My New Kitchen Toy- A Pressure Cooker!

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IrishLass

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Well, I finally did it! After much back & forth debating with myself combined with a fair bit of armchair researching, I bit the bullet and bought a pressure cooker...a 10-quart stovetop made by Zavor (formerly Fagor). It's their Duo 10-qt with a high setting (15 psi), and a low setting(8 psi). The other runners up were the WMF 8.5-quart stovetop and the Instant Pot electric-type.

I've been wanting a pressure cooker for some time now. My late grandma loved hers and I remember fondly the deliciously tender, fall-apart pork shoulder she would make in it for Sunday dinners. I already have a pressure canner, an All American, which is built like a tank and fantastic for canning low-acid foods such as meat, etc...but being 100% aluminum, it's not something I ever want to use for cooking dinner if you know what I mean.

Anyway, after all was said and done I decided to go with a stovetop-type over the electric-type because it just fits better with my cooking style, plus I have very little counter space on which to set the Instant Pot.

Once that decision was made, I decided to go with the Zavor/Fagor over the WMF because the largest capacity WMF I could find was only 8.5 quarts, and I plum didn't like the shape of it ...way too deep/tall and narrow for my likes.

The Zavor/Fagor had a more desirable 10-quart size, and it's wide and squat instead of tall and narrow, which provides me with much more comfortable maneuvering room. It also helped that the Zavor/Fagor worked better with my pocketbook.... I was able to put most of it on the Amazon gift cards I got for Christmas. :cool:

I haven't tried it out yet since it only just arrived last night, but I'm so excited to give it its first whirl! I'm thinking of pot roast. Then after that I want to try making bone broth.... then my Italian Sunday 'gravy'......and then something ala 'pot-in-pot'.

Those of you that have pressure cookers, what are your favorite things to cook in them?


IrishLass :)
 

MGM

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Well, I can't speak for a traditional PC, but I use my InstantPot for everything: boiling eggs (shells peel right off), making rice, it's crucial for making bone broth (in fact, I have 2 IP and one pressure cooker smoker, so can zip right through bone broth and broth reduction). As we speak, I am braising ribs in the slower cooker function of the IP. I also like making multi-layered meals in the IP: quartered potatoes in the bottom, with chicken broth as liquid, then balance a small foil tin on top to put a raw meatloaf in, then jam some green beans around into the empty spot. 15 minutes later, it's time to eat! I'm sure you'll fine tons of recipes online, as pressure cooking is totally back in vogue.
 

shunt2011

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I love my pressure cooker. I use it 3-5 times a week. I do have an instant pot though. You'll have to share how it goes when you use it. I've had mine for over a year and finally got rid of all my crock pots as I just love my instant pot.
 

Dawni

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We mainly use the ancient pressure cooker we have to cook our dishes faster than normal lol

I cook lentils in there, curries, and most anything with beef so that you're not biting into rubber after hehe
 

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View attachment 35151

Well, I finally did it! After much back & forth debating with myself combined with a fair bit of armchair researching, I bit the bullet and bought a pressure cooker...a 10-quart stovetop made by Zavor (formerly Fagor).

Those of you that have pressure cookers, what are your favorite things to cook in them?

IrishLass :)

Congratulations! I bit the bullet and got mine around 8 years ago, when I started cooking a lot of Indian vegetarian food and didn't want to do beans for hours on the stove. So really got it for the energy and time efficiency, and generally only use mine for beans and rice. Once or twice, I've used it to start something off which I expected to take a long while, and then finish the regular way because I'm a pretty "hands-on" cook.
 
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i'm sure you're going to LOVE IT
i needed some comfort food in a baaaaaad way earlier this week so this is what i made :D
https://www.sweetandsavorybyshinee.com/instant-pot-bacon-ranch-potatoes/
i use an instant pot, its the 6qt size. id like a bigger one, one of these days.
we use it to make tamales, lots of soups, macaroni and cheese, pots of beans
these are my two favorite cookbooks that i use all the time:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01J1EWPN0/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CIYURJE/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
the things i use them for the most- i make those crockpot freezer meals you see on pinterest- i rarely remember to get them out to thaw the night before for the crockpot. so the night of- i pull them out of the freezer and right into the instant pot so dinner is ready in 30 minutes. (i do use a separate rice cooker at the same time)
i also love to do big batches of meats and use them for meal prepping lunches for the week or freeze them in smaller bags for nights when we need something ready to eat NOW- especially carnitas or carne asada for super fast tacos/nachos/etc
this summer id like to start using it for canning
 

shunt2011

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i'm sure you're going to LOVE IT
i needed some comfort food in a baaaaaad way earlier this week so this is what i made :D
https://www.sweetandsavorybyshinee.com/instant-pot-bacon-ranch-potatoes/
i use an instant pot, its the 6qt size. id like a bigger one, one of these days.
we use it to make tamales, lots of soups, macaroni and cheese, pots of beans
these are my two favorite cookbooks that i use all the time:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01J1EWPN0/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CIYURJE/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
the things i use them for the most- i make those crockpot freezer meals you see on pinterest- i rarely remember to get them out to thaw the night before for the crockpot. so the night of- i pull them out of the freezer and right into the instant pot so dinner is ready in 30 minutes. (i do use a separate rice cooker at the same time)
i also love to do big batches of meats and use them for meal prepping lunches for the week or freeze them in smaller bags for nights when we need something ready to eat NOW- especially carnitas or carne asada for super fast tacos/nachos/etc
this summer id like to start using it for canning

You can cook foods for canning but you can’t can in the instant pot. Not sure if that’s what you meant. I do some canning but not in my pot.
 
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ahhh bummer, that is what i meant. thanks @shunt2011
i'd read somewhere that i could can in it, i thought i even remembered discussion for how many jars would fit. huh. well more research to do haha :D i havent ever done canning that needed a pressure cooker before, i usually count on my mom to take care of those batches :p
 

Primrose

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Yep I got a stovetop one for christmas last year. I use it a bit, not a heap. To be honestly I probably use it most for cooking rice, 6 minutes and it comes out great. I've also done some lamb shanks and some roosters in it when I'd forgotten to put them in the slow cooker in the morning. As someone said above - using it to cook normal food faster lol

I have a cook book that I really must look at to try new things in it more often
 

lsg

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I have used pressure cookers and canners for years. I learned from my Mom. I now have an electric pressure cooker and love it.
 

IrishLass

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Thank you for sharing your tips everybody! :)

@zanzalawi....those potatoes sound so yummy!

It makes the best peeling hard boiled eggs ever. I make so much in it. Money well spent. Time saver. Great yogurt too.

That's what I hear! That will come in handy when I make my devilled eggs, for sure. Lately I had been buying the peeled hard boiled eggs from Costco just to avoid the annoying peeling issues I always seem to run into with my hard boiled eggs.

I also like making multi-layered meals in the IP: quartered potatoes in the bottom, with chicken broth as liquid, then balance a small foil tin on top to put a raw meatloaf in, then jam some green beans around into the empty spot. 15 minutes later, it's time to eat! I'm sure you'll fine tons of recipes online, as pressure cooking is totally back in vogue.

That sounds great! The multi-layered technique is something I really look forward to trying out.

Re: canning....yeah, unfortunately the Instant Pot is not safe to pressure can in, although it looks fine for water-bath canning of high acid-type foods. :) Where pressure canning is concerned, the Intant Pot's pressure just doesn't come up high enough for many of the foods that need to be pressure canned because of their high pH (i.e., meats, broths, green beans, etc..), which require a psi of 15. Instant Pot's working psi only gets up to about 11.6 from what I understand. I don't even trust the Zavor that I just bought to pressure can in, even though it's advertised as a pressure cooker/canner with a psi of 15 when set on high, mainly because it has a spring-type pressure gauge instead of a weighted pressure gauge (springs can eventually wear out and fail, whereas weights never wear out). I do all my pressure canning in my All American, which has a weighted pressure gauge. Better safe than sorry.


IrishLass :)
 
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Well, I can't speak for a traditional PC, but I use my InstantPot for everything: boiling eggs (shells peel right off), making rice, it's crucial for making bone broth (in fact, I have 2 IP and one pressure cooker smoker, so can zip right through bone broth and broth reduction). As we speak, I am braising ribs in the slower cooker function of the IP. I also like making multi-layered meals in the IP: quartered potatoes in the bottom, with chicken broth as liquid, then balance a small foil tin on top to put a raw meatloaf in, then jam some green beans around into the empty spot. 15 minutes later, it's time to eat! I'm sure you'll fine tons of recipes online, as pressure cooking is totally back in vogue.
I do as well. Love my InstaPot. Makes the best hard boiled eggs ever. My pressure cooker is way too large for me to use for anything but canning which is why I have my InstaPot.
 

nonna oakie

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A couple years ago I bought a 10 qt. ELECTRIC pressure cooker. I did some canning in it. It was pint jars. I first bought it because I needed that size for hot tamales. I have been using pressure cookers since I got married. I would not be without one.
 

KimT2au

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Congratulations on purchasing your first pressure cooker, @IrishLass , you have a good brand there and it should give you years of service. I have had a pressure cooker for about 25 years now and love them. I am actually on my second pressure cooker as a part on my first one broke and Prestige no longer sell spares for that model :( My favourite things to cook in mine are stocks, especially chicken stock, or any sort of beans. Ohhhhh, yer, I love those beans. I hope you enjoy experimenting.
 
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Thank you for sharing your tips everybody! :)

@zanzalawi....those potatoes sound so yummy!



That's what I hear! That will come in handy when I make my devilled eggs, for sure. Lately I had been buying the peeled hard boiled eggs from Costco just to avoid the annoying peeling issues I always seem to run into with my hard boiled eggs.



That sounds great! The multi-layered technique is something I really look forward to trying out.

Re: canning....yeah, unfortunately the Instant Pot is not safe to pressure can in, although it looks fine for water-bath canning of high acid-type foods. :) Where pressure canning is concerned, the Intant Pot's pressure just doesn't come up high enough for many of the foods that need to be pressure canned because of their high pH (i.e., meats, broths, green beans, etc..), which require a psi of 15. Instant Pot's working psi only gets up to about 11.6 from what I understand. I don't even trust the Zavor that I just bought to pressure can in, even though it's advertised as a pressure cooker/canner with a psi of 15 when set on high, mainly because it has a spring-type pressure gauge instead of a weighted pressure gauge (springs can eventually wear out and fail, whereas weights never wear out). I do all my pressure canning in my All American, which has a weighted pressure gauge. Better safe than sorry.


IrishLass :)
True true. I do love my InstaPot for cooking all,anger of foods however!
 

IrishLass

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Well, I gave my pressure cooker it's first spin this weekend with a batch of my "Italian gravy', i.e., tomato sauce recipe, which I normally simmer very gently at a low temp for 6 hours in the oven in a large roasting pan with the lid slightly ajar, until thick and 'old world' delicious. I had originally planned on breaking 'er in with a pot roast, but my family had a hankering for some spasagna doused in my 'gravy', so that's what I ended up making as my first thing.

Verdict? I was super amazed! My sauce came out tasting every bit as flavorful and yummy as my 'all-day', oven-cooked version, although I did have a bit of a rusty start with bringing the pot up to pressure. It took way unnecessarily long because the instructions were a bit confusing about which temp to start out with on an electric stovetop....i.e., in one paragraph it says to start on 'high' and in another it suggested starting on 'medium', and so I decided to start conservatively on medium, because you know....tomato sauce + stovetop + no stirring = scorched pot and burnt sauce, normally.

Well, anyway, after about 27 looooong minutes of heating on medium with no sign of reaching pressure in sight, I threw caution to the wind and turned the burner up to med-high, which thankfully did the trick in about 3 to 5 minutes (yay!). Next time, I'm going to do what the experienced folks over on the Hippressure Cooking website say about this brand of pressure cooker- just start on high! (I went to their site for advice after the fact).

Well, once it finally came to pressure, it took 45 minutes on high (15 psi) to cook, about 2-ish minutes or so to bring the pressure all the way down by turning the pressure knob to the "release' setting, and another 45 minutes extra of cooking off some of the liquid on medium-low heat with the cover off, since not much evaporation goes on in a pressure cooker, as y'all well know. All told, it took roughly 2 hours in a pressure cooker to end up with the same great-tasting sauce that normally takes me 6 hours to do in a slow oven, so I came out ahead, all things considered! :)

It'll be quicker next time, though, because my plan is to start out on one burner set to high and then once pressure is reached to move the pot over to my adjacent burner which I'll already have heated to medium low (which is the temp my stove was able to maintain proper, steady pressure).

For what it's worth- neither my pot nor my sauce scorched! Yay! I wish I could say it was because of the quality of my pot's protective triple-clad bottom, but I really can't say for sure one way or the other because as a precaution I happen to have placed one of those Chemex stainless steel wire grids on my burner that folks use to enable them to heat their glass coffee pots on electric coil-type stoves without them breaking. It was my first time using one of the grids. I bought it at the same time I bought my pressure cooker because I heard that they also work great underneath metal pots and pans to prevent things from scorching. The only other thing I've tried it with other than my sauce so far is cooking spaghetti,and for the first time, I was able to cook spaghetti with minimal stirring without any of it sticking to the bottom of my pot! Cool beans!


IrishLass :)
 

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