The Pressure’s On!
I bought my first pressure cooker in 2001 when our family moved aboard our sailboat, Snowcat. I’d been told that every serious cruiser has a stove top pressure cooker in their galley, and sure enough…live-aboard sailors are pressure cooker fanatics.
I've Grown to Love my Pressure Cooker...Here's Why:
- Fast meals - cooking under pressure cuts the cooking time of many recipes by 50%. This means you spend less time preparing meals (and your boat doesn’t heat up while you’re cooking.)
- Versatile – beyond its use for pressure cooking the large pot can be used to steam crabs, boil pasta or soak stains out of clothing…anything goes.
- No electricity required – traditional stove top pressure cookers work great on a propane stove. Living off the grid on a boat means that plug-in electrical appliances like slow cookers and microwaves are no no’s, they take too much of our precious solar power.
Pressure Cooking is Ideal for Mountain Cooks Too
Have you ever noticed that everything seems to take longer to cook in the mountains? Pasta, beans, rice, braised meats and even boiled eggs need extra time at Colorado elevations. If you want to speed up your meal preparation, pressure cookers can be a blessing for those of us who cook at high elevations.
It’s not Scary Rocket Science
Many people dismiss pressure cooking as “old-school” or just plain scary. So, it’s time to demystify the pressure cooker, which is basically a cooking pot with a tight lid. When the pressure cooker lid is sealed, the small amount of water inside turns to steam. In a pressure cooker, the steam can’t escape which increases the pressure inside the pot. Internal temperatures can reach 250 degrees, effectively speed-cooking your food. In general, your cooking time in a pressure cooker will be at least one-third to one-half of traditional cooking times.
One Pot, Many Benefits
Today’s pressure cookers can do it all. For your vegetables, the pressure cooker allows you to preserve more nutrients than steaming or boiling because you’re cooking faster and using less water. Chicken and less expensive cuts of meat become tender with intense flavor because volatile flavor molecules in the moist heat can’t escape during pressure cooking. Next time you want beans, but forgot to soak them first, the pressure cooker can save you hours of cooking time.
Time for Me to Explore Electric Pressure Cooking
I just received an Instant Pot – electric pressure cooker and I am excited to start posting more of my favorite pressure cooker recipes with adjustments for the ever-popular Instant Pot. If you already have an electric pressure cooker, let me know where you find tested recipes and Instant Pot advice.
I’m looking for reliable Instant Pot resources. If you have a favorite website or blogger that you recommend, leave their name in the comment section and I’ll check them out!
Portions of this post were previously published in the Steamboat Pilot.8