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Pressure Cookers

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#1 Monica Bhide

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 05:17 PM

Hi FOlks - I am working on a feature story about pressure cookers. Do you have stories you can share? Love it? Hate it? I would love to hear from you! Please PM or email me.

*Posted with permission from DR



#2 Ajoy

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 03:29 PM

Yeah Monica, well, only us desis love pressure cookers more than anyone else on earth. There is no other way to make daal! Just moved into an apartment a few weeks ago and my FIRST big purchase for the kitchen-- a Futura!

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#3 ol_ironstomach

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 03:48 PM

My last (hazy) pressure-cooker recollection involved a college physics lab, a prior experiment involving grapes found growing behind a rental house, and at least one West Virginian.

So, you can make dal with those things too? :P

Dave Hsu
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#4 xcanuck

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 04:12 PM

I've never tried making dal with a pressure cooker (because I usually cook masur dal, which cooks pretty quickly). What kinds of dal would you recommend work best in a pressure cooker?

My parents insisted that we always eat a home cooked meal together virtually every day. We rarely ate out or ordered in food. Both mom and dad worked and they would cook as soon as they got home, instead of relaxing. I never realized until just now how important it was to them that we all sat together for this one meal. Using a pressure cooker was essential in getting some of the dishes to the table in reasonable time.

My dad would always make his kasha mangsho (lamb curry) in a pressure cooker. Mom would occassionally use it as well for doing large batches of chicken curry (I think she called it murghi pathla jhol???). I've started using the pressure cooker for these dishes, as well as for making western style chilis and stews. Absolutely indispensable.

#5 ScotteeM

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 11:10 AM

[I found and revived this thread, rather than start a new one]
I got a digital pressure cooker for Christmas, after hearing Bobby Flay comment that he had learned to use one on ICA and now finds it extremely useful. I opted for digital, because with my attention span issues, I'd walk away from a stovetop model at the wrong moment.

It took me a little while to figure out how to cook some of my favorites, but I've made short ribs, beef pot roasts, and pork braises. The butter chicken recipe I found in a PC cookbook was out of this world!

This morning I tried cooking rice (brown Basmati), and it didn't turn out quite as I expected, but still usable for my purpose (a little too much water, not long enough pressure time at first, too much oil).

What has worked for you in your pressure cooker (and what went bust)?

Dona Animella


#6 lperry

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 04:29 PM

I love my pressure cooker, and I use it mainly for risotto and to cook dried beans on a whim. Boiled peanuts also get soft and saltilicious in one third of the regular time. I've found it does wonders if you want to cheat on foods that you usually have to simmer to get all the flavors to meld. Sometimes you need the meld, but have no time for the simmer. A general rule is to cut the cooking time to 1/3 and check the contents at that point.

Lorna Sass has some great cookbooks that give times and water ratios for all sorts of beans and grains. That might help with the rice. Happy pressuring!

-Linda

#7 mdt

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 07:34 AM

Recently got a pressure cooker and can see how I will be using it frequently. The short ribs that I made, in much less time than normal, were great. I would enjoy hearing more tips and recipes that folks have to share.

#8 goldenticket

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 10:10 AM

I've been thinking about getting a pressure cooker for a while. Seeing KMango's post in the Dinner thread prompted me to pull up this thread.

Any recent reports, recipes, tips, recommendations? How has yours worked out mdt? What kind did you get?

I know my parents had one when I was a kid, but I don't remember what they cooked with it. One of the main reasons I'd like to get one is so I can try to replicate a dish that my French host mother prepared during my study abroad year - Poulet Dakar. My memory of it is a whole chicken (cut up?), 5 lemons cut in half, and 4-5 onions quartered - throw it all in the pressure cooker 'til it's done, serve with rice and a sauce of crème fraîche and lemon juice.


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#9 lperry

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 10:33 AM

I have one recommendation - if you are going to buy one, get the one you really want instead of the "starter" one. I've had a fairly cheap one with the jiggle-weight on top for over fifteen years, and there are no signs that anything is going to go wrong with the thing. Even the gasket (it's silicone) is still in perfect shape, thus robbing me of a reasonable excuse to buy a shiny, new, state-of-the-art one. My Mom got the Fagor that doesn't have the jiggle pressure vent, and she loves it. I covet it. Here's a link to the one she has.

#10 mdt

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:06 PM

I've been thinking about getting a pressure cooker for a while. Seeing KMango's post in the Dinner thread prompted me to pull up this thread.

Any recent reports, recipes, tips, recommendations? How has yours worked out mdt? What kind did you get?

I know my parents had one when I was a kid, but I don't remember what they cooked with it. One of the main reasons I'd like to get one is so I can try to replicate a dish that my French host mother prepared during my study abroad year - Poulet Dakar. My memory of it is a whole chicken (cut up?), 5 lemons cut in half, and 4-5 onions quartered - throw it all in the pressure cooker 'til it's done, serve with rice and a sauce of crème fraîche and lemon juice.

This is the one that I have. It has served me well so far and I use it for beans, greens, rice, and various braises. I have been pleased with the results. Some of the braises require browning first but then you just put the stuff in the cooker and walk away.

It has allowed me to make things in far less time than the standard which works out great when you are running short on time.

#11 Biotech

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 01:11 PM

I have the Fagor 8 quart and love it. I have used it to make curries, bean soups, and braised meats. It was only $80 and is big enough to pressure can small jars as well. It's a very safe model with lock, quick release, and a feature that does not allow it to be unlocked until the pressure has released (either naturally or manually). The only trick I've found with it is to apply some pressure to the lid when turning it and locking it. I've had a few minor problems building up pressure until I tried this trick.

Chris Topoleski


#12 LowellR

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 03:43 PM

I like my pressure cooker for items that have a fair amount of leeway in their cooking - like rice or beans - but not for more touchy items, like artichokes. Basically, I tend to cook with my fingers - I poke at my food during cooking to tell when it's done (or, I suppose, in the case of an artichoke, I pull out an inner leaf to see if it releases easily). The nature of the slow pressure buildup and release in a pressure cooker obviously prevents the quick poke, and so I find that anything that doesn't have a fairly wide window of error is fairly easy to somewhat over- or under-cook. That being said, I love it for relatively quick brown or wild rice, other whole grains like barley or quinoa, beans, and the like.

#13 collije

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 09:11 AM

I've used a combination Megafesa pressure cooker [came w/ a 4Qt & 8Qt pot, & a standard lid that fits both] for quite a few years now.

I love making quick risotto this way [I know, the horror :D ]. Roughly the same initial steps, but only about 4 minutes pressure cooking on high, quick release pressure & then cook for a few more minutes w/o the lid on to firm it up [it'll be a little goopy after the quick pressure release]. Beats stirring the heck outta it sometimes [ah it's truly a labor of love the traditional way]

Awaiting the fall again to make another batch of Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto, yummy!

Making stocks in here is another easy thing to do.

#14 goldenticket

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 12:42 PM

I finally made up my mind and got the 8-quart Fagor model. I deliberated about the Combi (4 and 8 qt set) but decided, with some input from the store clerk, that I really only need (and have space for) one pot. Thanks for the input from folks here.

I took it out for the first test run yesterday, making an improvised version of borracho beans. After a false start I figured out that the safety valve rises as pressure builds. It took a little while to get up to pressure, but being able to cook beans in about 12 minutes was great (after a 4 hour soak).

I found the information on the Miss Vickie's website very helpful, particularly the dried bean cooking time table.

I love my pressure cooker, and I use it mainly for risotto and to cook dried beans on a whim.

I'm curious about making risotto in the cooker - I like the stirring, adding liquid, stirring, etc. What is the process in a pressure cooker? And does it affect the texture beyond the initial 'goopiness' noted by collije?

Hope to give some braising a try pretty soon. As always, any pointers or favorite recipes will be much appreciated!

Jackie B.

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#15 lperry

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 01:33 PM

I'm curious about making risotto in the cooker - I like the stirring, adding liquid, stirring, etc. What is the process in a pressure cooker? And does it affect the texture beyond the initial 'goopiness' noted by collije?

I'm not sure about the goopiness - maybe this is describing the relatively solid-ish mass after the lid comes off? I've never made risotto without a pressure cooker, and I've never had anyone guess that's how I made it. The texture is the same *unless* you cook too long. I use the methods from Lorna Sass, who writes great pressure cooker cookbooks.

Sweat out shallots, onions, garlic, peppers, whatever aromatics you want in a little olive oil. Add in 1 1/2 cups of rice, then cook it a bit until it's toasty and oil coats everything. I brown in each step depending on what I add in later - delicate items = less browning. Pour in some wine. I haven't looked at the book in ages - 1/2 cup maybe? Maybe a little more? Four or five big glugs. You stir this around and let it soak in/evaporate. Now pour in 3 1/2 cups of stock, stir everything around, and lock the lid. After it comes to pressure, cook 7 minutes. Go six the first time just to see how your cooker works. You may need to cook a little longer on the stove. Do a quick release, stir, add cheese if you're using it, stir again, add in your asparagus, peas, roasted squash, or whatever you are using, a couple of minutes with the lid on for it to rest, a final stir, maybe a bit of butter, then serve. Because the heat in a pressure cooker is so high, I find that asparagus cooks to a tender crispness if I toss it in after I take off the lid, stir it in, then put the lid on top for a minute or two.

That's a lot of paraphrasing - she gives really exacting methods in the cookbooks. I've been doing it so long, from the time I start chopping to the moment it goes into the dishes, I can have a nice risotto dinner in half an hour. And if your friends are dubious about pressure cooking risotto, serve it to them without telling them how you made it, then surprise them at exactly the right moment. :rolleyes:

#16 lperry

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 10:14 AM

I completely forgot another use for the pressure cooker - flan. Apparently, it is very common, especially in places where people need to conserve fuel for stoves. But still want flan. This is one I haven't tried yet, but I plan to soon.

#17 TheMatt

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 10:30 AM

I use my pressure cooker (a Kuhn Rikon 8-qt hotel) to make cheesecakes. Quite often, really. I suppose it's a mix of the ease of putting together cheesecake and the fact that it cooks in 20-30 minutes.

In fact, it was for cheesecakes (and ribs, I suppose) that I waited to get that cooker (via eBay). It is low-and-wide rather than tall-and-deep and so can accommodate a 9" springform pan or a flat piece of meat easily.

I'll have to try flan soon...

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#18 goldenticket

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 02:34 PM

Risotto will be on my list of experiments. Chocolate and Zucchini has what sounds like a tasty recipe for Porcini Walnut Risotto. From the same page, I followed a link to a Cooking Light page that has several pressure cooker recipes ranging from beet salad to barbecue brisket. The possibilities seem to be endless!

Jackie B.

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#19 KMango

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 02:43 PM

Risotto will be on my list of experiments. Chocolate and Zucchini has what sounds like a tasty recipe for Porcini Walnut Risotto. From the same page, I followed a link to a Cooking Light page that has several pressure cooker recipes ranging from beet salad to barbecue brisket. The possibilities seem to be endless!

Indeed, they are. The other day, I placed six CSA sweet potatoes (scrubbed, but skins on, cut into 1.5 to 2-inch dice) with just under a cup of water into the pot, brought it to high pressure for eight minutes, quick-released the pressure, and drained the excess water. A splash of maple syrup and a dash of sea salt later, these had my dinner guests trash-talking all previous renditions of the tuber.

You'll be amazed at the intensity of flavor that comes out of that pot with the reduced cooking times.

-KMango

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#20 zoramargolis

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 03:05 PM

I'm not sure about the goopiness - maybe this is describing the relatively solid-ish mass after the lid comes off? I've never made risotto without a pressure cooker, and I've never had anyone guess that's how I made it. The texture is the same *unless* you cook too long. I use the methods from Lorna Sass, who writes great pressure cooker cookbooks.

Sweat out shallots, onions, garlic, peppers, whatever aromatics you want in a little olive oil. Add in 1 1/2 cups of rice, then cook it a bit until it's toasty and oil coats everything. I brown in each step depending on what I add in later - delicate items = less browning. Pour in some wine. I haven't looked at the book in ages - 1/2 cup maybe? Maybe a little more? Four or five big glugs. You stir this around and let it soak in/evaporate. Now pour in 3 1/2 cups of stock, stir everything around, and lock the lid. After it comes to pressure, cook 7 minutes. Go six the first time just to see how your cooker works. You may need to cook a little longer on the stove. Do a quick release, stir, add cheese if you're using it, stir again, add in your asparagus, peas, roasted squash, or whatever you are using, a couple of minutes with the lid on for it to rest, a final stir, maybe a bit of butter, then serve. Because the heat in a pressure cooker is so high, I find that asparagus cooks to a tender crispness if I toss it in after I take off the lid, stir it in, then put the lid on top for a minute or two.

That's a lot of paraphrasing - she gives really exacting methods in the cookbooks. I've been doing it so long, from the time I start chopping to the moment it goes into the dishes, I can have a nice risotto dinner in half an hour. And if your friends are dubious about pressure cooking risotto, serve it to them without telling them how you made it, then surprise them at exactly the right moment. :rolleyes:

I am not really clear as to why this is not considered a pilaf, rather than risotto. Other than the addition and evaporation of a small amount of wine before adding all of the liquid, it proceeds like a pilaf (saute onion and rice in oil, add liquid, cover and cook until all of the liquid has been absorbed). The whole point of a risotto is that the liquid is added in small increments and the rice is frequently stirred as it slowly absorbs the small additions of liquid. I suppose, if you really stretched it, it could be considered a pilaf/risotto hybrid: pilatto or risolaf anyone?

#21 goldenticket

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 09:40 PM

I'm back, looking for some more input from the seasoned pressure cooker pros. So far, I've had success with beans and a great Mexican pork stew. My attempt at beef stew (using the recipe from Lorna Sass' "The Pressured Cook") was a big flop. :angry:

I'm still getting familiar with the cooker and knowing what temperature to adjust the burner to once it's at pressure. I followed the recipe's instructions to brown and cook the beef separately, set it aside, and then cook the potatoes and carrots. After cooking the beef, there wasn't a whole lot of 'gravy' left and I wasn't sure if I should add some more liquid during the vegetable cooking phase. I wound up with overcooked (mushy) potatoes and carrots and a scorched pan. I think the scorching was due to the tomato paste in the recipe. And I guess the veggies just cooked too long, even though I followed the timeline and used the quick release method. This was one instance where I felt like I spent a lot more time using the pressure cooker than I would have I'd followed a traditional, stovetop recipe. Any hints, suggestions, or other advice?

I saw several recipes online that just called for putting everything into the cooker at one time and cooking it all together - this seems easier, but also as if it might lead to overcooking of certain items (like veggies). Any thoughts on one technique over the other?

Jackie B.

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.
Wonka/Dahl/O'Shaughnessy


#22 pedrsmit

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:39 AM

We use pressure cookers quite a bit in Puerto Rico, especially for softening beans and, most importantly, for making stews with low-grade meats, like chuck, or softening a flank steak so it may be shredded easily and make the Cuban dish vaca frita. It is also used to fry chicken for exceptional crispiness. I make a chicken fricassee in it, finishing the cooking uncovered to reduce the sauce. One risky way of using it, and I do not recommend this to first time users and it goes against every warning in the manufacturers book [and admittedly common sense], is for making dulce de leche quickly, where daring folks put the closed cans inside the cooker [with water, of course] and cook it for 20 minutes or so. This is meant as an anecdote, and not a suggested use [yes, I have done it successfully once, but kept a safe distance from my stove]. Pressure cookers save a tremendous amount of time and energy, it extracts natural flavors exponentially [great results to get a very flavorful chicken stock]. As a trivia point, Fidel Castro handed out pressure cookers by the thousands throughout Cuba as a way to conserve energy during the oil price crisis several years ago.

#23 pedrsmit

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:45 AM

I completely forgot another use for the pressure cooker - flan. Apparently, it is very common, especially in places where people need to conserve fuel for stoves. But still want flan. This is one I haven't tried yet, but I plan to soon.

We cook flan in a pressure cooker. My mother used to use the tin cans where the danish cookies used to be sold in the drug stores during the holiday season [you know the kind?]. It is highly effective. I will get the recipe and share as soon as she arrives from the island today.

#24 lperry

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:46 AM

I am not really clear as to why this is not considered a pilaf, rather than risotto. Other than the addition and evaporation of a small amount of wine before adding all of the liquid, it proceeds like a pilaf (saute onion and rice in oil, add liquid, cover and cook until all of the liquid has been absorbed). The whole point of a risotto is that the liquid is added in small increments and the rice is frequently stirred as it slowly absorbs the small additions of liquid. I suppose, if you really stretched it, it could be considered a pilaf/risotto hybrid: pilatto or risolaf anyone?

Sorry I didn't see this earlier. The finished product from this method is indistinguishable from risotto cooked with gradual additions of stock. Some friends and I did side by side blind tastings and the only difference is that the rice in the pressure cooker risotto is more evenly cooked. The dish is creamy and smooth, not dry like a pilaf. I suppose it depends on whether you are a "journey of risotto" or "destination of risotto" kind of person. If I'm in a hurry, it's all about the destination.

I'm back, looking for some more input from the seasoned pressure cooker pros. So far, I've had success with beans and a great Mexican pork stew. My attempt at beef stew (using the recipe from Lorna Sass' "The Pressured Cook") was a big flop. :angry:

I'm still getting familiar with the cooker and knowing what temperature to adjust the burner to once it's at pressure. I followed the recipe's instructions to brown and cook the beef separately, set it aside, and then cook the potatoes and carrots. After cooking the beef, there wasn't a whole lot of 'gravy' left and I wasn't sure if I should add some more liquid during the vegetable cooking phase. I wound up with overcooked (mushy) potatoes and carrots and a scorched pan. I think the scorching was due to the tomato paste in the recipe. And I guess the veggies just cooked too long, even though I followed the timeline and used the quick release method. This was one instance where I felt like I spent a lot more time using the pressure cooker than I would have I'd followed a traditional, stovetop recipe. Any hints, suggestions, or other advice?

I saw several recipes online that just called for putting everything into the cooker at one time and cooking it all together - this seems easier, but also as if it might lead to overcooking of certain items (like veggies). Any thoughts on one technique over the other?

There has to be a certain amount of water in there to make steam - it's the buildup of steam that makes the pressure. I think you probably didn't have enough liquid for it to work well. A rule of thumb for preventing mushiness is cut the regular cooking time to one-third. So if you think that it would take fifteen minutes to cook the vegetables, go for five with a quick release. If you are worried, go for three then finish the dish with the cover loosely over the top like you would in a regular pot. I've done that and it's worked out OK.

#25 goldenticket

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 10:34 PM

I've finally gotten the hang of the thing (with some input from lperry ;) ) and am consistently happy with the dishes coming out of the pressure cooker. Mostly I'm making bean dishes - it's great to be able to use dried beans and get them cooked all the way through, which was never the case with the crockpot or regular stovetop cooking.

Lorna Sass' "Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure" has continued to be a good resource. Tonight I made Thai Chickpeas - delicious and very simple, with just a handful of ingredients creating great flavor. Red Beans and Rice for Oscar night, hummus for the Super Bowl made from pressure cooker chickpeas... Butternut squash risotto was okay, but made before I got the timing/temperature down, so I need to give that another shot. Other dishes I've tried include chickpea stew with sweet onions; a first attempt at the reason I got the thing in the first place "Poulet Dakar" - or Yassa Poulet/Poulet Yassa; chana masala; the Mexican pork stew mentioned above (yes, chickpeas have been featured regularly).

I now need to give some meat dishes a try, but I've really been enjoying the meat-free ones!

Jackie B.

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.
Wonka/Dahl/O'Shaughnessy


#26 TheMatt

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 08:17 AM

I know it's cliche, but I'm thinking of doing some corned beef in my PC this weekend. It's nice to have it done in an hour or less rather than the 3-4 hours it can take conventionally.

I've done it before, but I've always done the veggies separate. This time I think I'll open the pressure cooker about 5 minutes early, add the veggies, and cook the last 5 all together. I think 5 minutes would be long enough... (And, yeah, the veggies would be softer this way, but, well, I like veggies like that. That's why I love stew as well. Mmm...)

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#27 LowellR

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 11:05 AM

This time I think I'll open the pressure cooker about 5 minutes early, add the veggies, and cook the last 5 all together.)

Is there some trick to this? For me, opening the pressure cooker either involves waiting 15 minutes for the pressure to die down or running cold water over it for five minutes to do the same. Either way, the food inside continues to cook. Anyone have a faster way?

#28 lperry

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 11:52 AM

Is there some trick to this? For me, opening the pressure cooker either involves waiting 15 minutes for the pressure to die down or running cold water over it for five minutes to do the same. Either way, the food inside continues to cook. Anyone have a faster way?

With a quick release, it shouldn't take five minutes of cold water. It helps to rotate the pot so that the cold water runs down over the sides in addition to the lid of the pot. I do this all the time and the pressure valve releases in just a few seconds. If you are using warm water or running it over just the lid, it will take much longer.

#29 TheMatt

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 12:03 PM

Is there some trick to this? For me, opening the pressure cooker either involves waiting 15 minutes for the pressure to die down or running cold water over it for five minutes to do the same. Either way, the food inside continues to cook. Anyone have a faster way?

I usually just release the pressure with the valve on top (after turning off the flame). Seems to be just as fast as the cold water technique for me, especially when you take into account the "drag full PC over to sink" time.

TheMatt
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#30 lperry

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 06:20 PM

So if you have been trying to decide if you really need a pressure cooker, and the risotto was not enough to do it, maybe this will change your mind.PCflan.jpg Pressure cooker flan. This is a coconut flan made with vanilla and Gosling's Black Seal rum. It all went in the blender, through a strainer, and into a Pyrex bowl. I covered the bowl with aluminum foil, put a rubber band around it, dropped it into the cooker on top of a metal rack, poured water in to half the side of the bowl, locked the lid, went 25 minutes at pressure, then opened it after the pressure went down on its own. This flan is the first one I ever made, and I was really happy with it. I don't like them too eggy, and this one is just silky smooth with a lovely tropical flavor. The unmolding was fairly uneventful, although you may notice there is only a slice shown here...

#31 goldenticket

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 04:54 PM

My new favorite use for the pressure cooker: making rice. I've never been a fan of what comes out of the rice cooker. I was perfectly happy with the stove-top method I've used since I was helping to make dinner as a kid - a method which was validated and slightly improved upon by using Bittman's method from the "How to Cook Everything" app. Now I have rice in 4 minutes (plus the time to come to pressure and release pressure) - love it!

For those wondering about rice cookers on the rice cooker thread, if you have a pressure cooker, I'd say don't bother with a rice cooker.

Jackie B.

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Wonka/Dahl/O'Shaughnessy


#32 Ilaine

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 02:42 PM

My new favorite use for the pressure cooker: making rice. I've never been a fan of what comes out of the rice cooker. I was perfectly happy with the stove-top method I've used since I was helping to make dinner as a kid - a method which was validated and slightly improved upon by using Bittman's method from the "How to Cook Everything" app. Now I have rice in 4 minutes (plus the time to come to pressure and release pressure) - love it!

For those wondering about rice cookers on the rice cooker thread, if you have a pressure cooker, I'd say don't bother with a rice cooker.

Can you post your recipe?

I'm just here for the chow.


#33 goldenticket

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 04:36 PM

Can you post your recipe?

Sure - it's just a 1:1.5 ration (grain:water). Bring to high pressure and cook for 4 minutes, release pressure using the natural release method, remove the lid and fluff with a fork.

I've been using 2 cups of jasmine rice to 3 cups water and it's turned out perfect every time.
Miss Vickie's website has times/ratios for other types of rice (and lots of other things). I have not used the Pan in Pot method she describes - and don't see any reason to use it.

Jackie B.

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#34 goldenticket

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 04:30 PM

Hey pressure cooker peeps, I'm looking for your help on process for an improvised navy bean and lamb neck roast soup/stew. The neck roast is pretty small - and I soaked a whole pound of beans, which is probably twice the typical recipe amount of 1 cup - oops. More leftovers!

My main question is whether or not to cook the meat alone ahead of time, then do the beans, and add the meat in at the end. Or should I just cook it all together - which is obviously the fastest option. No matter what, I'm going to brown the roast first.
I've found two sort of similar recipes - one with pork neck bones that get cooked separately with the meat deboned, chopped, and put back in to the (separately cooked) beans. The other (for lamb shanks) cooks everything together.

Your thoughts?

Jackie B.

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Wonka/Dahl/O'Shaughnessy


#35 lperry

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 05:24 PM

If you would usually cook the two together, and they have similar cooking times, you can cook them together in the pressure cooker. If the meat will cook faster, you can add it in later, or vice versa. The strategy is to cook things so they will be "done" at the same time.

#36 Ilaine

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 08:08 PM

Hey pressure cooker peeps, I'm looking for your help on process for an improvised navy bean and lamb neck roast soup/stew. The neck roast is pretty small - and I soaked a whole pound of beans, which is probably twice the typical recipe amount of 1 cup - oops. More leftovers!

My main question is whether or not to cook the meat alone ahead of time, then do the beans, and add the meat in at the end. Or should I just cook it all together - which is obviously the fastest option. No matter what, I'm going to brown the roast first.
I've found two sort of similar recipes - one with pork neck bones that get cooked separately with the meat deboned, chopped, and put back in to the (separately cooked) beans. The other (for lamb shanks) cooks everything together.

Your thoughts?

I have only cooked two* things in my pressure cooker so far, navy bean soup, 40 minutes (just right), and collards, 7 minutes (too long).

My observation is that the flavors need to be layered in advance, e.g., browning meat, onions, other veg.

No idea how long a neck would take. So, I would do separately and combine, browning the meat and perhaps cooking it based on recipes in specialized pressure cooker cookbooks, which seem to be right on the money so far.

*Well, I did have one disastrous experience with black chickpeas but they were probably old. Never got soft. But black chickpeas have a reputation for this.

I'm just here for the chow.


#37 goldenticket

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 03:14 PM

Thanks for the replies! I did brown the neck first, then browned onions, celery, carrots, and garlic for a few minutes. Added the beans, water, bay leaf, fresh thyme, some chopped tomatoes in their juice, and stock. Placed the neck on top and cooked for 20 minutes at high pressure. Did natural release, pulled the neck pieces out and removed the meat from the bones. Some of the beans were still a little tough*, so I brought them back to high pressure for another three minutes, along with one of the pieces of neck that still had some meat on it. Used the immersion blender to thicken it up a bit and dumped the meat in, along with salt, pepper, a bit of cumin, and a dash of cayenne and let it simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Pretty darn good, if I do say :)

Ilaine, if you haven't checked them out, I really like Lorna Sass's PC cookbooks.. Her recipes do a great job of combining flavors with tasty results.

* I thought this was odd, as they'd had a good 10 hour soak and are smaller with a very short cooking time on their own (4 minutes or so).

Jackie B.

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.
Wonka/Dahl/O'Shaughnessy


#38 goldenticket

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 02:19 PM

I love my pressure cooker, and I use it mainly for risotto and to cook dried beans on a whim.

Wow - the pressure cooker makes amazing risotto (with a little help from me). Last night I made the Roasted Mushroom Risotto with Parsley from Jamie Oliver's "Jamie's Italy" cookbook. It uses a risotto bianco as the base, which I made following the proportions in the recipe. Cooked the soffrito as instructed, added the rice, and then the wine and stock and brought it up to pressure. While that was going on, sauteed and then roasted the wild mushrooms (a great mix from the farmer's market). Mushrooms were done just as the PC cooking time (5 minutes at high pressure) was finished. The risotto looked a little soupy to me when I took the lid off the cooker, but with a stir and the finishing butter, cheese, and parsley mixed in, it was perfect. Stirred in about 2/3 of the mushrooms, roughly chopped, and used the rest to top the individual servings. Very rich, but very tasty and a great meat-free main course.

Jackie B.

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.
Wonka/Dahl/O'Shaughnessy


#39 lperry

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 02:49 PM

Wow - the pressure cooker makes amazing risotto (with a little help from me).

Isn't it fantastic? Once you get the timing figured out for your machine, it's so nice to make it this way.

#40 mdt

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 06:39 PM

I just used mine to quickly (45 minutes vs. 2.5 hrs) braise some pork cheeks.

#41 goldenticket

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 01:05 PM

BookCloseouts.com is having a 25% off sale on all of their cooking, food, and wine books. This includes Lorna Sass's The Pressured Cook, which is available for $6.74. I prefer her Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure book, but turn to this one for ideas on cooking meat in the pressure cooker.

Jackie B.

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.
Wonka/Dahl/O'Shaughnessy


#42 goldenticket

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 04:22 PM

Yesterday I pulled some short ribs out of the freezer and The Pressured Cook off the bookshelf and made the Asian Hot Pot with Short Ribs and Rice Noodles. It was a quick and pretty tasty meal. I substituted Thai rice sticks for the vermicelli. I will probably throw in a few star anise next time for a little more flavor.

One question for the PC experts out there: the recipe didn't call for it, but I decided to brown the ribs first. It took a bit of effort to separate the meat from the gristle after the ribs had cooked as directed. Did that sear make the meat 'stick together' more than it would have if I just threw the uncooked meat in the cooker? The recipe was good enough that I don't mind making it again to test that theory, but maybe one of you has some insight :)

Jackie B.

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.
Wonka/Dahl/O'Shaughnessy


#43 lperry

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 04:05 PM

^Sorry I can't help you with the meat question. :)

I had four cans of sweetened condensed milk in the pantry and didn't want to pay nearly four bucks for a can of dulce de leche, so I tried the pressure cooker method. I emptied most of one can into a mason jar because I'm impatient and didn't want to wait to see if it worked.

I put the can and jar on a rack, filled the pot with water to cover by one centimeter, and ran it for 20 minutes at pressure with a slow release. Perfect.

ddl.jpg

Edited to mention that you are not supposed to open the cans until they are completely cooled.

#44 Pat

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 12:10 PM

* I thought this was odd, as they'd had a good 10 hour soak and are smaller with a very short cooking time on their own (4 minutes or so).


I'm a little late in commenting. I don't have a pressure cooker, so I don't usually read this thread. Acidic foods, including tomatoes, can retard the cooking of dried beans. I discovered this once when I was trying to finish a bean dish on a deadline and added tomatoes at the beginning.

#45 cjsadler

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 09:22 AM

Pressure cookers save a tremendous amount of time and energy, it extracts natural flavors exponentially [great results to get a very flavorful chicken stock]. 

 

I've become a total convert to making chicken stock with a pressure cooker.  Takes only about an hour and the results are superior to what you'd get from simmering (apparently there's some scientific basis for this). 


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#46 monavano

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 09:31 AM

^

I've yet to try making stock in my pressure cooker, but recently I've been going the opposite route and making chicken stock overnight in my slow cooker, using baked or rotisserie chicken carcasses. 

The seasoning is already there, sometimes I add more aromatics and a bay leaf, but my results have been more deep and flavorful than simmering chicken and bones on the stovetop for a couple hours.

I think any way you slice it, homemade stock rocks.


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#47 Fishinnards

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 10:31 AM

I have a Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker and I love it. It's great for stock. One thing I do is blanch the bones from a cold water start and then pour off the water and start with fresh water (this is a Chinese technique). It cuts way down on the scum later, because you can't skim the scum when you're pressure cooking. Carcasses from grilled chickens are great for stock, also backs, wing tips, necks and feet. Feet are the best. My freezer is always full of bags of parts, and/or tubs of stock. It's liquid MSG.


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#48 lperry

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 12:37 PM

Does pressure cooker stock stay clear?



#49 Fishinnards

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 08:44 AM

Does pressure cooker stock stay clear?

 

It's not cloudy, but not consommé clear, which I don't care about. It does depend on how careful you are when you strain it.



#50 cjsadler

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 01:04 PM

 

It's not cloudy, but not consommé clear, which I don't care about. It does depend on how careful you are when you strain it.

 

Right.  It's not murky or anything. It's a nice golden color.  I don't care about it being perfectly clear either-- the flavor is as good and for just about any purpose beyond a consomme-type soup it won't matter.  I didn't even bother with blanching this last time-- keeps it simpler and doesn't seem to matter to the finished product. Scum skimming suddenly seems superfluous  :)


Chris Sadler





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