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With work starting back in a few weeks I'm seriously thinking about buying a pressure cooker to hopefully make things easier in the making dinner department. I've never owned one before and would like to get some pros and cons on owning one.


Are they worth spending the money or is it something that will end up in the back of the cabinet?


What kind of things can you make in one?


Any brand better than the others?


Can you use one with a gas stove? (Probably an ignorant question but since I don't know....)

Edited by dogmom4
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I bought an electric pressure cooker and I really like it...a lot. You don't have to wait a long time for pressure to build up like the ones you use on a stovetop. Although you do have to wait for the pressure to go down, the wait isn't nearly as long. Actually I bought it to use for canning prep...NOT FOR CANNING! So far the only thing I've cooked in it is meat. It comes out incredibly tender...falling off the bone tender. I put chicken breasts or hunks of beef or corned beef in it and from start to finish it is done in less than an hour. That is the meat I usually use in canning soups etc. Oh, and I've done a pot full of peeled potatoes, from start to finish in about a half an hour. Same for a couple of heads of cabbage. Oh and I used it for pre-cooking soup beans to can instead of soaking them over night. Ten minutes in the cooker with a TAB. of olive oil (to prevent foaming) and they were ready to can. Well, I guess I have used it for more than just meat. I just got an inexpensive Nesco one from Wal-Mart because I live alone and don't plan on using it all the time. It is a huge time saver for meats and long cooking veggies. I just put the stuff in the cooker, add water, set the timer and wait for the beep.


It came with an instruction booklet about how long to cook meats and veggies. If you read Kindle stuff there are a lot of 'pressure cooking' cookbooks for free from time to time. I haven't downloaded any of them though. I probably should though.

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Sounds like Jeeps has a pretty good one :-) I have two of the 7 sq. stove top cookers (1 Presto and 1 Mirro) and enjoy them both. Unlike Jeepers' mine does take time to come to pressure (vent) and then I put the weight on and cook for whatever time the food calls for. It really depends on what foods you're wanting to cook quicker than you can cook conventionally. Beans? Definietely quicker. Roasts, Tenderloins, whole Chickens etc. definitely quicker and VERY tender :-) I don't use mine a lot. But...I bought them used for $7 each so what the hey? They're there if I want them! LOL And would probably work great over a rocket stove!

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With mine...and I can only speak for my inexpensive Wal-Mart Nesco one, I put the stuff in the cooker, put in water or broth, put the lid on, make sure the thingy is on pressure and not open (pressure won't build with it open), set the timer (usually an hour because I'm lazy and off doing something else) wait until the timer goes off and give it about a half hour for the pressure to go down. Then nudge the pressure thingy open to make sure the pressure is down before I open it.


It's a little different from a pressure canner or stove top pressure cooker. You can open the pressure thingy while there is still some pressure in the cooker.


Pressure thingy is a knob type of thing you turn one way to open and the other way to close. Mine is very basic and doesn't have the option of choosing how much pressure to use.

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Jeeps...sounds sort of like the induction one that I inherited from my mother, but it has to sit on the induction cooktop (which I also have) for it to work. I've only used it a time or two, and not sure of it yet :-) Probably should learn more about it and watch some more UTube vids...since I don't have the user manual :-)

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My sister sent me a Phillip Richard 8 qt. pressure cooker: http://www.dailycheapskate.com/2012/04/8-quart-pressure-cooker-for-22-from-jc.html


Now, it is my 'go-to' pot, and we have a gas stove. I cook almost anything in it, in a fraction of the time, which helps keep my kitchen cool.


Usually, I will bring what ever I am cooking to a boil, then put the lid on. For me, it builds the pressure much quicker. When it is done, you can either let it reduce pressure by itself, put the pot in a sink of cool water, or tip the rocker and let it vent quickly (I usually put a dish cloth over the vent to contain the steam rushing out).


Pinto beans and such, take about an hour, compared to conventionally 6 hours. Ribs cook 30 minutes, I like to put them on the BBQ for a few minutes for the taste. ( I cooked them too long one time and the bones turned to mush. ) Chicken takes 10-15 minutes.... The spices seem to infuse into the food too. I have gone as far as cooking wings and then breading and frying/baking them to crisp them up.




There are a lot of cooking time charts, some designed specifically for each item you choose to cook in it and some designed for the type of pressure cooker you have.

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Almost anything that uses water can be cooked in a pressure cooker, braising or boiling. The amount of water and time is greatly reduced. I've seen some charts say 1/3 of the time and other charts say 70%.


The prices range from $22.00 for the one like I have, to $100+, depending on what brand and style you want to use.


IDK what the other brands are like. Mine is simple, easy to clean and in all the years I've owned it, I've only had to replace the lock spring. DH found a similar spring and replaced it.


For foods I do not want sodden, I place the food on a rack in the bottom of the cooker. Like roast, chicken wings, ribs, broccoli, cauliflower, and corn on the cob.

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Yep, there's a lot of diversity in pressure cookers :-) I have a shallow, tephlon lined one that I bought so long ago I can't remember. It's wonderful for just "steam" type cooking or blanching things really quick for my canning episodes. It's especially good for cooking my hamburger & sausage in preparation for canning. I plan to use it in the "wonder oven" ... when MrWE2 gets around to putting the stuff in the pillow cases and finding me another tote (accidentally broke the top lid by sitting something too heavy on it) to put the goodies in :-)

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Thanks for the info! I went and priced new ones. I saw a cheap one for 19.99 at the hardware store and ones that went all the way up to $200. I've put out a Wanted request on Freecycle cuz free is the best price. :happy0203:


I'd love an electric one but they're a bit pricey for me.


I'm also watching a Tfal 6qt one on Ebay that's going for $27.99 (seems to be a good price for that brand).


We'll see what happens.

Edited by dogmom4
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I recently got an electric Simply Ming pressure cooker for $99.00. We've only cooked a few items in it so far, but I do like. We did 6 ears of corn on the cob in 8 minutes and we've done a few meats. I can manually vent mine once it's done and release the pressure quickly, then serve the food. I haven't done a lot on it yet. There are a lot of youtube videos for pressure cooking. Good luck!

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I have one ( i think a Presto) that my neighbor found for me at an estate sale for $10. I mainly do potatoes in mine because it's faster then baking them in the oven. Plus I don't have to heat up the whole house in the summer. I've also done chickens and pot roasts in it. That's about it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My mother gave me a 4-qt one when I first got married. It was wonderful for tenderizing tough cuts of meat (all we could afford at the time), made short work of dried beans, and was excellent for preparing bone soup (we ate a lot of chicken), and every time I had a turkey carcass, that got pressure cooked too! The soup stocks were superb, and they cooked much faster under pressure. We discovered that the tougher cuts have the richer flavors, so we often bought beef cross-cut shanks (a soup cut that was quite cheap) and pressure cooked them for dinner. I also used it without the rack, gasket or weight as a heavy weight saucepan (excellent for popping corn in those pre-microwave days). It was nice and heavy so did not scorch the food ever unless I cooked it bone-dry (while I got busy with something else). It withstood the high temperatures of candy making (made plenty of peanut brittle in it). My then-new hubby said he did not mind the noise it made because it meant dinner was coming up!


Nobody knew at the time they should not be used for canning - indeed, the manual had canning directions in it, but I bought a big canner because it was too small to can in any quantities. I still fire it up to use as an autoclave when I want to sterilize medical supplies and instruments. After all an autoclave is nothing more than a pressure cooker...

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..... :busted: .....I've got to dig out the one I picked up at garage sale. I bought it mainly to have an extra weight for my pressure CANNER. But....mebbe I need to try this. The bone broth making aspect that Kappy mentioned is interesting.


MtRider :canning:

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I use mine mostly for making bone broth. I need to start using it for stews and such. I have a fancy electric one that I can brown and sauté in as well. I can also set bone broth up, tell it to run, go to bed (I wait until it builds up pressure so I know all is good), and it'll keep it hot until I wake up in the morning.

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