I had one request for Christmas this year, a pressure cooker.
Actually, two. I also really needed a new pillow…and according to The Boy, the fact that I really only wanted a pressure cooker and a pillow meant that I was really “boring” to shop for and wouldn’t I instead like the Lego Lord of the Rings game for his XBOX?
I did find a pressure cooker under the tree, and it sat on a table for at least a week.
Staring at me.
Daring me to use it without blowing up my kitchen.
Taunting me with its promise of chicken stock in an hour and artichokes in 8 minutes.
Really, 8 minutes for artichokes!
My one big goal for this week was to use it, and I finally pulled it out of the box yesterday.
And then spent about an hour cursing at it.
The directions in the manual weren’t exactly the most helpful, and seemed to contradict themselves when I compared them from the separate recipe and getting started sections.
After a little more unproductive cursing, I decide to do a little online research, found a rather helpful video on the Cuisinart site and read in an Amazon review that it takes up to 15-20 minutes for the pressure to build and the timer to start counting down.
Well sure, that makes sense now.
And it’s easier to use than the manual would suggest.
About an hour later, I had chicken broth. Thick, rich, golden bone broth that looks like it had simmered in the crock pot overnight. We turned it into chicken soup with some carrots, cabbage, zucchini and onions, and the whole family commented on how good it was (especially impressive considering I’ve got the picky one and one that’s been sick for the past week).
I will admit – there was another moment of panic when I released the pressure valve and I expected Mt. Vesuvius, but it was actually very mild compared to what I expected.
Making bone broths have been a regular part of my kitchen chores for several years now, and it’s incredible to me that I can do it so much more quickly with the same results. There are so many health benefits to bone broths (love this post and this article), but it’s also incredibly economical to make. $4 worth of chicken parts yesterday gave me 10 cups of broth and 3 cups of chicken (try doing that math with the stuff from the store). Today, I’m hoping to find some bones to make beef broth, and I’m obsessed with those 8 minute artichokes. Those are definitely going in as soon as I make some mayo.
Today, that pressure cooker is a whole lot less evil-looking, and a whole lot more enticing. I’m envisioning kale that is tender in minutes. Pot roasts falling apart an hour. Sweet potatoes in a flash. That baby is going to get a workout!
Oh…and in case you’re wondering, this is the pressure cooker I received: Cuisinart CPC-600 (not an affiliate link)