Pressure cookers have been around for umpteen years. The only problem was that I was deathly afraid of them. The old pressure cookers had no safety mechanisms and were quite capable of exploding. Then, I came across rave reviews of the Instant Pot.
The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker which has built-in sensors and automated cooking programmes. See HERE for a demo. This thing will not explode (at least, if it were functioning well, it shouldn't) because it will reduce pressure automatically before explosion. This thing does a beef pot roast in 45 minutes. Such a roast normally requires 3 hours in the oven.
The oven is not exactly the most energy efficient piece of kitchen equipment. 3 hours in it sends the electricity bills sky high.
There is no local retailer for the Instant Pot. Locally, the only electric pressure cooker available, is the Philips. I refused to buy it because it has non stick coating on the cooking pot. Non stick coatings slough off after some time and it is not good for health if ingested.
So, I started to look around a little more. I finally settled for the WMF stove top pressure cooker. I liked the stainless steel. I liked the fact that I needed to learn to control time and pressure for each recipe. Best of all, I liked that this pot will wail loudly when pressure gets too high. It is so loud that I can hear it from anywhere in the house.
No danger of explosion then. See HERE for demo.
This pressure cooker brings down my electricity bills considerably and I can turn around meals a lot faster too. It cooks carrots in 2 minutes. It does my pot roasts in 30 minutes. The best thing is the risotto. That gets done in 7 minutes and it comes out perfect, with creamy starch and al dente rice grains.
Normally, risottos require 45 minutes of patience at the stove, adding soup stock ladle by ladle and stirring. Even then I often don't get it right. Too soft, too hard, too dry. In the pressure cooker, it comes out PERFECTLY each time.
After I bought the WMF Pressure Cooker, I found the Tefal Clipso Plus HERE. It is ever so pretty and has a detachable timer. By that time, I had already bought my 2nd WMF pressure cooker. Else, I would have got me the Tefal Clipso Plus.
I used to make rice in the thermal pot without realising that higher heat is required to release the oils in rice responsible for its fragrance. My mother-in-law used to complain that my rice (from the thermal pot) was not fragrant. I ignored her simply because that is what daughters-in-law tend to do, right?
Now though, I know what she means. Rice done in a pressure cooker is amazingly al dente and fragrant.
I wish I had found these new style pressure cookers before I had bought my Le Creuset pots. They are so practical and cook so fast that I now use them every day. The Le Creuset pots are good when guests come and I want to take time to cook things low and slow. Taste wise, one cannot beat the Le Creuset pots but for daily convenience... man... I love my 2 WMF pressure cookers.
I love them so much that I bought 2!
Perfect risotto in 7 minutes.