I am going to share with you my discovery of one of the best kitchen gadgets any busy mum can have. I think most of us use or have a slow cooker and since having children they have been a lifesaver in the kitchen allowing mums to still provide healthy meals but allowing us to work around our children.
What if I told you there is something even better than the much loved slow cooker!
That’s right a gadget that not only gives you amazing slow cooked tasting meals but in super quick time and low maintenance cooking.
I am talking about a pressure cooker, I was sceptical when my husband first convinced me to get one as I was a big lover of the slow cooker and I was not sure that the pressure cooker would ever live up to it, let alone exceed it. Now a year and a half on I could not be without my pressure cooker it is the best thing since sliced bread, especially now I have gone back to work.
As you can see this is a picture of my well used pressure cooker
On our pressure cooker model we still have a slow cooking function so you can still prepare your meals in the morning and leave it cooking all day until you are ready for dinner. However if you are like me mornings with children can be hectic trying to get everyone ready for school and out the door on time so I do not have time to prepare the dinner and get the slow cooker on before leaving. If you are going off to work and not coming home after school run then the slow cooker is about as much use as a chocolate teapot.
The pressure cooker has transformed my life and has solved my dilemma of providing healthy family meals with limited time. A perfect stew with soft falling apart meat can be made in just 35 minutes and homemade soups can also be made in the same amount of time.
Before I had my pressure cooker soup was something we made from a tin or if I was going to push the boat out I would buy the expensive fresh soup from the chilled aisle at the supermarket. I never dreamed that I would be making my own homemade soups that actually taste amazing and makes me, at least, feel so much healthier. All you need to do is throw in the vegetables add some stock, put the lid on and let it cook, once ready give it a quick blitz with the hand blender and there you have it one amazing soup is ready. (Read my post for the full recipe on my potato and leek soup)
Potatoes and leeks into the pot ready to be made into soup
The finished potato and leek soup
I love that I can spend 5 – 10 minutes prepping my meals then chuck them all in the pressure cooker and get on with the other 101 other jobs that I have waiting while dinner is cooking.
How the pressure cooker works!
Chop your meat and/or vegetables, if you want to brown any meat or onions before cooking you can use the Saulte button this will heat the bottom of the pot which you can then use as you would a frying pan, once done add all ingredients including sauces and seasonings, then put the lid on, seal the vent and push the button you want e.g. stew, soup ect. The pot will then fill with steam and the vent will seal itself once this is done it will then start to cook. After the 35 minutes the timer will sound and you then open the vent at the top releasing the steam, once the steam has dispersed out the small hole at the top, the lid will realise the safety catch and you can open it up and inside will be your delicious home cooked meal.
As well as Stew, Soup and the slow cooker settings there are also preset buttons for chilli, porridge, rice and yoghurt!! I have to admit, even though I have had my pressure cooker well over a year I have only ever used the stew and soup settings I have not branched out to the other settings and not even looked into the yogurt setting. The only time I have ever used the slow cooker setting was when I made homemade cider from the 100s of spare apples my uncle had from his garden and even if I do say so myself it was delicious, even before I added the alcohol we all enjoyed it as apple juice.
Even when we are not limited to time but are short on oven space we have used the pressure cooker to aid us with the Sunday roast. While we use the oven for the traditional roasted potatoes, vegetables, Yorkshire puddings and stuffing the pressure cooker makes the perfect fall of the bone full flavoured meat and the leftover liquid if you add some gravy granules afterwards to it will make the most amazing gravy.
I am not writing this post as I am in partnership with anyone selling pressure cookers or that I have been given one to try out. I, well my husband, genuinely bought a pressure cooker and have fallen in love with it. We have used ours excessively and it is still going strong. I wanted to share my experience with other busy mums as the pressure cooker has improved our family meals whilst still fitting in with the small window of time we have for cooking dinner.
There are loads of different pressure cookers out there which I am sure will be just as good but the one that we have and swear by is the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker (aff link).
Why not also take a look at some of my other recipes –
Some of my post contain affiliated links to products where I may receive a small fee if these products are bought.