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My parents bought me a pressure cooker for Christmas in 2014. I had no clue what it even was. My husband can’t stand just letting things sit around in boxes so he unpacked it and put it in the cupboard. This is where it sat, untouched, for over a year. Fast forward to next Christmas and my parents and I joked that I was scared of it.
I had no clue what a pressure cooker even did or what I was even supposed to do with it. Besides, I had a new baby at home so I just didn’t feel like learning something at the time. Plus I am not a wiz in the kitchen.
I figured the pressure cooker would be something I would use once and it would sit in the cupboard, untouched, for another year.
Boy Was I Wrong
One day, my parents were visiting and my dad got out the pressure cooker instruction manual. He said this is so easy, we have to give it a try. Since he has a love for cooking, I felt safe giving it a go with him. Besides, I’d blame it all on him if something went wrong!
By chance, I had some frozen chicken wings in the freezer so we went for it. It was the fastest meal I have ever made! And they were the BEST chicken wings I had ever made! Ordering chicken wings from the local pizza place costs more and takes longer than it does to make them at home in the pressure cooker.
What is a Pressure Cooker?
Pressure cookers use water or other liquids and trap steam during the cooking process, creating hotter temperatures, sealing in nutrients, and, most important of all, flavor. Since the temperatures are much hotter than other cooking methods, pressure cookers allow food to be done faster than ever!
From freezer (or thawed or pantry) to the table in sometime less than 20 minutes, pressure cookers are the must have small appliance for your kitchen.
The pressure cookers on the market today are very user friendly. They are basically set and forget (for a couple of minutes!) There are two kinds of pressure cookers that I am aware of: stove top and electric. However, I have read that there are ones that go straight into a fire or ovens too.
My pressure cooker is electric (the one pictured below is actually the one I have). If you are looking to try pressure cooking, I suggest this one.
The manual is really easy to read, goes step-by-step and hasn’t failed me yet! The pre-set functions are great because the pressure cooker just knows how long to cook your chicken, stews, potatoes, etc. You can set it for a specific time if you want and you can leave the food in the pressure cooker for a long time on the keep warm function.
Releasing the steam is probably what everyone is afraid of but it is super easy! You can let the pressure cooker do a natural release where you don’t even open it yourself. Or you can release the pressure yourself and the steam will come out of the top. Usually it doesn’t last very long. There was only one time that it made a huge mess for me (chicken noodle soup). I think it was because I overfilled the pot. Liquid came flying up and out everywhere. My mistake and I learned from it. Don’t go over the fill line!
Soups, Chicken, Potatoes…Dessert!
When I shared this picture of our lunch on Instagram the other day, moms went nuts!
#whatsforlunch Capri wanted chicken and rice so I popped a couple frozen chicken breasts and rice into my pressure cooker and BAM! Lunch in 20 minutes #pressurecooker #quicklunch #chicken #rice * * * * * #thechoosymommy #momblog #blogger #mommyblogger #toddlerlife #babies #sahmlife #momlife #family #motherhood #mbloggers #pbloggers #parenting #momboss #naptimeworktime #girlboss #love #beautiful #followme #choosymom #choosy #unitedinmotherhood
“I have never used one before.”
“I’m so intimidated by them.”
“Pressure cookers scare me.”
My husband bought me Great Food Fast (Best of the Best Presents) Bob Warden’s Ultimate Pressure Cooker Recipes and I obsessed over the meals I could make in my pressure cooker! Here is a rundown of what I have made (some recipes from the books, others I just threw in the crockpot and pushed the pre-set function…meat & chicken/soup & stew/rice & risotto, etc.) and about how long it took:
- Corn on the Cob – 2 minutes
- Taco Dip – 5 minutes
- Taco Dip – 5 minutes
- Chicken Noodle Soup – 6 minutes
- Chicken Wings – 8 minutes
- Chicken and Rice – 10 minutes
- Meatloaf – 15 minutes
- Beef Stroganoff – 15 minutes
- Pork Chops – 15 minutes
- Brownies – 25 minutes
- Pot Roast – 1 hour
Give Pressure Cooking a Try
It takes longer to prepare most of these meals and pressurize the cooker than it does to actually cook the food. So when your little one says they want chicken for dinner and they are hungry NOW, don’t fret. You can just grab a frozen chicken breast from the freezer, pop it in the pressure cooker with some water, cream of mushroom soup, soy sauce, WHATEVER, and BAM! Chicken will be on the table in less than 20 minutes.
I’ll be sharing more about what I make in my pressure cooker in the weeks to come because we all need fast meals.
Do you have a pressure cooker? What is your favorite meal to make in it? If you don’t have a pressure cooker, what are you afraid of?