Author Topic: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers  (Read 5652 times)

Offline FreeLancer

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Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« on: November 27, 2016, 12:52:25 PM »
I don't cook much, or can at all/ever, but I do have an inexpensive Presto pressure cooker that I bought when my mom was visiting and needed one and that was what she felt safe using. My takeaway impression, after asking about cooking this or that, was to be very afraid about the risks of third degree burns and blowing your kitchen up.  So the Presto sits on a shelf.

Enter my wicked step-mother, who, besides being both evil and stupid, can't cook a damn thing any better than I can. Except that she somehow whips together a really good tasting stew in 30 minutes when I was over seeing my dad a couple days ago. The secret, apparently, is an automatic pressure cooker.

So, my question is, what have you guys used and what do you recommend?  And please don't tell me to just learn how to use my Presto, or buy some other monstrosity that I have to burn fuel underneath, I'm interested in something I can throw raw ingredients in, hit a button, and forget.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2016, 01:20:24 PM by FreeLancer »
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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 01:33:53 PM »
I have an electric InstantPot pressure cooker that I've used to cook chicken, roasts and stews. Of course, you have to read your pressure cooker's instructions because each one is different. But essentially I just through the ingredients in the pot, press the appropriate function key and forget it. It shuts itself off and releases the steam. When the pressure is gone I open the lid (away from my face) and serve.

I hope this helps.
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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2016, 01:51:46 PM »
I found this YouTube video for the presto power xl. Not sure if it's the one you have.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UsYE9e4nQLs&time_continue=468
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Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2016, 02:33:51 PM »
I got the 6 quart 6-in-1 (doesn't do yogurt) Instant Pot on Amazon for $58 Friday.  They're usually $110 or so, and it look like the price is back up again.


Wouldn't surprise me if the priced dropped again for Cyber Monday, though.


It gets really good reviews, and I have friends who rave about it.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2016, 07:46:14 PM »
I found this YouTube video for the presto power xl. Not sure if it's the one you have.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UsYE9e4nQLs&time_continue=468

Sorry, I guess I failed to indicate that my Presto (pictured below) is old school.  Is the one you linked to a Presto?  I didn't know they had entered this market.



I got the 6 quart 6-in-1 (doesn't do yogurt) Instant Pot on Amazon for $58 Friday.  They're usually $110 or so, and it look like the price is back up again.


Wouldn't surprise me if the priced dropped again for Cyber Monday, though.


It gets really good reviews, and I have friends who rave about it.

Yeah, that's the one WSM has and I had it in my Amazon cart but missed the window of opportunity. It sounds like InstantPot is the go to brand for this type of thing.

Anyone tried the one from Breville?  Is it worth the Premium?
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Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2016, 02:11:10 AM »
The Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7 in 1 price at Amazon went from $120 to $69 for Cyber Monday, so I've got one heading my way.
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Offline scoob

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2016, 06:35:52 AM »
Cool, looks like you're set. Let us know how you like it.

We picked up the Chard/Carey pressure cooker/canner, and have been enjoying it.  The best feature of the Chard is that it will can quarts, where most others only do up to pints... for those who want to do small batch canning.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2016, 08:01:17 AM »
Not to derail but the purpose of a pressure cooker has not been addressed here at all. The core reason to use one (I have the Presto cheap model) is to reduce cook time on tough cuts of meat. A pressure cooker is used to rapidly cook and tenderize cuts like beef spareribs, pork hocks and knuckles, cheek, tongue, tails, etc. That's why you'll see them used extensively on cooking TV shows where time is the limiting factor.

Most (I wrote most, not all) recipes you will find for pressure cookers actually come out better if done in the oven as a braise or in a slow cooker (the true set it and forget it cooking). The flavor build is much better for the time sacrifice, especially if you do the initial steps right like larding and browning the meat for the increased flavor of the Maillard reaction. Slow time and lower temperature gets better harmony out of your mirepoix (why it takes 6 hours to make ragu bolognaise) and your added vegetables will retain better texture.

I'm not trying to discourage anybody and if you've got a bang-up pressure cooker recipe, enjoy and silently (or publicly) laugh at me. But that's just not what modern culinary science uses it for. I realize I'm on thin ice with the OP but this isn't so much a "learn to cook" as it is a "use the right tool".
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Offline CPT Morgan

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2016, 11:23:07 AM »
Not to derail but the purpose of a pressure cooker has not been addressed here at all. The core reason to use one (I have the Presto cheap model) is to reduce cook time on tough cuts of meat. A pressure cooker is used to rapidly cook and tenderize cuts like beef spareribs, pork hocks and knuckles, cheek, tongue, tails, etc. That's why you'll see them used extensively on cooking TV shows where time is the limiting factor.

Most (I wrote most, not all) recipes you will find for pressure cookers actually come out better if done in the oven as a braise or in a slow cooker (the true set it and forget it cooking). The flavor build is much better for the time sacrifice, especially if you do the initial steps right like larding and browning the meat for the increased flavor of the Maillard reaction. Slow time and lower temperature gets better harmony out of your mirepoix (why it takes 6 hours to make ragu bolognaise) and your added vegetables will retain better texture.

I'm not trying to discourage anybody and if you've got a bang-up pressure cooker recipe, enjoy and silently (or publicly) laugh at me. But that's just not what modern culinary science uses it for. I realize I'm on thin ice with the OP but this isn't so much a "learn to cook" as it is a "use the right tool".

My thoughts exactly.  The OP mentioned a 30 minute stew, but that's no quicker than using a simple pot on the stove, especially if you use canned meat that was home canned, in a pressure canner.  ;)

Offline r_w

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2016, 05:14:03 PM »
I think we ordered two instant pots (2 is 1) this weekend.

The super smart ones like the instant pot are part pressure cooker and part crock pot.  I know a surprising number of off gridders that love them.  Evidently they are very power efficient, biggish peak amps but relatively low watts overall to prepare the meal.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2016, 06:19:54 PM »
I guess I should have probably mentioned that the "stew" in the OP was vegetarian, with dry beans and raw veggies.  That's what I'm looking to do, cook time intensive beans and grains and not have to plan hours in advance of when I want to eat, watch pots on a hot (and overheats the house) stove, or worry about something blocking a vent and blowing up.

I don't dispute anyone's claim that slow cooking is superior to pressure cooked, but if it's good enough that I'll like eating it, I'm more likely to do it.
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Offline CPT Morgan

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2016, 08:13:22 PM »
I have zero experience with a pressure "cooker" but countless hours of experience with pressure "canners".  I know accidents happen, but can't imagine how a responsible person could have one happen to them.  They really are quite easy to use and require pretty basic common sense to use them safely.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2016, 08:20:23 PM »
...and require pretty basic common sense to use them safely.


And that would be my problem.


I don't know if it's the head injuries over the years or just my personality, but I am easily distracted, and if something isn't right there in front of me, it pretty much doesn't exist.


So I need to go the "no brainer" route.

Offline CPT Morgan

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2016, 08:27:30 PM »
And that would be my problem.

Too funny.
There is always the low and slow method too.... I also have a Traeger pellet grill and love what comes off of it.

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2016, 12:00:42 AM »
I guess I should have probably mentioned that the "stew" in the OP was vegetarian, with dry beans and raw veggies.  That's what I'm looking to do, cook time intensive beans and grains and not have to plan hours in advance of when I want to eat, watch pots on a hot (and overheats the house) stove, or worry about something blocking a vent and blowing up.

I don't dispute anyone's claim that slow cooking is superior to pressure cooked, but if it's good enough that I'll like eating it, I'm more likely to do it.

You're gonna love the Instant Pot. I would also suggest getting a pressure cooker recipe book. They have some amazingly delicious recipes.
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Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2016, 03:25:38 PM »
You're gonna love the Instant Pot.

You are right!  I've been making at least two pots of beans every week.  Went on Amazon and bought all the different types of dry beans I could find from Bob's Red Mill to try them all out.  It's awesome, the beans are awesome.  Love it.  It's just what I needed.
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Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2016, 05:07:17 PM »
Good!


I've only used it for hunks of meat so far, but those have been great too.

Offline r_w

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2016, 06:34:33 PM »
I think my absolute favorite so far is hard boiled eggs.  They peel SO EASY!  even fresh eggs, the peels just slip off, never sticking. 

Cup of water, dozen eggs on the rack, Manual high pressure for 5 minutes, keep warm for 5 minutes, blow the vent and run under cold water as soon as you can get the eggs out.


Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2016, 06:47:20 PM »
I think my absolute favorite so far is hard boiled eggs.  They peel SO EASY!  even fresh eggs, the peels just slip off, never sticking. 

Cup of water, dozen eggs on the rack, Manual high pressure for 5 minutes, keep warm for 5 minutes, blow the vent and run under cold water as soon as you can get the eggs out.

I need to try that and see how it compares to doing them in a Sun Oven, which is great if you have an hour of good sun.

So, let me make sure I understand how to do it, the eggs aren't touching the water at all, they're actually sitting just above it on the rack?
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Offline CPT Morgan

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2016, 07:36:07 PM »
I steam my farm fresh eggs in a simple pot with a vegetable steamer rack placed inside.  The only catch is that it takes longer than in a pressure canner....  Easy peasy peel, no matter how fresh the eggs are.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2016, 07:37:59 PM »
The book I just got from the library says to do it on low pressure, but I haven't tried it yet myself, so I don't know from experience.


I know pressure is lower on the electric pressure cookers, so maybe that's the difference since the book is for both electric and manual.


Offline r_w

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2016, 12:47:33 PM »
I need to try that and see how it compares to doing them in a Sun Oven, which is great if you have an hour of good sun.

So, let me make sure I understand how to do it, the eggs aren't touching the water at all, they're actually sitting just above it on the rack?

Yes. Above the water, on the rack, NOT TOUCHING THE SIDES.  You can get about a dozen stacked on the factory rack, two dozen in a steamer basket.

Offline ttubravesrock

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2016, 06:06:19 PM »
Most (I wrote most, not all) recipes you will find for pressure cookers actually come out better if done in the oven as a braise or in a slow cooker (the true set it and forget it cooking). The flavor build is much better for the time sacrifice, especially if you do the initial steps right like larding and browning the meat for the increased flavor of the Maillard reaction. Slow time and lower temperature gets better harmony out of your mirepoix (why it takes 6 hours to make ragu bolognaise) and your added vegetables will retain better texture.

I'm not trying to discourage anybody and if you've got a bang-up pressure cooker recipe, enjoy and silently (or publicly) laugh at me. But that's just not what modern culinary science uses it for. I realize I'm on thin ice with the OP but this isn't so much a "learn to cook" as it is a "use the right tool".

The electric pressure cooker can also function as an electric skillet (browning meats, warming dishes), and a slow cooker. I have the same one she bought and I primarily use it as a slow cooker or skillet. I only pressure cook beans in it.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2016, 01:26:32 PM »
Awesome hard boiled eggs! 

Tastes as good as the Sun Oven and even easier to peel, in a fifth of the time.
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Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2017, 06:31:24 PM »
This Instant Pot has been a life changer for me, I'm using it every day and have dropped 15 lbs without feeling deprived. It's made it a lot easier to eat healthier food that tastes good and prepares quick, which is making it easy to stay away from the carbs and processed crap that I was eating way too much of before.
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Offline r_w

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2017, 06:36:26 AM »
This Instant Pot has been a life changer for me, I'm using it every day and have dropped 15 lbs without feeling deprived. It's made it a lot easier to eat healthier food that tastes good and prepares quick, which is making it easy to stay away from the carbs and processed crap that I was eating way too much of before.

From scratch as fast as from a box really makes a difference, doesn't it?

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Electric/Automatic Pressure Cookers
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2017, 08:05:36 AM »
It really does.
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