Pressure cookers are great. I use mine all the time, and it is not scary. We are vegetarian, and I mainly use it for pulses (they taste much better and cook much faster), but it is also wonderful for whole grains.
I have one and love it! Mine is a scanpan one which my Mum bought me for Xmas a few years ago. I was a little scared of it to begin with but I wouldn't be with out it now!
For example if I am making spaghetti bolognaise (which I make from scratch) I put the water for the pasta on first, make the bolognaise, put pasta in pot and then by the time the pasta is cooked so is the sauce.
I also find it great if I decide at say 11:30am that I want soup for lunch it is easy to whip up a pot and have it cooked in 20 mins.
They are great for all soups, stews, quickly cooking veg/potatoes. I haven't been too adventurous with mine, I've just stuck to my regular recipes which just cook much quicker. It is really good for cooking up stews with cheaper cuts of meat as you don't have to cook them for hours to become tender as you would in the oven.
I love mine, it's a modern one and very safe, not scary in the least although it does hiss but that's normal. I make at least one soup a week in mine, and do stews, meat, and puddings. I used to have one of the old scary types with the little melting safety valve which I did melt on more than one occasion. Once it over heated while making soup and soup was hitting the ceiling at high pressure, we were trying to catch it with saucepans on the way down!! Once Halloween same thing happened with apple stir pudding and it was the first time hubby had had dinner with us.. oh those were the days, dinner on the ceiling!!
This is interesting. I've been wondering about getting a pressure cooker for a while now. Do you find that you lose the depth of flavour that you get from cooking things like, say, bolognese for a longer time?