Pressure cookers have been around for a long time and I know people who have cooked with one their entire life. To them, using a pressure cooker is nothing out of the ordinary, just another tool to put dinner on the table. But to me, a pressure cooker is both marvelous and scary at the same time. We’ve all heard the stories about the pressure cooker that exploded! But, there is a safe solution – the electric pressure cooker (EPC)!
Top 5 reasons to use an electric pressure cooker:
1. Nutrients – More nutrients are preserved due to the decreased cooking time.
2. Time saver – Cooking time can be reduced by up to 70%.
3. Money saver – Inexpensive cuts of meat can be cooked to tender perfection in less time than an oven takes.
4. Space saver – Replace multiple appliances with a multi-function EPC that doubles as a rice cooker, steamer, slow cooker, yogurt maker, and does small batch canning.
5. Convenience – Programmable EPC can be left unattended, there is just one pot to clean, and the kitchen doesn’t heat up.
Modern EPCs are completely safe and easy to use. In fact, adding this kitchen tool to my arsenal has transformed my cooking! I can quickly get highly nutritious and tasty meals on the table after work with ease. I just program the settings in the morning, then leave the house. When I come back, the main dish is ready to eat and the house smells wonderful!
I opted for an Instant Pot – this model Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker with Stainless Steel Cooking Pot and Exterior, 6-Quart/1000-watt, Latest 3rd Generation Technology.
I recommend the Instant Pot EPC for a few reasons:
- The pot is stainless steel (not Teflon coated) so it won’t leach chemicals into your food.
- It has a 6 quart capacity so it can hold a full roast with the vegetable trimmings or make a large batch of bone broth.
- It’s fully programmable with 7 functions (pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté/browning, yogurt maker & warmer).
I use the Instant Pot to pressure cook meals as often as I use it as a slow cooker. It can conveniently be programmed with a delayed start time and when done cooking, will keep food warm until served. There are a few minor inconveniences though… like the learning curve for cooking times. If you’ve never used one before, it takes some getting used to in terms of figuring out how long to cook a particular dish. And there aren’t a ton of recipes dedicated to EPCs (but I’ll be sharing my favorites in future posts tagged EPC). It should be mentioned that a recipe for a standard pressure cooker can be converted for an EPC by increasing the cooking time by about 10% or just using the longest time when given a range of time (e.g. 5-7 minutes, choose 7 minutes). Because of the slightly lower PSI, an EPC takes a bit longer to cook than a stove-top pressure cooker but is still a time-saver over the stove top or oven.
I use it weekly to make a variety of dishes like hard steamed eggs, chicken tikka masala, chili, chicken curry, pork roast, pot roast, and whole slow-cooked chicken. Look for the recipes on this site.
There are a few accessories that I find really helpful: an extra seal – just in case – because they eventually wear out; a lid for sauté or storing in the fridge; and a steamer insert (clicking on photo links below will take you to Amazon.com if you’d like to read more about these products or make a purchase).