Electric Pressure Cookers – Frequently Asked Questions

Electric pressure cookers are becoming more popular in kitchens all over the world these days. But there are many questions people ask about them before buying. So we thought we would try and answer some of them for you below.

What is a Pressure Cooker & How Do They Work?

A pressure cooker looks similar to a regular large pan. It has a lid which when installed correctly locks all the air in the pan. This causes pressure to build up and also rises the temperature inside. This pressure and steam help food to cook faster and also locks in more nutrients too, which could potentially be lost if cooking in a regular pan.

How do you Open a Pressure Cooker?

This can be something many people are afraid of. They know that there is a huge amount of pressure in the pan and need to get it out but what is the safest way to do it? It’s actually quite easy. You just need to open the valve slowly until the steam starts to come out, then increase the opening gradually over a few minutes. You don’t want to open it too fast, just take things slowly and keep opening the valve until all the pressure has been released.

Can You Cook Rice in a Pressure Cooker?

Yes you can and a lot faster than doing it in a regular pan. Just add in your water, the rice and some salt for seasoning, give it a good stir and turn the pressure cooker on. Just cook it for around 3 minutes, then turn it off and start releasing the pressure. When all the pressure is out, just fluff up the rice using a fork and it’s good to be eaten right away.

Why Do Pressure Cookers Cook Food Faster?

When they increase the pressure, it raises the boiling point of the water to be higher than that of a regular pan. This is what allows the food to be cooked faster. They also lock in nutrients too, as they have no where to go and can’t evaporate.

How Long Does It Take To Release The Pressure?

This will depend on your model and what settings you have been using. But the typical time to release pressure from a pressure cooker is anywhere in between 8 to 25 minutes.

What is the Difference Between A Pressure Cooker and a Slow Cooker?

The main difference is the time taken by each appliance to cook the food. A slow cooker can take hours and hours to cook food. This can be a good way to get tender meats and great tasting vegetables. But a pressure cooker is made to cook food fast and can cook things in minutes that will take hours in a slow cooker.

What Food Can You Cook in a Pressure Cooker?

Whilst many people use them mainly for stews, soups and beans, you can actually cook most things in a pressure cooker. Just search online for pressure cooker recipes and you’ll find hundreds of different meals you can cook fast.

Top 5 Quick And Easy Tofu Meals

Love it or hate it, there are lots of benefits to eating tofu. Many people don’t like it because it can be quite bland and don’t like the texture. But you can use a tofu press to make it firmer and remove water and also use it in lots of tasty recipes and take away the bland taste.

So let’s take a look at 10 quick and easy tofu meals you can make today.

#1 – Spicy Sofritas With Veggies

If you like spicy food then you’re going to love this one. It uses a Poblano pepper in the sofritas sauce to give it a real kick. To make it is easy, just crumble the tofu in a medium pan, then add the sofritas sauce which consists of poblano pepper, salt, sugar, chipotle peppers, adobe sauce and salsa. Simmer for 20 minutes then add to your pre-cooked rice of choice. Add some guacamole and you have a great spicy meal which is quick and easy to make but also really healthy too.

#2 – Crispy Tofu Tacos

Tacos are great because they are super easy to make and can be loaded with a variety of healthy treats. In this meal we coat the tacos with cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, pepper and cornmeal before frying it to give it a real crunch when you bite into it. Feel free to load it up with toppings of your choice such as cheese, guacamole, avocado, onion, tomatoes, sweet juice and a squeeze of lime. Really easy to make but tastes great.

#3 – Scrambled Tofu

If you like making scrambled egg, then you’re going to love this recipe as it can be done in the same amount of time. Get yourself a large pan, add some oil and throw in some chopped spring onions. After a few minutes add some corn and garlic to heat them through. Next you can crumble in your tofu and add seasoning such as tomato sauce, salt and pepper and turmeric. Stir it all together until it’s all warm and you’re pretty much done. Serve it with avocado, guacamole or some sweet potatoes.

#4 – Soba Salad

This recipe is so easy anyone can make it. Slice up 12 ounces of tofu into half inch sized slices. Add some salt and pepper to it then grill it for around 15 minutes until it’s nice and golden on both sides. Next you add some soba noodles to a pan and cook as per the packet instructions. When done you can drain then over some baby spinach which will wilt it. Then mix it with your tofu and add some radishes and sauce of your choice. Quick, simple and really healthy meal.

#5 – Tofu Burger

Who doesn’t love a good burger? Well what if you substitute the beef for tofu? Might not sound too good but give it a try and you’ll be surprised. Firstly cut your tofu into the size of your bun, so it’s just sticking out like a regular burger and put them to one side. Next you next to heat up your BBQ sauce which you can make yourself using pepper, ketchup, brown sugar, onions, rice vinegar, ground cayenne and a BBQ rub mixture. Next you add the same BBQ rub onto both sides of the tofu and cook it for around 30 minutes in the oven. Then add the tofu to your sauce and warm up your burger buns. Then put it all together for a great tasting BBQ burger without the meat!

These are just 5 quick and easy tofu recipes that taste great and also gives you the high protein without the guilt of eating meat.

Top 5 Convection Toaster Oven Features

If you are thinking of buying a convection toaster oven, then there are a few things you need to be aware of beware choosing the right model for your needs. Each one will typically have different features than others, so it’s important to know what they are and why they matter.

So let’s take a look at the top 5 features you should look at before buying:

#1 – The Wattage

The wattage of a toaster oven basically means how much power it produces. Models with a higher wattage will generally cook food faster. The downside to this is that they can be slightly more expensive and will use more of your electricity when in use, so you need to decide which is more important.

#2 – The Functions

You should decide what you will mainly be using the oven for, this will then determine how many functions you need. Functions are just the different ways you can use a toaster oven as some will bake, toast, keep things warm, broil and lots more. With more functions will come a higher price tag. So decide what functions you will mainly need and it will stop you from getting carried away and buying a model that you will barely use all the functions it has.

#3 – The Size

You will mostly look at two things when deciding what size is best, those are the room you have available to store it and how many people you cook for. If space is limited and you only cook for 1-2 people each time, then you will be best with a mini convection toaster oven. But if you want to cook for the whole family and have lots of counter top space available, then go for a larger, more expensive model.

#4 – Adjustable Racks

This will again depend on what type of food you will be cooking but it’s important to make sure you can fit it in to your toaster. Many of them have adjustable racks and also ones that can be removed, making sure you can fit in large food items. So always check the measurements of each model and see what can be removed.

#5 – The Timer

Some models allow you to set a time of up to 2 hours but cheaper models will stop at 30 minutes. If you need to cook for longer than that, then you’ll need to make sure the model allows it. This will be clearly stated in the feature section of each one and is important to note to make sure you get one that is sufficient for your needs.

There are of course other features you will need to compare but these are some of the most important ones to bare in mind. Whilst convection toaster ovens are relatively cheap items to purchase, you should always make sure you get the right one and hopefully these tips will help you to do just that. Be sure to check out our own reviews here as we have picked out the top 4 currently available from Amazon.com.