I ate my first pressure cooked meal while visiting my sister many years ago. She cooked a pork loin roast in about 37 minutes. After browning the meat and getting the pot up to pressure, all the cooking happened on the lowest heat setting. Supper was on the table in record time.
I recently received a small magazine from my electric coop with an article on small appliances that save energy. (I feel a warm glow because this just reinforces my natural tendency to acquire as many small appliances as possible.) Listed among the gadgets were pressure cookers, which cook stuff in 30 percent of the time it takes to do the job with regular pots and pans on a stove top. Since pressure cookers also cook with less water in less time, food retains more of its nutrients.
My sister found her pot at a local garage sale, so I decided to keep my eyes peeled for my own pot while out saling. I still remember the sale were I found my Futura pressure cooker. It was a group “Coming of Age” sale. A bunch of gals turning 50 years old decided to clean house and free themselves of tons of gently used or new stuff. My Futura pressure cooker still had the tags on it! I bought it for $5. (Yes, folks, I live in the land of plenty.) This cooker doesn’t twist or clamp shut; it closes like an aircraft door. As pressure within the pot builds, the lid presses up against the rubber gasket and the inside rim of the pot. I have no complaints except that parts have to be imported from India, which mean they cost more and are a hassle to order.
If you find a pressure cooker at a garage sale, don’t buy anything that is over 30 years old. Be sure that you are buying a newer one with a cover locking mechanism. The old cookers have a well-documented history of blowing up “real good.” You may need to replace the rubber gasket that fits inside the rim of the lid (it should be uncracked and flexible), but they aren’t hard to find online or at a farm store. Always ask for the owner’s manual. If the seller doesn’t have it or can’t find it, you usually can download an owner’s manual from the manufacturer’s website.
Give pressure cooking a try! You won’t be disappointed. Begonia