I remember when I was just a little kid and my mother would cook up something in the pressure cooker. In those days, pressure cookers were a dangerous thing. We were warned to keep back at all times while it stood hissing away on the stove almost like some deranged snake ready to pounce.
As I got older and I started to help mom I was often given control of the pressure cooker. I still remember taking the heavy beast from the stove over to the sink all the time holding my head back as far as possible just in case it exploded in my face. I would then run cold water over the top of it until the hissing would finally stop. You could usually go and have a cup of tea while this was happening as it sometimes took up to 5 minutes or more for the pressure to finally be released so we could remove the lid.
Fortunately these days, with multiple safety valves and locking mechanisms, pressure cookers are a lot safer. And you don’t need to worry about breaking water restrictions as modern pressure cookers don’t require running water to release the pressure.
Pressure cookers are actually quite a healthy way to cook. Because the food cooks so quickly and very little liquid is used, minerals and vitamins in the food are not boiled away and lost. This makes pressure cooking much healthier than conventional cooking. This also means that the food retains maximum flavor.
What Can I Cook In It?
Just about anything! It is ideal for dishes that need long cooking such as soups, stews, beans and grains. Brown meats and onions prior to pressure cooking. It’s also great for al dente vegetables in just two minutes.
You can adapt normal recipes for the pressure cooker. Just ensure that you have a minimum of two cups of water to create the necessary steam.
Life Is Slower In The Mountains!
For people living at sea level, water usually boils at 211 degrees. Using a pressure cooker at a high altitude needs more time for the water to heat up. As a general rule, if you live over 3,500 feet above sea level, you should increase the cooking time by 10%.