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Everyday food: Pressure cookers can make meal prep quick and easy

06/19/2013 12:00 AM

06/21/2013 10:03 AM

Easy, speedy and made in a single pot: That’s what we call a dinner triple threat.

One way to achieve the mealtime trifecta is to use a pressure cooker, which utilizes steam and a tightly sealed lid to create a high-pressure environment that accelerates the cooking process.

It’s like pressing fast-forward on your favorite dishes: Most can cook in a third of the time they would need in the oven or on the stovetop. That means slow-cooked dishes, such as pulled pork, are possible even on a weeknight.

Unlike their vintage predecessors, modern pressure cookers are very safe, thanks to mechanisms that prevent the lid from opening until all of the pressure has been released. Lighter, quick-cooking foods, such as fish or delicate vegetables, can easily overcook, so save pressure cooking for heartier fare like large cuts of meat, sturdy root vegetables and dried beans.

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