Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Advice on Pressure Cookers

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Has anyone out there had success cooking with a pressure cooker?

My mom got me one for Christmas and I used it for the first time last week. WHAT?! I've been busy!

Anyway, let's just say the results were less than savory. It may have been because I chose to do a roast and they do better with being cooked slowly at a low temperature which is pretty much the opposite of 46 minutes at Hotter'n Blue Blazes Fahrenheit.

So give it to me straight.

Lay it on the line.

What did I do wrong? What have you cooked in a pressure cooker that turned out well?


Nikki said...

My mom gave me her pressure cooker a few years ago. Or maybe it's a pressure canner. Maybe it's the same thing. I dunno. We canned a whole load of kidney beans. And I haven't used it since. I've been meaning to though. Honest... well after I get the instructions out and read them again.

So obviously I am no help whatsoever.

Kim said...

My Mum has a pressure cooker - has always had a pressure cooker. My mother in law has a pressure cooker - has always had a pressure cooker. I have a pressure cooker - have al... you get the idea.
Never, ever, ever have I heard of people cooking meat in a pressure cooker. We only ever do fruit & veg. Have we missed out on something all these years? But if you do beetroot, make sure you run the pot under cold water to ease the pressure before you take the valve off the top. The red juice is really hard to get off the ceiling.

Cardamom said...

My mother-in-law gave me HER pressure cooker... had to stay with the theme here! :-)

My FAVORITE site that taught me lots of pressure cooking is

Especially check out:

These charts were SO helpful for me that I printed them out and have them in a binder in the kitchen for easy reference.

Meat cooked in a pressure cooker will be soft, if you don't watch your time. The only time I really use my cooker is for cooking beans in a hurry, or for cooking a piece of meat I forgot to thaw. At that point, it just needs to be edible - fast! :-)

The Tightwad Gazette (the big complete version) has a great recipe for beans and brown rice that can be done in something like 45 minutes. It works. Have fun!

A Blessed Wife and Mom said...

My mom cooks meat in her pressure cooker all the time...I don't know anything about it! You can e-mail her at I think she could help you out!

Anonymous said...


All I know about pressure cookers are that when you run through the kitchen your mother will yell "stop running the pressure cooker will explode!" and then one day you come in the kitchen and find your Mom and Dad cleaning red beans off of every surface in the kitchen and breathe a sigh of relief because you were not the one who had been running. It just blew!

Good luck with it!


Christi said...

I have done meat in a pressure cooker but I don't think I have done a roast. Maybe it didn't cook long enough? With roasts there is done-as in no longer containing bacteria - and done -fall off the bone tender.

I love my pressure cooker for beans - because I always forget to soak. But I have also done mixed greens (turnip and mustard I think). I did a really lovely carrot soup (tasted more like raw carrots instead of cooked carrots).

I agree the Miss Vickie website it great.

Amy said...

I use mine for pinto beans more than anything else.

Boil beans in another pot for 5 minutes while you heat more water in your pressure cooker. Strain the 5 minute green water off the beans and pour them into the fresh hot water in your pressure cooker. Boil on med-hi for 25 minutes. Add salt and a Tb or 2 of sugar (and anything else you want to add, like a cut-up onion, jalapenos, or ham) and pressure for 25-30 minutes.

A yummy pot of beans, with no soaking, in just an hour!

A pressure cooker is also a good (faster) way to boil potatoes, nice for plain potatoes or mashing.

Oh - almost forgot: a pressure cooker is also very good for finishing up a roast that was in the oven or crockpot while you were at church and even though church is over and everyone's clothes are changed and the table is set and everyone is waiting around with that hungry look in their eyes and that roast STILL isn't done.... the pressure cooker can really save your bacon and get lunch on the table faster. But I'm just sayin'.

Hey! I've left a comment almost long enough for a book on pressure cooking! Almost.

Anonymous said...

Do people cook potatoes anywhere else but a pressure cooker? (Once up to pressure it's ten minutes until they're done and another 5 to release pressure, drain, mash and put on the table). Beets (cooked whole and then peeled and cut up) also are quick and good in the pressure cooker. Likewise turnips, carrots, etc.
Make sure the pressure is released before opening and you'll never have to clean the contents from the ceiling!
"Wet meals" such as stew or meatballs can be done quickly in the pressure cooker if you didn't get you act together in the morning and put on the crockpot!

Mama Martin

Kara said...

Okay to add to what everyone has said the only thing we do in our pressure cooker is beans. Scott makes the yummiest pot of beans and with the pressure cooker it is done lickity split. If he adds ham or sausage he adds it in at the end, because anything sooner turns out soggy strange:)

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

I'm afraid to use ours (and I am a little ole senior citizen...shame on me), but my husband has cooked wonderful, tender, and oh so flavorful roasts and beef stew in ours. Delicious...

EllaJac said...

I have one, but don't use it but rarely. We try to stay away from cast aluminum in our food. :)

That said, to make potato salad, I love putting whole potatoes in there, and letting them get to a perfect soft/firm state. This last time I even put the eggs in too (I can't remember if I did that before, and have yet to make it all into salad).

When I was young, a favorite meal (probably the only "home cooked" one my mom ever made) was beef stew. Beef and potatoes and such cooked into perfection. Don't know how she did it (again, the aluminum thing prevents my attempt). Also, I've had wonderful pork chops with sauerkraut (talk about tender), but wouldn't do an acidic thing like that in aluminum for sure.

So - Lots of ideas *IF* yours is stainless! ;)

Jenn said...

burnt everything... every time... threw it away... cause it was burnt... bad

Anonymous said...

I always cook chicken in mine. That way it is very tender. I then shred it with a fork and bag it and freeze it for when i am making a casserole. I also do stew meats. so so tender!!
Kelly Kile

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