I don't know about you, but I am always on the run. It seems like I am never done with the running. Errands, groceries, soccer, volleyball! There is no end in sight! And Mornings are just as hectic as after school.
Thawing out meat or getting a meal ready for the crock pot seems to be the last thing on my mind. What suffers the most from our tight schedules? Our meals! I am always throwing some food in the back seat as we rush onward.
Of course I should plan my meals out. Of course I should make an menu. And of course, this said menu would make my life easier. But I don't. I don't make a menu. And I don't have a plan. Even when I have tried to plan out our meals, I never stick to the plan. Something always derails me off course.
So what to do? No menu. No plan. No crock pot ready when I get home. No thawed out meat in the refrigerator waiting to go in the oven. To Fazoli's we go!
Wait! There is a better way! I finally have found the solution! After numerous meal plans and multiple menu tries, I have seen the light! It isn't really a plan I need but something that cooks quicker!
Enter the electric pressure cooker! One of my teacher friends bought an electric pressure cooker. She regaled us at lunch with stories of roasts, and chicken, and ribs, and even lasagna. Her stories included how she threw in the meat after school and a half hour to an hour later, Presto! Chango! A meal!
I was desperate.
I went out and bought myself an electric pressure cooker. This is a pic of the one I bought at Kohl's.
Hallelujah! I am saved! I come home at 5 or 6 or even 7 o'clock. Open my freezer. Take out some FROZEN meat. Run hot water to remove the packaging. Throw it in my pressure cooker with whatever seasoning I have on hand. Punch some buttons. And Voila! A home cooked dinner!
No joke! Within minutes!
CostI only spent about $90.00 on mine. Some are more expensive depending on the size. I bought mine at Kohl's when I had Kohl's Cash.
SizeNot too clunky. The pressure cooker takes up about the same amount of space as a crock pot.
One TruthFoods cook quick BUT the time to cook them is added onto the time for the cooker to build up pressure. I have found this to be usually around 15 minutes. You can also wait 15 minutes for the steam to abate. I never do; I use the quick release valve.
TipsDon't try to open the lid while cooking! No peeking! You will let all of the steam out. Most lids lock.
Add liquid! The pressure cooker works with steam. You need liquid for steam. Make sure you have 1/2 to 1 cup of liquid in your cooker before starting. You can't fill your cooker to the top.
Being too full will lead to uneven cooking. You cooker should be no more than two-thirds full.
Add time for frozen meat and thicker cuts of meat! You can use a food thermometer to see if your meat is done.
If you are wanting gravy or a sauce, add the thickeners after it's cooked and not before.
There are literally tons of resources for electric pressure cookers on the web. Youtube has videos. Amazon has cookers and cookbooks. Pinterest has recipes. When I first started using my cooker, I followed the recipes to the letter because I was afraid to mess anything up. Now I throw stuff in and punch the buttons.
Here are a couple of intro videos.