Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pressure Cooking

Seems I am always exploring something new.  I have been considering purchasing a pressure cooker for a while.  The cooking temps and high pressure method of cooking are designed to keep food properties intact.  I know raw is better but I can only offer Harley so many raw foods before he begins to protest.

I am drawn to gizmos and contraptions that tout saving me either money or time.  I cook many recipes that incorporate beans and feel making my recipes using beans I have reconstituted from dried beans would be healthier than from a can.  I am curious as to what goes into those cans and why the food is still good after months on the shelf. 

The pressure cooker video that came with the new pot offered many interesting ideas that Harley will be enjoying.  I love the idea that I can completing cooking lentil soup in 8-10 minutes, beans and cabbage in 15-20 minutes, or chili in 15 minutes.   We enjoy all in one meals and I think this might just be perfect for us.

There was a section on the video about canning which I have never done.  I remember as a kid Mom used a pressure cooker with a giggly lid and when the lid giggled it, whatever it was, was ready. Maybe I will try canning when I get comfortable with cooking some dinner recipes.

If you have any great recipes, and don't mind sharing, I would love to have you share them with me.  Thanks.

Director of Member Services and Smiles
OurHealth Co-op, Inc


  1. Hi, Teri,
    i'm a long-time Co-op customer.

    I've used a pressure cooker for 35 years, having learned about it from my M-I-L. I love the pressure cooker, and eventually invested in a very high quality Fagor pot. I bought a stainless steel one, as opposed to the aluminum pot i used to have. The new pots are safer and overall better than those of my mom's generation.

    Altho expensive, it's best to go for the biggest you can afford (5 qt. vs. 3 qt.), because it just has more versatility that way. Great for soup, sauces, corned beef and cabbage, etc.

    When i cook beans and rice, i put the rice in a metal (mixing) bowl in the middle of the pot, with its liquid. Then, surround that with the (rinsed) dried beans, on the bottom of the pot. Add the necessary liquid to those, and cook for the lowest amount of time. Check then, and see how they are doing. You can cook both items this way, saving time, and not burning the rice.

    happy cooking!

  2. P.S. You must have a canning pressure cooker to do canning. That is different -- mainly bigger, and more controls -- than a daily cooking pressure cooker. Altho i'm sure the canning pot could be used for regular cooking, i think it would be overkill (too big.)


  3. Hi Kathy,

    This is a very interesting way to cook.

    I spoke with my mother earlier today and mentioned the blog. She told me a story about the old pressure cooker with the giggly top. One day the top blew off the pot, the top stuck in the ceiling and the soup she was cooking blew all over the kitchen. I understand the dog quite enjoyed the incident.

    I did get a Fagor stainless pot. It is absolutely beautiful and know it will be used on occasion for cooking other than with pressure. I wonder if you can get a regular lid. My friend told me to get a 20% of coupon from Bed Bath and Beyond which seemed a great deal so I am really satisfied with my purchase.

    That is a great idea on the rice and beans. I started soaking a bag of black beans this morning before I left for work, I will try the idea tonight, thank you!!

    I am anxious to try long grain rice that always takes forever to get ready. Harley loves it when I get excited about cooking new stuff.

    Thanks for the note!!

  4. My MIL told me about blowing up her pot once -- NOT a happy affair! I think these new ones these days do not blow up.

    If you want to use the pot without pressure, just don't turn the the pressure control on. Alternatively, i have another skillet lid (that is glass) that fits my fagor perfectly.

    That rice trick works good for brown rice, since that takes forever to cook and can burn easily.


  5. I love my all American brand pressure cooker. By buddy just picked up the automatic cuisinart pressure cooker. He can cook a stew with veggies in 47 minutes. 35 min for the meat and 7 for the veggies. I like it for my wild boar and venison.

    What's not to love!

  6. Hi Bob,

    You must be a hunter. When I was a kid mom would trade her doctor homemade cherry pie for venison.

    I made dinner last night with chicken, 2 baking potatoes quartered, carrots, orange pepper, and green beans in the cooking basket, 15 minutes and the flavor was amazing. Next time I will cook the green beans by themselves, they got a little too tender.

    Where does all that gravy come from Harley loves gravy, who knew?

    My friend Bob, is a hunter. When he is hunting here in Florida he takes wild boar and when he is done cooking it the flavor is amazing.

    I have only had the pot for a couple of weeks but am already sold on its value.