WFMW – Using A Pressure Cooker

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.Works For Me Wednesday

*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.

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  • I love my pressure cooker. I just got it for Christmas. Dh got it so I could can more things from our garden, but I have been cooking quite a few meals in it. Do you have any favorite recipes? Thanks so much.

  • Okay, I’ll give mine another shot. I got it for Christmas and promptly ruined a pot roast. I’m talking BLACKENED and stuck to the bottom of the pot.

    How about posting some of your favorite pressure cooker recipes?

  • I knew I forgot to add something – allergy medicine is great for the nose…not so much for the head! I’ve added a link to a great Beef Stew recipe and will add more next week.

  • But they are so mysterious! What is a rocker anyway??? I have one, used once for rice and then never to be used as a pressure cooker again. I will give it a go this week on a roast. Wish me luck.

    • HA! I’m sure there is a more scientific name for the rocker piece (pic at the top of my blog), but I’m bad at that. 😉 I hope your roast turns out great…cook it like a champ!! *fingers crossed*

  • Ha! My husband just gave me a pressure cooker/pressure canner for mother’s day…and I had pretty much no idea what is was or what to do with it:) He was disappointed in my lack of enthusiasm but really it was just that I knew nothing about it at all. I guess I’m officially learning…

  • I’m so glad you posted this!! My husband received a pressure cooker from his mother before we were married (she thought he would cook dinner but instead he never got it out of the box!) We’ve been married a few months now and I want to try using it but I’ve been too scared! They seemed really complicated and confusing, but this seems way easier than I thought! Thanks for the encouragement!

    Can’t wait for your pressure cooker recipes to try! I’m not even sure where to begin (I guess a start would be getting it out of the box, huh? at least we still have the owners manual!)

  • My dad SWEARS by his pressure cooker. He uses it for himself and to prepare the wolfdog’s meals… yes, he cooks the wolf’s meat… said wolf is quite picky and very spoiled 😉

    When I visited in November, Dad was telling me that I MUST get a pressure cooker, since with working three jobs I don’t have much time and I always forget to set something out to thaw. (I’m terrible about that)

    Thanks for reminding me – I’ve got a gift certificate to a store and I’m gonna go order my pressure cooker now!!! Bring on those recipes, Girl!!!

  • Jen!!! I blame you for this! If you recall, I just can’t make a decision for the life of me (it’s a disease or something)… so, I go to pick out which pressure cooker to buy, and I have no idea which one! 10 qt, 16 qt, 23 qt? Stove top or electric? Will my electric stove cause it to not stay at the proper pressure like one person mentioned in a review I read… which would mean I should get an electric one??? Geesh!!!

    • MD…and this comment is why I love you so!! I have a 6qt and it’s more than enough for a family of 4-6. If you plan on using it for canning (quart sized) you need to get a big dog. My 6qt can only do pints. I have an electric stove and it works great with my PC.

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