I’m a pressure cooker fiend at the moment: they are a phenomenally good and quick way to use up all the jars and bags of dried pulses and beans in my kitchen cupboards. No pre-soaking overnight, no bubbling away like a witch’s mess on the stove for hours and hours.
Black beans, in particular, cook to a melting softness in about 30 minutes, and I’ve been stirring them into a slow fried mess of cumin-spiked onions and garlic, before serving them with roasted cherry tomatoes (I do a tray in the oven at the beginning of each week), corn sliced straight off the cob, full-fat organic yoghurt (I like Yeo’s – it’s deliciously thick and creamy), and a sliced avocado – or the guac from my cookbook, if I can be bothered.
The pressure cooker that I always, always recommend is the Instant Pot: it’s a 6-in-1 programmable electric pressure cooker, that can also saute and brown before you start the pressure cooking process, which saves on the washing up, as well as acting as a Slow Cooker (fab for stews that you can leave to cook all day while out and about), Rice Cooker (no more rice disasters), Steamer & Warmer (good for parties and buffets to keep soups and stews etc warm).
Although it still has the traditional pressure cooker valve,
it’s a lot less scary than a traditional stovetop pressure cooker, and I like that it can be popped onto a kitchen counter, freeing up space on the hob when I’m having a big cooking session. The programmable buttons also means that you can leave it to do its thing without worrying about food catching or burning.
I’ve found the pre-sets are generally pretty accurate: when I’ve guesstimated cooking times myself I’ve generally been wrong, and have worked out that I should just have trusted to the machine’s onboard computer. It has a handy removable metal bowl, which can go in the dishwasher,
and several accessories, including measuring jugs, a rice spoon and a rack for the bottom, which I keep meaning to use for steaming, but haven’t actually got round to testing out yet.
Thank you to Instant Pot for the review model, which I’ve been cooking with for over a year.