January 22, 2010
While pressure cookers have grown in popularity, I know that many of my readers don't own one. For that reason, I try to include directions for traditionally cooking things that I cook in my pressure cooker. You might see a few pressure cooker only recipes in the future, though.
A few years ago I looked into pressure cookers and decided to put one on my Christmas wish list. My husband bought me a very nice high quality set and I have loved it! It's called the Duromatic Duo by Kuhn Rikon.
The large 5 liter pot is what I use most. In fact, I bought a second one on eBay not long ago. It's not unusual for me to have meat in one pot and potatoes, rice or quinoa in the other. Here are some of the things I use my pressure cooker for:
Chicken pieces - usually only if I just need to cook it so I can use it in something like chicken salad
Soups - just about any kind of soup, but split pea soup is particularly good and much faster than normal cooking
Rice - brown rice takes about half the time
You can go to the Kuhn Rikon web site to learn about the benefits of pressure cooking, but in a nutshell it is healthy, uses less energy, and is faster than conventional cooking. Pressure cookers are not cheap. Click here to see Kuhn Rikon prices on Amazon. I realize that these days it may not be feasible. If you're interested in buying one, try looking on eBay. Also take a look at prices of Fagor pressure cookers. They are more affordable and I have heard they are good.
I used to use my crock pot a lot. So much so that I had two until recently. Since getting the pressure cooker, I have found that my crock pot gets very little use. I love being able to put a roast in the pressure cooker and have it done in an hour. The next night I make soup by throwing the leftover beef along with some veggies, potatoes or rice, maybe some beans, broth and water into the pressure cooker and cooking it for 4 minutes under pressure. My family loves the soup and we enjoy it often during cold months.
I do not cook vegetables in my pressure cooker unless they are part of a soup. They cook so quickly that I inevitably overcook them.
I should add a note that many pressure cookers with only one pressure setting give instructions not to cook rice and split pea soup in the pressure cooker. The Kuhn Rikon pots have a high and low presser indicator. Their instructions say that these foods can be cooked under low pressure.
I cook split pea soup for 20 minutes and it turns out great. In fact, I didn't even like it until I made it in the pressure cooker. I first made it as a treat for my husband since he did give me the pots. It smelled so good I had to try it and I've been eating it ever since!
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