any pressure cooker users out there?

klseiverdAugust 5, 2010

Long story short... sister told me I was gonna make myself sick if I tried to can anything with meat (chili, soup, etc.) in it the same way I do tomatoes, pickles, etc. So I bought one. That's the only thing I've used it for.

ANyone use their pressure cooker on a fairly regular basis? If so, what do you cook in it?

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A number of people on the cooking forum use their PCs all the time. Personally, I think they are evil nasty exploding machines.... ;-o

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 2:16PM
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We use ours all the time. We have two Kuhn-Rikons, one of which is a large Dutch-oven type and the other is a smaller, shorter-sided braiser type. The modern PCs are perfectly safe. I don't even know what you'd have to do to have any explosion problems. They are wonderful for a variety of dishes, but are especially suited to braising. We do all sorts of pot roasts, pulled pork, lamb shanks, and the best Milanese risotto EVAR (no stirring), just to name a few. I suggest that you invest in a couple good PC cookbooks. I'd be happy to recommend some if you're interested.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 11:27AM
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Use ours frequently but mostly for beans and legumes... Such as whipping up beans to then make refritos for freezer grab its , as well as black bean soup etc. Really love it. Recommend stainless steel. Mine is a T-Fal with good safety.
Very easy
And I am healthily careful. I always release steam and run cool water over the sealed lid before releasing

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 10:35AM
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Tried pressure cooker for first time doing other than canning. Two meaty, "country-style" ribs. Browned, onions added, about a cup or so of liquid (bbq-ish sauce). FIFTEEN minutes later... falling apart tender!

Gonna have to check out Presto's web site for more info.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 4:38PM
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I just recently gave one to a nephew for a wedding present, and I wrote down some of the advantages:

I never had a pressure cooker until I was in my fifties. Having used one, I now cant see having a kitchen without one. Quite simply, it changed the way I cook. You can cook a whole lot of good food really quickly with this item. Given the unpredictability of the schedules of two adults both working and having to cook for themselves, the pressure cooker can cut down on restaurantsÂand youÂll have great food to boot, at a fraction of the cost of eating out.

There are several different applications at which a pressure cooker excels: one, you can cook healthy stuff in a lot less time. Beans and grains cook in a fraction of the time they would usually take. You can steam artichokes in 12 minutes instead of 45. Here in the South you can get your collard greens tender in about 5 minutes.

Another application itÂs great at is having comfort foods in a fraction of the time it usually takes. Pot roasts in under an hour. Corned beef and cabbage in about an hour. Chili. Soups and stews. Osso Buco alla Milanese in about an hour.

One other use: the pressure cooker makes nearly foolproof risotto in a matter of minutes. Risotto is a bit tedious and finicky to make by hand, so I rarely did so in the old days; now I can make it easily, with virtually no attention to the dish. You can be doing something else while the risotto is cooking, rather than laboriously adding broth to the risotto bit by bit.

Yet another use: after a meal of roast chicken IÂll throw the carcass into the cooker along with some water, onion, celery, carrot, etc. and bring it up to pressure. By the time IÂve cleaned up the kitchen, the cooker has made some yummy chicken broth to be used in my next meal.

Lorna Sass is the head honcho (f. honcha? honchess?) of pressure cooking enthusiasts. I have four of her cookbooks, and theyÂre all good. IÂve never had a dud with any of her recipes. And, if you are considering going vegetarian for a while, or just want a good vegetarian cookbook, she has written a few. I have her Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure and itÂs quite good.

Another pressure cooker expert is Vickie Smith. She runs the website and has all sorts of pressure cooker recipes and advice, and has recently published a pressure cooker cookbook. All the recipes IÂve tried from that book have been very good.

Osso Buco alla Milanese (Braised Veal Shanks, Milan-style) Serves 4

This recipe for Osso Buco is from Lorna SassÂs Cooking Under Pressure. I have made it both as a slow braise (traditional), and made it in the pressure cookerÂI actually prefer the pressure cooker version. Even if youÂre only cooking for two and using just two veal shanks, donÂt halve the remaining ingredients; the sauce is wonderful by itself. Once you get the Osso Buco started in the cooker, cook up some pasta or rice to soak up the sauce. The gremolata garnish is traditional, but I donÂt care for it; some authorities, such as Marcella Hazan, donÂt use it.

4 veal shanks, about 10 oz each
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
½ cup dry red wine or dry vermouth
1/3 cup beef or chicken stock or bullion
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced thinly
½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
One 14 oz can tomatoes, coarsely chopped, including juice
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg (optional)
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste (less if using canned bullion)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Gremolata: (optional)

1 tablespoon finely minced garlic 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
½ cup finely minced fresh parsley

Rinse the veal shanks, pat dry, and dredge in flour, pressing the flour into the veal with the heel of your hand. Shake off excess flour.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the cooker. Over medium heat, brown the veal on both sides and set aside on a platter.

Add the remaining oil and sauté the onions until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the red wine and stir, taking care to scrape up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, browned shanks, carrots, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, basil, oregano, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

Lock the lid in place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Adjust the heat to maintain high pressure and cook for 18 minutes. Let the pressure drop naturally or use a quick-release method (venting the steam or putting the cooker in the sink and running cold water over it). Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape.

Prepare the gremolata, if used, by combining the garlic, lemon zest, and parsley. When the shanks are done, stir in the gremolata and simmer for a few minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve.

Note: if using smaller shanks, check for doneness after 15 minutes of high pressure.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 2:54PM
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Arley covered all the high points. Pressure cookers excel in creating tender, tasty meals from either good or inexpensive cuts of meat. Add broth, fruit, wine, spices to liven up the taste of your meats. I use mine frequently and the flavor and tenderness of the meals has been wonderful.

I don't think you could make the new pressure cookers explode, they have too many safety features.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 3:02PM
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I have two Kuhn Rikon Pressure cookers, the turn top model. I like that model because it's easy to see at a glance from across the room where you are pressure wise, and you can just lock the top in the 'up' position to depressurize. I use it for all the things mentioned above, anything that you would braise comes out fork tender and falling apart in a fraction of the time normally required. Lorna Sass writes awesome books, they're not just recipes, they cover techniques and tweaks to the basic recipes that give them a whole different twist. During corn season, I load it up with the cobs and an inch and a half of water and keep it at full pressure for about 4 minutes. No waiting for a huge pot of water to boil, and no big pot of steaming water to deal with afterwards. Any veg you would normally cook in a pot of boiling water comes out just great and much faster in the PC--artichokes, potatoes, whole cauliflower, etc. I love my PCs and I use them heavily. I have, once or twice, not paid as much attention as I should have to them and let the heat get too high. The Kuhn Rikon just hissed loudly and it brought me back--normally it's nearly silent. There are multiple safety systems that engage one after another, so actually blowing it up is no longer a danger.

Enjoy the new PC.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 1:04PM
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You can't use pressure cookers to can food in. Pressure canners are a separate and distinct device. To safely can low acid foods and meats you need to be assured of a specific poundage of pressure and it is different for different types of foods and that can't be achieved with a regular pressure cooker.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2010 at 12:50AM
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I'd love the risotto how-to, if you have the recipe?


    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 6:50PM
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Here you go, Acey. Enjoy!

Pressure-Cooker Method
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped (about ¾ cup)
1 cup arborio rice
2 cups low-fat chicken stock
¼ cup vermouth or dry white wine
c teaspoon crushed saffron
c teaspoon ground white pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the oil in a pressure cooker over high heat.
Add the onion, cook, stirring, until translucent,
about 2 minutes.
Add the rice and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds
until the outer edges turn translucent.
Add the stock, wine, and saffron.
Cover and bring to high pressure over high heat.
Reduce heat to stabilize pressure. Cook 7 minutes.
Quick-release pressure and remove cover.
Stir in white pepper, salt, butter, and Parmesan.
Let sit for 2 minutes before serving.
Makes 4 Servings

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 11:44AM
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