Cooking Under Pressure, or Oh No, Not Again?

Does anyone remember back around Christmas-time, when I got that electric pressure cooker from Paul as a present? I actually bought it and he paid for it, but once it arrived, I didn’t think I could deal with it since I had never used one before. Then my dearest friend, Sandy-from-Iowa, offered to buy it from me because hers was old and broken and she needed a new one.

Well, it got shipped off to her immediately, and she has been happily using that thing ever since then.

But as for me, I still don’t have a pressure cooker. And I wanted to try one sometime before I depart this life, so seeing as how my birthday is imminent (this weekend, in fact), I want you to see what Paul is giving me for a birthday present:

If you guessed a pressure cooker, you were right! (It’s a Presto 6-quart version.)

So, does this qualify me for certain crazy-hood, or what?

The other pressure cooker was electric. This one is not. Just a plain old-fashioned kind – the kind I think I can handle without too much trouble (touch wood!).

So it’s on its way even as I write. Free 2-day delivery, amazon promises. I didn’t tell Paul he was giving me this until after I’d ordered it and it was on its way here. I thought he’d go nuts when I told him this morning, but he didn’t. I told him there was no shipping charge (as I have a prime membership at amazon) so that made him a bit happier.

Anyway, once I get it, it should make for some interesting and delectable blog entries, no? Sandy says she uses hers a lot for cooking up potatoes – a lot of them ahead of time to be used at a later time/date. I’m really getting anxious now to use it. I sure hope it’s easy because I don’t have a good track record with complicated gadgets here.

My question to you is: Have you ever used a pressure cooker or do you own one and never use it? and, how does your food come out? I have this problem with my back that doesn’t allow me to stand for long periods of time in the kitchen, so fixing dinner every night has to be quick. I’ve gotten it down to fixing a few of my regular meals in 10-15 minutes, but I’m thinking that I can really expand the menus here with this new gadget that’s coming soon.

I’m open to suggestions or tips that any of you can give me about cooking with a pressure cooker – like make sure you don’t blow up the kitchen – sort of thing.

Also, if anyone has a tried and true recipe or two, I’ll welcome those, too.

Hmmm, I wonder if cooking up some type of food for the dogs would be possible with this thing?

I’ve just recently changed the food I’m feeding the puppies over to Blue Buffalo kibble. Also, a friend says that she gives rice to her dogs (and she works in an animal shelter and that’s what they do) so I may be switching to making rice for them to go with the kibble, rather than the canned food I’ve been feeding them up until now. I know the brand I’ve been giving them until now is not the best, in fact, nothing that you can buy at a regular food store is really the best for animals, so we are going to try something better. I also give them a spoonful of cottage cheese on their kibble a lot of times.

I’m rambling now, so better cut it off now. I should have the cooker by Thursday (or even tomorrow!) and I’ll be back to update things then.

OH, the Sox beat Minnesota last night 6-5. Miraculously.

Cheers,

Bex

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“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

[Anatole France]

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[Bill Veeck]

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12 Responses to Cooking Under Pressure, or Oh No, Not Again?

  1. Bex says:

    Well, in the next day or two I will try my new one out and we’ll see how easy they are.

    And even though you cook for one, there is nothing that says you can’t cook up a big pot of something yummy and freeze portions of it for future meals! I really wish I had an extra freezer because the one we have, which is one-half of a 2-door side-by-side refrigerator, is full now. I must defrost some of that stuff and cook it in my PCooker!

    Like

  2. mz. em says:

    My Great Aunt used her pressure cooker on a wood burning stove and she turned out some good meals.

    I, myself, have been afraid to use one. I was always afraid of it blowing up. Then, a friend gave DH and I one. I still have not used it but DH does and he likes it.

    Oh yeah, pre-birthday wishes!

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  3. sue says:

    I’ve been cooking for one for the past twelve and a half years, but when it was two of us I used the p.c. fairly often. I think I did pot roast and lots of stews.

    Like

  4. Bex says:

    Wow, Michael, really? That is so funny you said that. While I was watching it, I had the impression it was filmed in New England. It kind of looks like a town down Maine. But then when someone said “Are you from San Francisco”… I caught on that it was probably filmed out there. I will have to look that up on google. Very interesting coastline. Now you should get in your car and go down there, maybe take some pictures of that town… and report back to us on how it looks now.

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  5. Michael says:

    The Birds was filmed in my backyard, at Bodega Bay on the Pacific coast (actually about 20 miles from where I’m sitting).

    Like

  6. Bex says:

    Wow. Thanks everyone! Great tips. Now I will be even more anxious to use it. And will let you know all the details.

    Gee, Michael. It’s nice we can be of amusement to the rest of the world… our poor pathetic little baseball team.

    I’m right now watching The Birds on TV. OMG, even though I’ve seen it before, it has been in spurts and not all in one sitting, this is a very scary movie!

    Like

  7. Michael says:

    I’ve never used a pressure cooker or a double boiler or a Dutch oven (but I would really love one of those, I think).

    I know it’s been a painful season for Red Sox fans, but your team is an endless source of amusement for the rest of the baseball world. Does that help?

    Like

  8. l'empress says:

    I don’t have one now, but I no longer cook for a crowd. Microwaving has changed a lot of things.

    However, my mother had a pressure cooker that I learned to use as a teen. (I tell you that to point out that a kid could do it.) I don’t remember what else she cooked in it, but for me, it was absolutely the best for potatoes. With us it was almost always potatoes, since we didn’t use white rice and pasta was only spaghetti and meatballs.

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  9. Beanie says:

    My mother used one when she was making certain things… it was so long ago that now I don’t remember what she made in it, but I remember her using it a lot when I was young.

    Like

  10. Rhubarb says:

    I’m so excited for you. Pressure cooking is the best thing since sliced bread. The thing I like about it is that I can put food in it (lentils, for instance), sent the timer on my stove for 15 minutes (or whatever), and SIT DOWN and relax while it’s cooking. (I have to set a timer in case I’m reading or I doze off and forget.)

    1. Remember to use all the parts: bottom, gasket, lid and weight (if it has one). Without the gasket, the pressure won’t build up.

    2. Your cooker, because it is new, probably has an interlock that prevents it from being opened before the inside has cooled enough to be safe. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about blow ups.

    3. If your cooker has an adjustable setting for psi, set it at 15, which 99% of recipes use (like 350 for your oven). I never use any other setting.

    4. About medium setting on your stove is the highest you’ll need for the cooker. Any higher is wasted energy and doesn’t cook faster.

    5. Because the pot is heavy, I don’t hold it under cold running water to cool down. I just turn off the stove and let it sit for 15 minutes or so, while I SIT for another while.

    6. Don’t let the gasket dry out. If it’s going to be weeks between uses, smear it with cooking oil to keep it flexible.

    7. Avoid cooking fluffy or explosive foods like dumplings or cranberries. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

    Notice how much sitting I do? Why cooks stand in the kitchen so much is something I don’t understand.

    Like

  11. TopsyTurvy says:

    That’s a nice looking cooker. I hope you really enjoy it!

    You know, all the big ‘fried’ chicken places, like Kentucky Fried, pressure cook their chicken before frying it. That’s why their chicken is so tender and moist under those coatings.

    Like

  12. Crochetlady says:

    I love watching Iron Chef America and they use what you are ordering alot-cooks meats fast, same with vegetables. Following directions seems to be the key. No kitchens blow up-the worse that happens is that you don’t watch what you are cooking and the lid explodes off. Doesn’t happen as much with the new models because of safety features! And then you have a mess to clean up. I have never used one, but would love to try. I will be following your trials closely.

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