Happy New Year everyone! I didn’t get a lot of blogging done during Christmas mostly because I felt like crap for most of the weeks leading up to it. A mix of cold, allergies, sinus issues and this crazy Kentucky weather had me on the struggle bus. I finally gave in and went to the doctor the week before our break started and finally felt better in the days just before Christmas. Thankfully I’ve been on the mend since then. Here’s a to a prosperous and healthy 2017!
Today I want to give my unsolicited review of the Cuisinart cooker that my husband bought me back in November. This is not a sponsored post or endorsed by the company in any way. I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you follow the links within this post to Amazon and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. Now that we have that out of the way…
I’ve been intrigued by the new wave of electric pressure cookers for some time. My mom used a stovetop pressure cooker when I was a kid and all I knew about it was that it cooked stuff quickly, it involved waiting for the “jiggler” to “jiggle” and that said jiggling must be timed appropriately. Oh, and the lid locked down. That’s it.
I spent some time in the fall reading up online about the electric models and decided perhaps I’d like one. I decided to put it on my Christmas list. Then a few weeks before Thanksgiving, my husband and I saw one at Costco. Normally, I don’t make a hasty purchase but the sale price along with my recent interest in owning a pressure cooker drove me to load the thing up in the monster Costco cart. I was pretty excited and immediately started looking up recipes on Pinterest, amazed by the wonders I’d cook up in this new pot.
Except, I couldn’t get it to work. I tried three times and never, ever got the thing to build pressure. I believe although I’m not above screwing stuff up that the pot was defective. I’m not going to name the brand because I believe generally it’s a favorably reviewed product but it didn’t work for me. Costco being Costco refunded my money graciously and the sweet young man at the service counter assured me that he was sure it was the pot and not me.
I was bummed and seeing my disappointment, my husband went out and found the Cuisinart cooker. While it doesn’t have as many features, buttons, bells or whistles as the one I originally purchased or as the more popular InstantPot, it works and works well. I’m a fan and am enjoying learning to use it. So far my experiences have been limited to multiple batches of pinto beans, beef roast and steel cut oats. I think chicken and dumplings are next on my list of things to try.
So what do I like about it? Let me tell you…
Speed. Like Lightning McQueen, I’m all about speed. Not really. But there are instances where speed helps. Cooking beans is such an instance. I usually cook pinto beans about once a week in the fall/winter months. To get that perfect pot of beans that I wrote about here, I soaked the beans overnight and then cooked them for a couple of hours. With the pressure cooker there’s no need to soak (though I still do if I have time), and the beans cook in about 35 minutes.
The pot is nonstick and easy to clean. I will admit that I accidentally scorched the potatoes that I was cooking for my Christmas dinner. It was my fault, I didn’t have the pressure release valve in the right position. I feared the pot would be difficult to clean but those taters wiped right out of there with no issue. The lid also comes apart easily for cleaning.
It’s easy to use. The instruction/recipe booklet is quite helpful and I was able to get cooking straight out of the box.
It doesn’t take up stove top space. The cooker can set on the counter and do its thing, freeing up your stove and oven for other interests. It also saves energy.
As I mentioned earlier, the Cuisinart doesn’t have as many settings as the InstantPot or the cooker that I originally bought. However, I’ve found that it will still do many of the same things with the exception of the slow cooker feature. But honestly, I wasn’t planning to get rid of my slow cooker so I can’t say that I miss that. I also can’t say that I was planning to make homemade yogurt either so I’m not mourning the absence of a Yogurt setting.
I’m still learning to use the cooker but I’m pretty excited about the possibilities. Last weekend, I followed this recipe and made steel cut oats. I like steel cut oats and I know they are healthier than rolled oats but they take forever to cook. Not in a pressure cooker! In 12 minutes, I had perfect oats. I cooked enough for five days and voila! Breakfast for the work week.
So yes, I’m a fan of my pressure cooker. Chicken and dumplings, here I come!