Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Demystifying Pressure Cookers

Sleek, shiny, quiet, and oh, so fast for cooking! Completely safe, too! There’s a new breed of pressure cookers finding their way into American kitchens—and they’re not your grandma’s pressure cookers either. You won’t be surprised to find out these race cars of the stove top are made in Germany. A bunch of us learned this at Allrecipes.com, in mid-October when our kitchen turned into a classroom and demo stage. Fissler Blue Point Pressure Cookers sizzled as stars of the show, a public event hosted by Fissler and City Kitchens, Seattle’s best priced and stocked cookware store.

Leading the Fissler pressure cooker demo was Rachel Fredricks, a Portland-area chef/instructor who attended the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). If you thought pressure cookers were useful only for cooking dried beans, Rachel was ready to amaze you. Her selection of demo recipes ranged from a brightly-flavored Carrot-Orange Soup with Ginger and Toasted Pine Nuts to a creamy Butternut Squash Risotto and an Apple Bread Pudding. Imagine making a tasty soup or risotto in 10 minutes? With a pressure cooker, you can! (Think of the savings this timing means for your gas or electricity bill!)

Now about making bread pudding in a pressure cooker... After slicing and then sautéing two Granny Smith apples with a little butter and lemon juice, Rachel tossed the slices with dried cranberries and day-old bread cubes soaked in a silky egg and half-and-half mixture. Using a wide aluminum foil band as a strap for lifting and lowering the dish (very clever!), she slipped a filled soufflé dish into a pressure cooker holding two cups of water, locked the lid, and turned on the heat. About 18 minutes later, the indicator rod on the lid had popped up showing two white rings, meaning pressure inside the pot was set. The automatic release valve let the pressure escape in a flow of quiet, cool steam. After removing the soufflé dish from the cooker, followed by 10 minutes cooling time, the oohs and ahhs started. We were all swooning over the warm, creamy deliciousness. Even the leftovers were quickly claimed.

Fissler is a big name in Europe, where cooking with pressure cookers is totally mainstream. Practically every home cook uses one, from Italy northward to the UK and Scandinavia. They’re now finding fans in the U.S. and debunking the myth of exploding pressure cookers. It simply can’t happen with Fissler pressure cookers due to their design. You can purchase Fissler Blue Point Pressure Cookers from City Kitchens in downtown Seattle (tip: they ship), or online from the Fissler Store or Cutlery and More.

You’ll find recaps of the Fissler class by Leslie Kelly, a star Seattle food blogger, in her post for Al Dente, an Amazon blog, and by Alli Shircliff, author of AnOpenCookbook blog. After attending the class, Alli was inspired to compare risotto making with and without a pressure cooker. Conclusion: She has a pressure cooker on her wish list!

To find Allrecipes’ collection of pressure cookers recipes, click here. Are you using a pressure cooker? What recipes do you rely on? Add your favorites! There are lots of cooks eager to learn more ways to use these cool cookers!

-Judith Dern, Senior Communications Manager

    

  
 
  

    

  
 

11 comments:

Very interesting read, but I don't think your title fits. I do not feel as if you demystified anything about the pressure cooker.

I heart my pressure cooker! I use it for any recipe that calls for braising, stewing or otherwise cooking tough cuts for meat for a long time in liquid. I've found that most meat recipes take about one third of the time in the pressure cooker. One thing I will not do again is cook meat in the pressure cooker in tomato sauce. The tomato sauce burned to the bottom of the cooker and I had the most terrible time getting it off. T

I have used a pressure cooker since I got married in 1972..... just bought a new electric one. LOVE it.
In April I bought one as a wedding present for my friends daughter (her mom never used one) and I get occasional updates of what she has made recently, and she says she uses it a couple times a week. :-)

My mil cooks potatoes in hers. They are delicious!!! Just a little butter & garlic added with potatoes, and they're done in less than 10 minutes!

Use enough liquid.A pressure cooker needs liquid to create the steam that cooks the food.

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Hello. And Bye. Thank you very much.

I love my pressure cooker as well. Selecting them is not an easy task since there are so many different kinds and brands out there. I used a best pressure cooker guide to help me decide and I went with the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker.