- You'll need one about twice the size of whatever you might want to cook Want to make a gallon of chili? You'll need an 8-quart cooker. Because the cooking method requires pressure to build up within the covered pan, you can't fill it to the top.
- Only fill your pan halfway Repeat after me, "Only fill it halfway up." If you fill it too full, the steam valve will get clogged, the pressure won't build properly, and you'll end up with a pot full of burnt, half-cooked chili. Ask me how I know this.
- When working properly, the cooker hisses, spits steam, and the weighted cover on the steam valve rocks back and forth The first time you use it, you may think it's going to explode. It won't. If the steam valve is getting louder and the valve cover stops rocking, turn down the heat a little bit.
- Make sure you add enough water to produce steam pressure This may result in a slight thinning of some recipes. To counteract that, after the pressure has dissipated, uncover your pan and drain or boil off excess water.
- You can't open the lid before releasing the pressure Most (all?) cookers on the market today have a quick-release button. Take care when using it, however, as steam will come shooting out of the pot and can cause injury. Do not use this pressure release method with soups and stews, as superheated liquid may escape with the steam.
- Do not try to cook pasta or fry foods under pressure Oil does not produce steam and if heated to a high enough temperature, will catch fire. Pasta needs time to rehydrate and adding pressure does not speed up the process.
And now for the best part, my 25-minute bean recipe!
Refried Beans in the Pressure Cooker
2 c dried pinto beans
2 T salt
2½ qt water, divided
2 T oil
2 large onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced (approx. 2 T)
2 T chili powder
2 T cumin
- Add dried beans, salt, and 1½ qt water to cooker
- Bring pressure up over high heat, reduce heat and cook under pressure 5 minutes
- Let pressure reduce and drain beans and set aside
- Sauté onions and garlic over medium heat until soft (do this in the bottom of the pressure cooker)
- Add spices, remaining water, and beans
- Return to high pressure and cook 15 minutes
- Let pressure reduce and mash beans with a potato masher or the back of a fork
Serving Size 1 c (334 g)
Serving per Recipe 6
|Amount per Serving|
Calories 235 Calories from Fat 50
|Total Fat 5.5g|
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Total Carbohydrates 37g
Dietary Fiber 11.5g