Should I invest in a pressure cooker? I do cook a lot of beans, but I'm sure I can cook more than just beans in a modern day pressure cooker. If you have one, let me know.
I have had a Fagor pressure cooker for approximately 1 year. It works great, and I would recommend the brand. I definitely do not use it to it's potential. I find that I am generally pulling it out to use when I want to make some sort of side dish in a hurry. Potatoes are a breeze. Beans are fast and easy. I have made a couple of quick stocks in it, as well as some vegetables. I have yet to make a full main course in it. So should you invest ...... it depends on how you think you might use it. If the convenience is worth the $, then yes. If not, I would stay away.
I also have a Fagor, and we love, love, love it. We mostly use it to cook beans and make stock (and as we have roughly one roast chicken dinner every 2 weeks, it comes in handy). I know you can cook other things in it, from main dishes to desserts, but we rely on it to shave time off long kitchen tasks. I think it's worth it, but only you can determine how often you might use it and whether that would warrant such a purchase.
We LOVE our pressure cooker - beans in 8 minutes, short ribs in 15 or 20. Had not thought about stock but now I will!!!
I have a great Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker. It is very easy to use. I can cook whole grains, like rye and spelt, in under 20 minutes.
I am very happy with my pressure cooker. I found it at a yard sale, new -- actually a set with a large pot and a small one, steamer insert, 2 lids (one for non-pressure use) and several gaskets. It's not a known brand, but does all of the above. I have both of the cookbooks Lorna Sass wrote on using it -- but I still haven't gotten to branch out.
Now I want to buy a pressure cooker....
I also have a Fagor that I inherited from a friend, and I love it. How else to cook chickpeas, especially in the summer? Ours is also big enough to for water-bath canning (without the pressure on of course).
AS a pressure cooking teacher for more than 15 years I have a number of pressure cookers. I use a Fagor, B/R/K, Fissler and Magefesa, among others that I use regularly.
You can cook all kinds of dishes in your pressure cooker from breakfast through dessert. You can cook soup, stew, chili, curry, grains, vegetables, risotto and much more. You can cook anything that needs liquid.
The pressure cooker is an amazing cooking tool. I am not sure that I could live without mine.
I hope that you get one and use it as much as I do.
I recently purchased Montel Williams Living Well pressure cooker from QVC and the first thing I cooked was a pot roast and veggies it was excellent and very tender it only took 45 minutes from start to finish it came with a recipe book. The book includes appetizers including meatballs, hummus, breads, dips; desserts including bread puddings, crisps, rice puddings, cheesecakes, creme brulee; hearty meals including ribs, risotto, pastas, chilis, pork, beef, mac and cheese, lamb; light fare including chicken dishes, rice, fish, turkey, veal, squash, shrimp, mussels, clams, lobster, veggies; and a section on soups and stews including butternut squash, gumbos, tortilla, chicken, pumpkin, minestrone, potato, vegetable, bean, veal, pea, clam, turkey, beef, lentil, lamb, corn.
Sorry for the delay in responding to all of these wonderfully helpful answers. I will start my research with Fagor and go from there. But it definitely looks like a pressure cooker is useful to have on hand. Thanks so much! ~ Kat