Getting The Most From Your Pressure Cooker

Those of you who have read some of the pressure cooker reviews out there will know that these incredible time-saving machines come in a variety of different styles and sizes. And all of them have their own features that make them worth buying. However, I bet that many of you don’t know that it isn’t what brand of pressure cooker you buy that matters, but how you take care of it.

Many people don’t seem to understand that it isn’t necessarily what brand of cooker that you own but how you take care of it that matters. If you put little thought in the use and care of these machines, then you aren’t going to get the most out of them. And that is a simple fact. Take care of it and it will give you years of service. It doesn’t matter if you have the cheapest machine on the planet or the best pressure cooker out there. So with that in mind, I would like to give you a few tips that will help you keep your pressure cooker running at peak performance.

Storage

How you store your pressure cooker matters. That is why you should always make sure that you hand wash it after you are done with it, and store it with the lid on the pot upside down.

Before you put it away however, you should do a preliminary check of all of its systems. You should check the safety valves and make sure that nothing is obstructing them and you should check the rubber gasket. Check that this gasket is pliable and not worn out.

Before You Cook

There are a few things that you need to know about using a pressure cooker. Firstly, you should make sure that you always use at least one cup of liquid in it while cooking. However, too much liquid can be bad as well, so be sure to only fill it ½ full of liquid. Secondly, never cram it full of food. You should never fill it up more that 2/3 of the way with food.

Another thing to remember is to always cut up the food you place in it. This is not only so the food cooks evenly, but also that all of the flavors remain constant throughout the entire dish.

Cooking With Your Pressure Cooker

There are a few things you should keep in mind when cooking with a pressure cooker. When you initially start you pressure cooker, you should start it on high heat. After it has reached temperature and pressure, you should then turn it to a lower setting so that it retains its pressure without exceeding it.

You should also remember that the cooking times of your favorite recipe might be approximate. And even if the recipe is designed specifically for the pressure cooker, you need to realize that the time might be understated. So always be sure to set a timer and check it when it is supposed to be done. If it needs additional cooking time, then do so in five minute intervals until it is done.

Follow these tips and you can rest assured that your pressure cooker will not only do the best job possible cooking your food, but will also last as long as possible.

Pressure Cooker Sweet Bread

When people think about cooking in their pressure cooker, they often think about preparing dishes such as stews, gravies or roasts. Dishes that I refer to as standard fare. However, some of the best pressure cooker recipes I have seen includes dishes that are a little bit out of the ordinary, or what I would call non-standard fare. I am going to be sharing with you one of these unusual recipes today, so that you can start using your cooker for a wider array of different cooking projects.

The recipe that I am about to share with you is a recipe for bread. I know that it might seem a little strange to cook bread in your cooker, but it is not only possible but creates a bread that is unlike any other bread you are likely to eat. It creates a bread that is soft and delicious.

When you cook bread in your pressure cooker, what you are actually doing is steaming the bread. This results in a light, airy loaf that is soft and delicious. And it doesn’t take as much time as you think it would either. Give this recipe a shot and I think that you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

The first thing you’ll need to procure before you start cooking bread however, is some kind of container that the bread can rise in while it is pressure cooker. You can use a 1 pound coffee can or some other comparable heat proof tin such as measuring cups, cookie tins or even storage containers. You can also check pressure cooker reviews and see if there is some kind of bread container for your particular brand. It is up to you. It just has to be resistant to heat and capable of fitting into your cooker. Once you have obtained the tin, you can then go on to follow the recipe below.

Pressure Cooker Sweet Bread

Yields: 1 small loaf of bread (approximately 6-8 slices)

Ingredients:

1 can
aluminum foil
1 teaspoon oil (preferably olive oil but any vegetable oil will do)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon bicarbonate baking soda
2 cups flour
1¼ cup plain yogurt

Directions:

Place your steamer basket in your pressure cooker. Take your container, oil it and set it aside.

Take a medium mixing bowl and combine the baking soda, flour and salt. Mix these ingredients together thoroughly and then add your yogurt. Mix into it turns into dough.

Place into your can, add a little oil to the top of it and then cover it with foil.

Take the can, place it on the steamer rack and then fill the cooker half way up with water.

Close the cooker up tightly and turn it on high. When it achieves pressure, cook for 20 minutes.

Using the natural release method, depressurize your cooker and then remove the loaf can.

Take the loaf from the can and set it aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Slice the bread and butter it. It is now ready to be served. Enjoy.

Beer Can Pressure Cooker Chicken

I have to admit that one of the best pressure cooker recipes I have ever come across was a little recipe called pressure cooker beer can chicken. It produces a steamed chicken that is not only beautiful and delicious but is sure to delight your guests. Give it a try and see if you like it as much as I did. I’m sure you will if you follow my simple recipe.

Placing a beer can into a chicken and cooking it is not something new. It is done in countless American homes all of the time. This practice started out in the South when innovative BBQ cooks decided to try inserting a beer can into the chicken while it was on the grill. However, it quickly spread to the rest of the country when people realized that cooking chicken in this fashion resulted in a tender and very good bird. Not long after that, cooks started adapting the recipe for their pressure cookers and an instant classic was born.

Before we start though, I would like to offer a word of advice. Don’t try to follow this recipe in a conventional 4 quart pressure cooker. It’s not going to fit unless you have an extremely small chicken. You will want to procure at least a 6 quart model; 8 quart if at all possible. You can find these size cookers by looking through pressure cooker reviews if you don’t already have access to one.

Ingredients:

1 4lb chicken
1 can of beer
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons rosemary
2 tablespoons sage
2 tablespoons thyme
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon lemon pepper

Directions:

Prepare the chicken by removing the neck and the giblets, running the bird under cold water and drying it with a clean towel. Set the chicken aside.

Mix all of the herbs, the oil and the lemon juice in a bowl. After mixing, apply it to the outside of the chicken.

Brown the chicken in your pressure cooker (with the lid off) until it’s skin has the desired golden brown color. Remove the chicken from the cooker and set aside.

Deglaze the pressure cooker with approximately 1/3 of the beer from your beer can. Place a 1 bay leaf into the beer in the pressure cooker and then place the second bay leaf into the beer can itself. Place the beer can in the middle of the cooker.

Place your chicken into the pressure cooker; slowly lowering it down on the can. When that has been done, close and lock the pressure cooker.

Turn the cooker on high and allow it to come to temperature. When it does, cook the chicken for approximately 22-25 minutes.

After cooking, release the pressure valve on the cooker and allow it to cool down and depressurize.

Remove the chicken. Be sure you remove it by the neck cavity and not by the wings. If you try to lift it by the wings, then they may come off because of the tenderness of the chicken. Allow the chicken to rest five minutes. Your beer can pressure cooker chicken is now ready to be served.

Amazing Pressure Cooker Hybrid Chili

I am here today to give you the recipe for the best pressure cooker chili. A chili that is not only delicious but will most certainly stick to your ribs. Of course, this recipe may cause a little bit of a controversy. That’s because certain areas of the United States have their own unique ideas about how chili should be made, and this particular recipe may go against that idea.

I’ll give you some examples. In Texas, the type of chili that is most often made is chili con carne. This is a chili that is made without tomatoes or beans and is usually heavy with beef and chili peppers. This stands in stark contrast to the chili that is most often made in Ohio: the chili five-way. This chili is made with chili, beans, onions, cheese and spaghetti. And this chili, in turn, contrasts with Illinois chili. A chili that is made with ground beef, beans and suet.

My chili goes against all of these archetypal chili recipes. The recipe I am doing today is a hybrid between Missouri chili (made with tomato sauce, kidney beans and ground beef) and Texas chili. In my estimation, it is the best chili out there.

For this recipe, I used a pressure cooker that is placed on a burner. If you don’t have one of these, then you can check pressure cooker reviews to find one. However, you can also use an electric cooker if you want; just be sure to modify the directions accordingly.

Ingredients:

2 pounds beef chuck (cubed)
1/2 pound of ground beef
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 diced onion (yellow or sweet preferably)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
14  teaspoon thyme
10 ounce can of diced tomatoes with green chili peppers
16 ounce can of tomato sauce
salt and pepper (to taste)
Sour cream
Cilantro
Crackers

Directions:

Bring a frying pan to medium-high heat and place your ground beef in. Cook until it is fully cooked. Remove the beef and put it aside, but leave the grease in the pan. Now salt and pepper your cubed beef chuck and place it in the grease. Brown it thoroughly on all sides. Set the cubed beef aside and remove the pan from the heat.

Place 1 tablespoon vegetable oil into your cooker and turn it on medium-low. Toss in the garlic and the onions. Cook them until they are soft and almost translucent. Now stir in your paprika, chili powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder, oregano, thyme and cayenne pepper. Cook about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Add your diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, the cubed beef and the ground beef. Mix it together well.

Close and secure your cooker’s lid. Raise the heat to high until it reaches pressure, then reduce heat to maintain this pressure. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let the cooker cool down using the natural method. When the cooker is depressurized, remove the lid.

Top with cilantro and sour cream and serve with crackers. You can now congratulate yourself on making the best hybrid chili in the world.

Pressure Cooker Dublin Coddle

I have a recipe for those of you who like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a nice Irish dish but are tired of making corned beef and cabbage. That is why I decided to present to you a recipe that my grandmother made for our family for years. A dish called Dublin Coddle.

However, I decided to make it differently than my grandmother did. She cooked it in a big dutch oven, but I have decided to cook it in a pressure cooker. Something that you probably didn’t even know could be done. I didn’t. After all, I have never read that it could be done in all of the pressure cooker reviews I have read over the years, so I decided to give it a shot.

What happened, you ask? Well, my Dublin Coddle turned out perfectly. It would appear that these cookers can make this dish exactly the way it is supposed to be made. If you want to know how, then read on and I will give you the recipe I used. Try it, you’ll love it. I love it so much I not only make it on St. Patrick’s Day, but any day that I need a thick, hearty meal. It is literally one of the best comfort foods out there.

Ingredients:

1 Pound Irish Bacon, American Bacon Or Ham – I stray a little from my grandmother’s recipe because I use American bacon because I like it. Traditionally, Irish bacon is used or ham if you can’t find it at your local grocery store.

1 Pound Polish Sausage-This is another deviation from the traditional method. I use Polish sausage, but just about any kind of pork sausage can be used.

2 Large Onions
4 Minced Garlic Cloves
2 Pounds of Potatoes
4 Carrots
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Cup Chicken Broth Or Stock
1 Teaspoon Thyme
1 Teaspoon Rosemary
2 Tablespoons Parsley
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Quarter the Potatoes and slice up the onions and carrots. Set them aside.

Brown the bacon and sausage and set them aside. I brown the meat but it isn’t necessary. Many people skip this step because they want their coddle to have a plainer appearance. I personally love the brown meat.

Place the potatoes in the cooker followed by the onions, carrots, bacon and sausage. Add in all of the spices (except for salt, pepper and parsley) and the chicken broth.

Cover the cooker and then bring it up to pressure. When it has reached pressure, lower heat to maintain the pressure and cook for 13-15 minutes. When the time has elapsed, remove the cooker from heat and allow it to slowly depressurize. Remove the lid and salt and pepper the dish. After you’ve done that, sprinkle parsley on top and serve.

And that is all there is to it folks. Without a few minutes of your time, you can have the best pressure cooker coddle in the entire neighborhood. Perfect for St. Patrick’s day or any other day of the week.

The Health Benefits Of Pressure Cookers

Over the last decade, I must have heard the myth that pressure cooking food is bad for your health thousands of times. Not only in the comment sections of pressure cooker review sites, but also by self proclaimed nutritional experts. It is a myth that I never believed but one that seemed to persist despite my objections.

All of these objections were based on the assumption that cooking at higher temperatures somehow damages the nutritional value of food. That mankind has been cooking at relatively low temperatures over an open fire for thousands of years and therefore could only ingest foods cooked at lower temperatures. Which I always believed to be completely ridiculous.

Now science has confirmed my belief that pressure cooking isn’t bad for human health. In fact, it has even taken it a step further. It has proven that it is actually a healthier form of cooking. In a recently published scientific study, it has been shown that pressure cooking actually preserved most of the nutrients destroyed by traditional cooking methods. It showed that pressure cooked broccoli retained over ninety percent of its vitamin c. Contrast this with steaming (which only preserves seventy-eight percent of vitamin c) and boiling (which only preserves sixty-seven percent of vitamin c), and you can clearly see pressure cooking is the best method of cooking food.

That might seem counter-intuitive since pressure cookers do cook at a higher temperature than other cooking methods, but it makes sense when you really think about it. It might use a higher temperature, but it uses it for a much shorter period of time. Which means that the foods aren’t exposed to these high temperatures long enough for their nutrients to break down. Sure, if you overcook your food to the consistency of baby food, then you are going to use a lot of nutrients. However, that is true of any cooking method. When used properly, pressure cookers retain the nutritional value of foods better.

Another advantage that pressure cookers have over traditional cooking methods is they use less water. Water is usually the main culprit when you talk about nutrients being removed from your vegetables. That is why experts say that you should steam your veggies instead of boiling them because water leeches vitamins and minerals from food. Well, I am here to tell you that you should probably be pressure cooking them instead.

If you’ve just read this article and need more proof that pressure cooking is better for you than previously thought, then I will cite one more study. A study done in the nineties that said that it was better to pressure cook peas than boiling them because pressure cookers break down Phytic acid and make the peas more digestible. Do you need any more reasons to break out your best pressure cooker and using it to make all of your meals? I don’t think so. These devices can be a great tool to help you manage your health by helping your food retain more of its nutritional value.

Pressure Cooker Cooking Tips

If you have never used a pressure cooker but still want to cook like a pro with it, then I have some good news for you today. I am going to tell you how to cook with your pressure cooker and end up with fantastic results. You may think that cooking with one of these machines is difficult but I assure you it isn’t. All you need to do is make a few adjustments and you’ll be well on your way.

Before we start however, I want to take a few moments to tell you that it is important to get a good quality machine. It doesn’t matter if it is a stove top model or an electric model (although electric models are easier to use). Just be sure to buy the best quality one possible. Check pressure cooker reviews—if necessary—to help you choose the right cooker for you.

Brown First

When cooking meats in a traditional fashion, many people brown the meat in a pan with oil and then deglaze the pan to help add flavor to the dish, yet they don’t do this when using a pressure cooker. I guess they don’t realize that they can not only do it this way but that they should be doing it this way.

All you have to do is add a little bit of oil to the pressure cooker—preferable a light vegetable or olive oil—and heat it uncovered it on medium high heat. Then when it has heated up, add your meat in small batches and brown it. Then you take the meat out of the cooker and set aside. Now you can begin the deglazing process. Pour a little bit of wine or broth into the cooker and scrap the sides with a spatula. All of those delicious food particles have now been released into the wine and broth. You can now continue on with cooking by placing the meat—and all the other ingredients you plan on cooking with it—back into the pressure cooker and cooking it under pressure.

Cook Different Foods At Different Times

some foods, such as meat, take longer to go than other ingredients, such as vegetables. That is why you shouldn’t throw them in all at one time. If you do, then you are likely to end up with either the meat under-cooked or the vegetables over-cooked. So be sure to start meat first, and then right before it is done, add the veggies.

Keep Two Electric Burners Going For Stovetop Cookers

This is one of the best pressure cooker tips I can give those of you who have a stovetop pressure cooker and an electric stove: Keep 2 burners going at the same time. Since you want to start the pressure cooker on high and then finish up on medium, it is best to have 2 burners going because electric stoves don’t react very quickly. Keep one burner for high heat and the second burner set on medium heat. When the pressure cooker reaches pressure, all you have to do is move it onto the second burner and continue cooking.

Spicy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork

Making pressure cooker pulled pork is easy and can be used to make a variety of dishes. After cooking, you can use this flaky pork in a number of different BBQ or Mexican recipes. This not only makes it on of the best pressure cooker recipes but also makes it one of the most versatile.

Today, we are going to use the pressure cooker to make pulled pork carnitas. A food that was invented in Michoacán de Ocampo, and literally means “tiny meats.” Traditionally, this food is made by cooking the pork in oil for four hours or until the pork becomes tender. This recipe tries to adhere to this original recipe as much as possible, but there has been a few changes made to it to not only adapt it to pressure cooking but to make it more palatable to American tastes. If you want to keep it more traditional, then skip the spices and only use an onion, a bay leaf, salt and pepper.

The pressure cooker I use in this recipe is the standard model that you place on your burner. If you don’t have one of these models, then you can browse pressure cooker reviews to find one. However, if you want you can also use an electric model pressure cooker. You’ll just have to adjust some of the directions.

Ingredients:

1 3-4 pound pork roast
2 tablespoons corn oil
2  grated carrots
2 limes (quartered)
1 head of lettuce (washed)
1 large onion (diced)
3 cups water

Spices:

1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon salt 
1 teaspoon black pepper
⅛ teaspoon coriander
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

Preparation (24 hours before): Mix all of your spices in a bowl and cutting your pork into large pieces. Now take the spices and the diced onions and rub them all over the pork pieces. Wrap them up in plastic and leave them in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat your pressure cooker, add oil and brown your pork. After it has been thoroughly browned, add 3 cups of water and close the pressure cooker.

Bring the cooker to high pressure and set it so it maintains this pressure. Start your timer and cook for approximately 1 hour.

Using the natural release method, allow the cooker to cool down. Once the cooker has cooled, remove the pork from it and plate it. After you’ve done that, use a fork to break it into tiny pieces.

Place the pork into a frying pan and pour some of the liquid from the pressure cooker into it. Fry it until it is browned.

Take your lettuce and make little cups out of them. Then spoon your shredded pork into them and sprinkle shredded carrots over them. Serve them with your lime wedges.

Quick Start Guide For Pressure Cooker Cooking – Part One

Judging from some of the comments made on pressure cooker reviews, I think the best guide that I can give you is one that explains how to properly use your cooker without all of the confusing technical talk. And that is why I am writing this quick guide today. This guide will tell you how to properly use your pressure cooker from the moment you receive it. Follow these steps and you’ll be using your cooker in no time flat and without any of the usual problems.

Read The Manual

The first thing that you should do when you receive your pressure cooker is to read the manual. There are differences between all of the cookers out there and no one guide can give you tips on each individual one. Therefore, the first step you should take before using your cooker is to thoroughly acquaint yourself with the manual, especially the sections on it use and safety features.

Getting Ready To Use

The next step before you use your pressure cooker should be to make sure that it has no dents or cracks in it. A damaged pressure cooker is potentially dangerous and should never be used under any circumstances. You should also make sure that it is thoroughly clean before you begin.

Filling The Pressure Cooker

A pressure cooker requires some form of liquid to be in it at all times. What type (e.g Water or broth) or how much depends on the recipe and the type of cooker used. For the jiggling weighted valve type cookers, then a cup of water is usually the minimum required. For more modern valve cookers, then ½ cup is usually the minimum.

While you certainly don’t want to under-fill the pressure cooker, you also don’t want to over-fill it. That’s why you should never ever fill a pressure cooker more than 2/3 full of liquid because there has to be enough room for the steam to expand inside it. If you are cooking grains such as rice, then you should use even less water than that. Some grains—particularly rice—expand greatly during the cooking process. This can then cause them to clog the pressure release valve. That is why when you are cooking rice you should never fill the cooker more than ½ full.

Getting Your Food Ready For Pressure Cooking

Poultry And Meat-These items should be browned before they are placed inside the pressure cooker. This will not only allow the maximum flavor of the meat or poultry to come out, but it will also slightly cook it. After all, you don’t want your vegetables to become mushy before the meat is even finished cooking.

Fish-If you want to cook fish in your pressure cooker, then the first thing you will need to do is oil the basket that fits inside it. This is so the fish doesn’t stick to it. After you’ve done that, you should wash your fish and place it in the basket. Make sure you put at least ¾ of a cup of liquid in the pressure cooker.

Preparing Fresh Vegetables-Make sure that you wash your veggies thoroughly and place them in the steamer basket. What type of vegetables you are cooking will determine how much water you place in the cooker. If you are cooking vegetables with a relatively low cook time, then use about ½ of a cup of liquid. Use 2 cups for cooking tougher vegetables such as potatoes.

This concludes our best pressure cooker user tips. To continue on with this tutorial, then please read the second chapter of our Quick Start Guide For Pressure Cookers for additional tips.

Making Chicken Stock In Pressure Cooker

There is a myth circulating the Internet that says that a pressure cooker can’t be used to make chicken or beef stock. That stock has to be slow cooked for hours on end to get the best results. Well, I am here to tell you that is simply not true. I have cooked many batches of stock in my pressure cooker and have always been pleased with the result. It turned out great with a nice consistency and good flavor. And it’s quick and easy as well. All you have to do is take a little bit of time with it and it’ll turn out great.

Before you start however, you will need to have the right kind of pressure cooker. Be sure to read pressure cooker reviews and choose one that is easy to operate and has a decent capacity. You’ll need one that has at least a 6 quart capacity; 8 quarts is even better. Once you do have procured the right cooker, then you can turn to actually starting the stock. A process I am going to detail to you right now. The recipe I am going to give you should make approximately 7-8 cups of broth. Enough for just about any cooking project.

Ingredients:

1 Chicken Carcass – This can be bought at just about any butcher shop. I never have to buy chicken bones because I save all of the bones from every chicken dinner I make. I clean them, place them in a freezer bag and put them in the freezer. They will stay good in there for at least a year.

8 cups water
2 medium carrots
2 Leeks
2 Celery Stalks
2 Whole Cloves
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon rosemary
½ teaspoon savory
1 Bay Leaf
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon salt

Directions

Take your chicken carcass (it doesn’t have to be thawed) and place it in your pressure cooker. Add your 8 cups of water and all of your chopped up vegetables. Secure the lid and place it on a burner with the heat on high. Turn on a second burner to medium heat. This is the burner we are going to move the pressure cooker to when it has come to pressure.

Heat the cooker until it has 15 psi of pressure. Now move it to the second burner and cook it for approximately an hour to an hour and a half. After this period of time has elapsed, move the cooker off of the burner and allow it to cool down naturally. If you are in a big hurry, you can use the quick-release method to depressurize the cooker. When the cooker is depressurized, pour the stock through a strainer to remove the bones and all of the herb remnants. Allow the stock to cool and then place it in an airtight plastic or glass container and move it to the refrigerator. Let it sit in the fridge overnight.

After the stock has sat overnight, take off the lid and skim the layer of fat that has congealed on top of it. Your best pressure cooker stock is now ready for any recipe you need it for.