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Pressure Cookers

pressurecookerFast cooking is pressure cooking. If you're ready to experience a whole other level of convenience and speed at dinner time, then a pressure cooker is just what you need.

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!

hardboiledeggs_grey

Grey ring forms around yolks when overcooked

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

Accessories

The basket is used to steam vegetables, fruit, fish and eggs. The trivet is always used with the basket to keep it elevated so the food is not sitting in the water while cooking.

Cookbooks from America's Test Kitchen are one of my all time favorites. More than just a collection of great recipes, they teach you how to cook, why a certain ingredient behaves in a certain way, and the food science behind it.

While the recipes in these cookbooks may not all be gluten free, they are a great foundation to start from and can be easily substituted and tweaked to become gluten free.

All the products that we have recommended have been tried and tested in our Gluten Free Club Test Kitchen, and have been chosen as our top picks based on their:

  • Efficiency
  • Quality of the task they are designed to do
  • Quality of manufacturing/Longevity
  • Usefulness
  • Best value for your money

If you decide to purchase any of the items we recommend, Amazon will send a small percentage of the purchase price to the Gluten Free Club (at no extra cost to you!). We appreciate and value your support, thank you!


To see all our favorite kitchen items that we use and recommend in; Bakeware & Cookware, Small Appliances, Kitchen Tools & Gadgets, Knives, and Recommended Cookbooks, check out our shopping page at Amazon.com eStore - Gluten Free Club


 

4 Responses to Pressure Cookers

  1. Jeanne December 17, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

    Hi, Marla! I have a pressure cooker that was given as a wedding present seventy years ago.
    I love cooking with it!
    The idea of hard boiled eggs is interesting.
    You explained what happens to the egg.
    Please tell me how you do hard boiling eggs.

    • Marla Hingley
      Marla Hingley December 18, 2016 at 10:10 am #

      That white membrane that encloses the yolk/white shrinks evenly and completely away from the shell when cooked under pressure. On the stove top, the membrane shrinks away unevenly which is why some sections of the eggs can be harder to peel, or some eggs in the batch are easy and some are harder.
      Cooks the eggs under low pressure if your machine has that option. You can add as many (cold) eggs that will fit in the steamer basket as well as 1 cup of water. On my machine I use the 'Fish' button then adjust the time to 6 minutes - this works best for the large size of eggs I use, but until you find what exact time works best just do a few at a time. One minute more or less will make a big difference. Once they are cooked and the time is up, release the pressure then submerge the basket of eggs in a bowl of cold water to stop their cooking. Peel once they are cool enough to handle.

  2. Mary C. Dorchester December 17, 2016 at 9:45 pm #

    I have used pressure cookers all my life, both the stove top and the electric. When I was 4, my mother was given one, so the hiss and jiggle are part of the soundscape of my childhood. No beet juice on the stove top, but applesauce on the ceiling, one time!

    So you leave me hanging -- ! How do you cook boiled eggs in a pressure cooker? I would love to know how.

    Mary

    • Marla Hingley
      Marla Hingley December 18, 2016 at 10:06 am #

      Cooks the eggs under low pressure if your machine has that option. You can add as many (cold) eggs that will fit in the steamer basket as well as 1 cup of water. On my machine I use the 'Fish' button then adjust the time to 6 minutes - this works best for the large size of eggs I use, but until you find what exact time works best just do a few at a time. One minute more or less will make a big difference. Once they are cooked and the time is up, release the pressure then submerge the basket of eggs in a bowl of cold water to stop their cooking. Peel once they are cool enough to handle. Enjoy!

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