The Pressure Cooker Thread

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Do you have a pressure cooker, and if so do you use it?

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Casual Observer
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Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 10:23 pm
Location: San Francisco

The Pressure Cooker Thread

Post by Casual Observer » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:08 pm

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I just got my first ever pressure cooker, in this case a massive 12 quart digital one that weighs a ton (well, like 25 pounds). I never bothered to get one before, satisfying my cooking needs with a crock pot, oven, stovetop, and of course grilling. I've been watching Iron Chef for decades now and almost every episode involves a pressure cooker in one way or another but I never actually thought of trying it myself.

Wow. This thing cooks quickly and well. Just got it this week to cook some Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Lime Rice and Black Beans. Simply amazing. We set the chicken on "slow cook" for about 4 hours to let the flavors savor and then finished off with 30 minutes of high pressure and it came out perfect. The meat literally slid off the bone of the chicken legs and each bite was full of flavor.

I had no idea that you could cook regular rice in 7 minutes. I ain't talking minute rice my friends, regular cheap white rice. Just put 2 cups of rice with 1 1/2 cups liquid, 3 tbsp Avacado Oil, and juice of 1 lime into the pot. Stir around then set the cooker to "rice" and then lower the time from the standard 8 minutes down to 6. After 6 minutes, manually release the steam, open the pot and fluff up the rice. Perfectly cooked sticky rice which went wonderfly with the black beans and jerk chicken with the lovely jerk chicken broth.

Next up is going to be pot roast which apparently can be cooked in less than an hour to the point of tender falling apart goodness.

Do you guys use pressure cookers? Am I an idiot who should have been doing this years ago?

I guess my next cooking frontier is going to be Sous-vide.

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The Happiness Engine
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Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:16 pm

Re: The Pressure Cooker Thread

Post by The Happiness Engine » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:59 pm

I do use them, and they are great.[1] They are really damn recent, with every other brand getting in on the game only a couple years ago. It is technically an "electric multi-cooker", commonly called an "Instant Pot" after one of the first popular brands. They are lifesavers for stews and soups and dry beans. You can make chili from a bag of beans in about an hour! I would not use the 'slow cook' feature as it really dries things out. You can set it to pressure cook and after the timer goes off it should shift to keep warm. Here's a quick intro: https://www.seriouseats.com/2018/09/wha ... d-for.html

Split pea soup in 30 minutes? by the time you make some sandwiches to go with it it's already done! https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/201 ... ecipe.html

I don't know if yours beeps little tunes, but mine was made by Chinese immigrants to Canada. "It future! Why you NO want robot pot play music?!"


A sous-vide is a much more niche tool but it is great for cooking meat that is tricky to not overcook and for being able to start it up in the morning and be able to plate up fine no matter if you get dinner delayed by four hours. It will also soft-boil eggs by the dozen. You CAN do things like make mashed potatoes with it but it doesn't save time or effort, it just allows shifting some of the cooking work from "all my kids are home from school" to "it's the middle of the goddamn day and Imma plop this bag down and get wine-drunk." There is a fat Brazilian man with WAY too much time and money who has already demonstrated everything you can and cannot do with a sous-vide. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbwfV71Gvfk

This is a TERRIBLE post and if you have some more specific questions I might be able to entertain.


[1] What is not great is starting to make a big pot of white rice, adding the rice, fetching the water... and realizing all the rice has run down the gaps around the heating plate and is in the guts. FORTUNATELY I can pull 1 screw to shake most of it out, and 3 more to disassemble the whole thing to its bits.

Casual Observer
Posts: 1533
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 10:23 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: The Pressure Cooker Thread

Post by Casual Observer » Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:57 pm

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Man, I sure do love this thing. Second use was corned beef. Pretty standard recipe, throw the beef in the pot with some garlic, onions, bay leaves, 4 cups beef broth, 1 German Hefeweizen Beer, 4 cups water. Set the magic machine to high heat for 75 minutes and let it do it's thing. Now, it's not really just 75 minutes cook time, probably because this thing is so massive it took almost a half hour to get up to pressure. Then after it's done we had to let it release naturally, about 40 minutes so just over 2 hours total. The recipe called for doing the potatoes and carrots in the same broth after you take out the beef but we did them separate in the oven because we prefer the veggies to taste different than the beef.

Wow, this is the most tender and flavorful corned beef I've ever made. So soft it literally falls apart and so flavorful.

Casual Observer
Posts: 1533
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 10:23 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: The Pressure Cooker Thread

Post by Casual Observer » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:44 pm

Next up with the pressure cooker: Thanksgiving Stuffing!

I read lots of recipes that made it seem that a pressure cooker can make good xgiving stuffing . . . and they're right. My wife and I have always struggled with stuffing. In the beginning we mixed it too much so it ended up being a solid block which had to be broken up before adding gravy and enjoying. Personally I don't mind Stovetop stuffing simply because when you're done making this fake buttery thing on the stove at least it's fluffy and broken up rather than being condensed. We don't put stuffing in the bird because our experience is it helps dry out the foul and ends up being too damp anyway.

So, we tried the pressure cooker and were pleasantly surprised.

Take your favorite stuffing recipe. Make it exactly as moist as you want it to end up, not a stitch more wet with broth. Place said stuffing in a casserole or other ovensafe dish which will fit in your instantpot, covered with tin foil with a hole poked to let steam escape. Pour a little water in bottom of pot, followed with the trivet which comes with the pot to help you easily pull out the dish and then insert the casserole dish. Cook on high for 20 minutes followed by "natural release" before taking the dish out of the cooker. Move the dish (with tin foil removed) to the oven for 20 minutes in order to complete cooking and brown the top of the stuffing.

Man, this is one of the best stuffings I've made in my 22 year relationship. Almost as light and fluffy as stovetop but real tasting, lots of sage of course but the real butter flavor comes out. The consistency is not like a solid brick but rather something between the looseness of stovetop and the heavyness that my parents always achieved by putting it in the bird.

Very happy with this. Later this week we're going to do another run, this time a sausage stuffing.

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