anyone use a pressure cooker?

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  • richarddavies 10 Feb 2012 12:09:43 3,057 posts
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    Last week the missus bought me a pressure cooker as a surprise. She's not too into cooking and thought it was a slow cooker as I've wanted one for awhile. Point is I now have the pressure cooker and don't have a fecking clue what to do with it. I've never used one nor am I really familiar with them. Does anyone on here use one? What do you use them for?
  • Rusty_M 10 Feb 2012 12:16:58 5,023 posts
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    Cook chicken in it and see how your piss smells!

    The world is going mad. Me? I'm doing fine.

  • Salaman 10 Feb 2012 12:20:01 19,794 posts
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    You can use it to just boil potatoes but then faster with less water.
    Not much else I can think off.

    If you have young kids in the house you might want to explain to them that this is a pan they're not allowed to touch as well.
    When I was 7 or 8, I wanted to see what was for dinner but the pot on the stove had a weird lid that didn't come off. My dad walked into the kitchen and found me on a chair by the stove, leant over the pressure cooker, trying with all my might to open it.

    Got a right bollocking for that. How was I supposed to know it'd come flying in my face had I somehow managed to open it.
  • skuzzbag 10 Feb 2012 12:21:54 5,823 posts
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    Wow welcome to the 70s and sludgy vegetables.

    Take it back.... buy something useful.

    Best advice you'll get.
  • mal 10 Feb 2012 12:22:35 22,997 posts
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    My mum has one. She only uses it for christmas pud, and for the odd occasion where she needs a massive saucepan (but then she's not using the pressure cooker lid). All I know about them is the used to have a habit of blowing up, but modern ones with the right sort of safety valve should be okay. They need to have water in them - if they run dry they can weld the lid onto the pan, and good luck getting your dinner out then.

    There should be two things on the lid other than the handle - the pressure valve, and what I call the bobbin, which pops up when there's pressure inside. As far as I know the only purpose of the bobbin is to let you know when its safe to open the lid again after its all cooled down a bit, and also to let a little steam out so you know there's still water in there.

    But I've never used it myself. I suspect there are more techniques you need to know, but I assume it came with instructions in some language or other.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • DaM 10 Feb 2012 12:53:11 13,619 posts
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    I want one for curries, meant to be ace. Saw a program with an old lady in Bradford knocking up a curry. Took about 30 minutes, looked excellent.

    I would get one, but am frightened of them. I used to run autoclaves (industrial pressure cleaners), and a pressure cooker on a bunsen burner, was never comfortable!
  • thelzdking 10 Feb 2012 12:59:38 4,463 posts
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    If it's brand new you should be able to find someone who'll swap it for a takeaway.
  • Load_2.0 10 Feb 2012 13:05:33 19,836 posts
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    Soups and stews, faster.
  • Hog-lumps 10 Feb 2012 13:56:59 953 posts
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    Ignore the haters in this thread - pressure cookers are great!

    I use mine all the time, mainly to cook mince for chilli or spag bol - the mince ends up tender and rich at a fraction of the time.

    It is also great for soups and stews as none of the aromas escape so it stays tastier with a coooking time of only 10 mins for veg soup.

    Basically anything you can do in a slow cooker you can do in a pressure cooker with similar results much much quicker.

    The key is to have plenty of moisture in the mix as you need the steam to ensure it cooks well and doesn't burn on the bottom. The other important thing is to get it up to the correct pressure so you get a gentle 'hissing' sound - you sort of learn to recognise the hiss with practice/
  • simplerotation 14 Feb 2012 11:06:33 332 posts
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    Pressure cookers are great! Lots of restaurants use them to quick braise meats and stews.
    Use lots of liquids, be careful not to over salt as things cook down and get more salty and look forward to tender, falling apart pork ragus :)
  • lucky_jim 14 Feb 2012 11:40:54 5,358 posts
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    My auntie makes a mean Czech goulash in a pressure cooker. It takes 40 minutes to cook the beef right in a pressure cooker, as opposed to 4 hours without it. That's why they're useful: cooking really nice stews, goulashes and similar stuff becomes much less of a big deal (something you can do after work in the evening rather than something that requires an afternoon).
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