stock

The trick to my chicken and beef stocks is not how they are made, but how they are stored. I put the stocks in wide mouth in Nalgene® high-density polyethylene bottles and store them in the freezer.

Advantage? You can pull a bottle of stock out of the freezer, microwave on high for several minutes, and pour your homemade stock into a dish you are making within a few minutes. If you don’t use the whole bottle, put it back in the freezer for next time. That way, you know your stock. Much more than you know the stock out of a box from the market. You can make it preservative free, organic, salt-free, or seasoned as you like.

And it is less expensive. I made 8 liters chicken stock (8.5 quarts, 136 ounces), an amount equal to 4 1/4 boxes of purchased stock (packaged in 32 ounce packages), for $8.50 (an organic chicken). If you purchase quality, organic stock, that is about $15.

Another advantage is that you are storing the stock in a freezable container. Thus, you simply put it back in the freezer. When I use purchased stock from a box, I often store it in the refrigerator, thinking I will use the rest soon. But often I do not, and have to throw it out in a few days or weeks.

Plus it is a stock, not a broth. Stocks are made using the bones.

My stock is much more concentrated than the water-y stock I find in the store-bought boxes.

I took a large, whole organic chicken and put it in my big 12 quart pot. I added water to cover (and more, nearly to the top of the pot), some celery and carrots (not even necessarily chopped), some salt and maybe some oregano, and simmered several hours. I stop the simmering about the time the chicken is falling off the bone.

Then I strain it through a wire strainer. It might take several batches to strain all of the stock. When the entire pot has been put through the strainer, I “rinse” the bones, meat and skin with some water.

Next, I portion the stock into large, covered containers, like big rubbermaid containers with a good lid. I refrigerate it overnight. The next day, I take it out of the refrigerator and skim off the hardened fat.

The remaining stock is a bit viscous, so I let it warm up for an hour or two. Then, I funnel it into the Nalgene bottles.

I also make my own beef stock and store it in my Nalgene bottles. It is more expensive to make, and I typically use a pressure cooker and the following recipe:

Ingredients: 3 pounds beef shanks and oxtails, a mixture
Toss them in oil and then brown them in the pressure cooker (large one) on both sides. Add several carrots (not peeled) and a bunch of celery, peppercorns and 1/4 t salt. Fill pressure cooker to 2/3 volume with water, and pressure cook 50 minutes (start timing when the first hiss becomes apparent). Let cool before opening. Strain through a colander, then line a colander with cheesecloth and strain again.

This makes less stock than the chicken stock recipe, since my electric pressure cooker only holds 6 quarts. I treat my beef stock like liquid gold – it is dark brown and wonderful. So, so much better than common beef broth from the stores. Sometimes, if I have leftover beef bones from a rib roast or the like, I make my beef stock in a matter more like my chicken stock. But the small batch pressure cooker beef stock is the best.

Once I made fish stock. I got some fish bones from Whole Foods and followed a recipe from somewhere on the web. But it was stinky, and I don’t use it often, so I never made it again. I’ve made vegetable stock, I think, but I don’t use it very often and would have to find a recipe.

I do not keep any type of bouillon cubes or granules in my pantry any more. I spoil myself with my own chicken and beef stocks! The trick is storing them in microwave-able bottles in the freezer.

Pressure Cooker Recipe Websites: Summary

So far, I have covered seven web sites of pressure cooker recipes. Each post was fairly long, as I was using the posts to study my topic: pressure cooking in an electric pressure cooker. I have learned a lot, and I have a good list of recipes to try. As I stretch out to more sites on the internet, I’m finding a lot of repetition in the recipes. But often, in each collection, there are a few gems. As to learning pressure cooking techniques? Time to “take it to the kitchen” and practice, practice, practice.

This current post will now be the only bookmark I need to access all of the web sites I like for pressure cooker recipes. The content of this current post will change as I find and add in more sites.

These are the sites I have covered so far:

  1. Serious Eats and my blog post on Serious Eats
  2. AllRecipes.com and my blog post on AllRecipes.com
  3. Pressure Cooking Today and my blog post on Pressure Cooking Today
  4. The Kitchn and my blog post on The Kitchn
  5. Instant Pot® and my blog post on Instant Pot®
  6. Peggy Under Pressure and my blog post on Peggy Under Pressure
  7. Genius Kitchen and my blog post on Genius Kitchen

More sites, as I find them:

Skinny Taste

The author of the site, Gina Homolka, is the author of several Skinny Taste cook books. I like her cooking philosophy: “eat seasonal, clean, whole foods and maintain good portion control” and her life philosophy: “exercise + a well balanced diet + good sleep = a happy life”. I also like the organization of the web site because each recipe has an associated diet-type icon, for instance, low-carb, keto, kid friendly, whole 30, freezer friendly, etc. And the dishes are interesting, like Morrocan meatballs and shredded harissa chicken. Often a recipe has both slow cooker and pressure cooker directions.

Amy plus Jacky pressurecookerrecipes.com

This is a growing collection of recipes for the Instant Pot. The recipe section that first caught my eye is “Instant Pot Chinese Takeout Recipes”. Oh wow! Shumai! These are little dumplings that I have been making for years, although I spell it “Shui-Mai”. They only take 3 minutes in the pressure cooker. Hopefully my bamboo steaming racks will fit in my cooker (they do!). General Tso’s chicken wrap has great flavorings and could adapt easily to a low-carb meal. And for pot roasts, a question I’ve had to consider: “It’s so confusing! How long should we cook pot roast in the pressure cooker? 20 minutes, 45 minutes, 75 minutes, 90 minutes, or ??? Let’s discover the BEST Pot Roast cooking time through this pressure cooker experiment!”. Definitely a site to keep an eye on.

Brit + Co pressure cooker recipes

Brit + Co is a media company that “inspires, educates and entertains real women with a creative spirit”. Most of the site is about everything but food. However, the section on pressure cooker recipes, inspired by the current “rage” in popularity of instant pots, has some good recipe ideas. For instance, I like the recipe for steal cut oats with carrots and spices. I’ll explore the page on how to cook artichokes. The recipes are not located on-site, instead they are links to on other sites, some of which I have already reviewed. So, the link above is not only a source of ideas, but a source of other sites that have pressure cooker recipes.

Taste of Home

Taste of Home is a commercial and a community site. They publish a magazine and books, but also accept user-contributed recipes. It takes a long time for the main page to load in (even with a fast connection!), and the “about us” is at the very bottom of that page. So here is a convenient link to what Taste of Home is all about. The section on pressure cookers touts 100 recipes. Some of the recipes strike me as “why cook that in a pressure cooker?” Especially breakfast french toast or waffle bake and dessert cakes or anything that takes less than 30 minutes on the stove top. It’s like these recipes are written for a young adult living in a kitchen that does not have a stove and they have to use an instant pot to cook everything. (I have had this same thought at several other sites.) The recipes interesting to me are Sweet and Sour Pork (boneless pork loin, 10 minutes quick release), Nutty Apple Butter (a good use for apples on the wane, peanut butter, 8 minutes in the pressure cooker vs my recipe that takes10 hours in a slow cooker), Apple Cranberry Grains (wheat berries and quinoa), and Pork Pozole (boneless pork ribs, canned hominy added after 20 minutes for another 5 minutes).

Real House Moms

Real House Moms is a site written by people like you and me, with a professional interface, a newsletter, lots of recipes, ideas for do-it-yourself, parenting issue discussions, and more. Aubrey is the main author, with a host of contributors: “Real Housemoms started as a way to share recipes with friends, now I just have a lot more friends!” Bloggers and others can apply to be a member of the RH team of contributors. The pressure cooker section has 25 recipes. I might try the French dip sandwiches, Korean beef, chicken and rice, and chicken faux pho (a paleo Vietnamese chicken dish).

Pressure Cooker Recipes 7

Pressure Cooker recipes: Genius Kitchen

My bookmark for Genius Kitchen has in the url “food.com” as the domain name. Now it redirects to “geniuskitchen.com”. Hey, what happened! I find out on the site:

You’ve probably noticed that Food.com looks a little different. The site officially transitioned into our new Genius Kitchen experience in 2017, but don’t worry, everything you love about Food.com is still available on Genius Kitchen, including your favorite recipes.”

I am one of the many cooks who accessed food.com, starting in about 1999. Sometimes because I knew the site had many recipes, sometimes because I was searching for how to cook something and that site popped up in the search results. “Genius Kitchen” is a better name, it has more character! I learn on Wikipedia that it is now part of the Discovery Inc. portfolio. Discovery Inc. operates “factual television” networks, including the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Food Network, and the Travel Channel.

Genius Kitchen joins home and professional cooks into a cooking community. There are tons of recipes – and over half a million are user generated! It has videos of food preparation, and delightful “shows” like Carnivorous with Courtney Rada. Genius Kitchen features a “community-inspired activity feed that allows users to add reviews, tweaks, questions and photos, breaking food news”. With apps and social media support, you can access the recipes you have saved from wherever you are.

The site has ads. Oh well.

I truly appreciate the site map for navigation, which makes it simple to find specific topics.


Genius Kitchen Pressure Cooker Recipes

When you do a search using “pressure cooker”, you get a whole page of recipes with a photo and title and link; you can narrow search for “pressure cooker chicken” and come up with a handle-able number of recipes that are, indeed, only for pressure cooker chicken (on one site I use, “pressure cooker chicken” will pull up some recipes that are chicken cooked conventionally). At the time I accessed this page, there were143 results.

The recipes below are ones I’d like to try, or simply examples of the type of recipe one can find on the site. There is a print function for each recipe that I can use to save it as a pdf.

Frozen-To-Fabulous 30 Minute Pressure Cooker Chicken and Mushrooms This is the recipe that I saved as my original bookmark for the food.com site. It calls for frozen chicken thighs and a 20 minute, quick release cooking method. It calls for two cans of mushroom soup! I usually just keep one such can in my pantry. (The Kitchn has a recipe for 30-Minute Pressure-Cooker Cacciatore Chicken that calls for frozen chicken drumsticks.)

Pressure Cooker Chicago Steak Roll Ups These use round steak, a cut that is often cheap and often livery tasty. They might do well in the pressure cooker, though. I would probably stuff them with something other than the suggested butternut squash.

Chicken and Dumplings I love chicken and dumplings, and have several recipes for this treat – but not a pressure cooker one.This recipe calls for bone-in, skinless chicken breasts.

Pressure Cooker Hungarian Chicken I like the seasonings in this dish, but the pressure cooking is a bit unusual. First, you cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, then on low pressure for 7 minutes. (Recall: most recipes on this site are user-contributed, so there is less consistency in recipe instructions.)

Lamb Shanks With Garlic and Port Wine The title says it all! Lamb, garlic, and wine go well together.

Giant Instant-Pot Pancakes Why would anyone do this? Pancakes are so simple on the stove. And this giant pancake looks more like a cake – and takes 40 minutes to prepare! Oh well, someone would probably like it.

Pressure Cooker Recipes 6

Pressure Cooker recipes: Peggy Under Pressure

I bookmarked this site, but forget which recipe led me there. This site is a blog by a woman who got excited about electric pressure cookers in 2009. It doesn’t look like she is updating the site very often (or at all) here in 2018, still, there are a few recipes that I’d like to try. (There are a few sponsored links but no irritating ads.)

I got a kick out of reading her “About Peggy and Me” page. It begins: “I brought home a digital electric pressure cooker sometime in 2009. And I’ve been obsessed with it since. Come on, I even gave it a name! I named her Peggy!!! Yes, it’s a she!!!”

The author goes on to say how she used to be afraid of pressure cookers. And how much she hated that constant rattling of the valve on older pressure cookers. Electric pressure cookers are quiet – except “the part where I turn the valve to exhaust the hot pressure, that’s my favorite part! Choo-choo!!!”. I agree with her on all points.

She writes a good blog – it is worth a visit. The recipes I’d like to try are below.


Peggy Under Pressure

Italian Sausage Three Bean Chili. She made this chili to go with a grilled cheese sandwich.The chili recipe calls for dry, non-pre-soaked pinto, kidney, and black beans, with a cooking time of 75 minutes, quick release (sounds too long to me). She added a comment that you can use canned beans and only cook the chili 15-20 minutes. I’d like to try this because of the rest of the ingredients: Italian sausage, onions, celery, corn, serrano chilies, garlic, basil, oregano, can of beer, chicken stock, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. I’d probably pre-soak the beans and cook for maybe 20-30 minutes, slow-release.

Mexican Pork Posole. This recipe calls for hominy (canned), poblanos, fresh hot green peppers, onions, Mexican oregano, enchilada sauce, and pork (or chicken breast). It cooks a whole hour, I think canned hominy would stand up to this long cooking time. (I once tried to cook dry hominy, pre-soaked, but it takes forever to cook, so I assume the author used canned hominy.) The pork is “rump meat”, but my handy inexpensive pork loin would probably work. (I consulted a couple of my references, and an hour seems too long to pressure cook pork in 1 1/2 inch cubes.)

Chicken Parmigiana Italia. This looks like a great recipe for boneless chicken breasts! I make a similar stove-top dish, but the chicken is sometimes dry. Her words: “It makes chicken breasts unbelievable soft, juicy and tender without running the risk of it becoming dry and flavorless”. We have discovered the same thing – that the pressure cooker makes chicken moist and tender, and never dry. For Chicken Parmigiana Italia, the chicken breasts are coated with a flour mixture and browned in a pan, then pressure-cooked in marinara sauce (and cheese) for 8-10 minutes, slow release.

Coconut Rice Pudding. I know I’d love this, but it makes a ton and I doubt my dining partner would like it. Plus it has tons of calories. I can save this as a “dream” recipe. Here are the ingredients: arborio rice, coconut milk, almond milk, cinnamon sticks, cloves, a vanilla bean, orange zest strips, and sweetened condensed milk. Just 15 minutes under pressure and you have dessert!

Pressure Cooker Recipes 5

Pressure Cooker recipes: Instant Pot®

Note the “®” in the link above: this site is written by the makers of the Instant Pot® – this is a commercial web site. What is nice about this fact is that there are no little annoying video ads from other businesses. The site has good information on how to use a pressure cooker and lots of recipes.

I like the “about Instant Brands, Inc.” section of this web site – it is friendly and casual. Instant Brands Inc. was founded in 2009 by a team of Canadian technology veterans. Now they have added more appliances to their line: an immersion circulator sous vide, blenders, and multicookers without pressure. Sous vide interests me as a scientific experiment. It reminds me of the constant temperature water baths I used in a lab. Just think, I could put a steak in a plastic bag in one of those laboratory water baths set at 49˚ C for a day or two and see what happens. Hey, the Instant Pot Sous Vide circulator is less than a hundred dollars! Guess I could try one someday.

An instant pot is a multi-cooker: a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, warmer, and sometimes more, such as canning/sterilization and yogurt. The control panel for an instant pot contains all of those functions, plus settings for each. One version of Instant Pot has blue tooth capabilities. I do not have an instant pot, I have an electric pressure cooker. It has only six functions: low pressure, high pressure, brown,  saute, simmer, and warm. Still, I can do about everything in my electric pressure cooker that I could do in an Instant Pot, except for canning/sterilizing and making yogurt.

Instant Pot® is a brand name, but several other manufacturers make appliances that have similar multi-functions. Often, these multi-functioned appliances are also referred to as “instant pots”. I advise anyone interested in purchasing a multicooker to read online reviews. I haven’t used an Instant Pot®, so I can’t contrast/compare them with my electric pressure cooker. I have set up multicookers at our Lyons Gardening Club Chile Cook-off, and the control panels can be confusing to a non-owner.

I am not likely to purchase an instant pot. I already have a rice cooker as a stand alone appliance. If I want to cook rice and a stew or beans at the same time, I am glad I have both appliances. Instant pots also function as a slow cooker, again, I already own a slow cooker.

I clicked on the Instant Pot® “resources” section. I find a good description on how to get started with an electric pressure cooker. The “initial test run, water test” caught my eye. To familiarize a novice with an electric pressure cooker, they suggest making a trial run with just water: put 3 cups of water in your pressure cooker and run for 2 minutes, then use quick or natural release. This test allows the new user to figure out exactly how to use the device, what to expect, and make sure they have it set up correctly.

The site has other useful sections, such as terminology, how a pressure cooker works, glossary of terms, and downloadable recipe booklets, and downloadable cooking time tables.

All in all, Instant Pot® is an informative site that is easy to navigate.


Instant Pot®

The link above takes you to the recipe section of the site. It has a convenient search function on the very first page. You have the option to enter up to 4 search fields at one time: meal (breakfast, lunch, etc.), cuisine, diet, and recipe (any term you want). Be aware that this will pull up recipes for devices other than a pressure cooker, for instance, a blender. Besides the search option, there are photos of dishes that you can browse through and click to find the recipe. There are 24 recipe photos per page and 28 pages, so that’s 672 recipes! The recipes are largely modern American in style, and often call for convenience or branded products, such as Progresso™ beef broth, Frank’s RedHot® Cayenne Pepper Sauce, Old El Paso™ chicken taco seasoning mix, frozen hash browns, etc.

Chicken and Dumplings drew my attention, until I read all of the ingredients – I don’t like refrigerator biscuits. The recipe pressure cooks the chicken, vegetable and broth mixture a mere 2 minutes (quick release). Then, the biscuits are added. If I made this dish, I would make my own biscuits.

Tuscan Chicken and Rice cooks for 10 minutes, natural release for 5 minutes, then quick release. The ingredients include boneless chicken thighs, basil pesto, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and white rice. The rice is cooked with all the other ingredients under pressure.

Pepperoncini Beef Roast calls for boneless beef chuck roast, pepperoncini peppers, ranch dressing mix, and au jus gravy mix. It’s a 45 minute pressure cook, 10 minutes slow release, then quick release. This recipe illustrates the reliance of convenience foods in many of the recipes on this site. I do like the idea of pepperoncinis and beef in a stew, so if I try this recipe, I’ll modify the ranch dressing and au jus gravy mixes.

Cheesy Chicken Taco Soup is a Pillsbury recipe. The ingredients include boneless chicken breasts, black beans, corn, salsa, cheese, and cilantro.

There are also lots of recipes for desserts.

Pressure Cooker Recipes 4

Pressure Cooker recipes: Kitchn

Who or what is The Kitchn? “The Kitchn is a website founded in 2005 by Maxwell Ryan and Sara Kate Gillingham”. The Kitchn describes itself as “a daily food magazine on the Web celebrating life in the kitchen through home cooking and kitchen intelligence.” Currently the Kitchn is “written by a small, steady team of freelance writers”. They do not accept recipes from unsolicited freelance submissions (people like you and me). This gives a professional consistency to the site (and the recipes).

I enjoy the site. It is an excellent reference for pressure cooker recipes. (Yes, there are ads. Oh well.)

I found the Kitchn page titled “23 Cooking Lessons and Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker” a couple years ago. This list shows the breadth of coverage for pressure cooking on the site

  1. Chicken Stock
  2. Potatoes
  3. Beans
  4. Lentils
  5. Steel Cut Oatmeal
  6. Rice
  7. Chicken Tikka Masala
  8. Meatloaf
  9. Chicken Curry
  10. Potato Risotto
  11. Sweet and Spicy Braised Cabbage
  12. Ethiopian-style Spinach and Lentil Soup
  13. Beef and Porcini Mushroom Stew
  14. Rice Pudding
  15. 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Eggs in the Pressure Cooker
  16. The Simple Trick That Makes Meat Cooked in the Pressure Cooker Even Better
  17. 5 Times the Pressure Cooker Saved Monday Morning
  18. You Made These 4 Things in Your Pressure Cooker — Now Use Them for Breakfast
  19. Electric or Stovetop Pressure Cooker: Which Is Right for Me?
  20. What’s the Difference Between Natural Release and Rapid Release for Pressure Cookers?
  21. 4 Simple Tips for Converting a Slow-Cooker Recipe to a Pressure Cooker
  22. 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Using an Electric Pressure Cooker
  23. Stainless Steel vs. Aluminum vs. Nonstick: Which Pressure Cooker Material Is Right for You?

The Kitchn pressure cooking section is a great reference. I am currently studying how to cook white beans in the pressure cooker, consulting #3 in the list above as well as other references, and will provide a link when my new post is completed.

(There are even tutorials and recipes, 50-plus, at this link.)


The Kitchn

To find all of the pressure cooker recipes on this site, go to the Kitchn and enter “pressure cooker” as the search term. Or, click on this link. At the time of writing this post, 134 pressure cooker recipes or articles showed up.

Below are some I’d like to try, or that are just interesting!

Instant Pot Weeknight Chicken and Rice Burrito Bowls This recipe calls for boneless chicken thighs, to which you add black beans, white rice, salsa, corn, onions and spices. Ten minutes quick release. Serve in bowls with cheese and cilantro. My only complaint is that I like to use brown rice – for better nutrition. Brown rice might take too long to cook in this chicken and rice dish, so the chicken and beans might get mushy.

30-Minute Pressure-Cooker Cacciatore Chicken You can start with frozen bone-in chicken drumsticks, add stock and tomatoes and spices, and have dinner ready in 30 minutes. It takes only 5 minutes less time if you use fresh chicken drumsticks. I see this as a good reason to keep frozen chicken drumsticks in the freezer! And the seasonings could be changed to adapt it to a lot of other recipes.

Vanilla Extract Never would have thought of making vanilla extract in the pressure cooker!

Chili Someday I’ll try making chili in the pressure cooker. This recipe calls for hamburger and overnight-soaked dry kidney beans. The total prep and cooking time is about an hour.

Barbacoa is a shredded beef dish made with chipotle chiles in adobe sauce. The article includes a link to a recipe for pink pickled onions.

Kacchi Lamb Dum Biryani is a dish made with lamb chunks, basmati rice, yogurt, lots of spices and garnishes. It is a hyderabadi-style dish and is often cooked during Ramadan. Hyderabadi cuisine is an amalgamation of Asian, Turkish, and Arabic cuisines.

Potato Risotto with potatoes, arborio rice, onions, and thyme.

Pressure Cooker Recipes 3

Pressure Cooker recipes: Pressure Cooking Today

I bookmarked this site a year or so ago and then forgot about it. I open the link today and find another very good site for pressure cooker users. The author is a woman named Barbara who states “I started Pressure Cooking Today to share my love of pressure cooking and challenge myself to create and share fabulous new recipes”.

The “tips” section links to articles on the benefits of pressure cooking; gift guides; how to use pressure cookers, both in general and brand specific; how to convert a conventional recipe to a pressure cooker recipe; and how to get a pan out of a pressure cooker (for instance, when you place a cake pan in a pressure cooker).

Recipes? There are a lot. Most are written by the site’s author (if not, the guest writer is introduced), and she includes a discussion of the recipe.

Ads, ads, ads. But I am getting used to this fact of life on the internet.


Pressure Cooking Today

The recipes below are ones I might like to try and/or cover the scope of the recipes on this site.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes. I decide to make these for our Thanksgiving dinner! Hopefully they work. The Pressure Cooking Today recipe is this:

Peel and quarter 6 russet potatoes. Add one cup of water to the pressure cooker pot, then place a trivet or steamer basket in the pot. Add the potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes on high pressure, fast release, and check the potatoes. If they are not fork-tender, repeat this step and check after “a few minutes”. (they are essentially steamed)

p.s. these worked out great!

Pressure Perfect by Lorna Sass (my book) calls for 3 pounds peeled russets cut in one-inch chunks, add one cup water, pressure cook on high pressure for 8 minutes, check for done-ness, and pressure cooking a few more minutes if necessary. (She does not mention a trivet.)

At this point, both authors state to put the potatoes through a ricer (I do have one of these) or food mill or use a potato masher (have one of these too). Then, add melted butter and warmed milk or cream.

My family tradition is to add butter and milk and cheese and mash with a portable mixer. I never warm the milk or melt the butter, and I also add cheddar cheese and some sour cream. I am going to stick to my tradition, and mixer-mash the potatoes right in the pressure cooker pot. Then, I can cover them with a lid and turn the pot to “warm”. That way, I lessen the burden on my crowded stove top, which will be full of pots and pans making gravy and cooking peas and beans for our Thanksgiving dinner.

Let’s hope this works!

Conclusion: Perfect results!

Country-Style Barbecue Pork Ribs. I often find country-style pork ribs on sale. This boneless cut of meat is often very fatty. Barbara states “Cooking them in the pressure cooker helps melt away the fat and leaves fork tender meat”. The ribs are cooked in a sauce of crushed pineapple, ketchup, onions, dry mustard, and fresh ginger.

Bone-In Beef Short Ribs. I tried these, and although the recipe worked, I don’t like the beef short ribs I get in my local stores. Too much bone, too much fat, too little meat. The meat is sort of tough and the flavor is not stupendous.

Lemon Cranberry Breakfast Farro. Someone else has discovered farro! I covered it in my grains posts series.

Frozen, boneless chicken breasts. Forgot to thaw something for dinner? No problem – just put a couple boneless breasts in the pressure cooker, cook on high for one minute, and you have thawed chicken breasts, just lightly cooked on the very outside and ready to be diced for recipes. Need an idea for dinner using said breasts? Try one of these pressure cooker recipes: Chicken Bacon Penne Pasta in a Garlic Cream Sauce, Honey Sesame Chicken, Chicken Enchilada Pasta (Rotel tomatoes, enchilada sauce, rotini pasta, lots of cheese, and the rotini is cooked directly in the sauce). And these are just a few of her suggestions.

Pressure Cooker Mongolian Beef. This recipe calls for flank steak, fresh ginger and garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, and green onions. It’s “a pressure cooker version of PF Changs popular beef dish”.

Boneless Pork Chops. This recipe is like the “no-peek” beef dish that I used to make, often in a slow cooker, with mushrooms and a packet of dried onion soup mix. The thickness of the pork chops is discussed, which is helpful to me. There are other pork chop recipes too on this site.

Also browse this site’s soup and dessert categories, if you are interested.

Pressure Cooker Recipes 2

Pressure Cooker recipes: AllRecipes.com pressure cooker recipes

I remember allrecipes.com from way back when it was solely a gathering of recipes contributed by cooks who also happened to be on the internet at the time. The web was mostly educational and personal sites back then, although it was changing rapidly. According to Wilipedia, “Allrecipes.com was founded in 1997 after co-founder Hunt had trouble finding his favorite cookie recipe on the Internet.” The first domain name was actually “cookierecipe.com”, but it quickly expanded to all foods and the name changed to allrecipes.com. And allrecipes.com became commercial, both onsite and as a print magazine. In 2006 allrecipes was sold to Reader’s Digest, and in 2012 it became part of the Meredith Corporation.

I went to the Way Back machine and found this stored web visit that shows how allrecipes.com looked then: 1997 www.allrecipes.com. That’s how I remember it! Back in the day.

Today I find the 2018 site, well, a little overwhelming. The pressure cooker page loads slowly on my slow connection – especially the photos, and the loading page keeps appending the recipes at the bottom. Good and bad photos of the cooked dishes. Ads pop up everywhere, videos are annoying and distracting, and icons beg to be clicked on. (I’m just here for the facts, the recipes. But I digress to my bent towards of non-commercialism.)

Still, this site has a wealth of recipes. There are hundreds of pressure cooker recipes, all contributed by ordinary folk who are usually identified by a clickable link. Many have their own websites (like me).

The thing about the allrecipes.com website is that there is no underlying theme for the style of recipes, except maybe “American style”. What I mean is, on seriouseats.com, the recipes are written by a handful of professional cooks. And on seriouseats.com, there are fewer recipes, most have an international flair, and the photos are amazing, as compared to the allrecipes.com site.


The second pressure cooker recipe website I am covering is:

AllRecipes.com

Note: When you are searching for a pressure cooker from the above  allrecipes.com link, you need to specify “pressure cooker” or “instant pot” when you search, or you get a conglomeration of pressure and non-pressure recipes.

The recipe I want to try from allrecipes.com is Chicken with Duck Sauce. We really like the way chicken in the pressure cooker comes out juicy but done. This recipe calls for a whole chicken, cut up. I decide to use less chicken: just two, bone-in chicken breasts. Will the amount of liquid in the dish and the cooking time need to be varied? I don’t think so, so I will go ahead with the 1/4 cup wine plus 1/4 cup broth that is suggested for a whole chicken, and go with the instructions “cook on high pressure 8 minutes, or until done” (quick release). I make a full recipe of the duck sauce.

First, I brown the seasoned chicken breasts directly inside the electric pressure cooker. Advantage: no separate stove-top skillet to wash. Disadvantage: I have to peer over the rim of the deep pot and reach down with a fork to turn them, and it splatters all over my hand. Can I skip the browning step altogether? No, un-browned chicken would look pale on the serving dish.

I add the water and wine and close the cooker. It comes to high pressure quickly because there is so little water and food in it. After 8 minutes, I check the chicken breasts. One is up to 160˚, but one is only at 120˚. So I take one out, and leave the other in for another 2 minutes. It is done, 160˚.

I was kind of wondering why the recipe instructions state: “cook on high pressure 8 minutes, or until done”. I mean, it’s not like stove-top simmering or oven-baking chicken when it takes just a second or two to check if it’s done. No, you have to release the pressure, check the chicken, then decide to cook a little longer. With this particular recipe – very little liquid and quick release – this “checking” step took only a couple minutes start to finish. So it worked. When cooking large amounts of food, like when I cook a batch of beans, it can take 10-20 minutes to check for done-ness and get the cooker back up to pressure.

I made the whole amount of duck sauce even though I was only cooking two pieces of chicken, and was glad I did. Some of it pooled over into my hot side dish of freekeh and broccoli and it tasted great. I used fresh ginger, and I strongly recommend it if you have some around. The sauce was simply delicious, almost sweet and sour. We both liked it.

Below, I am sharing several more recipes from the allrecipes.com collection. Some I am interested in trying, some demonstrate cooking methods, all demonstrate the scope of recipes the site includes.

Instapot Salsa Chicken. This calls for frozen chicken breasts – and they are added without thawing to the pot. This could be a real boon for those times we walk in the door ready to eat and nothing is thawed for dinner. (We live 6 miles from a small town so going out is not always convenient.) I almost always have frozen chicken breasts on hand. So, I could put them in the pot, add salsa and a couple other ingredients, and pressure cook for 15 minutes. A healthy dinner in 15 minutes! Instructions for beginning with thawed chicken breasts are given.

Double Bean and Ham Soup begins with non-soaked dry navy beans, and therefore will nicely season those beans. I find it odd that the recipe also calls for a can of pork and beans. What’s the point of cooking from scratch if you add such a processed canned product?

Messy Lasagna. Ingredients are ground beef, tomato sauce, spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, and more. The pasta is bow ties. Pressure Cooker Lasagna calls for no-boil noodles and goat cheese and more.

Pressure Cooker Bone-In Pork Chops, Baked Potatoes, and Carrots is interesting because you put the potatoes and carrots in a steamer basket inside the pressure cooker instead of down in the liquid.

Beef Brisket with Chipotle Tomatillo Sauce calls for medium pressure for 1 hour 15 minutes. I think this is silly, why not high pressure for less time?, this might be a good idea. Slow release, too.

Olive oil pressure-cooked whole roasted chicken. Nice spices, very little liquid. The cooking time is 16-20 minutes with quick release. The whole chicken is removed from the pressure cooker and browned under an oven broiler. The cooking liquid is made into a gravy for mashed potatoes.

Spicy Pressure Cooker Short Ribs are cooked in a spicy sauce that includes – cola! The pressure cooker should be a good tool for cooking short ribs, a tasty meat that needs a long cooking time. The site includes other short rib recipes too. Note: I tried these, the flavoring was good, but the ribs disappointing. The kind I get at the market are simply too fatty, with very little meat. And they are not even cheap. I think I will give up on beef short ribs!

Mexican Beef and Vegetable Stew is an example of how to cook a quick beef stew in the pressure cooker. The meat is browned and then pressure-cooked for 10 minutes, slow release. The the potatoes and carrots are added and it is cooked for 15 minutes, quick release.

In general, the allrecipes.com site has many versions of recipes for pot roast, pulled pork, stews, carnitas, barbecued pork, and chilis. It is a good resource for ideas.

Hardboiled Eggs in the pressure cooker take about the same amount of time, but the claim is that they will always be easy to peel.

Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake This cheesecake is rich with cream cheese, semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa, whipping cream, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and chocolate cookie crumbs. It’s pressure cooked for 45 minutes in a springform pan on a trivet.

Copycat V-8 Juice! Boy, that would be fun. You start with fresh vegetables. If I had a garden, I would probably try this project. It’s processed in a “pressure canner”, not a pressure cooker. I used to have a very old pressure canner, but it’s gone off somewhere, so I’d have to purchase a new one to try this V-8 juice. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, electric pressure cookers are not recommended for canning tasks. Pressure canners are usually taller and bigger than electric pressure cookers, and can hold four or more quart-size jars standing upright. These canning cookers get up to higher temperatures than the electric type. The NCHFP has not tested whether or not electric pressure cookers get up to and sustain a high enough temperature to kill all the bacteria.

Pause.

grains hot cereal

I just ate a fantastic grain breakfast. How did I do it? Yesterday afternoon, I went to my pantry and selected four grains. How did I choose them? Well, I wanted something with big grains and crunchy, and something small and flavorful too. I chose kamut, einkorn (farro), and millet. I poured them into a pan (no measuring!) and added water to cover by about an inch. A little salt. I simmered until the grains were done, adding more water once or twice. Then I added a little old fashioned oatmeal, to sort of bind them all together. Cooked a few minutes, added sultans, covered, and took off the heat. Left there until morning.

Morning comes. I warm up my mixture. Delicious!! This needs no sugar at all, just a little milk (and the sultans!). Yum. I thinks my mixture is a lot better than the 7-grain cereal  blend that I have purchased for years. The flavors stand out and the grains are pleasantly chewy.

Cereal for breakfast is especially good after months of eggs. We spent months successfully losing weight on a low-carb diet, but I for one missed my grains. Now I am using these whole grains that I studied, knowing they are full of nutrients, fiber, and even protein. The ones I chose have a relatively low glycemic index. No blood sugar spikes like eating sugary muffins.

I don’t even have to look up recipes to use my favorite grains. Besides the morning cereal, a week ago I added teff flour to muffins just based on my own knowledge. They were delicious.

I have learned that I like grains that are in one piece, like wheat berries. I know that whole grains can be “whole”, as in, in one piece, or lightly processed, like bulgur and cracked freekeh, which are treated just enough to change the texture but not too much to remove all of the fiber and attached nutrients. Grains can be processed into flour and still be considered “whole grain”. I know that a product called grain might be a grass, like wheat, or a seed, like millet. I have learned enough to use my own knowledge to choose and cook grains, but I have some great references on hand, my own charts, my own weblinks, and Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way by Lorna Sass.

But I am “pausing” on my grain posts. Time to get on to my pressure cooker and other interests.


Quick summary (mainly for me!):

I still have spelt, oats, quinoa, chia, and rye to cover. Also, I realized in Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way that oats and corn and hominy and more are considered whole grains too. I’ll try to get to all of them eventually. So far, I have covered:

 

Pressure cooker recipes 1

November 2018. Winter is creeping in on Colorado. It’s time again for hearty stews and soups. Back in January 2017, I started a draft of this post “Electric pressure cooker recipes”, and now it’s time to finally finish it!

I have been using pressure cookers since the 1970s, when I got my first stove top version. (See my 250 Cookbook post, the Presto Pressure Cooker Recipe Book.) About 4 years ago I got an electric pressure cooker, sometimes called an “instant pot”. I tend to neglect it since I store it down in the basement. So, I carried it upstairs for convenient storage.

The focus of this series of posts is to find lots of pressure cooker recipes, test one from each website, and then keep all my references and notes in one convenient spot. I want to become very comfortable using my pressure cooker with foods from beans to grains to meats to vegetables.

I am not going to discuss how to use a pressure cooker in this section. But for myself, I wanted a good reference book on pressure cooking, and I chose Pressure Perfect by Lorna Sass. (I bought the e-book.) I learned about Lorna Sass while working on my Grains posts, and purchased and reviewed her book Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way. I made a good choice with Pressure Perfect – I love the book!


The first website I am covering is:

Serious Eats

The Serious Eats Team has put together a page of 29 Pressure Cooker Recipes for Quicker, Easier Dinners. I became “acquainted” with one of this team, J. Kenji López-Alt, when listening to a podcast. After listening, I bought the hard copy of his 2015 book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science. (This book is past my 250 cookbooks era.) It’s a fascinating, scientific-style cookbook that totally appeals to me. The Food Lab book is huge and comprehensive and has lots of great photos.

The pressure cooker recipes on the Serious Eats site range from traditional beef stew to chicken stew with lentils to Thai green chicken curry to black beans with chorizo to French onion soup to beef barley soup to Texas style chile con carne to rissotto to tomato sauce and chicken stock. Interesting flavors from Asia and India and America and Mexico and more are often woven into the same recipe. No borders in the cooking of the Food Lab Team!

I like that the pressure cooker recipes on this site that call for black beans have you add the dry beans directly to the pot. A recipe with pinto beans calls for them to be soaked overnight, then added directly to the pot. A recipe for chick peas calls for canned beans. Why do I have a preference for adding dry beans directly to the pot? Because it lends a lot more flavor than adding precooked or canned beans, and it saves the cook (me!) from having to plan a meal by soaking the beans the day before.

What I don’t like about the Serious Eats site are a couple of irritating ads: one keeps showing a video that distracts my eyes.

The first recipe I want to try is 30-Minute Pressure Cooker Chicken With Chickpeas, Tomatoes, and Chorizo. This recipe was created by J. Kenji López-Alt. He writes about the development of the recipe on another page. He states that, as per my own preference, he tried dried garbanzos first, but it took so long for them to cook that he used canned garbanzos first. Gosh, I love his photos! I could learn more than cooking from J. Kenji López-Alt!

I gather ingredients for this dish. I can’t find fire roasted tomatoes at the market, so I will use a can of Cento peeled Italian tomatoes. The chorizo is supposed to be the type that can be cut into chunks; I can only find ground fresh chorizo and a 3 ounce package of dried, cured chorizo precut into thin slices. (I added a small amount of the ground chorizo, cooked, and the entire package of cured chorizo, chopped into small pieces.) I do have smoked Spanish paprika in my spice rack. Garbanzos? I cooked dry garbanzo beans in my pressure cooker and stored portions in my freezer, so I will use those, but I don’t have quite enough so I will supplement with one 14-ounce can of garbanzos (chick peas). I have my own homemade chicken stock. For the chicken, Kenji may be able to cut one into serving pieces quickly, but not me – I choose packaged thighs and drumsticks.

Success?

Yes, my pressure cooked chicken with chickpeas, tomatoes, and chorizo was wonderful. Even my husband liked it a lot. He thought the chicken was cooked to perfection, juicy and tender. He even ate the garbanzos. I thought the flavoring perfect. I advise anyone trying this recipe to be sure to use smoked paprika. Yes, the chorizo lent great flavor and heat, but what sets this dish apart is the smoky flavor of the paprika. One whole tablespoon – don’t skimp!

I will try more recipes from this Serious Eats site. They keep adding pressure cooker recipes: the first time I visited the site there were 15, now there are 29. So keep checking back.

(Aside: I use one of the Food Labs pizza doughs when we make our outdoor pizza cooker.)