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Pressure cooker recommendations

(15 Posts)
Sosomego Tue 14-Aug-18 15:24:01

I've been swithering for a while about a pressure cooker, and now that we're approaching autumn, soups and stews will soon be on the menu which seem ideally suited to a pressure cooker. My problem is, I can't decide if I really need one. And also, which one?? The choice of options is a little confusing and they all seem to have a million functions.

So my question is, do I need one and if so, which brands would you recommend? I have a slow cooker already so it wouldn't need to have that function. I also have a rice cooker which I find really useful but is on it's last legs so I guess the pressure cooker could be a replacement for that. Thoughts?

OP’s posts: |
Pantah630 Wed 15-Aug-18 11:29:53

I have an InstantPot, was very sceptical at first but i use it 4-5 times a week. It doubles as a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, etc as well so that helps increase its use a lot.

I've not made pasta the traditional way since I tried it in the pot, it's much easier and you can keep pasta and sauce warm for ages too. Great for stews and making mash potatoes too. Thoroughly recommended, especially if you can get on a good deal.

sociopathsunited Wed 15-Aug-18 11:37:15

I have an Instant Pot Duo, 7 in 1 electric pressure cooker, and I've used it all summer, so it's just just a winter tool. I've not used all the functions yet but it's been my favourite cooking method in the heat as it doesn't warm up the kitchen the way the oven does. I was too scared of a stove top pressure cooker to even consider one, but the IP (or any electric pressure cooker) means you can set it up and walk away from it.

There's a learning curve, and it's truly terrifying at first, but once you've used it a couple of times it really does become comfortable. You just need to keep safety in mind when you're releasing the steam - I invested in silicone oven gloves (from tesco) so I'm confident that my hands won't get blasted when I turn the knob.

If you like pulses, it's a wonderful tool as you can cook dried ones super quick, once they're soaked. Even unsoaked, cooking chickpeas etc is a fairly quick process. I've not tried yogurt making in mine yet, but loads of folk swear by it.

I prefer my risotto made in the IP, as there's no standing and stirring (yippee!), and the texture is gorgeous. I also make a lot of meals like spag bol and chilli in it. You can actually cook chicken from frozen and I've seen on FB people cooking a whole chicken quickly in the IP then browning it in the oven for a really juicy roast chicken. That, I haven't tried yet. But I will.

I bought a set of pans and trivets to use for pot-in-pot cooking, so I can do a curry in the bottom of the IP pan, and rice in a pan on top of it.

I joined several facebook groups specifically for pressure cooking, and that's where I really got the info on how to use it and how to get to grips with it. The recipes and info you get with the pot are a bit sparse, to say the least, but the online resources are amazing. It seems a very popular tool not just in the USA but in Asia and the middle east so there are hundreds of amazing food bloggers sharing their recipes and tricks.

I'm looking forward to using it in the autumn and winter. It's an expensive purchase, but for me, it's been worth every single penny.

MadisonAvenue Wed 15-Aug-18 11:38:31

Another recommendation for an InstantPot. I use mine most days. We had a gorgeous chicken, vegetable and noodle soup out of it yesterday evening. I simply put all of the ingredients in, set it for 7 minutes pressure and that was it.

nervousnails Wed 15-Aug-18 11:40:09

I didn't get on with instant pot and returned mine. It was not as powerful as a regular pressure cooker. I have 2 regular ones. The first one I bought was from my local Indian shop. 2 litre stainless steel for £20. Great for dals. And then, I wanted to make soup and it was too small. So I bought the 6 litre one from IKEA. This One

sociopathsunited Wed 15-Aug-18 11:40:41

Oh yes, the time benefit! I made scotch broth two days ago and it took, using un-soaked broth mix, 20 minutes. Risotto is 7 mins pressure cook, but about 15 minutes in total when you count in the veg chopping etc. A butternut squash and spinach curry with rice is about 15 mins.

sociopathsunited Wed 15-Aug-18 11:42:45

I'm only cooking for 2 adults, so the IP 6 qt is perfect for us but yes, if you've got a big family you might need to rethink, OP. They sell an 8qt size in the USA but I'm not sure if it's available here in the UK.

HardAsSnails Wed 15-Aug-18 11:42:46

I've got a Lagostina stove top pressure cooker, very easy to use and good safety features.

MadisonAvenue Wed 15-Aug-18 11:42:56

socio I cook a whole chicken in 25 minutes and then just crisp it up for a few minutes in the oven, that's about the only time that the oven goes on now.

I'm not a very confident cook and usually get in a right flap on Christmas Day trying to get everything cooked and keep things warm and I run out of space on the hob for veg...but using the InstantPot last Christmas to cook the veg made it so much easier and much less stressful.

Cheesecakes made in it are amazing, I want to try the yoghurt function soon.

MadisonAvenue Wed 15-Aug-18 11:45:27

I have the 8qt btw, I got it from Amazon last year but I'm not sure if they're available again yet as there were problems getting enough stock into the country and I think the 6qt is the first size which has recently started to reappear here.

haggisaggis Wed 15-Aug-18 11:46:58

The Instant Pot is good - I use mine daily for porridge (set the timer the night before so it's ready when we get up). Also good for stews, curries etc. and the fact you can sauté in it before putting it on to pressure cook is useful. Watch the really quick timings that everyone quotes though - you need to allow it time to come up to pressure - which on a large stew can take around 15 mins - and then you may need to allow the pressure to release naturally after cooking which could take another 15 mins. If you have a slow cooker and a rice cooker already I would be inclined just to get an electric pressure cooker.

sociopathsunited Wed 15-Aug-18 11:47:37

Madison people on the FB group talk about 0 minute chicken. I've not looked into it yet but I'm agog at that being possible. 25 minutes sounds right to me.

I made a lovely butter chicken the other day, using frozen chicken breasts (having been assured that yes, it was safe to do so). It was gorgeous, although it took longer to come to pressure than defrosted chicken would. Still, I just wandered off and left it to get on with it. When I finally thought about eating it, it was sitting happily on the keep warm function. I'm a total convert.

Murinae Wed 15-Aug-18 11:55:38

I love my instant pot too. Can get it at great prices from amazon on amazon prime day or Black Friday

Sosomego Wed 15-Aug-18 19:28:14

Ooh, lots of great recommendations, thank you! I love the idea of being able to cook meat from frozen. We bulk shop meat from Costco and freeze it but I'm terrible for remembering to take it out to defrost in time. Sounds like an Instantpot might be just what I need! I also like the sound of being able to cook rice at the same time, genius!

OP’s posts: |
MadisonAvenue Wed 15-Aug-18 19:47:16

socio I haven't tried the 0 minute chicken, I'm a bit wary of it not cooking through enough. When I cook chicken I prepare the veg while it's cooking and then steam that in the Pot while the chicken crisps in the oven.

I love the extra time it gives me. I no longer have to stand at the hob, keeping an eye on what's cooking and stirring sauces etc. It just all goes in the pot and I leave it to do it's thing.

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