Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What kind of pressure cooker do you use?
I use a 6 quart Cuisinart electric pressure cooker. I have never owned nor used a non-electric stove top pressure cooker, so I can’t really compare the two.
What I like about the Cuisinart electric pressure cooker:
1 – Price. I bought my pressure cooker at Costco for $69.
2 – Convenience. With this electric pressure cooker you don’t need to be home to switch off the heat. When the timer goes off, the pressure cooker goes through a natural pressure release cycle and automatically switches to the keep warm setting.
3. Clean up. The big, removable cooking pot is dishwasher safe.
4. Browning/Sautéing Settings. Unlike a slow cooker, you can brown your meat or sauté your vegetables in the cooking pot using the Browning or Sauté settings. Often I won’t use my slow cooker because I think if I’m going to dirty a pan to brown the meat I may as well cook it in the same pan in the oven or on the stove top.
Update: I also use an Instant Pot Duo. Read my review of the Instant Pot.
The Instant Pot has less evaporation and is much quieter when in use. I also like the stainless steel pot in the Instant Pot better. Although sometimes I choose to use the Cuisinart because of the nonstick surface. They’re both great pressure cookers and often we use them both at the same time. One for the main dish and one for the side dish.
Q: What kind of trivet do you use?
I usually use the trivet that came with my Cuisinart pressure cooker.
Q: What kind of steamer basket do you use?
I use the OXO Good Grips Pop-Up Steamer. It’s metal but I still use it in my non-stick pot and am just careful to put it in and remove it gently. There are silicone baskets, but I haven’t found one yet that I recommend.
Quick Pressure Release – Following pressure cooking you will hear a series of beeps indicating the process is finished. Turn off and pull the handle of the pressure limit valve forward. Do not touch with your hand. Use tongs or another tool. Steam will immediately begin to release through the valve. Keep face and hands away from steam as it is released, and do not release pressure under hanging cabinets, which can be damaged by steam. When pressure is fully released, the pressure indicator will drop and the lid will unlock to open. Using Quick Pressure Release stops the pressure cooking immediately. If further cooking is necessary, the unit may be returned to Pressure, or the food may be further cooked on the Simmer Setting.
Natural Pressure Release – Following pressure cooking, allow the unit to remain on Keep Warm, or for a faster natural release, turn the pressure cooker off or unplug the pressure cooker. The pressure will begin to drop – time for pressure to drop will depend on the amount of liquid in the pressure cooker and the length of time that pressure was maintained. Natural Pressure Release will take from 12 to 30 minutes. During this time cooking continues, so it is recommended for certain cuts of meats, and some desserts. When pressure is fully released, the float (pressure indicator) will drop and the lid will unlock to open.
Source: Cuisinart Instruction Booklet
Q: I recently found your website and subscribed to emails. Can I use my old fashioned pressure cooker for your recipes?
Yes, you can use your old fashioned (stove top) pressure cooker for my recipes. Your cook time may be slightly shorter for quick cooking items such as veggies with a stove top pressure cooker.
I love the tip that Mike, Dad Cooks Dinner, recently gave in a post about using the instruction manuals as a guide. When I’m converting recipes for my pressure cooker, I use my Cuisinart Recipe Booklet as a guide all the time. Mike gave links to other pressure cooker recipe booklets that are online and will help you determine the proper cooking time for your stove top pressure cooker. Laura, Hip Pressure Cooking, also has a great list of pressure cooker manuals.
Q: Is the time the same for cooking in both electric and stove top pressure cookers? Have you used both and what do you think about each of them.
What I love about my electric pressure cooker is that it is completely automated. I don’t have to worry about figuring out what temperature to put my stove at, the pressure cooker sets the temperature. I don’t have to babysit it. If I have to run to the store in the middle of pressure cooking, the pressure cooker automatically switches to keep warm, so I feel comfortable leaving it unattended.
If you have limited space and do a lot of quick cooking items, like veggies, a stove top may be a better choice, but for tenderizing meats, soups and stews, I think most will like an electric pressure cooker.
I don’t have a stove top pressure cooker and have not used one (although I have fond memories of meals my mom made in her stove top pressure cooker). My understanding is many electric pressure cookers don’t reach as high a psi, so the cook time may be slightly longer in an electric pressure cooker. Laura, Hip Pressure Cooking, did a side by side comparison on her site .
Q: Why did you start a second blog:
On Barbara Bakes my main focus is baking. I found myself wanting to use my pressure cooker more and more, and I wanted a place to share the pressure cooker recipes I was creating. My hope for Pressure Cooking Today is that other bloggers and non-bloggers will also share their pressure cooker recipes and together we’ll make not only faster, but more delicious and nutritious meals.