Posts Tagged ‘crock pot’

Pressure-cooking is a food preparation method that uses trapped steam. The food is sealed inside of a vessel with liquid, heat is used to create steam, and this increases pressure inside the vessel. The appliance traps or releases steam to control the level of pressure within the unit. With the added pressure, the boiling point rises and allows the food to cook faster at a higher temperature. Pressure-cooking retains the flavor and nutrients of your food while saving you energy in the process. Pressure-cooking is not a new technique and has been around for over 350 years. Home pressure-cooking became popular in 1938 when it debuted at a Trade Show in New York.

Electric pressure cookers have increased in popularity over the last several years. There are currently several brands of electric pressure cookers available. Some of the most popular brands include: Instant Pot, Crock-Pot, Breville, Black & Decker, Cuisinart, GoWISE, Power Pressure Cooker, and the most recent Ninja Foodi. You can find a comparison of a few brands by Utah State Extension. Did you find yourself with one of these as a Christmas present? Intimidated by the appliance and don’t know where to start? Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind as you begin to use your electric pressure-cooker.adding water to electric pressure cooker

  1. Use ½ to 1 cup liquid in the inner pot when pressure-cooking.

When you pressure cook you need to have at least ½ to 1 cup of liquid in the inner pot. The liquid is needed to pressurize the unit. Too much liquid will cause the unit to take longer to get up to pressure and to release the pressure when cooking is finished.

  1. Use multiple buttons in a cooking session.

Cooking for the whole meal can be done in the same inner pot. You can use the Sauté button to brown the meat or cook onions or garlic. Then, add your ingredients and set to pressure cook. Once it’s done, use the Keep Warm button to keep the food warm until the whole family is ready to eat.

  1. Add about 10-20 minutes to listed cooking time.

When you are pressure cooking the unit takes about 10 minutes to come to pressure. Therefore, if your recipe calls for 30 minutes at High Pressure cooking time, then your total time will be 40 minutes. You may even need to add time to the end of cooking to de-pressurizing the unit.  Depending on the unit and the item you are cooking, de-pressurizing could take anywhere from 5-20 additional minutes.

  1. Perform regular safety checks.

The lid of the pressure cooker contains a silicone-sealing ring and it can deform over time. Get into the habit to check it every time. It is recommended to replace the sealing ring every 18-24 months or when you notice cracks or other deformations. Don’t forget to check your vents to make sure they are clean and clear of food clogs.

Please keep in mind that an electric pressure cooker is different from a pressure canner. A pressure cooker is not a pressure canner and should NEVER be used for canning.

Geiger, M. (2016, November 21). Electric Pressure Cookers. Retrieved from https://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/answerline/2016/11/21/electric-pressure-cookers/

Kendle, C. (2018, January 30). Electric Multi Cooker Tips and Tricks.

Author: Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu

Reviewer: Alisha Barton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Miami County, barton.345@osu.edu

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  Crock Pot Cooking

Wouldn’t it be great to walk into your home after a long day at work or school and smell dinner cooking?  Since most of us don’t have a fairy godmother who prepares meals for us, the next best thing might be your crock pot!

A crock pot has many benefits. It is convenient and saves time and money. You do have to be disciplined to plan ahead and spend some time in the morning or the night before preparing the crock pot meal. Raw ingredients must be kept refrigerated until they are put into the crock pot. Meat or poultry should be defrosted and vegetables should be cut into small pieces. You want to be sure that the water or stock in the pot almost covers the meat to ensure good heat transfer.

Don’t overload the pot – most crock pot recipes will tell you what size pot you should use. A general rule is to fill it about half full. You also should not lift the lid during the time your meal is cooking. The heat that has built up will be released every time you open it and it will slow the cooking time.

Some people worry about the safety of food prepared in a crock pot. A combination of direct heat, long cooking times and steam created from the tightly covered container combine to destroy bacteria and make the crock pot a safe food preparation alternative.

Another benefit of crock pot cooking is that it can improve the nutritional content of our food and the meal can be delicious. Less expensive cuts of meat become very tender from the long cooking time. By preparing the food yourself you can cut back on the amount of sodium in the recipe by using low sodium or sodium free broths.

Take good care of your crock pot. Some crock pots have removable stoneware liners that are dishwasher safe. If your crock pot requires hand washing, wash it right after cooking with hot water. Don’t ever pour cold water into stoneware that is hot – that may cause the pot to crack.

There are many sources of recipes for your crock pot. Most pots come with a cook book and online sources are plentiful.  As you become more familiar with crock pot cooking, you will be able to adapt family favorite meals to crock pot cooked meals!

Written by:  Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences,OhioStateUniversityExtension.


Eating Right with Your Slow Cooker, Purdue Extension.


Putting Your Crock Pot to Work, Universityof KentuckyCooperative Extension Service.www.ca.uky.edu/hes/fcs/factshts/FN-SSB.003.PDF

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