Well, you did it. I finally bought a pressure cooker.

I blame you guys for this.

Hopefully by 'blame' I mean 'eternally grateful'. But I haven't tried cooking with it yet, so we will see.

It's a Perfect Plus 4,5 with a three ring indicator system. Still suffering from sticker shock, but it looks like a good machine.

I got this for those days when I'm super-busy and forgot to put the slow cooker on.

Now, what to cook for dinner tonight? If the lambs don't decide to make their appearance (got two ewes about ready to pop), I hope to put my new cooker through it's paces. There are just so many recipes out there... any thoughts on a simple, low fibre (aka, few beans or whole grains), one pot meal?

ps. Can I cook meat from frozen in the pressure cooker or is this a terrible idea?

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Susan W
Susan W January 30, 2015

I can't answer your questions because I haven't owned one in years. I loved it, but I have two phobias. Stuff under pressure like food and propane gas and electric shock.

However, I am still nipping at your heels because I learned about the electric instant pot in your pressure cooker thread. They are on sale on Amazon. 40% off and great reviews. I'm going to go back to your thread to remind myself what the cons were, but I think the pros outweighed them.

It's also another item I can use out on my deck so huge plus. My kitchen is tiny and boxed in with a horribly inefficient exhaust fan, so food smells linger far too long.

Congratulations and have fun!!

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sexyLAMBCHOPx
sexyLAMBCHOPx January 30, 2015

I've never owned one, but did you read this article about tips & techniques and how-to's with using a pressure cooker?

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Sam1148
Sam1148 January 30, 2015

I just started using our again. It's great for making stocks, and beans, quick stews and chili.
Check out Serious Eats http://www.seriouseats...
They feature a lot of pressure cooker recipes.

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Rachel
Rachel January 30, 2015

I make quick risotto in mine all the time. The basic recipe is as follows:

Saute a bit of shallot or onion in butter in the cooker. Once translucent, add a cup of arborio rice and toast for a minute or two until it becomes opaque. Then add 1/4 cup white wine and stir. Add four cups of chicken stock (all at once), pop the lid on and bring it up to pressure. Cook under pressure for 7 minutes. Turn it off and allow the pressure to naturally release (I find that running cold water under it tends to make the rice underdone). Stir a few times after releasing the lid, and add a little Parmesan cheese (1/4 works for me, since the rice is already pretty creamy), salt and pepper to taste, and that's it!

You can also do a meatier variation as follows: Add a tablespoon of tomato paste once you've sauteed your shallot or onion, and before you add your arborio rice. Then, replace an equal amount of liquid of the chicken stock with a can of whole peeled tomatoes (crush the tomatoes by hand). Add a dried guajillo or ancho chile after putting in the liquid. While the risotto is under pressure, remove the casings from a few links of chorizo, and brown it. Stir the chorizo with the parmesan into the risotto after opening the lid. Hope you enjoy!

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Rachel
Rachel January 30, 2015

Also, to answer your other question about frozen meat. I'm not sure it'd be advisable because the cooking time would be too tricky to judge, and getting it too cook evenly might be a challenge. Most pressure cooker recipes provide very specific cooking times because it's difficult to pinpoint when food is overdone vs underdone in a pressure cooker because you can't poke at it with a fork to visually check it or taste it until the pressure is brought down (one of the downsides of the pressure cooker for us inveterate fork pokers out there).

That said, you can do really large amounts of meat in such a short time. I made five pounds of pork shoulder roast for carnitas a few weeks ago and it took about 55 minutes start to finish and tasted as if it'd been slow cooked for hours.

Good luck with your pressure cooker, and hope you enjoy yours as much as I have mine!

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Hillary Reeves
Hillary Reeves January 30, 2015

Looking forward to the answers here... I've had a pressure cooker since 2010 that I haven't used once! There are so many great uses, but it's rare that a recipe says, "or save time by using a pressure cooker!" Without that reminder I always forget to pull it out!!

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Sam1148
Sam1148 January 30, 2015

You can riff on a African peanut chicken stew.
Basically brown some chicken thighs..bring to a boil and skim the scum--or use skinless boneless thighs. Add in soaked black eyed peas, spices: Cumin, Ground Corriander and Cardamon, More ginger than you think you need, lime halves, Cinnamon, white pepper, garlic, crushed tomatos.
Pressure that for 45 mins...check the peas. Then stir in 1/2 cup of peanut butter and 1/3 cup of thahini.

Serve with some lime wedges, a flat bread, and garnish with coriander or parsley.

Basically, once you get the hang of cooking things together like beans and meat...you can riff off stew type recipes. Next time at the market I'm going to get some Beef Shanks and try this recipe with cooking pressure cooker. http://www.seriouseats...

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rengahan
rengahan January 30, 2015

I just poached a whole chicken for an hour with raw turmeric, ginger, carrot, and celery. We used the chicken and the stock for an Asian style noodle soup, and it was excellent.

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BakerRB
BakerRB January 31, 2015

I don't have a pressure cooker (yet), but the demos I've watched advertised cooking meat from frozen as one of the benefits - relatively fast dinner without planning ahead. So I'd say with some research, yes, you can.

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VVV03
VVV03 January 31, 2015

I had one for 7 years and didn't use it until a Brazilian babysitter took it down and made amazing beans with it and now I love it. It's like something from the future! I highly recommend buying Lorna Sass' cookbook Pressure Perfect. Basic, yummy recipes and very good breakdown and explanations. If you want to try one tonight, google "Curry in a Hurry" and Sass and you will likely find it. It's easy and very tasty. Enjoy!!

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trampledbygeese
trampledbygeese January 31, 2015

Great help reading all these suggestions.
Finally have a chance to try it today. Decided on pasta (surprise surprise) http://www.hippressurecooking.com/pasta-al-tonno-pasta-with-tuna-fish-not-a-salad-one-pot-meal/

Question: I have a big burner and a small burner. The pot bottom is exactly half way between the two sizes. Which burner should I use? Thankfully the pressure cooker is thick bottomed, but I guess this is something I should have taken into consideration before I brought the pot home.

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Leslie Stephens
Leslie Stephens February 3, 2015

Great decision! Keep an eye out for a Kitchen Confidence on pressure cookers later this month, where we'll try to address all of your questions!

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trampledbygeese
trampledbygeese February 3, 2015

Looking forward to it.

Since that first attempt (an almost total failure which got salvaged into oven casserole), I've been using the pressure cooker at least once a day to get the hang of it. Beans, soups, steaming, veg, all sorts of yummies. Haven't tried desserts or baking yet, but give me time.

Yes, I think I am happy with the pressure cooker. If nothing else, the beans alone make it worth it. Some chickpeas that took 6 hours to boil (and never got soft) cooked up in 15 min on high pressure and turned out fantastic.

Thank you again everyone for help and encouragement.

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