Pressure Cookers Revisited: Energy Saving in the Kitchen


Back in the early days of TreeHugger we looked at a designer pressure cooker, but since then we appear to have neglected this rather useful bit of eco kitchen equipment. Yes, they do suffer a bit from that grandma image, but boy do they save energy. Short of using a solar cooker, you’d be hard pressed to find a more efficient way of cooking. This TreeHugger has just been given a Fagor pressure cooker as a gift at his recent eco-wedding, and is delighted with the results. Cooking brown rice, which we’ve already seen is ‘greener’ than white, but which often takes A LOT of boiling, now only takes 20 minutes, and the appliance's instructions claim time savings of up to 70% on some recipes.
Of course, pressure cookers probably aren’t appropriate for every dish. The fact you have to depressurise each time you want to check progress makes adjusting seasoning, or improvising as you go along, a little hard, but for staples like grains, beans and potatoes, and many soups, there can hardly be a better way to cook. The recipe book enclosed with the device also includes a lot fancier creations, including risotto, paella, herb encrusted pork roast, and sweet and sour spare ribs – we are yet to try anything this fancy, but will be sure to give it a go. And in terms of the perennial safety worries, the design seems sturdy and safe, and the manufacturers claim that it cannot be opened until the pressure is 100% released. Once again, we learn that many of the eco-inventions we are searching for have been around for some time. Grandma was right all along…

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