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A Beginner's Guide to Pressure Cookers

A Beginner's Guide to Pressure Cookers

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The prospect of 15 pounds per square inch of steam heat that will soon be building up in the pressure cooker on my kitchen stove has me rattled before I even get the thing fired up. I have, I feel, done less dangerous things in my career—like luging, for example. My friends and family don't help matters. One pal cautions, "It's that constant, almost menacing rocking and hissing of the valve that totally keeps you on edge." My mom, whose new pressure cooker I borrow for this little experiment, left a helpful Post-it note saying, "Don't want to scare you but it needs respect." When's the last time someone lent you a toaster with a cautionary Post-it note? (Rhetorical question, since this has never happened in the history of the world.)

There's no denying, however, the appeal of the pressure cooker: slow cooking done faster. Water and steam under high pressure can reduce cooking times by up to 70 percent, which means, at least theoretically, that you could cook a whole chicken in 20 minutes or a potato in eight minutes (theoretically, because some of the setup can add time to the process).

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The science is pretty straightforward: Pressure increases the boiling temperature of water. In your unpressurized Dutch oven, water can only heat to 212°F. In a pressure cooker, water, sealed inside a strong pot, can heat up to 250°F before boiling. Imagine climbing to the top of Mount Everest and discovering that water, at such low atmospheric pressure, boils at a measly 160°F or so; should you decide to boil some coffee up there, it would not be piping hot.

There's nothing new about the pressure-cooker concept—it dates at least to the 17th century. Indeed, it carries the whiff of an old-fashioned, fusty method used long ago by addled cooks who caused occasional minor explosions. The old cookers had pretty simple safety valves on them and a reputation for potential disaster. So before I get cooking with my mother's new machine, I look for reassurance from Michael Schlow, a man who knows a thing or two about cooking under pressure. The James Beard award--winning chef and owner of four restaurants, including Boston's Radius, competed on last year's Top Chef Masters.

"Here's the thing," says Chef Schlow after I've filled him in on my mounting fears about pressure cooking. "It might be time to retire grandma's pressure cooker and invest in a modern one. The modern ones have gaskets on the outside, locking handles, and pressure release valves, so they won't explode on you. As long as you carefully follow the directions, you really don't have to be afraid of it."

What's more, he finds its uses are myriad. "While I'm a big fan of low and slow cooking, there are times when you need to get something done in a hurry, and that's when a pressure cooker really comes in handy," he says. "Speed is its main calling card, but it's also that one-pot, no-mess idea. Fall is coming up, and a pressure cooker is a great way to put out cool-weather dishes like braised lamb and osso bucco without having something on the stove for five or six hours."

Schlow says when you're dealing with any sort of braise, normally you wouldn't want the ingredients to boil away fiercely, as it could result in tough, dry meats. "But somehow the pressure cooker throws that ideology out the window, creating instead a moist, delicious stew."

Nice advice, but Schlow's a pro and I wanted to hear from a home cook about cooking under high pressure. I called Patti Erickson, a teacher and avid home cook from Denver, whom I found at Cooking Light's Facebook fan page. Patti has been using a pressure cooker for almost 20 years. She switched to a new model five years ago.

"I mostly use mine for Mexican food because it's so quick and it makes the meat incredibly tender," she says. "I make big batches—fiesta cooking for friends, like chicken for tacos, refried beans, and green chili. But you can also use it for one person; just throw in a chicken breast, and it works beautifully." Patti also mentions that you can cook foods from frozen, which I find particularly practical. "Don't be afraid, Amy," she coaxes. "It's easy and it's fun!"

It's time to get pressure-cooking. I read over my simple recipe 27 times before feeling confident enough to scrub some beets. I add them and some water to my mom's 6-quart pressure cooker; I line up the handles and lock the lid in place with a reassuring click. Then I crank up the heat on my stove and run clear across the kitchen.

As the water heats up, the cap on the lid starts to rattle and release little sputters of steam. This is alarming. It is also normal as pressure continues to build inside. Eventually I tiptoe back over to the stove to regulate the temperature. This is all done by instinct, as I had the instruction manual with my mom's pressure cooker, but what she told me is that the temperature has to be kept high enough so the pressure valve continues to sputter and release steam every so often. In other words, if my stress level went down, the heat likely wasn't high enough. Within moments the air is filled with the earthy scent of cooking beets as the steam perfumes the kitchen—and just 10 minutes after that, my timer goes off.

I move the pot off the burner to let it cool for about 10 minutes before pulling on the pressure-release knob to immediately release a plume of steam that helps to further stop the cooking process. (Some people, though, use the secret trick, which Chef Schlow mentioned, of placing the closed cooker under cold running water to cool it down even more quickly.)

I triple-check that the pressure indicator has dropped down—visual proof that there's no more pressure in the pot and that the lid is no longer locked onto the base. I carefully unscrew the lid and open it so that the remaining puffs of steam escape safely at the back of the cooker. I touch my face, hands, and legs: I'm still alive. I finish the recipe by running the beets under cold water and peeling and slicing them before tossing the 10-minute-cooked beets with my zippy dressing along with some fresh dill and walnuts. I am eating my beet salad moments later. And it's delicious—the fresh dill totally makes it. Shaving 35 minutes off the cooking time didn't hurt, either.

The next day I make a chickpea and chorizo soup. This recipe calls for sautéing onions, garlic, and chorizo in the open pressure cooker pot. Then I add the rest of the ingredients, including chicken broth and dried chickpeas, to the pressure cooker, screw on the lid, and bring it up to pressure. I'm now feeling confident enough to watch an episode of Modern Family while the chickpeas cook, occasionally checking back to make sure the pressure level is maintained by listening for and watching that telltale pressure release valve. It's that simple: A stew made from dried chickpeas that would have taken nine hours (including chickpea soaking time) has magically taken only one.

And it's amazing how much flavor the pressure cooker has wrought from garlic, chorizo, and chickpeas in 60 minutes. The chopped escarole stirred in at the end is a perfect foil, the pleasantly bitter greens making the dish especially satisfying.

I am in one piece. And I am a pressure cooker convert.

A Beginner's Guide to Instant Pot Cooking

Welcome to the wonderful, slightly wild world of Instant Pots, the multi-tasking devices that are designed to make your life a whole lot easier. The most popular brand, simply called Instant Pot, is an electric pressure cooker, steamer, rice cooker, yogurt maker, a saute pan that has a whole bunch of pre-programmed settings (14 in all) meant for the cooks who want to set it and forget it.

Sound too good to be true? Well, it&aposs a little bit more complicated than all that. In fact, the biggest complaint about this popular piece of kitchen equipment is that the manual is a tough read, which is one reason loads of community forums have popped up, offering great advice about how to approach this helpful tool instead of letting it gather dust in the cupboard. Here&aposs what we&aposve learned from poring over user&aposs suggestions, hints, tips and advice.

1. Start Slowly

Because so many cooks feel right at home with a slow cooker, head that direction as way to become familiar with the various buttons and settings. The beauty of this high-functioning device is that it has the ability to saute, so braising is super easy. Press the saute button and wait for the display to read "hot" before adding food. Then, after the food has browned, hit the slow cooker button and set the timer, according to the recipe instructions. After cooking, the Instant Pot keeps the food warm for up to six hours.

Try testing your braising/slow cooker skills with this winner from Chef John:

2. Under Pressure

According to the recipe booklet included with each Instant Pot, cooking under pressure involves four simple steps: Add ingredients, select cooking program, "continue your daily life until it beeps" and, finally, release pressure and serve. However, cooking under pressure is a bit more nuanced. Skip the pre-programmed settings because they don&apost quite fit the recipe, and you&aposll be asked to choose between high or low settings. Most stove top pressure cookers hit 15 psi, or above. (psi stands for pressure per square inch). The Instant Pot tops out at 11.6 psi on high and 7.2 psi on low. Cooking food under pressure means soup&aposs ready in 10 minutes, quinoa&aposs finished in 60 seconds and rice is ready in four short minutes. Hard-cooked egg&aposs are ready to peel in six minutes cooking time. No wonder the Instant Pot&aposs so hot.

Give this method a spin by making pork carnitas, or one of the more than 100 pressure cooking recipes on our site.

3. Which Way to Go: Quick vs. Regular Release

The Instant Pot takes a while to build up to the pressure setting called for in each recipe, and, it also needs time to release that pressure. For the QR (quick release), turn the vent counter clockwise, using a tea towel or an oven mitt to avoid getting splattered by hot liquid. If time isn&apost an issue, the Natural Pressure Release (NPR) will happen on its own, most often in 10 to 15 minutes.

4. ALWAYS Pre-soak

Dried beans are a popular ingredient to pressure cook, and, for best results, pre-soak the beans. That step makes for a creamier texture. If you forget, or want to skip that step, pre-cook 1 cup of dried beans and one teaspoon salt in four cups of water for four minutes. (All timed cooking starts once the proper pressure has been reached.) Drain those beans and they&aposre recipe ready.

5. When in Doubt, Check the Display

The bright red display on the front of the Instant Pot helps cooks keep track of progress. When preheating, it reads "on" and then, when a cook time is set, it lights up and counts down on the display. A "keep warm" time is displayed with capital "L" in front of it. Same goes for the slow cooker function, though there&aposs no L on the display. If "Lid" flashes, that means the top is not properly set. Give it a twist and try again.

6. Practice Makes Perfection

The more you use the Instant Pot, the better you&aposre going to feel about it. While the makers repeatedly emphasize the proven safety features, remember this: Avoid touching the top while the Instant Pot is in use. It&aposs HOT! But it&aposs really no different than a boiling pot of pasta or a sizzling skillet full of fried chicken. Be aware, and you&aposll be fine.

Are you setting up your kitchen for the first time and wondering about some of the best selections of cookers you can use to explore the best for you and your family. If this sounds like you, we have cherry-picked some of the top best cookers you should consider having in your kitchen. This review [&hellip]

What should I look for when I’m buying an oven? What do I need to know? Luckily, our 2021 updated guide has you covered. In most houses, the oven is the heartbeat of the home. One of the most important parts of any kitchen, actually going out and buying your first oven can prove a [&hellip]

Pressure Canning: Step-by-Step Guide

Before you get started, prepare your low-acid preserving recipe. Here are safe pressure canning recipes!

  1. Gather materials. Ensure all canning jars are clean by washing in hot, soapy water and rinsing well and air drying. Make sure all jars, lids, and bands fit properly. There shouldn’t be any nicks or cracks on the jar’s rim.
  2. Pre-heat jars. Place jars in a large pot with enough hot water to cover the jars with water. Add lid. Bring water to a simmer (180°F) for 10 minutes.
  3. Set-up your pressure canner with the rack and 2-3 inches of water brought to a simmer and kept simmering until ready to fill with jars.
  4. The lids sold today do not need to be placed in simmering hot water to activate the sealing compound before placing on the jars.
  5. Follow one of our low-acid, pressure-canning recipes when preparing your produce. Fill each jar with the prepared food and liquid needed, using a ladle and funnel.
  6. Release any trapped air bubbles using a rubber spatula or a plastic canning wand between the jar and food to release trapped air. Leave appropriate headspace (¼”, ½”, or 1” per recipe directions).
  7. Wipe rims of jars with a clean, damp cloth and remove any food residue.
  8. Put the lid on each jar, apply the screw band and tightened only finger tight. Using the jar lifter, put the jars on the rack in the pressure canner with 2 – 3 inches of simmering water. Don’t allow the jars to touch each other.
  9. Process the jars: Lock the canner lid in place, leaving vent pipe open. Adjust heat to medium-high to get steam flowing through the vent pipe. Allow steam to escape through vent pipe for 10 minutes or until steam forms a constant flow to ensure there is no air (only steam) left in the canner. Close vent using weight or method described for your canner. Monitor and adjust heat to achieve the recommended pressure.
  10. Maintain the recommended pressure for the time indicated in the recipe, adjusting for altitude (see altitude chart). Turn off heat. Let canner stand undisturbed (do not remove the weighted gauge) until pressure returns to zero. Wait 10 minutes, remove weight and unlock the lid, tilting away from yourself. Allow jars to cool for an additional 10 minutes.
  11. Remove jars from the pressure canner using a jar lifter and set upright on a towel. Leave jars undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours.
  12. Remove the screw bands and inspect lids for seals. There should be no flex when you gently press the center of each lid. If the lid flexes, gently try lifting the lid at the rim with your nail. Properly sealed lids will remain attached. If a lid fails to seal within 24 hours, immediately refrigerate the product.

Want to try other types of preserving? See the easier method, water-bath canning, for canning tomatoes and jams.

More Canning Information

Safe, successful canning requires comprehensive, easy-to-follow recipes, informed by the latest scientific research and updated as new research becomes available. Consider these your trusted resources and follow their recommendations and tested recipes to the letter:

  • Start with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Home Canning Guides. Read Guide 1: Principles of Home Canning thoroughly. See the useful glossary beginning on page 33. Guide 4 and Guide 5 contain information and recipes for preserving low-acid vegetables, poultry, meats, and seafoods.
  • The National Center for Home Food Preservation offers everything you need to know about canning low-acid foods. Each link expands to reveal a wealth of information. offices in each state offer home-canning information in a variety of formats: guidebooks and fact sheets, telephone hotlines, how-to videos, and in-person classes. Check your closest Extension office to find what they offer near you. Some state Extension programs offer Master Food Preserver training for personal mastery of safe home preservation skills and training as volunteers for judging at county fairs, state fairs, providing information on how to safely preserve at health fairs, and community gardens.
  • The Ball Corporation website has a wonderful section on low-acid pressure canning, including a useful troubleshooting (problem-solving) chart.
  • Booklets that you can order and then put on a kitchen shelf to consult while working include the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving (37th edition), and the University of Georgia’s So Easy to Preserve (this one also comes in a video version).

What’s your favorite food to can? Let us know in the comments below!

This Canning Guide was updated and fact-checked as of July 2020, by Christina Ferroli, PhD, RDN , FAND . If interested in nutrition counseling and education practice to make healthier choices—or, simply stay up-to-date on the latest food, nutrition, and health topics—visit Christina’s Facebook page here.

Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started With Your Pressure Cooker

Maybe you have no idea what all of those buttons are for, or what the terminology you see in Instant Pot recipes actually means.

If any of those sound familiar, I’ve got you covered!

I’ve created a beginner’s guide to Getting Started with Your Pressure Cooker, and it’s perfect for people like you!

It helps walk you through the basics of getting started, helps you feel more confident and less overwhelmed, and clarifies the confusing aspects of pressure cooking.

Best of all, you can get it FREE when you sign up below!

Here are a few comments from readers who have used the guide to become more confident with their pressure cookers:

"I am loving getting to know my pressure cooker. thanks for holding my hand along the way!"

"I am having fun with the Instant Pot. I appreciate all the information you have for my new cooking adventure!"

"I used it for the first time last night for crockpot pizza. It turned out great!"

"First of all, thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience in such a friendly and delightful way. I'm already a grandma, and until now have had zero experience with a pressure cooker. So far I'm very impressed with the results. thanks again for your guidance into this new realm of cooking!"

Join these and thousands of others who have taken advantage of this FREE guide by signing up below:

How to Use the Instant Pot Ultra – Beginner’s Guide

This page may contain affiliate links for products we recommend. If you click a link and buy something we may receive some compensation. This does not change the price you would pay. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Do you still have your Instant Pot Ultra in a box? Whether you’re an Instant Pot newbie or a veteran, find out how to use the new features of the Instant Pot Ultra.

The Instant Pot Ultra is a lot different than previous models. I’ll show you how to use the new use the new display to pressure cook, saute, and use the new Ultra mode for sous vide. And find out how to use the new button for quick release.

Questions about your Instant Pot? Leave a comment below and I will answer it.


For 1 – 2 people, Instant Pot 3 qt:
For 2 – 4 people, Instant Pot 6 qt:
For 4 or more people, Instant Pot 8 qt:


If you make a purchase through the Amazon links above, I will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

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Use the KitchenAid Grain Mill for Making Your Own Flour

The grain mill is created to make sure that the chef can conveniently make their own flour. If this is an unique concept, the add-on includes its own dish publication that is so easy to comply with that also the newbie will attain excellent results. The grain mill enables approximately 10 mugs of flour to be made at the very same time.

Juicing for Health With the KitchenAid Juicer Attachment

Everybody is looking for a fantastic method to be healthy. The most recent fad when it pertains to food and being healthy and balanced is every one of the different sorts of juices that people can make. Juices have actually ended up being so popular due to the fact that they are an excellent way to obtain the vitamins and nutrients that you require to be healthy and balanced.

The KitchenAid Grinder Attachment – A Helpful Tool for Your KitchenAid Stand Mixer

The KitchenAid mill is a popular and also very simple to make use of device. Anyone who likes to grind their own fresh meat would love this home appliance! Not just can you grind meat, you can also grind fruits and veggies.

Using the KitchenAid Ravioli Maker Attachment for Homemade Pasta

Back then, there was something relaxing and comfortable regarding making ravioli by hand. Maybe it was done in the huge sunny kitchen of one’s nonni when an individual was a child, and they aided make the dough and roll it out, then make the little squares, load them with prosciutto, or pesto, or ricotta cheese, or squash, or whatever filling up the household preferred. They used that little kinking device, sealed whatever with an egg clean, after that slid the little squares right into the huge pot of boiling water for just a couple of mins, and they were done, and served …

Cooking With KitchenAid Stand Mixer Attachments

KitchenAid stand mixer add-ons can make life both much easier and also sweeter. Individuals can avoid the dull supper routines and tremble things up. Or grind them.

The Grinder Attachment for the Kitchenaid Stand Mixer

KitchenAid stand mixers utilize various accessories to do a wide array of jobs in the kitchen. This will certainly make cooking simpler as well as a lot more enjoyable for an ambitious cook. Among these add-ons is the KitchenAid food mill, an useful device for any KitchenAid stand mixer.

Choosing the Best Juicer

This article reviews the vital functions to seek when buying a juicer. There are lots of juicers to pick from of varying quality and rate. This article is developed to completely notify you to ensure that you can choose a juicer wisely!

The Art Of Pressure Cooking – Science And Magic Collide

Alright, there is not really any kind of magic or hocus pocus to it. But seeing how the pressure cooker works might simply make you assume otherwise. Specifically to a chef, the capacity of this cooking devices to cook recipes at fifty percent or quarter the time needed is genuinely enchanting. Yes, the pressure cooker can prepare meals at less the needed time.

Pressure Cooker 101 – Tips For Safe And Proper Use

Are you afraid of making use of a pressure stove as a result of tales of pastas sauce obtaining splattered all over the ceiling? Well, occasions like those only occur when the pot is not made use of effectively.

Breville Toaster Ovens – Which of the Seven Models Should You Choose and Why?

Breville makes 7 toaster selections, each with essential qualities that you need to consider when determining which to acquire. Discover exactly how to look past the price as well as see the distinguishing attributes between the Smart Oven, ikon, Die-Cast, as well as various other models.

Three Brands Among the Best Paring Knives

Everything you wish to know regarding the Wusthof, Victorinox, and also Reject paring knives. You won’t desire to miss what establishes these incredible knives apart.

Making Chocolate Candies? Choose the Perfect Molds for Catering to Wedding Guests!

There are different kinds of candies. Self-made sweets are the very best ones that can be there. These sweets match wedding events well as they have an intrinsic allure for parties.

Looking For That Illusive Perfect Pan

I don’t follow the nonstick frying pan principle that it’s far better to acquire low-cost frying pans as well as replace them typically. Personally that would ultimately show quite inefficient and all of those throwaway nonstick pots and also frying pans choke up at the task closest to my heart … cooking my dinner!

Ideas for Using an At-Home Soda Maker

You’ve seen soft drink makers promoted or on screen at stores. There are some cutting-edge versions that can only be discovered online also. Lots of customers do not recognize exactly how lots of different points you can do with a soft drink maker. From typical sodas to ingenious as well as one-of-a-kind concoctions, a soft drink maker is a fun device that can be utilized to produce a selection of delicious as well as interesting beverages.

Does the Showtime Rotisserie Oven Stand Up?

Maybe the something that you don’t learn about the Outset Rotisserie Oven is that it is an exceptionally durable stove. In order for it to prepare extra pounds’ worth of meats for hours at a time, it needs to be. It is a bit bigger than your average toaster, but tiny enough to rest consistently on your kitchen counter.

Other Important Instant Pot Tips

Instant Pot is a great small appliance for any busy home cook. Here’re a few more tips to ensure your success.

  • Always use enough liquid. 6qt pressure cooker requires a minimum of 1 cup of clear liquid, such as water, broth, etc. For 8qt pot you need at least 2 cups of liquid.
  • Allow 10-20 minutes for IP to come to pressure. Keep this in mind if you’re trying to get dinner on the table by a certain time.

TIP: A lot of recipes don’t mention this important note. IP doesn’t start counting down the cook time until it’s under pressure. And it could take up to 20 minutes depending on how much food is in the pot, and whether they’re frozen or not. More food, or frozen food = more time to come to pressure!

  • Purchase more than one insert. If you use your IP as much as we do, you’ll want a second insert in case the other one is dirty.
  • Always wash and replace the sealing ring after each use. The sealing ring is crucial for trapping the moisture in the pot and building pressure.

TIP: Buy multiple sealing rings in different color for sweet and savory food. And/or place a clean sealing ring after cleaning the lid without waiting for the dirty ring to get cleaned and dried.

  • Add thickeners, such as flour or cornstarch, after cooking. Pressure cookers depend on liquid to form steam. Adding a thickening agent during cooking can absorb liquid too quickly and affect cooking time.

The Essential Beginner's Guide to Cooking with Your Slow Cooker

Simplify your dinner routine with this family-friendly, easy-to-use appliance.

For busy parents, the slow cooker is a real lifesaver. It&aposs simple to use, not terribly expensive, and with very little effort up front, you can have a warm, inviting meal ready for you and your family when everyone comes home. We think that alone is worth the counter space. So if you&aposre new to slow cookers or just need some inspiration to dust off the one you already have, read on to get familiar with the basics and learn some new tips for slow-cooker success.

What to Look for in a Slow Cooker

Slow cookers come in a range of sizes from just a couple of quarts to 8 quarts and beyond. We think a slow cooker within the 5- to 7-quart range is perfect for most recipes. On average, you can expect to serve about 8 people with a 6-quart slow cooker. As with size, prices vary too, from $30 for a basic model to $160 for a programmable model with all the bells and whistles.

The most basic functions you&aposll need are a High setting, Low setting and a Warm setting to hold the temperature of the food once the cooking is complete. If you plan on having your slow cooker on while you&aposre away from the house, then consider a programmable model that automatically switches to Warm when the cooking is done. This will give you some wiggle room in terms of timing in case you can&apost get to your slow cooker right away when it&aposs done cooking.

When to Prep Your Slow-Cooker Meals

1. Load-&-Go Slow-Cooker Recipes

There are two basic types of slow-cooker recipes: ones you prep and dump right in your slow cooker and walk away, and ones that require a little more work, like browning meat or vegetables on the stove first. You can find great recipes for both, but if you imagine doing your prep work in the morning before work, then keeping it simple with recipes that require only chopping and dumping into your slow cooker may be easier.

2. Slow-Cooker Recipes That Require Additional Prep Steps

If you have time, doing some additional cooking steps before you put your ingredients in the slow cooker can make for a better result. For example, browning your food on the stove first develops a richer flavor. Experiment with recipes that require additional steps on the weekend, or on weekdays you can complete some of the steps the night before so in the morning all you have to do is put your ingredients in the slow cooker. Just be sure to store your food in a storage container and not in the ceramic slow-cooker liner in the fridge. A cold liner is slow to warm up and may pose a food-safety hazard.

How a Slow Cooker Can Save You Time & Money

It seems unnatural that something that cooks food slowly could actually save you time, but a slow cooker can be an efficient investment. It&aposs a fix-it-and-forget-it appliance. Once the food is in the slow cooker, you&aposre free to do other things until it&aposs ready, as opposed to the constant stirring that&aposs often needed when you&aposre cooking on the stove.

It can even save you money too. Since slow cookers cook food in larger batches, you can make more than one meal with one round of cooking. Think eating leftovers for lunch instead of eating out, or freezing an uneaten portion of your meal for another night. And if you&aposre a meat eater, tougher less-expensive cuts of meat like pork shoulder or chicken thighs break down and become tender with slow, low cooking.

How to Convert a Recipe for a Slow Cooker

If your favorite stew or chili recipe is done on the stovetop, chances are you can make it in your slow cooker. It may be a bit trial-and-error at first, but here are a few tips that will help:

Reduce the liquid in your recipe by about half if it&aposs made on the stovetop and you want to make it in your slow cooker. With tight-fitting lids, slow cookers don&apost allow for much evaporation.

If you&aposre cooking with dried beans, hold off adding acidic ingredients like vinegar and lemon juice until the end. The acid slows down the cooking.

Lastly, pick recipes with tougher cuts of meat like pork shoulder or chicken thighs, as opposed to tenderer cuts like pork loin or chicken breast. Leaner, tenderer cuts become dry and tough with longer cooking times, while the tougher cuts become tender and juicy.

Best Recipes for Slow-Cooking

Chilis, soups and stews are the crown jewels of slow cooking, but you can get way more creative. Try lasagna, yes, lasagna in your slow cooker. Got company? You can make overnight oatmeal in your slow cooker to feed a crowd. And you don&apost need a barbecue or an oven to make tender baby back ribs or BBQ chicken drumsticks. You can season and cook them in your slow cooker too.

Slow-Cooker Tips for Working Parents

Owning a slow cooker can take the stress out of mealtime. What&aposs better than coming home to find your meal ready and waiting? If your primary goal is to have a meal ready when you get home from work, pick a recipe with an appropriate cooking time (around 8 hours) and make sure your slow cooker will automatically switch to warm when the cooking is complete.

If you are planning on leaving your slow cooker for most of the day, you will most likely be cooking on the Low setting to extend the cooking time. The High setting will achieve the same results, but in half the time. Stick with recipes that give you both settings as an option, and choose the setting that fits your needs.

Slow-Cooker Safety

Slow cookers are basically foolproof but there are a few food-safety points to keep in mind. Temperatures between 40° and 140ଏ fall into the so-called "Danger Zone"-an environment where bacteria thrive. Because of this, you want to heat your food efficiently. So, never cook frozen meat in your slow cooker. It takes too long for the meat to thaw and heat up safely.

Cut up your meat into pieces rather than cooking large pieces. Chicken thighs and drumsticks are fine, but avoid cooking a whole chicken.

And lastly, don&apost overfill your slow cooker. Aim for about two-thirds full. Any more than that, and the contents may hover too long in the danger zone.

How to Make It a Meal

Soups and stews loaded with veggies can be a complete meal that you pull together right in your slow cooker. But you can also make sauces and sides to feed a crowd too or to freeze and have on hand for another time. Cook meatballs in your slow cooker and serve them over whole-wheat pasta, or make home-made baked beans for a backyard barbecue.

Benefits of Pressure Cooking

What if I told you that I could make a tender pot roast with vegetables in under an hour and a half? How about beef stroganoff in about 20 minutes? The first thing most cooks will tell you is pressure cooking cuts cooking times by more than half. It can also take tough, cheaper cuts of meat and make them tender and juicy. Because flavor does not travel through steam, different types of food can be cooked together without combining flavors. Fewer nutrients are lost and more flavor is retained during cooking because of reduced cooking times and liquid used.

Types and Features of Electric Pressure Cookers

There are many types of electric pressure cookers available in the market with different styles, features, and prices. The history of pressure cookers goes back to the 1940s and 1950s when they were first introduced in the market. These are called first-gen pressure cookers, and they lacked many security features.

Now the electric pressure cookers we have today are packed with many safety features in them as compared to old ones.

The latest design of the lid-locking system almost makes it impossible for the lid to be removed when there is pressure in the pot.

Latest generation pressure cookers are furnished with spring valve pressure regulators. But the ones which completely changed the whole scenario of pressure cooking are the modern electric pressure cookers and multicookers.

The instant pot has made it so easy that everyone can cook without any fear and hesitation. Electric pressure cookers slightly take more time than the stovetop counterparts.

Ease of Use

Electric pressure cookers usage is way easier than you can think. It makes meals faster and healthier within no time, and it boils the meat, dense vegetables, and hard beans quickly.

Hard beans are often soaked in water for hours and hours before conventionally cooking them. But electric pressure cookers have made it so easy that it takes minutes to cook them thoroughly.

How to Use the Instant Pot – Beginners Guide

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Just got an Instant Pot? Don’t be intimidated! This is a beginner’s guide to using the Instant Pot. I will show you secret tips and tricks so you’ll be using your Instant Pot like a pro!

Have a question about the Instant Pot? Leave a comment. I am here to help!


For 1 – 2 people, Instant Pot 3 qt:
For 2 – 4 people, Instant Pot 6 qt:
For 4 or more people, Instant Pot 8 qt:


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  2. Odhran

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