Pressure Cooker

I’m thinking of buying a pressure cooker.

I originally wanted one for the amazing way that they cooked beans and grains. But now I’m thinking of time saving dishes.

Anyone have one? Anyone have opinions about their usage? And how about a brand or size.

Any input on Insta-Pots?

I hope you get lots of replies. I have one and use it for chicken stock and want to use it more.

I don’t like pressure cookers for a variety of reasons.

  • For braises and stews the liquid or sauce always turn out watery and vapid in body and flavor. And, yes, I reduce the liquid when cooking with a pressure cooker.

  • Also the meats from a pressure cooker are never as tender as from traditional braising; the collagen never really seems to dissolve. And the tendons remain more chewy than they should.

  • For stocks there really is no advantage to using a pressure cooker. Since the prep is the same for both, the amount of time you are actually cooking is almost irrelevant because there is no actual work involved when the stock is just simmering away. On the flip side, the downside to using the pressure cooker is big because cleaning a pressure cooker is about as fun and easy as administering a self-enema.

  • Seasoning. Can’t do it while the food is in the pressure cooker. This blows. Big time.

  • Aroma. I love how a stew makes the house smell. Pressure cooker. Nope.

I could probably think of a few others but those are the major ones off the top of my head.

When I was cooking for my old dog, I could do a whole chicken in about 20 minutes and have the best (intensely chickeny to the point that I sometimes had to dilute it) stock ever. Former CH Alan Barnes loves his and turned me on to it. I need to consult him.

Thanks, Ipsi and others.

I have no experience with a pressure cooker. But I have had beans cooked in a PC and they all had lovely broth and tender, but whole beans without a broken skin.

One of the reasons I can’t stand slow cookers though, is the large amount of watery broth in the finished dish with meat just demolished. Sounds like there might be a few similar drawbacks.

The quest continues.

Well, with my slow cooker, I add almost no liquid. And I use my meat thermometer so no overcooking.

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Using a pressure cooker for stock may takes less time but actually involves more work.

Why? While the prep time may be equal (e.g., getting the bones, chicken parts, other accoutrements, etc.), cleaning a pressure cooker versus a stock pot is easily twice as time intensive, if not more difficult.

I used a whole chicken and nothing else. Sam F was my ‘mentor’ on not adding anything else. My PC is two pieces. Cleans in a couple of minutes max.

That’s not stock.

That’s soup.

Huh? Not a clue what you mean. It’s stock not broth but how would it be “soup”?

I think if I had to buy one I would lean towards the Kuhn Rikon . It does have some advantages . Maybe quick in ways . But I’m one these slow cooks who enjoys the dramatics of simmering 15 -20 lbs of bones in a stock pot for 30 hrs. Waking up to the smell . Braises on the stove top 3-4 hrs love it. Maybe one of these days I’ll join the pressure cooker club .:meat_on_bone:

Love, love, love my Fagor. Have made the best poultry stock of my life in that thing. Just made some baby back ribs in mole pipian that were unbelievably tender and flavorful. I sometimes make large batches of steel cut oats for the week. My ragus are pretty much always better served by my Le Creuset dutch oven, but the Fagor will turn out a completely serviceable bolognese when I don’t have three hours to sit around the house tending to a pot. And it is ridiculously easy to clean.

They key for me is using appropriate times. I use this site quite a bit:

Collards and pork. Indian curries. Tagines with dried fruit. Picadillo. I have had a lot of fun with mine. Highly recommended.

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Saved and thanks.

I really like my Kuhn-Rikon. And I highly recommend to buy one as you can do many great things in a short period of time and most of the “issues” are not really true or can easily be addressed


@ipsedixit Did Rube Goldberg design your pressure cooker? With a slow cooker, I can’t get any maillard reaction happening and I don’t have the time to babysit a stockpot.

If Rube did, it would actually be easier to use.

Maybe its a lifestyle thing or a just a difference in cooking style, but personally I see no advantage to using a pressure cooker.

I don’t need rice in 10 minutes. I can wait an extra 20 minutes for my Zojirushi to make perfectly fluffy rice.

For things like stews and braises, as I mentioned up above, I like to season as I go. And for me there is no one set number of hours, or amount of seasonings that go into, for example, a braise. The type of meat, the various accoutrements, etc. all will vary the time and seasonings that are needed. Using a pressure cooker makes adjustments simply impossible. It’s like one shot to hit the gravitational orbit of Jupiter, or you go flailing into space. I prefer to be able to pilot my ship, with thrusters and and what-not. Plus, when I make a stew or a braise a good part of the reason for doing it is to make my kitchen smell like the primal, aromatic promise of a hearty comforting meal.

And rarely, if ever, do I need stock in an hour. Stock just isn’t something I make when I need it. I make it when I have enough of the ingredients on-hand. If for some reason I actually find myself needing stock in an hour, I’ll just make something else. Or order out. Or just go out to eat.

I have two pressure cookers and I mainly use them in the winter. I love the time savings that they give. One dish I really enjoy is a bread pudding. It is not something you’d think of to do in a PC. It is made in a pyrex bowl o a rack in the PC. The pressure and steam give it a souffle like character. Check out and some of Lorna Sass’ pressure cooker books. They can be more useful for a lot of things you might not imagine.

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I’m Indian. I’m required to own a pressure cooker. Indian dishes are the only things I really make in mine – dals and rajma (kidney beans) mainly. I can shorten cook time from an hour to about 20 minutes, which is helpful on weekdays. I don’t cook mutton curry, but my mom does mutton and lamb curry in hers too. Never tried stock in mine or rice.

I use one of the Insta-Pot pressure cookers. I use it mainly as a rice cooker, but I’ve also cooked numerous other dishes with it.

The main advantage is saving time. I don’t have much time to cook for my family when I come home.

The main disadvantage is that you can’t season your dishes as you’re cooking. A final addition of seasonings at the end doesn’t always have the same effect as adding seasonings as you go.

You’re not the first one to mention seasoning as you go but I’ve never done that. I preseason and then season more if necessary at the end. What kind of seasoning are you talking about?