7 Reasons to Buy a "Fast Cooker" Article - Allrecipes.com
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7 Reasons to Buy a "Fast Cooker"

Safe, modern pressure cookers do what your slow cooker can...just much, much faster. See recipes to get you started.




1) Steam heat makes fall-off-the-bone meat


Pressure cookers work by generating "wet steam" that's hotter than boiling water. The steam quickly infiltrates tougher cuts of meat. The result? You're eating deliciously tender pot roast in an hour.


2) Side dishes in minutes


Carrots cook in 4 minutes, green beans in 3 minutes, broccoli florets in 2 minutes. Making potato salad for a picnic? Takes 10 minutes.


3) Feed a crowd fast


In a large pressure cooker, you can make enough pulled pork for 16 people in an hour.


4) Eat healthier without even trying


Everything you make will be lower in fat, since you can cook meat and vegetables with less (or with no) fatty oil or butter.


5) Taco bar in one happy hour


Pressure cooking is perfect for making Mexican food. Beans, soaked overnight, cook in minutes. You can cook pounds of meat in only an hour. Taco bar? Heck, you might have enough food for a taco truck!


6) Homemade hummus, fast and cheap. (With no soaking!)


No more $5 supermarket deli counter hummus for you. Make hummus from dried garbanzo beans in just 90 minutes, for a fraction of the price.


7) Cook with confidence


Thanks to modern safety modifications, newer pressure cookers are just as safe as your other kitchen appliances. This isn't your father's pressure cooker...but you can use it to make your father's potato soup.


New pressure cookers start at about $50. The manufacturer's instructions are a must-read, and will help you get started safely and quickly. The big question is: What are you going to do with all the time you save?

    Comments
    Apr. 5, 2012 3:05 pm
    I love my electric pressure cooker! As a child, my mom always used an old fashioned pressure cooker. When I became an adult, I was afraid of using one. Then I heard about electric pressure cookers! I use mine at least once a week!
     
    Charbswims 
    Apr. 17, 2012 11:07 pm
    Hmm definitely worth thinking about.
     
    jimokeys 
    Apr. 18, 2012 2:19 am
    I have to add an extra 20 minutes for my pressure cooker to get "up to speed" and for the regulator on top to begin to rattle... at which time I begin the timer. I have yet to really take advantage of the device. I still remember my mother's Beef Tongue. One of these days I shall have the courage to try it.
     
    kimb 
    Apr. 18, 2012 3:02 am
    I've had an electric pressure cooker for a couple of years now and we love it. The one I have does everything except frying. It has a slow cooker, steam, warm, low pressure, and high pressure settings. We love ours. And it cost less than $100.00.
     
    Apr. 18, 2012 7:14 am
    I have 2 counter top roasters - 1 traditional 3 qt. crock pot - and love all of them. But I've never gotten a pressure cooker. I remember my mom's pressure cooker and always had the feeling this monster was going to explode at any moment - it terrified me. So I've not gotten the courage - or maybe I've not gotten enough information to try the modern ones. I will say I love moist style roasting & cooking - - so I'll have to do a little more investigating into this - and also take a spoonful of courage.
     
    Apr. 18, 2012 8:18 am
    My husband bought me a pressure cooker when we first married -- 37 years ago -- and I use the same one at least 3 times a week. Rich turkey or chicken stock in 30 minutes, beef stew in 45 minutes, fork-tender corned beef in an hour -- it's well worth the investment! And believe me -- they don't explode anymore. Worst case scenario: if you put too little liquid in and it boils away, the safety plug in the lid will pop out and a fountain of steam and gravy will splash your ceiling (I've done this twice).
     
    KK 
    Apr. 18, 2012 8:40 am
    I have an old fashion one and have never used it. It scares the hell out of me. I would try a new electric one though.
     
    Dawn 
    Apr. 18, 2012 9:30 am
    Interesting comments about the electric pressure cooker. Has anyone used a pressure cooker for canning? I am very interested to read feedback please
     
    Dawn 
    Apr. 18, 2012 9:32 am
    Interesting informations on the electric pressure cooker? I would like to know if anyone has used a pressure cooker for cannning? I am interested in feedback please!
     
    Barbara 
    Apr. 18, 2012 4:08 pm
    My mom used to use a pressure cooker for every dinner, and of course, she used it for canning as well. They are very easy and safe nowadays. I cook with propane, so cost is a factor. If I can cook something in an hour that would regularly take eight hours, you can bet that I will. It offers the same deep, rich flavor of a slow cooker, but is done in a flash. I particularly love bean soups. What used to take me most of Sunday now only takes minutes--I make soup for the upcoming work week lunches. I've made meatloaf and potatoes in my pressure cooker that was some of the best I've ever tasted. Risotto, which I've never had the patience to make by stirring, only takes minutes. It took me a few years to get "the courage up" to buy and use one. I, like everyone, had heard about the potential dangers of pressure cookers, but they have virtually made them foolproof with safeguards. That being said, I still "respect" it and don't leave the room while I'm waiting for it to reach press
     
    Lazuli 
    Apr. 19, 2012 6:57 am
    Re: Pressure cooker for canning. I used to work in a lab and we would use the (old school) pressure cooker to sterilize glass bottles of.. well, 'stuff'. At the end of the process, all the 'pop up' seals would be unpopped again and the liquid and jars were sterile. Certainly this works!
     
    Apr. 19, 2012 1:34 pm
    I really need to invest in a new 'modern' pressure cooker/canner. The one I have is ancient and like others have said, scares the daylights out of me. Time to check out the new ones.
     
    Debbie 
    Apr. 19, 2012 7:49 pm
    My mom had an old-fashioned pressure cooker that made the most delicious beef heart! Now days I don't think that they even sell beef heart, but it was a regular dish at our house. After we had to go scrape the chicken off my grandma's kitchen ceiling when her pressure cooker blew up, I vowed never to try one. All the good comments have now convinced me to go out and get a nice modern one!
     
    Linda 
    Apr. 20, 2012 8:10 am
    I have inherited my mother's old presto pressure cooker and use it often. I have never had any issues with it blowing up. I bought a larger pressure canner for canning beef and chicken. Works great and is so handy to have tender protein on the shelf which is quickly made into yummy meals.
     
    JohnI 
    May 7, 2012 6:38 am
    I have two pressure cookers. One as a gift and a larger one I bought later. Love them. So fast, food so good. It saves energy, flavor, and is healthy eating. It is so strange to hear all the stories of their danger. If you are scared don't try driving your car. I have read not to buy an electric one. The stove top models are supposed to be better. The new models have so many safety devices built in, it is fool proof.
     
    Lynda 
    May 7, 2012 9:28 pm
    I didn't know there was such a thing as an "electric" pressure cooker. I am going to look into that.
     
    Jasmine 
    May 8, 2012 3:14 pm
    I use my pressure cooker for only canning (Stove top)so now I will try that Chili Recipe. If your looking for a good pressure cooker buy one from amazon.com They had the best prices. Can't wait to try the Chili!
     
    rachbick 
    May 9, 2012 12:04 am
    i got one on ebay for cheap, and use it all the time for canning. i don't understand the 'fear', either. the only 'blowing up' i've heard of is in forums like this--never in real life. i'm betting these people are leaving something out of their stories! it's physically impossible for a real 'explosion' to happen. at worst, a jar will leak when you're canning and you'll have a little mess in there when you open it. or if you're cooking, a bit of juice may shoot out the valve. that's hardly an 'explosion'. and i've never had either of those happen. . .i smell tall tales for the the sake of an entertaining story. . .
     
    May 9, 2012 2:17 pm
    #1 listed above is factually incorrect. Whether or not "...steam quickly infiltrates..." the contents of a pressure cooker, it is the increased pressure (around 15 times ambient atmospheric pressure) that breaks down muscle fibers (in the case of meat) and speeds the cooking process.
     
    May 9, 2012 5:26 pm
    I've never heard of garbanzo beans taking so long in a pressure cooker. Unsoaked they should take 30-40 minutes.Soaking them overnight makes them cook in about 9 minutes. One of the great things about cooking in a pressure cooker is really fast cooking beans. The other thing I love is cooking frozen chicken breasts in about 9 minutes without defrosting. There should be a whole section about pressure cooking. I don't know why more people don't do it. You can also get small ones for under $50.
     
    Fred Seager 
    May 10, 2012 9:51 am
    Can't wait to buy one. Thanks for all the information.
     
    May 11, 2012 5:08 am
    I'm not sure how long I've had my Presto pressure cooker, but I've been married almost 30 years and remember using it when our boys were little. It has never failed me in producing lean meat out of inexpensive cuts. I use it for my chicken soup all the time. I can buy replacement seals through ACE hardware for it. I appreciate the new recipes you've posted here, I'll certainly check them out.
     
    Maryam 
    May 12, 2012 3:06 am
    I can't cook beef without pressure cooker. It's really different and you can't compare it with usual cooking.It will melt in your mouth. I have twin pressure cooker of wmf, and they are my right hand in cooking.
     
    Karen 
    May 24, 2012 6:16 am
    Richbick when I was 11 years old my mother was cooking potatoes with the skins on she had left the kitchen and when she returned to check the presure cooker it blew the top off and potatoes went ever where. A potatoe skin had plugged valve and the presure built up. She was in the line of fire and they covered her face. She came very close to loosing her eye sight. My dad had the task of cleaning the ceiling. She used her presure cooker every week and had never had a problem before. Now I know accidents happen but I have never been able to get that out of my mind and so even thought I love the convience or a presure cooker and how great it is for your health I am for my self going to past on that just one chance of it happening to me. Not just a story but fact!
     
    Happy Good Girl! 
    May 24, 2012 9:59 am
    I purchased my pressure cooker about 3 yrs ago. I forgot about it. I was using my parents cooker this past week and I have to say it was great. I made great pinto beans in no time. The modern versions of these cookers have several safety features that would not allow an explosion, so I feel very safe using mine. I can't wait to try more recipes. Just remember to follow the instructions and it's completely safe and FAST!
     
    May 24, 2012 9:16 pm
    The Best Stew in the Midwest came from Mom's pressure cooker. Yes, we helped and learned that you have to be vigilant when cooking in a pressure cooker....you can't walk away and start another time consuming project! I still have an old type cooker, but rarely use it... due to my family's food likes; never saw an electric pressure cooker... have to check it out...sounds intresting...
     
    Pink posey 
    May 28, 2012 11:45 pm
    I haVE AN ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER THAT I HAVE USED TWICE AND IT WAS GREAT BUT I USE MY ELECTRIC RICE COOKER FOR GREAT AND QUICK AND TENDER FOODS. IT MAKES THE BEST RIBS! I HAVE USED MY RICE COOKER FOR EVERYTHING BUT RICE LOL YOU CAN OPEN IT AT ANY TIME WITH NO PROBLEM...I JUST LOVE IT!!THE BEST PART IS THAT IT IS EASY AND DOESN'T SCARE ME.
     
    Pink posey 
    May 28, 2012 11:45 pm
    I haVE AN ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER THAT I HAVE USED TWICE AND IT WAS GREAT BUT I USE MY ELECTRIC RICE COOKER FOR GREAT AND QUICK AND TENDER FOODS. IT MAKES THE BEST RIBS! I HAVE USED MY RICE COOKER FOR EVERYTHING BUT RICE LOL YOU CAN OPEN IT AT ANY TIME WITH NO PROBLEM...I JUST LOVE IT!!THE BEST PART IS THAT IT IS EASY AND DOESN'T SCARE ME.
     
    lafatus 
    May 30, 2012 2:00 pm
    Can I use cream of mushroom soup as part of my liquid base in my pressure cooker? I want to try cooking pork chops in it
     
    gramluv1 
    Jun. 8, 2012 11:51 pm
    i like others have heard the stories of the explosions with the pressure cookers, however for years in the fall i would help my cousin can all sorts of veggies and meats without any problem with the cooker. i just might try it with the electric one also and see how it goes.
     
    Jun. 15, 2012 12:43 pm
    When growing up my parents used their pressure cooker at least twice a week. When I married at 21 I asked for one and have been using it for 29 years now. My sister asked for one about 4 years ago and she still calls me to make sure she is doing everything just right. Funny stuff but what a life saver all these years. I have had to replace the ring afew times ofcourse. I love my pressure cooker.
     
    Jun. 15, 2012 10:44 pm
    Have used a pressure cooker for canning as well as a pressure canner. The Ball Canning Co. has an excellent book out that can be used by beginners as well as experts. As long as you follow instructions, the pressure cooker is excellent for canning. Have had mine since 1970 when my inlaws gave me one for Christmas and I am still using it. Just had to replace the gasket once and the safety plug once. Hope this helps.
     
    Anthro 
    Jun. 25, 2012 5:43 pm
    My mom has used a pressure cooker for as long as I can remember. I remember her lifting the little nozzle to let the steam out my sister and I covering out ears. Good memories : ) Hopefully I'll get the courage to buy one for myself and use it.
     
    MickeyCat 
    Jul. 3, 2012 12:17 pm
    I am thinking of buying the 2-litre Prestige Handi pressure cooker. Does anyone have this pot?
     
    Jul. 25, 2012 3:03 pm
    I just bought a new pressure cooker recipe booklet. I to have used mine for years. Now I will try some new recipes and get even more use from it.
     
    Sep. 1, 2012 4:16 pm
    I absolutely love my electric pressure cookers - yes, I said cookers because I have a couple of different sizes depending on what I'm making. From meats to side dishes, an electric PC makes things much easier when you don't have the time to use slow cooker or stove-top methods. By the way, the article was misleading, dried beans do not have to be pre-soaked. You can go from looked over and rinsed dry beans to cooked ones in about an hour from the time you hit the start button. I use my PCs alot in winter for soups and stews - but I also have an awesome roast beef recipe - YUM!
     
    carjan 
    Sep. 4, 2012 8:49 am
    I have a Cook's brand modern pressure cooker. It just sits there quietly (like rice cooker). It does not hiss, steam of scare the pants off you! I love it.
     
    Marjorie 
    Sep. 7, 2012 3:51 pm
    My best wedding gift back in 1946 was a four quart Presto pressure cooker! I used it almost forever and have a larger one now, and at 88 still use it every week. A real time saver. Every bride needs one!!
     
    Sep. 16, 2012 10:27 am
    To those afraid of pressure cookers—I once forgot to add the water to my pot roast and other than slightly warping the pan, it still didn't blow up or sustain damage!
     
    Sep. 16, 2012 11:01 pm
    I LOVE my electric pressure cooker!! We use it at least once a week to make pork roast, beef stew or roast, and super fast chicken dishes of all kinds. There are several sizes available for a reasonable price considering the time you'll save every time you use it. It's also great for summer cooking that doesn't heat up the kitchen. Look at the shopping Q place for some great examples.
     
    Sep. 21, 2012 5:45 am
    I love my pressure cooker but it gets forgotten in the back of the cupboard!I am hauling it out as we speak and plan to use it tonight.Thanks for reminding me of a great cooking method!
     
    dmom 
    Sep. 29, 2012 1:41 am
    My Mom used a pressure cooker when I was a kid. My brother came into the kitchen to see what was for dinner and opened the cooker before my mom could stop him. He had burns on his face and we had food all over our ceiling and walls. It was right before Christmas so he had to go to our Christmas dinners looking like a lobster until his face healed. I hope the new ones are safer but I'm still afraid to try. If you do use one, make sure your children know never to open them while they are cooking.
     
    kaapellicier 
    Sep. 29, 2012 3:01 pm
    If you would like a fast slow cooker-try Euro Pro 7 qt...its the greatest.
     
    Jan. 11, 2013 11:54 am
    Received my very first pressure cooker this Christmas. I always wanted one ever since I worked in a restaurant that made the best shredded beef tacos (the beef was cooked in a pressure cooker). I used it for the first time last night and Oh My, was that roast delish! And I can't wait to use it all the time.
     
    sgcjrc 
    Jan. 19, 2013 1:39 pm
    My husband brought me a pressure cooker for Christmas..Ithink I have used it almost every other day.. The past week, I've used it every day.. The best gift less time in the kitchen is a blessing after a long day from work.. I've made chicken soup, ribs that just fell off the bones, pot roast, chicken the list goes on..
     
    KathyF 
    Feb. 27, 2013 1:18 pm
    I have had a Presto pressure cooker since 1978. The only problem I've had with it was once I was showing my husband "yes, it's OK to open now" before all the steam had released. I got beans all over the ceiling and my belly looked like a tomato when you're trying to take off the skin - my skin came off the same way. But if you don't try to open the pressure cooker until after the steam is gone, you'll be OK. I also have a huge pressure canner for canning vegetables. I wouldn't recommend using a regular cooker for that. This monster has several twist-on latches and there's no way it can open up before time.
     
    Dorothy Keeling 
    Apr. 12, 2013 6:31 am
    I grew up cooking with a pressure cooker. We have been married 55 years and I still love it. Important safety rule is never fill your cooker over 3/4 full. Happy cooking!
     
    May 11, 2013 12:15 pm
    I'm a single man (68) and use my pressure cooker all the time. Of course anyone should read the booklet that come with it to ensure no problems, just the same as any tool. I'm getting ready to make a corned beef to-night. I use my for meat/stews/carnitas. They are safe if you follow the directions.
     
    May 11, 2013 12:19 pm
    I should have also added that it will take a piece of unpalatable tough cut cut of meat into mouthwatering succulent in less than an hour. A real time saver, but that's not the best reason to use one the real reason is it's a money saver.
     
    star chef 
    Aug. 1, 2013 10:46 pm
    I love my pressure cooker and I use it almost three times a week.It helps to boost up all flavor.The only suggestion that I always do to my friends is that to not use pressure cookers with nonstick interior pots. Over the time the nonstick material starts to peel off and get mixed up with food.(even the good quality nonstick) happy cooking :)
     
    Oct. 8, 2014 11:42 am
    Funny pressure cooker story from my childhood At leSt 40 years ago. Every Saturday, Mom baked fresh bread and Dad cooked baked beans in the pressure cooker. His recipe called for molasses. One Saturday evening, he got worried that it was going to blow. Had us kids get out of the way. Put a dish cloth over the top to stop the sticky molasses juice from spewing. Too late. Mom & Dad spent hours cleaning bean juice off the stove, refrigerator and ceiling. A nice trail from kitchen through living room and even porch ceiling. He put it down on the porch deck to cook. His new white car was in the driveway too. That was splashed as well. It's a story to laugh at now, but as Mom alwYs says, we had to laugh or else we'd be crying, lol. Hat a big mess! Beans were good though!
     
     
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