Making Life Easier, One Meal at a Time

By Colleen McTiernan

Say goodbye to your slow cooker and kick your stovetop pressure cooker to the curb. There is a new kitchen appliance in town, and it is a heavyweight! Electric pressure cookers do the work of several appliances all in one handy package, opening up precious space in your kitchen cabinets and cutting down on the time you will have to spend washing dishes once you are done cooking. Sounds almost too good to be true, right?

 What can it do?

What exactly your electric pressure cooker will be capable of doing depends on the brand you use, but just about all of them can cook rice, steam foods, serve as a slow cooker, brown foods and replace a conventional pressure cooker. Others can make oatmeal, baby food, stew and soup. There are definitely a lot of settings to explore, so if you do try introducing an electric pressure cooker to your kitchen retinue, give yourself some time to read the manual and experiment.

Not only do these new pressure cookers replace common appliances, they also cut down the time it takes to cook certain foods. In fact, with certain cookers, rice only takes about 9 minutes to cook! And if you have been wary of using a conventional pressure cooker, the electric versions definitely take some of the uncertainty out of the mix. You do not have to watch them as carefully, and they usually have built-in timers so you know when your food is done. However, they are more costly and can take slightly longer to cook your food than conventional pressure cookers.

What can you cook in it?

From boiled eggs to beans to deliciously tender meats, there is a lot that an electric pressure cooker can bring to the table. Some slow cooker recipes require that you brown your meat prior to placing it in the slow cooker itself. Now what you thought was a simple, one-pot meal has dirtied more dishes than you were planning. With an electric pressure cooker on hand, you can use the “brown” setting to start cooking your meat and then switch it to the slow cooker or pressure cooker setting. No other appliances required!

Pot Roast & Potatoes courtesy of T-fal’s Electric Pressure Cooker Recipe Book

2 pounds beef sirloin tips or chuck roast

1 leek

¼ cup olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

½ cup white wine

2 sprigs fresh thyme

4 potatoes, peeled and cubed

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

Lightly season the beef with salt and pepper.

Cut the main portion of dark green from the top of the leek and trim the bottom of the root and discard. Cut leek in half lengthwise, wash and thinly slice.

Select Brown program. Heat the oil and add the beef. Braise on all sides for about 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.

In the same oil, add the leek, onion, carrot and garlic. Cook on the Brown program for 3–4 minutes. Add the tomato, meat, wine and thyme. Close the lid and lock it.

Select Pressure Cook program, High – Timer: 30 minutes.

Once it is done cooking, release the pressure.

Open the lid and add the potatoes. Close lid again.

Select Pressure Cook program, High – Timer: 10 minutes.

Once it is done cooking, release the pressure again. Open the lid. Serve.