Lets just start by saying I am in love with my new pressure cooker. I picked it up Friday night after work and since then I have used it seven times and it is only Sunday night.
I had never seen a pressure cooker in use and I had only heard horror stories of exploding pressure cookers, so I have been kind of scared of them. Fortunately people kept mentioning how great they are for cooking legumes and beans, so I posted on a forum asking for feedback from people with first hand experience, and I received a positive response from pressure cooker owners. I was sold!
I decided to buy an electric pressure cooker because I felt safer and decided on the Tefal for several reasons:
- It has a browning, saute and simmer function, so I am able to brown my onion and garlic in butter or oil before throwing everything else in and getting it up to pressure.
- It is almost fully automatic. I throw everything into the pan, select either low or high pressure, select how long I want it to be at pressure, then hit start and I can walk away (I don't recommend leaving appliances going when you aren't around to supervise), read a book, wash dishes etc, whilst the pressure cooker gets to pressure, cooks at pressure and once the time is over it beeps and you can either let it release the pressure naturally or open the vent and release the steam quickly.
- It is also incredibly easy to clean, the lid is completely washable (pulls apart easily) and the pot is removable and washes easily.
I am still learning what the pressure cooker can do, but so far it hasn't disappointed with anything I have cooked in it and I have had no idea how to use it. I have just been googling for rough estimates of times and whether to use high or low pressure and whether to release the steam or wait for it to release naturally.
I have cooked a potato and chick pea curry, steel cut oats, pumpkin soup, potatoes to make mashed potato, brown rice (I have never had such creamy tasty brown rice) and pumpkin and chick pea curry, but forgot to include the curry, so ended up being a coconut flavour from the coconut milk and again tasted fantastic! I wish I could share how wonderfully everything really does taste!
I now have 20 lunches in the freezer to take to work, so much easier than last time I cooked my meals for the freezer. I am very soon going to have to get a chest freezer just to store everything I am planning to cook. I have dry chickpeas soaking, ready to cook tomorrow night and freeze.
I have also found a recipe to make bread in the pressure cooker and instructions on boiling fresh eggs in it, apparently it makes fresh eggs easier to peel. I have so many recipes I want to try...
I have heard that things taste better because it is cooked under pressure you aren't losing any of the flavour, I'm not sure, but I do know everything does taste good, really good!
I thought I would share a couple of recipes
Brown Rice - recipe from here, which I modified slightly
4 cups of water
2 cups of brown rice
3 teaspoons of powdered vegetable stock
3 tablespoons of butter
Throw everything into the pressure cooker, set the pressure cooker to high and cook for 15 mins at pressure. Allow pressure cooker to release the pressure naturally.
This will be the best brown rice you have ever tasted!
Pumpkin and Chickpea Curry
1 onion diced
3-4 cloves of garlic
Pumpkin cut into bite size pieces
2 cans of chick peas drained
1 can of coconut cream
2 cups of water
1 - Melt butter in the pressure cooker using the browning option, add the onion and garlic and cook until soft
2 - Throw in the rest of the ingredients
3 - Select high pressure and cook at high pressure for 3-4 mins (I cooked for 4 mins and it probably cooked it too much)
4 - Once it beeps, release the steam using the valve
Dinner served in about 30 mins. The longest part is preparing the vegetables. The pressure cooker takes about 8-10 mins to get to pressure (quicker if it is already warm), then 3-4 mins at pressure. Really very quick!
I will admit that I always jump when I release the steam valve, but I imagine I will stop jumping once I get used to the noise it makes as it rushes out!
I have never had this much fun in the kitchen. Any questions please feel free to ask in the comments field.