Anyone using an electric pressure cooker?
- FoodChic Feb 16, 2011 08:24 AM
I'm considering buying an electric pressure coooker, as I often get home late and would like to have something I can set to start before I get in the door.
Is there a particular model that CH's have had success with, or models you'd recommend I avoid.
I've heard good things about the Insta-pot, because the insert is stainless steel (as opposed to non-stick, which is the norm for electrics):
I have a stovetop, so I cannot personally recommend it.
There is a series to teach pressrue cooking, and the littel "quirks" to using an electic are pointed out (http://www.hippressurecooking.com/201...). They are not much of a problem if you don't steam vegetables often! Off the top of my head, the quirks to using an electric vs. stovetop pressure cooker:
-You cannot open the pressure cooker and stop cooking using the quick cold water release method (which takes 20 seconds) - you need to use the valve and that takes about 2 minutes during which your veggies could quickly become overcooked.
-The pressure is lower in electrics than most stovetops which means it will not cook as fast, though it will still be cooking faster than the traditional method
-It is tricky (not impossible) to cook with wine, milk, beans and other forthy foods because they can clog-up the valves when you open the pressure cooker by releasing the valve (as opposed to the water method).
-Obvious limitations of having a non-stick interior, in that it needs special care, implements and attention .
I can't remember if there are more at the moment. The obvious advantage of using an electric is that it regulates the pressure automatically. When the pressure cooker reaches pressure, you usually need to turn down the heat for the rest of the cooking time (the first few times it's tricky while you learn how "low" you can go with your new pan) while an electric pressure cooker will do all of this and start a cooking timer automatically.
As you mentioned, some electric pressure cookers have a timer that can start cooking at a certain time - though depending on how many hours you are away from home, you cannot plan for a meal with meat to be sitting in a pressure cooker at room temperaturer 7-9 hours. That, in my mind, is the ONLY advantage of a crock-pot.
To give you the most cooking options I recommend a stovetop pressure cooker. To give you the most planning options I recommend an electric MULTI-cooker (pressure and rice cooker plus crock-pot in one).