Using a pressure cooker has become extremely popular in the last few years. While pressure cooking has been around for over 300 years (it was originally invented by a French physicist named Denis Papin in 1679). There are two different kinds of pressure cookers-- one that is used on your stovetop and an electric version. According to the Washington Post, the “old school” stovetop pressure cooker has a lot more pressure per square inch (PSI) than the electric versions. The stovetop cooker reache…
about 15 PSI, while the electric type gets to 9-12 PSI. The stovetop pressure cooker also emits a hissing sound when cooking, which is a small jet of steam. This means it has a higher rate of evaporation than its electric mate.
It can be difficult to alternate recipes between the two types of pressure cookers due to evaporation and changes in cooking time, but as you cook more with either device, you will get better at figuring out how to adapt almost any pressure cooker recipe to the version you are using.
As pressure cookers have evolved over the last few centuries to become a common kitchen appliance that can cook meat, pasta, and almost any other dish you can think of. Because of its versatility, pressure cooker recipes have become more and more popular as cooks around the world are experimenting with new and delicious dishes. Below are some of the most popular types of dishes that are being cooked in a pressure cooker.
Pressure Cooker Soup and Stews
It’s so easy to make soup and stews in the pressure cooker because, much like a slow cooker, you can put all of the ingredients into the pressure cooker all at once and then cook it. This saves so much more time than having to cook each ingredient separately and then combine and cook those into a soup.
Some recipes do require the meat to be cooked before going into a pressure cooker soup recipe, so make sure you follow directions accordingly, so you don’t cross-contaminate.
There are several other different pressure cooker stew recipes that are perfect when it’s cold outside, or you are trying to eat healthier and get more protein and vegetables into your diet. Beef stew is always a favorite recipe that is usually loved by the entire family. Additionally, a warm, heavy chili with some cornbread on the side is perfect for a cold evening spent indoors waiting for the snow to melt and spring to come.
Overall, soups and stews are great in the pressure cooker because the ingredients are simple and may be things that you already have on hand. Combine what meat and vegetables go well together and add in some chicken or beef stock, along with some water.
Pressure Cooker Roast and Meat Recipes
Another great dish that sticks to your ribs and keeps you full and warm is roasted meat with vegetables. Pot roast in the pressure cooker is possible and saves you hours of cooking time in an oven or slow cooker. Because the pressure cooker uses steam to heat the dishes, the roast remains juicy and flavorful.
Besides a beef or pot roast for dinner, the pressure cooker is also great for cooking several different types and styles of meat. Pressure cooker pulled pork is a popular favorite because BBQ remains a kid-friendly and popular meat dish that pretty much everyone enjoys.
If you don’t want to do BBQ, you could also make carnitas, corned beef, roasted chicken, or roast beef. All of these are combined with some liquid, spices, seasonings, and any other sauces before cooking to make the meat flavorful and easy to prepare and serve.
Pressure Cooker Seafood
If you aren’t into meat like beef and chicken but still want a healthy protein, it is possible to cook many different kinds of seafood in the pressure cooker. Spanish paella is a popular seafood dish that is slightly similar to a heavy gumbo. It combines several different varieties of seafood with sausage or chorizo. These proteins are mixed with rice, spices, and chicken or vegetable stock to make an iconic Spanish dish that is perfect for seafood lovers.
If you don’t want paella, the pressure cooker can also make salmon steaks, a great seafood chowder, or even pad thai if you enjoy flavorful and spicy Thai food.
If you live in an area where seafood is available and fresh, take advantage of it. Don’t be hesitant to try out a new seafood dish in your pressure cooker. With a little practice, the right ingredients, and a watchful eye to make sure the cooking time stays accurate, pressure cooker seafood can turn out great.
Pressure Cooker Pastas
It’s true! You can cook pasta in a pressure cooker. Almost any pasta dish, when cooked at the right time, comes out perfectly. In many cases, the pasta dish is even more delicious because taking the time to create homemade sauces or to add actual cheese and seasonings is easier since cooking time goes by faster.
For kids, macaroni and cheese with shells or elbow pasta, combined with cheese and cream or milk (along with a few other seasonings) is a classic dish that is sure to please. Every little member of your family will love this hearty pasta that uses real cheese instead of a powdered mix. While there is nothing wrong with some powdered cheese flavoring, the real deal is so much richer and doesn’t take much more time at all when using the pressure cooker.
If you are looking for a more traditional Italian pasta dish to make for lunch or dinner, consider spaghetti, penne rigate, or chicken pesto. All of these are possible, and we have recipes available for all of them right here on Yummly!
If you don’t want to cook your pasta noodles in the pressure cooker, you can still make everything else you need for a great Italian dish. Homemade Italian meatballs are easy to cook, or you can save hours in simmering time and make your own marinara sauce to use or dinner or freeze and save a few batches for later.
Pressure Cooker Desserts
Looking to make cheesecake, bread, or chocolate cake? All these are possible in the pressure cooker. With the right ingredients and cooking time, it’s possible to make delicious baked goods in this kitchen appliance.
As with most dishes, this does take some preparation. With bread, in particular, the ingredients do need to be combined beforehand, so the dough is allowed to rise before cooking. Bread is much easier to make in the pressure cooker than many believe it to be. Once the dough has been given enough time to prove, it simply goes into the cooker for its appropriate cooking time. The dough will rise to take up the space of the container.
There are several different desserts that can be cooked as well: flan, a Mexican dessert that is made with cream, sugar, vanilla, and a few other ingredients, can be made in a pressure cooker. There’s also American desserts available, like apple crunch desserts, sticky toffee pudding, or even cheesecake pops!
Pressure Cooker Side Dishes
If you’re looking for a side dish to serve with your main course, consider trying potatoes, collard greens, pinto beans, green beans and bacon, risotto, or even steamed broccoli in your pressure cooker. These dishes are all a hearty and delicious compliment to whatever meat, salad, or seafood you are serving.
With so many different possible flavor combinations available, it’s hard to run out of ideas of what to cook in your pressure cooker. From meats to soups and desserts, it’s all possible, no matter what variation of this favorite kitchen tool you have available. When pressure cooking, make sure to follow all directions and safety recommendations to ensure that no one is harmed by the high-pressure steam that is emitted from this device. Once you come up with a winner, we’d love to see it shared here on Yummly!