Pressure cookers can be used for many other dishes than just meat, beans, soups and stews.
Making hard boiled eggs in a pressure cooker is one of my favorites – they are cooked perfectly every time, no grey ring around the yolks!
You can cook a whole dozen at a time without any fear of cracking the shells, like can happen when they are boiled.
But the best thing about cooking hard boiled eggs in this appliance, is the pressure causes the membrane that is just below the shell to shrink. This makes the eggs peel perfectly every time!
Pasta is another great dish you can make in the slow cooker. With little to no water needed, the pasta is cooked using the sauce – which makes the pasta so much more flavorful than that boiled in just water since the sauce actually gets absorbed into the pasta.
It also makes the best and richest chicken stock you’ve ever tasted! Because the chicken parts/carcass is cooked under pressure, more of the proteins and minerals are extracted from the bones (compared to stovetop boiling). More of the gelatin gets extracted which is what makes the stock so silky and rich. Just enough water is added to cover meat, then once it’s done cooking the remaining liquid that you strain out will be double-strength (because pressure cooking is more efficient at extracting the flavor/gelatin), so to use your stock mix it with a ratio of 1 part stock to 2 parts water.
Benefits of Pressure Cooking
Time Saver – cooking time is reduced by a third (or more in some cases). Depending on its size, a roast can be ready in 20-40 minutes, instead of 2-3 hours.
Healthier – Studies have shown that cooking with this method retains 50% more nutrients than by regular steam cooking.
Saves Money – to make the same dish in the oven or stove, a pressure cooker uses 70% less gas, electricity and water.
One Pot Cooking – being cooked in a sealed environment, there is no splatter messes to wipe up and no need to monitor the cooking process. Clean up is easy with only 1 pot to wash (or better yet, put in the dishwater!).
What to look for when buying
- Because electric pressure cookers have several back-up safety features, there is no fear of exploding pots like in the old days. That is why I only use and recommend electric pressure cookers. Not to say that there are not some great (and safe) stove top models, but they are not my preferred choice.
- A removable inner pot that is made of stainless (aluminum is softer and can deform over time) and is dishwasher safe. A non-stick coating is useful for easier clean up.
- Choose a 6 or 8 quart size – 6 quart is perfect for a family of 4.
- Must have at least 2 pressure settings – High & Low. High is for meats, legumes and anything dense that needs longer to cook. Low is used for fish, eggs, vegetables and pasta.
GFC Tried & Tested Recommendations
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- Quality of the task they are designed to do
- Quality of manufacturing/Longevity
- Best value for your money
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