Make easy budget-friendly meals fast with a pressure cooker.
"I purchased a Wolfgang Puck Electric Pressure Cooker 2-3 months ago and use it all the time!!! I absolutely love it and the wonderful tasty meals it makes so quickly.The old fashioned kind of pressure cooker my mother had used to scare...
Cooking with a Pressure Cooker
On my first attempt, I was sold—I cooked up a pot of creamy cannellini beans in just about 15 minutes, instead of an hour or more! I quickly gained confidence and experimented with other foods. I found that inexpensive cuts of stewing meat tenderize beautifully in a pressure cooker in far less time than they normally would. In addition, the sealed environment intensifies the flavor of the braising liquid. A practical pot roast, which used to be reserved for a leisurely Sunday, is now an option for a weeknight meal. And everyday basics like whole-grain brown rice cook in just 15 minutes—instead of the traditional 50 minutes.
Pressure cookers are not as popular in North America as other convenience appliances, such as the microwave oven and slow cooker, but I think their time has come. They can help you get an economical, healthy meal on the table in record time, while you reduce your energy bill.
A Note for High-Altitude Cooks:
If you live at an altitude of 2,000 feet or higher, a pressure cooker may be your best friend in the kitchen. The lower atmospheric pressure at high altitudes allows water to boil at lower temperatures than at sea level. By increasing the pressure, a pressure cooker raises the temperature at which water boils, thus helping to compensate for the longer cooking times caused by high altitude. Discoverpressurecooking.com recommends adjusting pressure cooking times according to the following formula: For every 1,000 feet above 2,000 feet elevation, increase the cooking time by 5%.
Patsy Jamieson is a former food editor and Test Kitchen director at EatingWell. She revisits the magazine’s Test Kitchen regularly to prepare food for photo shoots.