Pressure Cooker Recipes
January 28, 2013 4:58 PM   Subscribe

Just got a pressure cooker. Now I need to make some stuff, but what?

I bought a used pressure cooker at a rummage sale yesterday and they claimed it works fine. It's a Fagor Rapida and I've never used a pressure cooker at all so I'd like some recipe ideas. I've seen this question but I need more ideas and specifically, I need ideas that will work in a 4 qt cooker. If I end up liking it I'll size up but this one was cheap and seemed to be in good order so it might be a good gateway into the wonderful world of pressure cooking.

No real food restrictions other than no beef.
posted by otherwordlyglow to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Carmelized Carrot Soup is fantastic, unusual, and one of the main things we use our pressure cooker for. It's pretty easy to swap out vegetables here - we've made carmelized cauliflower soup and butternut squash as well.

It's also good for making stock and cooking grains rapidly.
posted by pombe at 5:24 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Hip Pressure Cooking has a bunch of good recipes and she has organised some of them as a Learn how to pressure cook series that steps you through all the different options with eight recipes.
posted by viggorlijah at 6:09 PM on January 28, 2013 [6 favorites]

I hear that this Alton Brown recipe for chili is quite the yum.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:15 PM on January 28, 2013

Pot roast. Dried beans. Corned beef. Stuffed peppers. These are all things I've used mine for. My favorite thing, though, is chicken stock. One whole chicken, two heads of garlic, two bay leaves - process at pressure for 50 minutes, then defat. Heaven.

Bonus: My mom recently gave me a photocopy of the original Mirro Pressure Cooker Cookbook. I think it was probably published in the early 60s, but it might have been earlier. I've been meaning to scan it. If you'd like a PDF, MeMail me and I'll send one to you. Same goes for anyone else. Warning: Contains a fair percentage of very old-school recipes like Stuffed Beef Heart. (And a lot that sound great, too.)
posted by mudpuppie at 7:23 PM on January 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Check out my friend Lorna's pressure cooking blog!
posted by artdrectr at 10:59 PM on January 28, 2013

I received a pressure cooker for Christmas and my first attempt at pressure cooking was to cook a whole chicken in under an hour, start to finish:
- Wash the chicken, removing the offal. Pat dry.
- Heat some oil in the pressure cooker and brown the chicken.
- Remove the chicken and place it on the pressure cooker rack. I used the foil trick to make removing the cooked chicken from the pot easier.
- Add the minimum amount of water (I added a bit more, about 3 cups, just to make sure), an onion, carrot and celery (all left whole), plus some peppercorns and a bay leaf to the bottom of the pot.
- Bring up to pressure and cook for 20-25 minutes, adjusting heat accordingly (time depends on your pressure cooker)
- Let pressure drop naturally and check for doneness.
If serving whole, I'd recommend a few minutes in a hot oven, to crisp the skin (I didn't bother). I used the chicken breasts that night and shredded the rest of the chicken meat. The broth was amazing for quick chicken soup the next day.

I've been thinking of using the pressure cooker for risotto next.
posted by bCat at 1:34 AM on January 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Cooks Illustrated just reviewed pressure cookers in its most recent issue. There are some free recipes available online. Note that these will vanish behind a paywall soon, so if you're interested, you might want to print them out now. I made the easy ziti recipe and it was great. Note that you can half the recipe for use in a 4-quart cooker. That's what I did.
posted by crLLC at 6:57 AM on January 29, 2013

I use the pressure cooker for risotto and I love how it turns out without having to stir it constantly. I've also make pork posole and carnitas. I am also starting my own pressure cooker blog, but it's not ready for prime time yet.
posted by cabingirl at 9:20 AM on January 29, 2013

I have little to add, except that this thread just made me go buy a pressure cooker, based on the risotto idea alone. And I don't really eat grains.

Alton Brown's chili recipe for pressure cookers is truly awesome. I've made it using the same ingredients but in the slow, boring way. I'd suggest giving that a shot right off the bat, then moving on to the chicken recipe. Once you have some pressure-cooked broth, you can use it for the pressure-cooker risotto. :) That's what I plan to do...
posted by kythuen at 3:39 PM on January 29, 2013


The recipe is for a larger cooker, but I swear I have never made better cheesecake than the one that came out of the pressure cooker. No messing with water baths or cracked tops, just perfectly smooth awesomeness. And it's done in 30 minutes.
posted by emeiji at 6:04 PM on January 29, 2013

"Braised" short ribs in under an hour
posted by AceRock at 9:24 PM on January 29, 2013

Yes! Risotto! A pressure cooker is not A way to make it. It's THE way to make it.
posted by SampleSize at 7:15 AM on January 31, 2013

Agreed about risotto--it takes all the stirring and guesswork out of it.

This is a pretty indirect answer but it's yielded the best results for me personally--Molly Stevens has a very popular book called All About Braising that makes phenomenal dishes, you know, the kind that taste like you slaved all day for a fancypants winter stick-to-your-ribs dinner party. The downside to them is that since braising is her method the majority of the recipes require at least 40 minutes, sometimes up to 2 or 3 hours (!) cooking time. The pressure cooker has removed that obstacle for me entirely--once I got the hang of converting cook times for various meats and vegetables (charts for such things are in plenty of books like Lorna Sass' and online at spots like Miss Vickie's or PC manufacturer websites) it became very easy to convert recipes. Usually I can get away with doing the browning/aromatic initial steps right in the cooker, then load everything called for for the long braise in, lock, and cook in a fraction of the time. It's been awesome. And as for your size concern, if you're worried I would just halve standard "serves 6 to 8" type dinner recipes all around. No biggie. The only other thing to watch out for when converting standard recipes to PC ones is taking care that the minimum amount of liquid your cooker calls for (my Kuhn Rikon needs 1/2 cup) is in there. Usually not an issue with braise-type recipes since they call for some liquid anyway. And if you find the finished liquid too watery/diluted, simply cook it down afterward, once you remove the meat/main component. (This approach works for soups and stews too--stock like risotto is actually best made in a PC--and curries, but it works well with braises especially.)

And if you decide you want to take the plunge with a PC-oriented cookbook, I recommend The Easy Pressure Cooker Cookbook by Diane Phillips. I bought a bunch when I started out 'cause I didn't know what I was doing and was intimidated, and frankly was kind of underwhelmed and disappointed with most of them--for some reason PC authors tend to be either mushy-bland-lentils-only hippie OR family-style "everything is made with condensed cream of mushroom soup and ketchup" types. This is the only print cookbook for PCs I've found so far that is more along the lines of, say, The Kitchn and modern foodie blogs like Orangette or Dorie Greenspan.

I recommend looking at the major PC makers' websites for recipe databases. I know previous AskMes about PC recipes have linked to sites from Hawkins and Prestige and Fagor.
posted by ifjuly at 7:15 PM on February 13, 2013

Oh, and since it's used I'll throw this out there just in case you're not familiar, because it's a safety issue: never fill your cooker more than 2/3 full (the empty space up top is needed to build steam), and with things that foam like rice or certain grain-type things (lentils maybe? I don't remember) it should stay at or less than 1/2 full, to prevent gunking up the safety valves.
posted by ifjuly at 7:19 PM on February 13, 2013

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