A pressure cooker is a gadget that most people stay away from, usually citing a story about Grandma’s stew on the ceiling. I am probably spacier than most cooks, and I can tell you that in all the years I have used a pressure cooker there has never been an accident. And now they are much safer than in Grandma’s day.

What a pressure cooker provides is a cheap and healthy way to cook slow-cooking foods such as beans, potatoes and certain whole grains fast. It is also great for soups, stews and vegetables that take a while to cook, such as collard greens, kale, beets and artichokes. People who swear they don’t like collards love them when I cook them under pressure. (Go to the "recipe" tab to learn how.) This old-fashioned gadget can be more useful than ever in today’s busy world, so give it a try.

Pressure Cooker Tips

- Use about half the amount of water that you would use for conventional cooking.

- Don’t use a pressure cooker to cook split peas or lentils because they may foam up and clog the vent.

- For most foods, bring the pressure up over high heat, take the cooker off the heat and let it cool off naturally and your food will be cooked.

- For vegetable soups or faster cooking for vegetables bring it up to pressure and then cool it down quickly under running water.



 


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