Many people really want to eat healthier, but because they have very busy schedules they think they will not have the time to make healthy meals. That's where an old idea with a modern design comes in: the pressure cooker. Meals made in pressure cookers are healthy, tasty, prepared in less time and with less energy than many other methods of cooking. This appliance is not only safe, but a versatile and easy to use kitchen tool which I highly recommend. Once you get started with a pressure cooker, you may wonder how you ever did without such a useful cooking tool!
You may have seen your mother or grandmother use a pressure cooker many years ago, or heard a horror story about how unsafe these cooking devices were. Today's pressure cookers are very safe to use. Modern versions have valves and vent safety systems that prevent accidental explosions, so there is no risk of injury or a huge mess in the kitchen.
One of the benefits of cooking this way is that you can prepare a meal with little to no oil. You will need to add liquid, however, and this could be a soup stock or just water. Foods are cooked in a fraction of the time. A tough cut of meat, for example, a pot roast, might take several hours to cook in a traditional way. In a pressure cooker you can prepare a very tender pot roast and vegetables in less than an hour. Dried beans, which can take 1-2 hours on the stove-top, can be cooked in less than 30 minutes.
You can prepare an entire meal (ex.: meat, grain and a vegetable) all together in one pot. Simply add the foods, seasonings, and a liquid. The nutrients are retained because the liquid is conserved.
*If you decide to try out a pressure cooker, consider the size you will need. A 4-quart may be the right size if you are cooking for two, and the 6-quart size should meet the needs of a family. Keep in mind that you should not fill it more than 2/3rds full for most foods.
*Buy one that is made from high quality durable stainless steel, with a 3-ply bottom.
*Choose one capable of reaching 15 pounds per square inch (psi) and one that has a quick release option built into the pressure regulator.
Pressure cookers come in various price ranges, and like everything else, you get what you pay for. Buy the best that you can afford and this kitchen tool will serve you well for many years.