8 Creative Uses for Your Pressure Cooker
It sounds too good to be true: Dinner done in one-third the time or less, using 70 percent less electricity and more nutrients preserved? The benefits of using a programmable pressure cooker have elevated them to cult-like status in the past year.
Unlike the old-fashioned stove top model that terrified us as children, today’s electric models are safer and designed to be many appliances in one: straight pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, even yogurt-maker. Some are Bluetooth-enabled to program and monitor cooking from afar. Genius!
8 Reasons You Should Get One
Today’s generation of pressure cookers can cook dry beans in less than half an hour, braise meats and make sure you never ruin rice again. But they are far more versatile. If you’re on the fence about buying a multi-functional electric pressure cooker, here are 8 unusual uses that might give you the push you need:
One-pot dinners in half an hour – Pressure cookers can get dinner done up to 70 percent faster. In the new multi-cookers, you can brown and saute on one setting, then add your liquids and other ingredients, lock the lid and bring to pressure.
Make bone broth – Sure, you make this nutritional darling in a slow cooker, and wait a whole day to extract the minerals and gut-healthy collagen. But it takes the new generation of electric pressure cookers less than two hours to do the same thing.
Cheesecake – Whip up moist, perfect cheesecake in about 40 minutes. Prepare the crust and the mixture, put in a 7-inch pan, and lower onto the cooker’s trivet. A foil sling or a small silicone lifter (Amazon is a good source) makes removal easy and prevents burns.
Boil eggs like a boss – It takes the same amount of time as the stove-top version: six or seven minutes. It depends who you ask, how old the eggs are, how hot the water is to start, etc. But you never have to worry about the water evaporating and blowing egg all over your kitchen.
Easier risotto – Banish the phrase “stir constantly!” This notoriously high-maintenance dish retains all of its creamy, al dente goodness when cooked in the set-and-forget electric pressure cooker. You saute onions and rice for about 5 minutes, add your stock and cook on high pressure for about 15 minutes. Sure beats a half hour of stovetop arm workout.
Fast oatmeal – Even hearty steel-cut oats are done in 10 minutes flat. There are tons of recipes and Facebook groups out there with ideas.
Baked goods – There are several recipes that let you steam bread in the cooker. You can even use an old-school coffee can to cook it in! Don’t expect crusty baguettes; the result is more like soft white, but hey, you made it yourself without preservatives!
Fresh organic baby food – One frequent newbie fail is processing veggies for too long, resulting in mush. No worries! Turn it into homemade, organic baby food. Another mushy veggie save: puree and freeze in small silicone containers or ice cube trays to pop into soups and sauces.
Where to Buy a Programmable Pressure Cooker
The most popular brands are made by Instant Pot, Cuisinart and Fagor. The newest trend: buying more than one and even bestowing them with cute names. The appliances range from about $60 for an SPT up to $580 for the Korrice Cuckoo. Check in regularly for coupon codes and sales to lower the price. You can also buy them refurbished or second-hand. Good sources are Target, Amazon, Best Buy, Sears and Walmart and Home Depot.
Convinced a modern pressure cooker would be a good addition to your kitchen? Compare features and prices with an app like PriceJump. With a growing number of models and recipes, you could almost kiss that stove goodbye.