Last week I finally purchased a pressure cooker!  Now, I’m sure some of you are now asking, “Just now?  What took you so long?!” while others ask, “What are you, my grandmother?”

This is the one I got, a Presto brand 8-quart beast with a modern-style regulator.  It had great ratings and was fairly reasonably priced.

To sort-of answer both questions, I shall briefly exposit upon the benefits of pressure cooking. The primary benefit being that it cooks food fast.  Stupid fast.  A pressure cooker can do anything that a slow cooker can do, but in about 1/10th of the time.  For instance, I’m sure* all of you have tried to cook beans in a slow cooker or stove-top.  On the stove-top cooking beans takes between 2 and 3 hours, and in a slow cooker they can take 4+ hours (depending on the bean and how fresh they are).  In a pressure cooker, they take about 8 minutes.  Similarly, you can do a pot roast in the pressure cooker in about 45 minutes, cook a chicken breast in about 6 minutes, and cook potatoes to perfect mashing consistency in about 5 (all depending on the model of pressure cooker of course, I’m using the numbers from the manual).

Interested in pressure cooking yet?  Well, there are some additional benefits such as better nutrition content of cooked food and fuller flavor, but I’ll let you decide if those are important. A great resource for those now interested in pressure cooking is Miss Vickie.  She has all kinds of information about pressure cooking, including time charts, recipes, tutorials, tips, Q&A, etc.  Fastcooking is another good  reference site.

Tomorrow I’m going to once again attempt to make low-fat Dal Makhani.  Last time I cooked the beans on the stove-top and it took forever, plus the beans weren’t evenly cooked with some being mush and others still being firm.  I’m hoping that using the pressure cooker to make the dish will turn me into a true believer.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

*May not be a good assumption.