Author Topic: Pressure Cookers  (Read 692 times)

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booklover03

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Pressure Cookers
« on: August 15, 2014, 10:28:23 PM »
If this isn't in the right place, feel free to move it. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with pressure cookers? I'm looking to branch out more with my cooking and have been looking into them. I'm a bit leery of them, though, because I've heard stories of people's cookers exploding. Definitely don't want that to happen, so if anyone has an experience on them I'd appreciate any feedback!

P.S. Feedback on stove top and electric ones are welcome :D.


wheeitsme

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Re: Pressure Cookers
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2014, 11:25:31 PM »
We got one for our wedding.  DH was enthusiastic. I was not too sure. 

Until I cooked a pot roast from frozen in an hour and a half, to fall apart goodness.

They are designed much better now, and you'd have to seriously damage the thing and then use it dangerously for you to worry about it exploding.   ;)

Lindee

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Re: Pressure Cookers
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2014, 11:26:08 PM »
I love mine. I recently had to retire my 36 year old one I got when I still lived in New Zealand because I now have an induction stovetop and it wasn't the "right " kind of stainless steel. The new induction friendly one is great too but I'd still be using my old one otherwise.  Stews just cook so fast and I've never felt worried using it , they have a safety valve which vents .  I'm very happy with the induction cooktop but sad that it turned out that all of my perfectly good pans had to be replaced :(   On the plus side my new pans have the spiffy glass lids :).

Alicia

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Re: Pressure Cookers
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2014, 11:55:44 PM »
Modern Pressure cookers have several fail safes. Will not explode instead will release pressure in certain gasket areas. In most cases there is a specific overpressure plug as well as a seal that will bulge out if over pressure. The explosions are from old ones or ones that people modify to block safety features.

MummySweet

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Re: Pressure Cookers
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2014, 02:24:23 AM »
I grew up in a house that used a pressure cooker several times a week.  I only have one "accident" memory.  The cap-valve malfunctioned due to age and flew up, hitting the ceiling hard enough to break the plaster.  Th valve was replaces and that cooker was used for at least another 15 years without a problem.    In comparison to old models, modern pressure cookers are so easy to use and so much safer.  I love to cook my potatoes for mash in one.  Even potatoes that tend to get gluey don't in a pressure cooker.  They are also great time savers; a lot of foods cook much faster under pressure.   I have a heavy-weight t-fal and find that it's a great addition to my kitchen.

Bashful

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Re: Pressure Cookers
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2014, 12:04:17 PM »
I love my pressure cooker! I'm not a good cook so I use it for simple recipes, nonetheless it is really useful. I make broth (meat broth for DH and me, veggie broth for my baby), steam cooked veggies or meat, tomato sauce, soups. Basically, everything that is liquid and takes hours to cook is ready in 30 minutes. You can search online for recipes, there are so many. Most important, pressure cookers are DH-proof: he tried to make broth and put too much water, when the cooker reached the boiling point it poured water all over the stove top (just like a regular pot) but didn't explode.
DM usually makes broth or soup in the morning and gets ready for work. When she is dressed and ready to leave, dinner is ready too.

BigBadBetty

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Re: Pressure Cookers
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2014, 01:55:04 PM »
I have an electric one. I got it really cheap because it was missing a part that was not essential for its operation. If you are really worried about screwing it up, I think electric is the way to go. It is so easy to use. You can also use it to keep food warm like a crock pot. That said an electric one is so much more versatile. You can control so much more, you can cool it down by pouring water over it. I think if I would do it again I would get the non-electric. Lorna Sass has some really good cookbooks for beginner pressure cooker users.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Pressure Cookers
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2014, 03:03:30 PM »
I have a stovetop standard pressure cooker. I grew up with my mom using a similar one. I've never had any issues. It's great for soups and beans. And I use it for cooking a pork roast for my tamales.

AvidReader

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Re: Pressure Cookers
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2014, 04:54:09 PM »
I wore out my first pressure cooker and immediately bought another.  Both are for stove top use.  They do have failsafes, so don't worry about the top flying off.  I use it for cooking artichokes (22 minutes) rather than nearly an hour, corned beef in an hour rather than 3, risotto in 6 minutes rather than babysitting it for 25-30.  I use it mostly for delicately cooking fish, 10 minutes rather than 20-25.  I've even done rice pudding.  There are about a zillion cookbooks for the pressure cooker.  Check some out of the library.  Just follow the directions carefully.  It is so important to lower the heat once the maximum pressure is reached.  You'll quickly figure out the correct "lower heat" level to maintain the pressure...it's easy.  I've had two by Fagor, a Spanish brand available in the US. 

ETA: Always keep a spare seal. Back in the day they used to be made of rubber, now they are of silicone (I think).  After about a year or so (YMMV), they will fail and you will want to have one on hand.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2014, 04:57:23 PM by AvidReader »

booklover03

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Re: Pressure Cookers
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2014, 11:07:46 PM »
Thank you for all the info! I talked to my mom today and she said my grandmother only used hers for canning and how 1 (only 1) time a glass jar exploded and put her off forever, apparently. She said she thinks slow cooker food is better than pressure cooker food. Do any of you find that to be true?


AvidReader

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Re: Pressure Cookers
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2014, 08:56:00 AM »
Slow cooker vs pressure cooker.  Hmm.  I will give one example.  In the slow cooker, a corned beef will cook nicely but in my experience, it will literally shred apart when it is removed so it is impossible to slice.  After being cooked in the pressure cooker, the corned beef is removed and allowed to "rest" (recipes vary as to the duration of the "rest"), then the beef can be sliced.  A PP mentioned cookbooks by Lorna Sass.  I have 3 or 4 of them, and they're all good. 

IMHO, both have their strengths.  For example, I prepare chili in my slow cooker.  I wouldn't consider making it in the pressure cooker.

daen

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Re: Pressure Cookers
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2014, 09:11:57 AM »
Slow cooker vs pressure cooker.  Hmm.  I will give one example.  In the slow cooker, a corned beef will cook nicely but in my experience, it will literally shred apart when it is removed so it is impossible to slice.  After being cooked in the pressure cooker, the corned beef is removed and allowed to "rest" (recipes vary as to the duration of the "rest"), then the beef can be sliced.  A PP mentioned cookbooks by Lorna Sass.  I have 3 or 4 of them, and they're all good. 

IMHO, both have their strengths.  For example, I prepare chili in my slow cooker.  I wouldn't consider making it in the pressure cooker.

I was about to leap in and say that my husband always makes chili in the pressure cooker. On reflection, I realized that he cooks the beans in the pressure cooker, and then continues to make the chili in the pressure cooker pot, but not under pressure.

My mother has a pressure cooker which (if I remember correctly) was a wedding gift - 49 years ago today, as it happens. She doesn't often use it as a pressure cooker, but very frequently as a large and heavy-bottomed pot for making soups and what-have-you.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Pressure Cookers
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2014, 12:37:39 PM »
Canning in a pressure cooker is very different from pressure cooking. I have slow cooker too. It's great when I have all day to cook something. But the pressure cooker is perfect for getting a flavorful chicken broth, cooked beans, stews, or roasts in under an hour. As another poster mentioned, meats you want to slice turn out better in a pressure cooker in my opinion. I also think the flavors get infused into the meat better in a pressure cooker than a slow cooker without having to cook the meat to a stringy texture.

Moonie

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Re: Pressure Cookers
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2014, 02:03:58 PM »
I have also found that pressure cooking infuses the flavors into the meat without making it mushy. I love my pressure cooker. I have an electric one, and would recommend one to anyone that is a novice and leery of a stovetop one.

EMuir

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Re: Pressure Cookers
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2014, 02:31:26 PM »
Today's pressure cookers are safer, but I still won't use one again.  I was cooking pork in it, followed all the rules about how much to fill it, etc. The safety measure worked, it didn't explode, but it sprayed hot pork juice downward all over the oven and kitchen.  A thin layer of pork fat over everything.  So much scrubbing. I don't think a thousand meals made quickly would balance that out. So I use the slow cooker. :)

I do have a story about another relative making chili in the slow cooker and filling it too full.... chili in a fountain to the ceiling. But that was her fault, not the cooker's, and it didn't explode.