Should I buy a pressure cooker?

This past weekend we ended up going on a spur of the moment camping trip where I was in charge of a pot of black beans for 12 adults and 6 kids. This, obviously, sounds like the textbook example of when you'd want to use dried beans over canned (I know they're always better, but you know what I mean....). However, I couldn't because we decided to go at the last minute and I just didn't have enough time for them to cook. It killed me to open 6 cans of beans!

The point is, I was thinking, "Dang, I wish I had a pressure cooker right now!"

But other than cooking dried beans quickly, when would I use it? Is it worth it?

I do have the storage for one, so that's not an issue.

  • Posted by: jenmmcd
  • June 27, 2011


hip P. July 10, 2011
Jenmmcd, how is your pressure cooker search going? So glad that someone was able to respond right away with a link to my website to introduce you to the variety of foods that can be pressure cooked beyond beans, roasts and potatoes!

You asked whether you should go for an electric model. I, personally, do not recommend electrics but if you get one I will still teach you how to pressure cook in it and mention all the little exceptions in each recipe.

Here is my spiel on why I recommend going with an stove-top version:
(scroll down to the middle of the page and see the heading: stovetop vs. electirc pressure cookers)

In short, more flexibility, more durability and overall higher quality.

Let me know if you have any more questions!


making pressure cooking hip, one recipe at a time!
Helen's A. June 27, 2011
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my pressure cooker! Couldn't survive my CSA season without it. There are great links all over the net. Hip Pressure Cooking is terrific as is Lorna Sass
You can make just about anything in one of those bad boys. My sister lives year round on a boat - she's considering buying one. Found one that is a combo, pressure cooker - rice cooker - slow cooker. Great option for small kitchen with a Barbie Doll stove...
wssmom June 27, 2011
I've been using a pressure cooker since I began to cook, about, oh, a thousand years ago! I find it indispensable. As far as it taking up space, I sometimes use it without the lid as an extra saucepot (don;t tell the pressure cooker police!)
jenmmcd June 27, 2011
I should always do a search before I ask! I always forget. I found this thread too:

I'm excited! But now I have to ask... electric? Fagor?
the_matt June 27, 2011
I can't say how much better our stock has become since we moved from the slow-cooker to the pressure cooker; imagine a chicken stock where so much marrow-y goodness has been sucked out of the carcass that you can tie the bones into little bow-ties, and all that in just 2 1/2 hours instead of overnight :-)

Other great use, in addition to making things incredibly fast on a weeknight when you've, say, forgotten to cook your beans: pressure canning. If you're into putting some food up for the winter yourself, you can go crazy with all kinds of low-acid, low-sugar recipes that you can't (safely) can with just a water bath.
MTMitchell June 27, 2011
I LOVE our pressure cooker. It's a newer one, so it's pretty much fool-proof (I know, I know, but I'm not that brave), and we have made some awesome meals in it, on weeknights, with minimal effort. Examples include braised lamb shanks, short ribs, carnitas and "refried" beans, several different types of chili, and a potroast type of thing. I don't know how other people feel about it, but the fact that I can have short ribs (one of my favorite things) on a weeknight basically at a whim makes me very happy. Everything we've tried has been fantastic. When we first got it, I had followed "for pressure cooker" recipes, but now I basically use the instructions that came with it to modify "regular" recipes. I highly recommend it!
SKK June 27, 2011
This is what was said a couple of weeks ago, and I am sold on pressure cookers now.

" In addition to cooking, whole grains and beans and stocks - pressure cooker is great for cooking eggs, fish, veggies, fruit and desserts - yes, yummy, steamy, delicious desserts! If you have a chance, come for a visit to see all of the delicious things you can cook with your , eventual, pessure cooker - FASTER!"
making pressure cooking hip, one recipe at a time!

If you scroll down from your question you will also see very useful comments on what kind of pressure cooker to get.

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