Pressure cookers

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Darkginger

Pressure cookers

We never had one of these when I was growing up, and although someone gave me one as a wedding present, I can't remember ever using it (think it's in the depths of the shed). I ended up buying a new one recently, because I needed it to make curry base sauce - but I'm just starting to realise what a useful bit of kit this actually is!

Last week I made coq au vin, using a whole chicken, in 35 minutes. Right now I'm making chicken chasseur, which should be ready in another 8 mins (10 mins under pressure in total). I found that last week's chicken came out beautifully - infused with the flavour of the wine, but not in the slightest bit dry, like it can be after 3+ hours simmering away.

I have plans to bulk cook legumes for curries and soups, and also future experiments with other things I usually stew or casserole - but wondered if anyone else loves their pressure cooker and uses it all the time? Hints and tips would be much appreciated, as this is only the third time in my life I've used one!

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Esther R

Pressure Cookers

I was also given one as a wedding present. I have used it a lot over the years. I usually only use it now for reheating the pudding on Christmas Day. You are right though it is a very useful piece of kit. Perhaps I should unearth it.

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tubs

Pressure cookers

The hissing and the spitting put me off 30 years ago, not had one since. Brother in law swears by his but I'm still frightened!!!

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SonyaK

Pressure cookers

"The hissing and the spitting put me off 30 years ago"

Tubs - The new ones don't hiss and spit anymore - quite safe and easy to use, although I did have an old one and used it quite a bit in the past, despite the hissing!!

I use mine for legumes and beans, mainly. Also great for beetroot, which I have done quite a bit of recently.
Also good for soups and brown rice. I've even cooked cheesecakes in mine (small ones!) and they turned out well. A very versatile piece of equipment.

Darkginger - if you Google 'Lorna Sass' there are lots of recipes and advice on her website. American guru of pressure cooking, I think!

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Dottie May

Pressure Cookers

I had one many moons ago and I was also frightened by the hissing and spitting so gave mine away. I remember a friend at one time mentioned that their dinner ended up on the ceiling! As mentioned above, I'm sure they have improved over the years but not tempted to have another one but wish you every success with yours Dark Ginger

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JAMES

Pressure Cookers

I'm totally terrified by them!!!

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sam from worthing

Pressure Cookers

I was given one - used it once - scared me witless - went in a charity bag.

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Elpe

Pressure cookers

I've been a PC fan for many years. Folks who claim to be worried about hissing and spitting have never tried a modern PC. It's a bit like saying you won't drive a car because you're afraid of the cranking handle! When there were five of us, two working full time and three teenagers forever rushing off to sports training, the PC was an absolute godsend, proper meals prepared and cooked in double quick time. I also used it a lot for bottling fruit (esp plums) which kept us supplied with crumbles etc all through the winter. Sadly my latest PC doesn't have a low enough pressure level for bottling. Even without pressure, I find its large capacity (7 litres) useful for making marmalade (Mamade) and for various chutneys if there's not enough fruit for the bigger maslin pan. And for soup making it's fab - 15 mins then whizz with the stick blender. For self catering holidays it is ideal assuming you don't want to live on ready-made processed stuff, and for students in cramped accommodation it can cook a whole meal on one hob ring.I love my PC!

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Darkginger

Pressure cookers

Thanks so much all for the advice and info :) I'm a real wimp when it comes to scary things in the kitchen, and happily admit to closing the kitchen door and cowering in another room whilst the pressure cooking's going on - expecting imminent explosion - but so far, so good!

Yesterday's chicken chasseur was great! I browned the chicken breasts in the PC in some olive oil and butter, took them out and cooked onions and mushrooms and carrots in the juices, threw in 2 cloves of crushed garlic and some frozen parsley, then added about a tbs of plain flour, loads of black pepper, and stirred it all around a bit, threw the chicken back in and added 1/2 pint white wine and 1/2 pint chicken stock with about a quarter of a tube of tomato puree stirred into it, then threw in 10 cherry tomatoes. On with the lid, up to pressure, then cooked it for 10 mins, allowed to cool and de-pressurize naturally, and voil&"225; - dinner! The chicken was so moist and tasty :)

I'm off to investigate the suggestions you've given - my pressure cooker doesn't have a rack in the bottom (and strangely, the only ones available on eBay are in the US) so I shan't be canning anything - it was a cheapo (under £30) from Amazon, chosen 'cos of its 7 litre capacity - no idea what pressure it cooks at! I'm delighted with it as a new toy though - and gradually getting more confident with it :)

Anything that reduces cooking time from 3+ hours to a matter of minutes, whilst retaining moisture, vitamin content and texture - well it has to be a winner, doesn't it?

 
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