Pressure cookers

pkguyMay 15, 2002

I bought a pressure cooker a few years back having always shy'd away for fear of an explosion..However I read a test in Consumer Reports on them, and they couldn't make one explode no matter what they did.. so I figured it would be safe..

Since I bought it, I've only really used it for making a quick beef stew once in a while and I must say, it turns out really good. As good in fact as what I've made in my crock pot.. I have to admit.. I'm not the greatest cook but not hopeless either.

Does anyone else use one on a regular basis and have any tips or good beef or veggie recipes they use it for.

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I don't use mine enough but I do use it regularly for rice--it makes the best! I didn't like the way it cooked potatoes (too gummy) but everything else is great. I don't have them at the tip of my fingers, but you might try a search engine searching for "pressure cooker recipes"; I'm sure there are lots!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2002 at 2:57PM
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I use my pressure cooker for pinto beans (I call them my gringa beans.) Wash, then bring beans in deep water to a boil. Take off heat and let set for one hour. Change water and cover as deep as the pressure cooker will let you (a little over one-half, less than two-thirds). Bring to pressure and cook for 45-1 hour. Reduce pressure. Check water, adding to bring back to little less than one-half and bring to pressure again. Cook for another 30-45 minutes. Let pressure come down by itself. Makes wonderfully soft beans with a marvelous liquid. I add ham, salt pork, ham hocks or Mrs. Dash's for flavor. I serve it with my gringa chili (large can chopped chili, little garlic power, little onion power, ½ lb. browned ground beef and ½ lb. browned ground pork. Put meat and beans in two seperate bowls to serve. Everyone can add chili to taste.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2002 at 4:16PM
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I use mine all the time for potatoes (for mashing) and dried or frozen peas. I use to use it to tenderize stew meat but I just put in the crock pot now. It is really a time saver for me.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2003 at 2:11PM
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I think Pressure cooking is a lost art! I hear it's making a comeback? I use it for many recipes...can't beat not heating up the kitchen and it's nutrition retention benefits. I Got the book "Pressure cooking for dummies" and felt better about all those exploding myths! Timing is crucial i've learned, so watch that timer!!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2003 at 2:18PM
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I use mine mainly for two things: corned beef and sauce. I can make a beautiful, tender corned beef in 70 minutes with it. Tomato sauce takes about 30. I would be lost without my pressure cooker.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2003 at 2:46PM
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I use mine for speed more than anything else. I cook corn on the cob in it in 10 minutes. I also cook pinto beans, green beans, potatoes and peas in it. If you like Swiss Steak it will be done in minutes in a pressure cooker.

The new ones might not blow up but when I was a kid my DM's blew up and sent ketchup all over the ceiling.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2003 at 5:15PM
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Those were the good ol' days, when you had to make your own ketchup, weren't they? :)

I came home from school to green beans all over the kitchen once. Some of the old cookers were not quite up to today's standards.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2003 at 4:07PM
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I make potatoes (for mashing), beef stew, goulash, peasoup, and lentil soup in my pressure cooker. Mine is at least 16 years old (Brand is Sicomatic from Germany) and it's been worth the money.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2003 at 11:22PM
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I've used a pressure cooker for 30+ years, the same one, and old West Bend. Actually, it's one from my MIL's attic, so it's probably at least 50+years-old now. A new gasket was all it needed. I consider it the fore-runner of the microwave for fast cooking. Mostly I use it for cooking meats needing long cooking for tenderizing. Stuffed cabbage, too. My mother used to cook the Thanksgiving turkey in her big canning pressure cooker. The turkey was not presentable to carve at the table, which was not a tradition for us anyway, but it was always succulent, never dry. Just hearing it sizzle brings back lots of memories.

Here is a link that might be useful: GetRecipes

    Bookmark   September 23, 2003 at 1:58AM
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I would get any one of the Lorna Sass cookbooks - check - they have contemporary recipes that will inspire all. I use mine a lot for all sorts of stuff - soups with wild rice, artichokes, sweet potatoes (moist! - email me for a killer recipe), quinoa.

I own the Magafesa, recommended by Cooks Illustrated.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2003 at 6:51AM
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Oh Jessy: Just bought a double set of Magafesa. Do you really like them? Can't wait to get mine!!!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2003 at 11:48AM
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If you count my big canner, I have 4 pressure cookers...does that answer your question.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2003 at 3:21PM
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I have two pressure cookers, a 22qt All American canner and a smaller 6 or 8qt Presto I used quite often.

I freeze chicken leg quarters and bag them in gallon freezer bags. I can put three of them in the pressure cooker (frozen) along with 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/3 cup Italian salad dressing, 1/3 cup pineapple juice, and 1 cup water. These are brought to 10 lbs pressure and cooked for about 25 minutes at which point the meat has been infused with the marinade and is falling off the bone.

I also make chuck roast similarly. I have put the frozen roast (no more than 3" thick) into the cooker with about 2 cups water, a bit beef bouillon (sp?) and a chopped onion. This is cooked for about 30 minutes, the meat is removed, a bit of wine and cornstarch are mixed together, added to the broth and allowed to thicken into an awesome gravy.

While either of the two above are cooking I start a pot of rice by cooking the raw rice in a bit of butter until it begins to brown. I then add 2 cups of water for each cup of rice, cover and as soon as steam starts to escape from the lid. At that point the heat is turned to low and 20 minutes later the rice is ready.

Add a veggie or salad and dinner from the freezer to the table in 30 minutes.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2004 at 10:10PM
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It's funny. A friend of mine talked me into purchasing a presure cooker for the sole purpose of making my mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving. I HATE peeling all those potatoes. Unfortunatly, I bought two different brands of potatoes, one had a thicker skin than the other. So, some of the skins fell off easier than the other. Wound up sweating over these hot mushy potatoes and in the end everyone swore that they didn't taste the same. Anyone want mine?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 8:46PM
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I have a Presto pressure cooker my DH and I got for our first wedding anniversary.....we will be celebrating our 43rd anniversary in a couple of months. I have had to replace the gasket a couple of times but it was the best money we ever spent.
Not too long ago I was going to cook a pot of beans and DH sheepishly admitted to using it for beans while I was visiting my friend for a week.....he said he wasn't sure he was going to be able to get the beans off the ceiling before I got home.......seems like he didn't read the instructions about not taking off the rocker thingy before the pot cooled down. It took him over five years to admit to this. LOL

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 10:20PM
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I never used a pressure cooker until I was married. My DH ,who is a much better cook than I, taught me to use it. It's great for potatoes (for mashed) and just about any vegetable. He makes all kinds of great meals, bean soups, etc. My mother has never used a pressure cooker, she told me horror stories about home explosions, burned faces, etc. I now know that if you follow directions, lock it properly when cooking and reduce the pressure before opening, they are perfectly safe. And the food comes out delicious and FAST.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 12:21PM
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I recently bought a pressure cooker after my sister (who's been insisting for years that there was nothing to fear!) demonstrated hers for me. Now, I can't live without it and don't know how I did for all those years. I use it about once a week! Chicken, chuck roast, beans, chili, DELISH.

I've never done potatoes in it, but I can tell you that no matter what method I use to boil potatoes for mashing, I never peel them. TOO MUCH TROUBLE. A little bit of peel never hurt anyone and my family is used to eating them that way.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 5:11PM
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I've used one for nearly 20 years. I cant live without it. Great for quick stews, curries, corned beef, and my christmas ham, which I cook in coca cola and onions for 1hr -1.5 depending on the size. then I peel half off the skin and put demara sugar, mustard powder and treacle and then back it until the above ingredients melt about 0.5 to 0.75 hours


    Bookmark   June 26, 2006 at 12:00AM
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My family won't eat pinto beans cooked any other way. I usually add a ham hock and some seasoning salt and water. They are done so quickly and taste so good!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 5:32PM
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Wow, this subject has been neglected for a long time!

I have 3 pressure cookers...4, 6 & 8qt, all Presto. I use them several times a week for a wide variety of foods. I also had a Fagor 4qt, that I bought in perfect condition at a thrift store. I gave that one to my dear brother, since he didn't have any, and I didn't really need it.

Beans, stews, sauces, desserts, steamed bread, rice, vegetables, hard cooked eggs (YES!!), just to name a few. Great results every time.

Pressure cookers for dummies is a good resource. However, I now use Miss Vickie's Big Book of Pressure Cooker Recipes almost exclusively. The first 100 or so pages are filled with practical how-to's, do's & don't, time charts for every type of food, use and maintenance information, and FAQ's. Then there are over 400 recipes...something for every appetite.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 9:01PM
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Ha ha I wondered why I hadn't posted to this thread since I have several cookers and since I love them and then I looked again to make sure I hadn't and ta da! there I was under Big Mama...I changed my user name for awhile and I guess I was using Big Mama when this thread happened. I was Big Mama on some sewing boards, including the one here and just one day got a yen to have the same name every where but it just didn't feel right so I went back to Ruthieg.........

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 9:57AM
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Last count I own more than a dozen, ranging from a 1.5 quart I take backpacking, up to 30-qt all american canner.

They range in age from late '30s to present day.

I did a couple of meat-loaf's in one last night. I do them in 20-25 minutes on 15#, and for a crunch outside, under the broiler they go for ~5 minutes.

I also use a smaller one to regularly can left-overs. A large pot of soup gets boring after the umteenth serving, so half (2-3 quarts) gets canned for later in the winter.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 8:40PM
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Grace, how do you do hard cooked eggs? Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 11:32AM
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Hello to all! I made my first meal the other day in my brand new Fagor 10 qt. cooker and it turned out wonderful. Now, my Mom wants me to make a pork roast for her in the new pressure cooker. Do you happen to have any recipes for that?... I'm a pretty basic type person and don't really care for additives like pears and such... Just a basic recipe with the roast and some seasonings. My roast is a 4 lb. pork loin with bone in so I'd appreciate any and all advice I can get for it. Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 10:54PM
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Well, I cooked that pork loin today and it was WONDERFUL! I put some oil in the cooker and turned it to high. Then I sliced up some onion to season the oil and took it out after a very short time and put it aside. On the roast I put some crushed garlic and some Italian seasonings and rubbed them in really good and browned the roast in the cooker on all sides and both ends. I poured 2 cups of chicken broth into the pot and put in some more onion with what I had already set aside. I let it cook for 1 hour and it was perfect. I took out the roast (and the onions) and put a foil tent over it to let it rest. I then mixed 3 tablespoons of cold water with 3 tablespoons of corn starch and added that to the broth in the pot (which I had brought to a boil again). Mixed it well and removed from heat and it made a nice gravy for the roast. Served with fried green beans and au gratin potatoes and what a dinner we had!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 8:01PM
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This is an old thread but still so pertinent. I used one of mine last night for pot roast.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 1:26PM
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I can't imagine preparing certain foods without a Pressure cooker, but I seem to be a minority among my peers.

I recently 'converted' a couple when I visited their mountain house by soaking a pound of pintos (in advance) in a freezer bag, carrying the beans and a PC with me, and giving a 'Demo' of cooking for 10 mins in my PC on their stove. They were amazed at the speed and energy savings; as well as delicious beans.

They bought one for home and another for mountain house once they understood that the new cookers are much safer than the old ones and do a remarkable job.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 1:36PM
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Glazed carrots: melt 1-2 TBS butter in the bottom of a pressure cooker. Add 1-2TBS honey. Add about 4 cups peeled, sliced carrots. Bring to max pressure and cook 5 mins. Allow to release naturally. Place the carrots back on medium heat to reduce the glaze. Yum!

I use my pc for all kinds of things like soups, mashed potatoes, the carrots above etc. Just ordered Miss Vickie's Pressure Cooker cookbook for some meat ideas.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 11:20AM
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Oh yeah me to on the pot roast. Anything I need to cook faster in less time like the pot roast or kidney beans etc. I use my pressure cooker. It makes the meat so tender!!!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 6:07PM
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Jo-Ann M

I recently purchased a 10 qt fagor for my very first pressure cooker. This was at the urgings of my DH who had fond memories of his mother's cooking. The day I received it and anted to try it out, all I had in the freezer was some pork chops. Found a recipe on the web & they were delicious - very tender & juicy. Next was a pot of dried red beans. I used my normal recipe that includes sausage & ham hocks. About 45 minutes & they were delicious, creamy & tender. Compared to 3 hours in a regular pot. Last Sunday, DH wanted chuck steaks. browned the seasoned steaks first and added onions & beef broth. In 30 minutes they were so tender & juicy!!

I've fallen in love with pressure cookers. So much that I've ordered a smaller 4 qt size for every day cooking.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 8:43AM
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I am still looking for someone to tell us how to do hard cooked eggs... PLEASE!!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 8:23PM
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I love my pressure cooker and use it for a lot of foods. During the summer when it's too hot to bake it is a lifesaver. I've used it for cakes, cornbread, ribs, cobblers, curries, custards, cheesecakes etc etc. Most people would be amazed at all it can do.

If you want to make hard boiled eggs use low pressure, between 6-8 psi. This will prevent the shell from cracking too early like it does with high pressure.

Fill the cold pressure cooker with 1 cup cold water. Insert a steamer basket or rack so the eggs won't touch the bottom. Use a heat proof egg stand. You can jury rig one out of olive oil caps or a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil.

Lock the pressure cooker and select low cooking. Bring up to pressure and cook for 3 minutes for soft boiled, 5 minutes for medium and 6 minutes for hard boiled.

If you are making soft or medium eggs release the pressure by running cold water. That will prevent the eggs from over cooking. For hard boiled eggs move the cooker to a cool burner and let the pressure release naturally. Run cold water on them for 1 -3 minutes depending on the temperature you want to serve them.

Smack the ends of the eggs on a counter and the shell should easily come off.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 2:39AM
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Any tips for buying a pressure cooker? Is stainless steel better/safer than aluminum? I'd love to find one made in the USA but Fagor at my Bed Bath and Beyond is from China. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 12:24AM
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