Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Me and My Pressure Cooker

Okay, I'll admit it.  I love new gadgets.

I've always been afraid of pressure cookers, though.  My Mother in Law makes the best red beans  EVER in one, and I thought, well, I needed one.  My research scared the bejesus out of me though. Those things are DANGEROUS.

So I got other gadgets first.

The bread maker.  Sitting on a shelf right now, unused.

The big huge Kitchen Aid mixer thingee that is too big to leave on the counter, and too heavy to carry to the counter from the mud room.  My husband loves it though, and just got a meat grinder attachment for it.

A mandoline.  I'm terrified of the darned thing.  I don't have any suture material at home, just in case...and honestly, I like my fingertips.

Various lemon juicers.  I have an electric one.  It is dying.  I have one that sits on a bowl.  Too much elbow grease involved.  I do like this one:
Blenders:  They always disappoint me.  I like to make pesto, and cheese based Peruvian dishes and it just isn't strong enough.  Plus, I hate all of the stupid parts, especially the rubber ring thing.  I'm forever losing it.

Hand choppers:  Really?  They aren't really all that great.  They massacre the onions and garlic by mostly crushing them. 

Food Processors:  Again with the zillions of parts.  Unless you really need to shred a bunch of carrots, or cheese, it's almost not worth all of the clean up.  I do like these better for pesto, though. 

So, I finally bit the bullet and saw a 6 or 8 qt pressure cooker on sale for twenty bucks at K-Mart (or "Le-Mart" as I like to call it.) I figured twenty bucks was not so much that I would be devastated if I hated the thing. 

It was love at first use.  

I read and re-read the instructions obsessively so I wouldn't blow up my kitchen. 

I started making beans-from dried.  NO TIME AT ALL!! and SOFTER!  The seasonings got INTO the beans, and I used MUCH less salt or NO salt, compared with canned.

Rice--brown rice is better and quicker.  White rice, not so much.
Apple cake. Yum. 
Tamales take NO TIME. Did you know you can put in a tray and STEAM stuff?
Pot Roast.  With really tough meat.  30 -60 minutes.  WOW!
Steel cut oats that are SOFT?  Amazing. 

Soon, I needed a bigger pot.  I wanted to make corned beef.  LOTS of corned beef.  So I bought a canner sized pressure cooker.  It is HUMONGOUS. 


So now I'm addicted to my pressure cooker.  
Hoppin' John for New Years Day (It's good luck to eat black eyed peas and ham on NewYear's Day) took NO TIME.  I pressure cooked some smoked turkey necks first in water (the store was out of ham hocks) and soaked the peas for 4 hours or so in water.  I cooked them with some Country Ham (thanks Uncle Richard), onion, and garlic in the broth from the smoked turkey necks, with some meat from the necks.  OMG!

THIS gadget is getting good use.  I highly recommend getting one.  I found that a lot of Indian food is made using pressure cookers, and there are a zillion (okay, a lot) of YOU tube videos made by very talented Indian women, making yummy authentic Indian dishes with pressure cookers.  I love the internet.  

Sadly, since the Boston Marathon bombing, they are more difficult to find.

Sad, really.  

Pressure cookers save energy and time. They are eco-friendly and GREAT for Harried Last minute Moms and Dads trying to keep their heads above water.
AND cooking in a pressure cooker is healthy.
And it's more cost effective to use tougher cuts of meat, dried beans, whole grains, etc.
So go get one.
Start cooking!

 "Harried" brings up "Harriet" again and "Doctor Who" and since Captain Jack is really HOT and of course David Tennant is the BEST Doctor Who EVER, I decided to post this....


  1. I have been keeping my eye out for one. I saw them on QVC and at Williams-Sonoma, Crate and Barrel. I was afraid of buying one for the same reasons. Now I won't be so afraid! Maybe I'll go ahead and get one, too. When you talked about the blender, I wanted to tell you that we love our Vitamix. I wanted one for a few years before we bought one but it powers through everything. It was worth the splurge. I wanted to be able to make foods for the kids that were healthier and that I could throw more hidden veggies into. Thanks for telling me about the pressure cooker!

  2. I DEFINITELY want a VItamix. My SIL has one and she's a smoothie/pureed soup queen. I forgot to mention CROCK POTS. Those are my second favorite kitchen gadget. I have two of them. A great big humongous one and a smaller one. Sometimes I use BOTH at the same time. I make my own broth with them too. But now I'm going to use my pressure cooker to make broth from now on.

  3. OMG! I'm terrified of the pressure cooker too! Brian's mom had one (and he came with one too, that I refused to use.) Last year, I used her pressure cooker with supervision and all turned out okay...but I'm still afraid to use the one we have. I LOVE my other kitchen gadgets though.

    Also, I will pay you $1500 Monopoly dollars to remove the captcha from your comment section.