Recently, while looking for some homestead blogs, I found a lady who was giving a recipe which involved a pressure cooker. She had quite a number of comments and probably 90% of them said they hadn’t used their pressure cooker in years. I was floored! My pressure cooker is practically part of our 10 Commandments. Bottom line: it’s easy and should be a staple in every household!
Debunking the Bunk
1. “I don’t need a pressure cooker…I have a slow cooker.” I’m all about slow cookers – or as we call them around here crockpots – but that is actually the exact opposite of a pressure cooker. If you don’t have the time to let something slowly cook in a crockpot, then you can have the same tender and tasty outcome by using a pressure cooker. In less than 30 minutes in a lot of cases.
2. “It’s too hard to use a pressure cooker.” I don’t care what “they” say out there…pressure cookers are very forgiving. Don’t get caught up in the fancy-smancy wording about release method, pressure relief issues, etc. You just have to find your groove for what you like to cook.
3. “What if I take off the lid and it’s not done?” Then put the lid back on and get it back up to pressure again for another 5 minutes or so. Seriously, not rocket science.
I love to use the pressure cooker for a variety of dishes, but I mostly use it to cook meat quickly…it turns out so stinkin’ tender! I also cook my fresh veggies that way too. It keeps all the nutrients in it and makes it very tender. My boys HATE the texture of fresh cooked green beans, but if I cook them in a pressure cooker, they think they came from a can. *wink*
As a general rule, here’s how I cook with my pressure cooker:
1. Put 1/2 – 1 cup of water in the bottom, then place the meat/veggie in the pot .
2. Lock the lid on and turn up the heat to high (DO NOT PUT THE “ROCKER” ON YET).
3. Once the pressure is almost ready, steam will come pouring out of the top spout (and if you have a spring-loaded valve, it will pop up). Then put the “rocker” on.
4. It will take a bit for the “rocker” to start rocking. Adjust the heat down so that it rocks slowly and evenly.
5. Start your timing.
6. Once the cooking time is over, take the cooker off the heat and set aside. For meats, I let it naturally lose pressure (set there until all the steam has eeked out). For veggies, I use the quick pressure release (putting the whole pot under cold water till the steam comes out). DON’T REMOVE “ROCKER” UNTIL ALL STEAM IS OUT.
*Be sure to check the manual for your pressure cooker as you might have a different size or style than mine.*
UPDATED: Here is a great recipe for Mom’s Beef Stew. I promise to have a slew of my favorite recipes for next weeks WFMW.