Move over air fryer, the pressure cooker is back.
Retro cooking has returned to Britain with the return of the time and money saving pressure cooker.
Growing up, the pressure cooker seemed to be a permanent fixture of our kitchen. Especially so in winter, when it was like the magic porridge pot only with Scotch Broth.
It made food such as rice pudding, soups and stews quickly, but it was scary. I always remember the screetch of high pressure steam and being scared that it would blow up and soup everywhere.
I’ve no idea what the accident rates of pressure cookers were, but in my mind it was a scary piece of kitchen equipment I didn’t want to learn how to use.
Fast forward more years than I’d like to admit to and I was gifted a pressure cooker for a birthday. Those scary thoughts of soup armageddon returned.
But what is a pressure cooker, why should you buy a pressure cooker and what can you cook in a pressure cooker?
What is a pressure cooker?
A pressure cooker is basically a big pot that has a sealed lid. The food in the pot is cooked under high pressure steam.
Why buy a pressure cooker?
It saves time. Cooking times are reduced by on average half, and sometimes more.
It saves money. This reduced cooking time saves money in fuel costs.
Energy efficient. Pressure cooking is more energy efficient as it uses the steam produced to cook instead of releasing it and losing it. This uses less energy, saving cash.
Healthier food. Pressure cooked food keeps its nutrients. Compared to boiling, it’s a healthier way to prep food.
How have pressure cookers changed?
Pressure cookers are no longer that scary, steam hissing machine. Modern versions can be electric (instant pot) or come with full safety devices.
What can you cook in a pressure cooker?
Soups, stews, risotto, rice pudding, lentils, beans, meat, vegetables the list really is endless.
It’s a learning curve certainly, but being able to cook home made soup in 10 mins and saving money is making this easy homework.