Don't let memories of your mother's pressure cooker sway you from using this effective tool for making meals. Technology has improved the modern pressure cooker from the hissing, clanging pot you may have seen explode in your childhood kitchen. With a safer design and a multitude of benefits, pressure cookers are making a comeback. The advantages of cooking with this tool, including speed, flavor and nutrition, far outweigh the logistical inconveniences.
A major advantage of a pressure cooker is the retention of vitamins and minerals in the food. Because this method uses less water than boiling and less time than most other cooking options, more nutrients remain in the food. For instance, pressure-cooking vegetables such as green beans or asparagus takes five to eight minutes for achieving pressure within the pot and one to two minutes for the veggies to cook.
Pressure-cooking brings out the flavor of your food. In the airtight pot, all of the juices you might lose to evaporation are reabsorbed by the food. The result is a sauce that tastes like you slow-cooked it or a tender meat dish. A pot roast can be cooked in 35 minutes, while meat loaf can be prepared in as little as 15 minutes. A chicken and rice dish can be ready in eight minutes, including heating the rice for one minute in the pressure cooker. Serve your family a homemade Chinese dish of ginger chicken in under 10 minutes.
Even dishes with several ingredients can be prepared in a pressure cooker. By adding the items that cook faster as you go, stews, soups and casseroles are easy to make without using all of your pots and pans. You can melt butter and saute meats and vegetables all in your pressure cooker. Chicken casserole is possible in under 20 minutes, while jambalaya can take as little as 15 minutes. Create homemade clam chowder in less than 10 minutes with a pressure cooker.
As convenient as a pressure cooker is for preparing a full meal easily and quickly, it can also be used to make desserts. With some preparation and cooling time, make a cheesecake in your pressure cooker in about 20 minutes. Save money by making your own applesauce, or impress your friends and family with homemade rice pudding.
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