My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!

I Have A Super Power: Speed Cooking

10 Comments

Who wouldn’t want that super power?  It is a necessary one in my house, because I tend to procrastinate.  Speed cooking helps me prepare delicious, healthy food at bargain basement prices and fast food speed.

 

How do I accomplish this feat, speed cooking, when I am a mere mortal?  My handy, dandy pressure cooker.  I *LOVE* my 8 quart stainless steel non-stick pressure cooker.  It was a bit pricy when I bought it several years ago, but Amazon carries several for very reasonable prices.  (Here’s an affiliate link to an 8-qt stainless cooker and another one for an 8-qt aluminum cooker.) I know I’ve mentioned it before, when I showed you how I used it to make my Cafe Rio inspired beef (see that post here), but the truth is, that post doesn’t show you the full potential of a pressure cooker.  Using a pressure cooker will cut your cooking time to about 5-30% of the time it takes to stew the same dish.  So, instead of cooking beans for 8-12 hours, you cook them for 25 minutes max!

 

Cafe Rio Beef!

Cafe Rio Beef cooked in a pressure cooker, served with cilantro lime rice, Cafe Rio Black Beans, and tomato-corn salsa!

 

My most *FAVORITE* way to use my pressure cooker is cooking beans, especially black beans.  It is super fast!  If I didn’t soak my black (turtle) beans over night, I simply pressure cook them for 20-25 minutes after rinsing the beans.  If I am on the ball and soaked the beans, they’re ready in a mere 4-6 minutes!   And the great thing is, you can use your pressure cooker to make any kind of bean at super speed!  I use this chart for cooking times as they vary depending on the kind of bean you use and whether or not you soaked the beans before cooking.

 

Want to possess this super power yourself?  Take a look at my photo step-by-step, and you, too, can be a pressure cooking super hero!

 

I measured out just over one cup of black (turtle) beans.

I measured out just over one cup of black (turtle) beans, which is about 1/2 pound of dry beans.

 

I rinsed the beans and made sure there were no rocks, sticks, or other debris in the beans.  While I don't find things often, I have on occasion found a small rock, which is not something I want to bite into!

I rinsed the beans well and made sure there were no rocks, sticks, or other debris in the beans. While I don’t find things often, I have on occasion found a small rock, which is not something I want to bite into!

 

I put the beans in my pressure cooker and covered them with water.  I used almost 5 cups of water, since I had a little over 1 cup of beans.  Generally, you use 4 cups of water for each cup of dry beans.

I put the beans in my pressure cooker and covered them with water. I used almost 5 cups of water, since I had a little over 1 cup of beans. Generally, you use 4 cups of water for each cup of dry beans.

 

I put the lid on my pressure cooker, making sure it was locked in place, and turned the heat on high.  Once the cooker was pressurized (see the red "button" popped up on the right), I turned the heat to medium-low to maintain the pressure inside the cooker.  * * * Your pressure cooker may have different instructions or safety features.  Please make sure you read and follow the instructions that came with your pressure cooker. * * *

I put the lid on my pressure cooker, making sure it was locked in place, and turned the heat on high. Once the cooker was pressurized (see the red “button” popped up on the right), I turned the heat to medium-low to maintain the pressure inside the cooker.
* * * Your pressure cooker may have different instructions or safety features. Please make sure you read and follow the instructions that came with your pressure cooker. * * *

 

After 25 minutes, I turned the heat off and let the cooker depressurize on its own.  There is a safety release valve, which I've used before, but I wasn't in a hurry today, so I let it depressurize on its own.  Then I removed the lid.  Here are the cooked black beans in the cooking liquid.

After 25 minutes, I turned the heat off and let the cooker depressurize on its own. There is a safety release valve, which I’ve used before, but I wasn’t in a hurry today, so I let it depressurize on its own. Then I removed the lid. Here are the cooked black beans in the cooking liquid.

 

I drained the beans, and now they're ready to be used in any recipe I desire.  Or I can eat them as is.  They have no seasoning, so I will need to add a little salt, but they are ready to go!

I drained the beans, and now they’re ready to be used in any recipe I desire. Or I can eat them as is. They have no seasoning, so I will need to add a little salt, but they are ready to go!

 

One of my favorite things to do is make a big batch of beans and then freeze the excess in one cup portions, above what I plan to use that day.  Then I can pull them out when I need them and have perfectly cooked beans ready to use in all sorts of recipes!

 

Remember, I started with just over 1 cup of dry beans, and I ended up with just under 4 cups of cooked beans.

Remember, I started with just over 1 cup of dry beans, and I ended up with just under 4 cups of cooked beans.

 

Here in southern California, it’s about $1 for a 15 ounce can of beans, which contains 2 cups.  I bought my beans in bulk (25 pounds for $15).  One cup of dry beans is about 1/2 pound, so they cost me about 30 cents, and I ended up with the equivalent of 2 cans of beans.  So I saved about $1.70, plus or minus a few cents when you consider the cost of water and gas (for my stove).  Plus, I can control exactly what is in my beans, including the amount of salt.

 

So, there you have it!  You can be a super hero, too, and save money to boot!

Have you ever used a pressure cooker?  If so, what’s your favorite thing to cook in your pressure cooker?

If you haven’t, does this make you want to try one?

 

 

* * * This post contains affiliate links.  For more information about them, please visit my About page. * * *

Advertisements

Author: Laurie Nguyen

I am a happily married, stay at home mom with four sons, ages 24, 22, 18, and 14. I'm not a professional blogger, and I'm certainly not a foodie or a chef. But I like food, so I think I'm qualified to write about my own life experience with food. Want to be a little more prepared for the unexpected? Check out my Food Storage Blog, http://forayintofoodstorage.com. Have a question about Food Storage? Email me: forayintofoodstorage@gmail.com.

10 thoughts on “I Have A Super Power: Speed Cooking

  1. My Mom used her pressure cooker a lot, too. When she wasn’t using it to can vegetables and other things, she was cooking with it. Glad to know someone else likens the pressure cooker to a miracle device!

    Like

  2. Cost. We have never had the money to buy one. There are a lot of time saving kitchen appliances I don’t have

    Like

    • I feel your pain. There are so many things tugging at our purse strings that we have to pick and choose what we buy. We go without all sorts of things others have, but I don’t mind. No one has everything, do they? Well, almost no one. I just added texting to our phone plan a few of weeks ago, because it reached the point that I needed it for church. I was too cheap to add it before.

      I will say that Amazon’s price for an 8 quart aluminum pressure cooker is about $36 with free shipping. It’s much less than I’ve seen elsewhere.

      Like

  3. I used to have a pressure cooker but it finally died. Now that I’m alone, I don’t cook as much.

    Like

  4. I have never used a pressure cooker. I use my pressure canner as often as I can, but not a cooker. My father loves to use one. I think I’ll have to see about getting one of these and giving this a try. You make it look too easy, thank you ~ Tilly.

    Like

    • You can use some pressure canners as pressure cookers. Perhaps you can use your existing canner and save $ by not buying a separate cooker. Unless yours is large and unwieldy like my pressure canner, then you might want a smaller piece of equipment to deal with. 🙂

      Like

  5. I always can my black beans, but I haven’t figured out the best place to buy black beans in bulk. Where do you buy your beans?

    Like

Question? Comment? Please share with me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s