Think about these things when choosing the best Pressure Cooker for you:
- Your budget
- The amount of food you want to cook.
- Storage space
There are two main types of pressure cookers;
- Stove top cookers – With these cookers you will need to control the amount of pressure built up and keep a close watch on the time. Stove top pressure cookers take a bit more attention, but also cost much less money.
- Electric cookers – You can plug in the electric cookers, set the pressure and the time and leave the rest to the machine.
Read the owner’s manual carefully before using your pressure cooker.
Tips for successful (and safe) pressure cooking
New Pressure Cookers are safe and easy to use.
- Never overfill the pressure cooker. The pressure cooker will release pressure automatically. If the cooker is too full these parts cannot work properly.
- Never fill the pressure cooker more than 2/3 full (for most foods).
- Do not fill the cooker more than half full when cooking foods like rice, beans (dried vegetables), grains, and soups.
- Read the instructions that came with your pressure cooker before you use it. If you bought the cooker used or no longer have the instruction manual, check online. You might be able to find it there.
- Make sure that you release the pressure before you open the lid. Most modern pressure cookers will stay locked until the pressure is low enough to safely open the lid.
- There are 2 ways to release pressure and open your cooker:
- You can reduce pressure by letting the pressure cooker sit (natural release).
- You can also use the manual release system or run cool water over the pressure cooker (quick release.)
- Be sure to use cooking liquid in your pressure cooker. Any liquid will work including broth, fruit juices, and water. You will need much less liquid than in a regular recipe. But you must have some type of liquid so the cooker can build up steam.
Benefits of pressure cooking
The ability of a pressure cooker to cook food quickly lends itself to many benefits including:
- High temperature steam makes flavors more intense. Less seasoning (salt, pepper, etc.…) needs to be used.
- High pressure cooks food 3-10 times faster than other methods.
- Pressure cooking keeps valuable nutrients in your food.
- Pressure cooking is virtually fat-free. The steam cooks the food, so no added fats need to be used.
- It is an energy efficient method of cooking.
- You can cook an entire meal in one pot! This leaves less pots and pans to heat up or clean!
Best foods to pressure cook
You can cook foods that are naturally tough or might take a long time quickly in your cooker. Here are some foods that cook quickly in a pressure cooker
- Chicken thighs, pork chops, rump roast
- Brown rice, bulgur, dried beans
- Beets, carrots, potatoes, or winter squash