Recently I’ve noticed that one piece of kitchen equipment popular in the ’70s and ’80s seems to make a comeback.
On almost every cookery show I watch the pressure cooker seems to be used.
But why is it that this piece of equipment is gaining in popularity once again.
They have come such a long way from the kind of model that my mum had in her kitchen.
There are even some models that these days need not sit on the stove that you just plug in.
Well, there are several reasons why pressure-cooking is making a comeback.
So Why Invest In A Pressure Cooker Now?
Reason 1 – Food Keeps Most Of Its Nutrients
Food cooked in a pressure cooker keeps more of its nutrients because they need not be cooked for as long. Remember the longer we cook food for then more of the nutrients will be destroyed.
As well as the food is ready a lot faster, pressure-cooking requires the use of less liquid.
As the liquid in the pan boils away this helps to remove more of the nutrients.
But faster cooking means that the food keeps not only more nutrients, but a lot more of its color and flavor.
You’ll find when cooking this way that it helps to enhance the richness of the food’s flavour. Also, more of the foods natural flavour is kept.
Reason 2 – Saves On Your Energy Bills
When pressure-cooking you need not use as many pans, as it lends itself to one pot cooking.
Also, as the food cooks faster it means less energy is needed to prepare them.
As the price of electricity and gas goes up we are all looking for ways to help keep these costs down.
Reason 3 – Saves You Time When It Comes To Preparing Meals
When you use a pressure cooker you can create meals where all the ingredients cook together.
All you need to do is prepare the ingredients.
If you are putting vegetables in just wash them and then cut them up and add to the pot.
By the time you’ve finished tidying up and setting the table the meal will be ready for you and your family to enjoy.
Reason 4 – Kitchen Is Cooler
As the heat and steam are retained inside the pressure cooker this means that you’ll notice the kitchen feels a lot cooler.
In the summer, this can prove a real godsend.
Reason 5 – Far Less Washing Up To Do
As well as having to wash up the pots and pans you’ve used, you also must clean down the walls and stove after cooking.
The lid on the pressure cooker is so secure that no food can escape from it.
Plus now you’ve only got one pan to clean rather than 2 or 3.
Reason 6 – Use A Pressure Cooker To Preserve Food
They have designed a pressure cooker to allow you to preserve foods for future use.
But if you are looking to preserve your own food you’ll need one of the larger model pressure cookers. We often know these as “canners”.
Such models can develop up to 15psi. They need to produce higher levels of pressure to ensure that the food is cooked properly so it can then be stored.
So as you can see investing in a good quality pressure cooker is a great idea.
It will make cooking cuts of meat such as cheek or oxtail a lot easier.
But having said that you may wonder just which type of pressure cooker you should think about investing in?
As you’ll soon find that pressure cookers have changed quite a lot from the kind that your mother had in her kitchen.
I still remember the awful sounds that my mother’s use to make when in use.
Also, the risks involved when using such kitchen equipment is less. This is because they come with a lot of safety features.
One that is especially important is that the excess pressure isn’t allowed to build up inside.
Another important safety feature is that they come with locking lid handles. So you won’t be able to open it until it has released all the pressure inside.
When it comes to pressure cookers there are two kinds you can choose from.
1. Combination Pressure Cooker
This is an all-purpose model and is much more lightweight compared to others.
You can use this type every day to prepare great tasting nutritional Paleo diet meals.
These models can develop up to 15psi of pressure.
So yes suitable for those who like to can their own foods. But will only allow you to do so in small batches.
2. Pressure Canner
These models are of a much heavier construction. They have been designed in a way that allows you to preserve food for long periods of time in jars.
They do offer many of the benefits that a conventional pressure cooker does.
But one other benefit is that it allows you to cook more at once because they can hold more.
We can also use it daily. But you’ll find that as these tend to be a lot thicker they are also a lot heavier.
This means that they do take longer to warm up compared to the combination ones.
Once you’ve decided which kind of pressure cooker it is you want it is important to learn how to use yours properly.
Below are a few tips that should help you get started.
I would also recommend that you read through the instruction manual provided.
If you remember to use the following tips it will help to ensure that you get the most out of your pressure cooker when preparing delicious Paleo meals for your family and friends.
Tip 1 – Always Cook With Liquid
When using such kitchen equipment you’ll find that you won’t need to use as much liquid as you would using conventional cooking methods.
This is because far less of the liquid will evaporate.
Yes, you can use more liquid than is recommended. But never use less than was is required.
Another point to remember when using a pressure cooker when following any Paleo recipes is this equipment cooks food a lot faster.
This is because of the pressure that is created and allows the build-up of steam within them.
Always Do The Following:
- Make sure that you use at least 1 cup of liquid when cooking.
- Never fill it up more than half full of liquid
- If you do add too much liquid. Then after cooking has finished transfer to a pan and bring to the boil. Then simmer until the required consistency is reached.
Tip 2 – Don’t Overfill
Although steam weighs nothing, it still needs room to inside the pressure cooker to allow it to build up.
So make sure that you never fill over two-thirds full with your chosen ingredients. Also only fill half full with liquid.
Tip 3 – Adjust The Heat
When it comes to cooking using this equipment the concept is simple.
Any liquid or water used boils once it reaches a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit. This is when steam will start to be produced.
Steam is actually hotter than boiling the liquid. In fact, it can reach temperatures of up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
The steam produced remains trapped inside the cooker and this leads to a build-up of pressure inside.
The pressure inside such equipment can build up to between 10 and 13psi. It is this pressure that helps the food to cook.
Because of the build-up of pressure inside you’ll soon find that that food cooks as much as 25% faster in one.
Tip 4 – Size Matters
When cooking with such equipment size really matters. To ensure that you achieve the best results possible then the food should be cut into pieces of a similar size. This will then help to ensure that everything cooks evenly.
If you intend to cook several kinds of food in the pressure cooker together then make sure you cook those that need more time to cook first.
If for example, you are doing a beef stew. Then begin by cooking the grass-fed beef first before you release the pressure and add the other ingredients.
If you do this not only are you ensuring that the food keeps its flavour but also it’s texture.
Tip 5 – Browning Is Vital
Browning any Paleo meat before putting in the pressure cooker ensures that it produces a more intense flavour.
After browning meat don’t forget to deglaze the pan. Not only will it help to loosen any bits of meat but also helps to intensify the flavour of your Paleo recipe further.