Do I need a pressure cooker

bean_counter_z4November 10, 2006

I've read all the past threads and a lot of people seem to love them. I don't want to use a slow cooker and there isn't a lot of time after work to fix good meals. The idea of really tender, well flavored meats in a hurry is appealing.

If I cook stew meat, do I need to use another pan for potatoes/veggies? What about cornbeef and cabbage? Are the pressure cookers for one thing at a time?

Maybe I should just cook everything on the weekend and serve it during the week? Tell me how you use your pressure cookers.

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I don't need one....and didn't when I worked. Fast meals are steaks, chops, chicken breasts or whole chicken in the oven, fish, stir frys with shrimp or sliced chicken breast....and save the stews and braised lamb shanks to cook on the weekends....or cook in the evening for the next day's meal. I often cooked 2 meals at fast one to eat tonight and a long cooked one to refrigerate for the next day.
I don't like the texture of meat cooked in the PC nor in a slow least in the cook all day mode. It just sits in it's own grease ( I know...some disagree! LOL!)
There are lots of meals you can get on the table in well less than an hour...and if you are willing to spend some prep time in the evening before, you can expand that a lot.
Linda C

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 6:12PM
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I've managed to get through 33 years of marriage and family raising without either a pressure cooker or slow cooker. And most nights, I have excellant meals on the table in 20-30 minutes (sometimes even less). My personal credo is that dinner should take no longer to cook than it does to eat. And I use almost no convenience, or pre-prepared foods in my cooking. It is possible, but you need to be a little creative.

If I make a meal that takes longer, I make a larger quantity, so I can freeze the leftovers for another meal, and save time that way.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 9:27AM
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There are many recipes that allow you to cook the meat in liquid for 10-20 minutes (depending on the amount and size of the pieces of meat) then do a quick pressure release by setting the pan in the sink and running a thin stream of cold water over it from the tap. Then you can safely remove the lid, add in your vegetables, bring up the pressure again and cook for another 10 minutes or so to cook the vegetables.

Or, you can cook the meat, then add your vegetables and simmer them in the pot with the meat and cooking liquid with the lid off until the vegetables are done.

I would think corned beef and cabbage could be done this way.

So, to answer your question, No - the PC is not just to cook one thing at a time.

Think of all the recipes that call for braising meat in a liquid for a long time period in order to make that meat tender: beef and pork stews, beans cooked with a ham bone, cubed steak, spareribs and sauerkraut, stuffed pork shops, spaghetti meat sauce, pot roast, Swiss steak, chili, many soups, etc. A PC is also great for cooking grains and beans, but be sure to add a TB or two of oil to the grains and beans when cooking to help prevent foaming up into the vent pipe.

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 9:02PM
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I bought my first PC a few years ago, and I really like it. Yes, you can do without one just fine, but it's a tool that allows you to do some things you might not otherwise have done.

Steamed artichokes in 12-15 minutes; osso buco in an hour; corned beef & cabbage in about an hour; foolproof risotto in about 6 minutes; beans and grains in half the time.

Check out any of Lorna Sass's cookbooks--they're all good.
check out Miss Vickie's website for recipes and advice. (

And if you are susceptible to equipment lust do NOT click on the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: kuhn rikon

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 9:18PM
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Arle .....Do you have a recipe for risotto in the pressure cooker?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 10:59AM
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I'm with arley on his recommendations. Here, btw, is one recipe for risotto in the pressure cooker that has never failed us:

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
1/4 cup vermouth or dry white wine
1/8 teaspoon crushed saffron
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 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 12, 2006 at 1:13PM
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thx...ill give it a try

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 3:28PM
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One recommendation (and Lorna Sass says the same thing in one of her books): if you have the storage space, get a larger rather than a smaller cooker. An 8 qt is a really good size for all sorts of stuff.

I have a 6 qt model, and it's fine since I'm usually just cooking for 2 or 3. Sometimes, though, I wish it were larger so I could make a bigger recipe of stock or soup or chili. If I were to do it again, I'd go with the 8 quart.

My next PC purchase, though, is going to be a pressure frypan. Kuhn Rikon makes a couple of them. Only problem is they are pricey.

I've heard good things about the Fagor line.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 11:18AM
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Thank you everyone for your thoughts. I've seen a couple on sale locally at a kitchen shop--good prices. Think I'll keep looking, maybe pickup the recommended cookbooks and do a little reading before I decide.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 1:37PM
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I bought a pressure cooker last year. I think it cooks vegetables to a mush, & meats are a little watery. But I still love having it for cooking brown rice (18 min. start to finish, & that includes getting the PC out of the cupboard) & for making stews & soups (delicious broth).

I prefer my slow cooker for hands-free, set it & forget it cooking. Lately I've been cooking squashes (put in whole, no need to cut in half), applesauce, pear sauce, & fruit butters. I've even put in frozen ravioli with tomato sauce successfully. You're not limited to meat stews with a slow cooker.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 7:09PM
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I enjoy my PC's for dry bean soups and I do a lot of beets, turnips and other long cooking veggies that has them done to prefection in a fraction of time.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 7:43PM
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I love my pressure cooker, and I'm so surprised that more Americans don't use them anymore! My mother bought me a Fissler pressure cooker in Europe, where's it's one of the best brands available, and I've never had any problems with it. I don't know where you might find a Fissler pressure cooker in the US, but I highly recommend them, especially over Fagor (I have both, and it's like night and day). I use the pressure cooker for stews, meats, steaming veggies, and rice. I even cook pasta in it! Bottom line, since I'm so short on time every night because of work and traffic, the pressure cooker allows me to eat fast meals without eating all the preservatives and other chemical junk that goes into convenience foods. I love it!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 1:58PM
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I have the Fagor Combi "Duo" model but have not used it yet.

It seems to be a pretty good PC for the price. It's not the cheapest, but not the most expensive either. It's been rated well.

What I'd REALLY like though, is a pressure FRYER. Fagor used to make one, but doesn't anymore.

I did not know that Kuhn Rikon made them either, I'll have to investigate further.

Does anyone know of Makes/Models of Pressure FRYERS ?

For anyone that does not know, the pressure fryer is what KFC, Popeyes and Royal Farm stores etc., use to make their chicken.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 9:19AM
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Kuhn Rikon makes a couple of frypans which are fitted with a pressure lid; however, I don't think they can be used with oil a la those pressure fryers which are used to make fast food chicken. I believe the Kuhn Rikon pans allow you to brown something, add a bit of liquid and then finish the cooking under pressure.

I don't think---someone correct me if I'm wrong--that they are designed to do that sort of pressure frying you describe. My KR instruction book for my pressure cooker, if I remember correctly, specifically advises against doing that.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 10:25AM
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arley, you are correct. I have the larger of the two pressure frypans that KR makes. In fact, if I were to do a search here, I would be able to find our previous conversation about KR and that pan.

I had bought it after seeing Madjur Jaffrey (sp?) recommend it it for many of her Indian recipes in one of her books that I have. It's a wonderful pan for all those dishes that call for initial browning. But it is not a deep-fryer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kuhn-Rikon pressure fryer

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 12:04PM
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Tim, see the link below for good information regarding your question about pressure frying.

Here is a link that might be useful: A word of caution about pressure frying

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 2:47PM
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My mother used a preasure cooker when we were growing up, Not very frequently, but it was always there for the St. Patty's Day Corned Beef (best I've ever had) and I believe she would "flash Preasure cook" her ribs before barbequing, making them extreemely tender. My wife frowns at the thought of a preasure cooker in the house, probably due to safety, but I never encountered any safety problems when we were kids. Of course, mom was a stickler for safety, and watched it closely. I would definately by one now that you have me thinking about it.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 9:26PM
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I recently purchased a "Figor" 6-qt.Pressure cooker & I've already tried it out w/a Roast. Hubby & I both said it was the best roast ever! Instead of using water in it, I used beef broth. Now I understand "infusion" cooking! I got my pressure cooker from HSN,on sale. AWESOME! Quick & easy!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 1:02PM
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Fagor does still make a pressure fryer.

It's called a marine cooker, among other terms.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fagor Pressure Cooker and Fryer

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 3:24AM
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