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Feb 15, 2013 09:01 AM

New Pressure Cooker

Any must try recipes?

What's the deal with beans? Do I still have to soak them?

I have brown rice, butternut squash, and defrosted chicken breasts. is it true i may be able to cook more than one of these at the same time in the PC using the steamer basket? but that by no means needs to be a meal....i have a fairly well stocked pantry and freezer when it comes to spices and oils and other pantry stuff.

the booklet came with a pretty unoffensive recipe for chicken breasts with mango chutney and another one for soy chicken. and i was interested in trying butternut squash soup.

thanks in advance!

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  1. If you soak beans before cooking with a regular pot, then do it before pressure cooking. That way you get an accurate sense of the difference in times.

    Three points about beans in a pressure cooker:
    - Better to err on the side of shorter time under pressure; if the beans are undercooked, you can always cook them a little further without pressure.
    - Use natural pressure release; quick release tends to burst skins. (Another reason for being conservative about pressure cooking time, because the beans continue to cook during the 10 minutes or so that the pressure declines.)
    - The beans-plus-water shouldn't fill more than half of the pressure pot.

    I haven't cooked more than one dish at a time in the pressure cooker. Maybe someone here has experience. If not, some other good sources of information on it (as well as recipes that could give you further ideas) are the book Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna Sass and the web sites Hip Pressure Cooking and Miss Vickie's Pressure Cooking.

    I'd recommend doing several runs with single dishes to get familiar and comfortable with how your cooker operates before taking on multiple-level cooking. Have fun!

    11 Replies
    1. re: ellabee

      thanks! i got the lorna sass book.

      1. re: ellabee

        I soaked navy beans yesterday while I was at work. Cooked them for 12 minutes under high pressure, then natural release. They're a revelation. Thank you for your help. I froze them in smaller portions.

        tonight i'm going to try a meat dish, i think. that or brown rice.....

        1. re: ellabee

          Yes to all of the above.

          I often cook beans the day before I make chili. I use the PC, cool them and drain off the liquid which I reserve. Then I chill the beans overnight.

          I add the chilled beans to the pot after browning the meat or into the slow cooker, depending on which chili I'm making. I use the reserved liquid to adjust the heat level of the chili. I'm forever making chili for people who don't like very hot chili.

          I think I got the tip about using the reserved bean liquid from someone on CH.

          I hope you enjoy your new PC.

          1. re: sueatmo

            I'm going to make chili tonight in it. un-authentic, turkey with beans chili. any tips or recipes are greatly appreciated!

            thanks for the response!

            1. re: eLizard

              What's inauthentic about turkey chili? I'd brown the turkey in a little oil first, with the chopped veggies, and then add liquid and cooked beans to the pot. You should be able to do the browning in the PC.

              I used to make turkey chili with canned garbanzos and black beans. I'd forgotten that! I happen to have turkey thawing in the sink right now. (Don't tell the food police.) I think I have some canned beans around here to.

              Enjoy your chili.

              1. re: sueatmo

                i dunno, people are very particular about their chili. beef with no beans is what i hear the real deal is.

                1. re: eLizard

                  I started a thread about crazy chili and what I learned is that people put whatever pleases them into their chili.


                  1. re: sueatmo

                    I remember that thread! thanks.

                    just pc'ed a pot of chickpeas for hummus. the beans are meltingly creamy and tender. but not over cooked. they're amazing.

                    1. re: eLizard

                      I believe I have made these in chicken broth and found them luscious. This is a good reminder to do it again.

                      Gotta love the PC, right?

                      1. re: sueatmo

                        the flavors you get in the pc are outstanding. i find the crock kinda washes the flavors away. so not only am i making a chili in 10 minutes instead of 6 hours, the flavors are sooo much better.

                        1. re: eLizard

                          I make a white chili in the slow cooker that is quite good. I cook the Great Northern beans in the PC before hand.

                          Actually for other chili I just make in the Dutch Oven on top of the stove. But I see that using the PC would make it quicker, and apparently quite well. I do like the scratch cooked beans for chili.

        2. I agree with Ellabee about getting comfortable with your pressure cooker.

          I do not cook more than one dish at a time but I am experimenting with it soon.

          Lorna Sass wrote a book called Pressure Perfect that I believe has recipes for cooking more than 1 dish at a time.

          I am a pressure cooking expert. I have been teaching people how to cook plant-foods for the past 17 years. I have lots of experience with beans and squash soup. These are featured in my cookbook The New Fast Food.

          Here is a short bean lesson:
          you do not have to soak but I find that the beans turn out better when they are soaked.
          Presoak overnight or all day and then pressure cook. Most beans: black, pinto, kidney and navy take about 4 to 6 minutes at pressure, with a natural pressure release.

          You can see me demonstrate beans on You Tube: or see my website for how to cook brown rice.

          Of course, Lorna Sass and Hip Pressure Cooking have recipes, too.

          I teach people the basics. Since you have a good pantry, you can figure out how to make great meals.

          I love pressure cooking and hope that you do, too.

          3 Replies
          1. re: The Veggie Queen

            thank you for the youtube. i'm having a bit of a hard time finding the brown rice recipe......

            1. re: eLizard

              Brown rice is one of the few pressure cooker ratios/recipes I have memorized: 1.5 cups brown rice, 2.5 cups water, 25 minutes at pressure, natural release. I usually make it in the 4-qt cooker (from a 6-qt and 4-qt set), but it should work fine in a larger cooker, too.

              Bring the water to a boil in the pressure pot (with a non-pressure lid, or no lid -- doesn't take long on my induction unit), add 1/2 tsp salt and dissolve, then add brown rice and put on the pressure lid. Start timing once the cooker has reached full pressure. Let release naturally; once you take off the pressure lid, you can cover with a regular lid and use at leisure.

              That amount and timing is perfect for my taste and uses; there are just two of us, we like brown rice a bit chewy, and most often will use more than half of it in a later recipe.

              Larger amounts of rice and water take longer to reach the same stage of done-ness.

              1. re: ellabee

                why thank you kindly. i have an 8 qt. and i like my brown rice chewy, too.

          2. I second or third Lorna Sass and Pressure Perfect.

            I personally don't soak beans when I use the pressure cooker, because the whole point for me is to be able to have beans without thinking about it hours ahead of time. I can walk in the house after work, decide I want beans, and sit down to dinner about an hour later with home cooked dried beans. I have never had any problem with the quality, but maybe just because they are so superior to canned that I don't notice.

            The only "full meal" I make routinely is this beef stew from Lorna Sass. It is super easy and fast and delicious for cold work nights when I don't want to fuss around for hours to have something warming:


            1 Reply
            1. re: dkenworthy

              Sass recommends cooking beans without soaking and I've tried her method. But I have never been able to get uniformly cooked beans that way. I don't know if the fault lies with the beans, my water, or what. I finally just began soaking them, and I get best results that way.

              1. re: sunshine842

                thank you all. I bought pressure perfect when I ordered my PC. and this is a terrific resource. I made curried bn squash soup in it this weekend. I was amazed. magic.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  Great site! There seems to be a dearth of quality pressure cooker recipes on the Internet. Really good stuff on the site...thanks!

                2. last night i made a thai green curry chicken dish. it took 5 minutes. as in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. it's astonishing.

                  4 Replies
                    1. re: sunshine842

                      sauteed an onion, added a few heaping TB green curry paste, a chili, some fish sauce (a few tsps?) and brown sugar (a tablespoon?) and a can of coconut milk (i skimmed most of the cream off since i didn't have the lower fat one that i prefer) and some chicken stock (half a cup or so) and rooster sauce till i got the right flavor. added a 4 chopped chicken breasts in 1 inch cubes and a chopped red pepper. cover, bring to pressure for 5 minutes. natural release and then rapid release after about 3 minutes. served over brown rice. DH drank the broth from the bowl. sorry i don't have more exact measurements! i'm not even sure how authentic it was. but it was tasty.

                      1. re: eLizard

                        Don't worry about authentic -- I've never been to Thailand, so I can't tell, anyway!

                        That sounds really good, and really worth a try for something different.