What you can cook in a pressure cooker, and how (2024)

Whether you’re in the market for a new pressure cooker or you’re simply after pressure cooker recipes and cooking tips, you’ve come to the right place.

And the good news is, your recipe options are almost endless. From puddings and mulled wine to the more traditional beef stew and French onion soup, a good electric pressure cooker can handle it with aplomb.

But before we get into it, I thought I’d touch base on a few common questions. (Keep scrolling if you’re simply after tips and recipes.)

What are the benefits of a pressure cooker?

I’ve spoken about the benefits of pressure cookers before, so I’ll keep this part short and sweet.

  • Time-saving – Pressure cooking reduces cooking times by up to 70%, meaning you can create the same mouth-watering results in only the fraction of the time.
  • Money-saving – Pressure cookers are well-known for turning cheaper, tougher cuts of meat into delicate, melt-in-your-mouth morsels, helping save money on your grocery bills.
  • Energy-saving – As pressure cookers work faster than most standard cooking methods, you can also save a bit when it comes to your homes electricity bill.

How do pressure cookers work?

Get to know your pressure cooker:

  1. Lid locks onto the top of the appliance and creates a tight seal.
  2. Like a saucepan on a stove, the cooking liquid inside boils and creates steam.
  3. Steam gets trapped inside thanks to the tight seal created by the locking lid.
  4. Pressure increases within the pot, turning the boiling point of the liquid to 120 degrees.
  5. Foods cook faster thanks to the higher cooking temperatures.

Want to know more? Read our more in-depth post – How do pressure cookers work?…

Staying safe

Whether you have young ones at home or not, it’s important to stay safe while using your pressure cooker:

  • Follow all instructions provided in the user manual.
  • Keep your pressure cooker well away from small children.
  • Never use the cold-water release method with your electric pressure cooker.
  • Always use the appropriate pressure-release method according to the recipe you’re using.
  • Release all the pressure before opening the lid, otherwise, your food may explode everywhere (causing a big mess, and even worse, severe burns). The supplied manual will explain how to do this with your particular machine.

Recipes and tips

Select the ingredient you’re cooking with to scroll to some great tips and recipes, including a chart with cooking times.

  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Vegetables

Cooking pork in a pressure cooker

Pick a piece of pork with a nice amount of fat, as the fat helps keep the meat moist while cooking. The fatty cuts of pork – like pork shoulder and pork butt roast – are also generally cheaper than other cuts, meaning not only are you saving time but you’re also saving on your grocery bill! Pork ribs are also another great cut to use in a pressure cooker.

If you don’t like to eat a lot of fat, you can still cook with a fattier cut. A lot of the fat renders off during the cooking process, and you can always cut off the rind before you dice the meat, but still put it in the cooker so you get all the flavour out of it.

  • Best cuts of pork to use: Pork butt, Pork shoulder, Pork ribs, Fat cut, Ham hock, Roast.
  • Trickier cuts of pork to use: Tenderloin, Boneless top loin chop, Pork sirloin.

Recipes

Char siu pork pressure cooker recipe

Char siu is a popular Cantonese dish that’s typically served with white rice, noodles or bok choy, or in a bun (Cha siu bao / BBQ pork bun). This particular recipe takes about 50 minutes to cook and creates 6 servings. See the full Char Siu pork recipe.

Pulled pork pressure cooker recipe

Pulled pork is more commonly cooked in a slow cooker or an oven, but with so many people living busier lifestyles these days, who has time to wait around for 8 hours?! This pulled pork pressure cooker recipe creates a mouthwatering meal in just 80 minutes!

Cooking beef in a pressure cooker

To ensure your beef dishes produce maximum flavour, it’s always best to brown the meat on all sides before cooking it under pressure. If your electric pressure cooker doesn’t have a simmer or saute setting, simply brown your meat using the low or medium heat setting, with the lid off.

As with pork, the best cuts of beef to use are those with the most fat. You can still pressure cook leaner pieces – like eye of round and top sirloin – but these work best if they’ve been stuffed, shredded or rolled (with other ingredients).

  • Best cuts of beef to use: Chuck steak, Round Roast, Shoulder, Pot roast, Ribs, Brisket, Oxtail.
  • Trickier cuts of beef to use: Eye round, Bottom round, Top round, Sirloin steak.

Recipes

Beef Stroganoff pressure cooker recipe

Beef Stroganoff is a delicious Russian dish made from sautéed pieces of beef in sauce and sour cream. It can be served with either pasta, rice or mashed potato. Check out the full Beef Stroganoff recipe.

Mexican beef pressure cooker recipe

This yummy Mexican beef pressure cooker recipe from Michelle Tam at Nom nom paleo will create 4-6 servings in as little as 30 minutes!

Cooking chicken in a pressure cooker

When cooking chicken in a pressure cooker, you’re best to use the fatty, moist bits – like the drumsticks, thighs and wings – or the whole chook. Unfortunately, boneless, skinless chicken breasts don’t work too well in a pressure cooker as they don’t have any lubrication from the fatty skin.

  • Best cuts of chicken to use: Whole or half a chicken, Thighs, Drumsticks, Wings (bones and skin on).
  • Trickier cuts of chicken to use: Any part of the chicken that’s boneless and/or skinless, e.g. breast fillets.

Recipes

Staff pick: Leo’s Nonna’s chicken stock pressure cooker recipe

Hailing from the beautiful city of Brescia in northern Italy, Leonardo is the Omnichannel Manager for Winning Appliances (our sister company). He’s kindly given us his Nonna’s chicken stock recipe to share. Don’t tell Nonna!

Ingredients

  • 1 brown onion, peeled
  • 1 large carrot, washed
  • 2 sticks of celery, washed with the ends cut off
  • Half chicken, bones and all
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  • Put all the ingredients into your pressure cooker (cut the vegetables in half if there isn’t enough room)
  • Fill the pressure cooker pot about halfway with filtered water
  • Cook on high for 45 minutes to an hour
  • Strain the stock into a container or bowl
  • Enjoy in your favourite dishes!

It’s honestly that simple.

Now, before you go and throw away all the leftover ingredients; remember the Italians are quite famous for reusing leftovers and creating entirely new dishes. Leo suggests using the strained stock and any leftover solids to create some Lesso di pollo or Tortellini in brodo. (We tried getting his Nonna’s tortellini recipe but, sadly, she wasn’t prepared to part with that one…)

Fall-off-the-bone pressure cooker chicken

Kelley Herring from Healing Gourmet has found the perfect (and fastest) way to create succulent, moist pressure-cooked chicken. Follow her Fall-off-the-bone pressure cooker chicken recipe and enjoy perfectly cooked chook in just 30 minutes!

Cooking lamb in a pressure cooker

For even cooking results, it’s best to use the stop-and-go cooking method when cooking a recipe that contains foods that cook at different times. The lamb (or any meat you use) should be partially cooked first, before adding other ingredients such as beans or peas. The quick-release method should be used to stop the pressure cooker so the softer foods can be added. Bring the pot back up to pressure once these have been added, and finish cooking everything at the same time.

  • Best cuts of lamb to use: Any cut of lamb- such as chops and leg of lamb- that’s fatty and has a bone. These cuts are also generally cheaper- bonus!
  • Trickier cuts of lamb to use: Premium, lean cuts of lamb without bone and little to no fat, like lamb fillet.

Recipes

Pressure Cooker Lamb Leg Recipe

Leg of lamb is commonly cooked using a braising or baking method in a conventional oven, but if time is not on your side, you can follow this pressure cooker lamb leg recipe to cook a tender, juicy lamb roast in just 40 minutes!

Braised Lamb Shanks – Pressure Cooker Recipe

Cook melt-in-your-mouth lamb shanks in just 25 minutes with this braised lamb shanks-pressure cooker recipe.

Cooking vegetables in a pressure cooker

When you’re cooking with vegetables like onions, capsicum, and carrots, make sure you use your pressure cooker’s Brown Setting before cooking under pressure. That way, you extract even more flavour from them.

As veggies cook a lot faster in a pressure cooker than elsewhere, figuring out the perfect cooking times for different veggies can get a bit tricky. E.g. To avoid overcooked, soggy carrots, you should cook them for about 2 and a half minutes, while heavier veggies like beetroot will take about 12 minutes to cook to perfection. For more handy information, check out the cooking time guide below for common vegetables:

Recipes

Vegetable soup pressure cooker recipe

Dara Michalski from Cookin’ Canuck shares her scrumptious, yet oh so healthy, vegetable soup recipe, which you can enjoy all year round.

Pressure-cooked roast veggies

Roasted vegetables are probably my favourite way of enjoying veggies, but until I bought a pressure cooker, I rarely cooked them, simply because it took so long in the oven. But now that I own a pressure cooker, I can cook them in just 25 minutes! Here’s the roast vegies pressure cooker recipe I use.

General tips, no matter what you’re cooking

  • How much liquid? – Although you always need liquid to pressure-cook, it’s important to remember not to drown your ingredients. Otherwise, you’ll turn your dish into a watery, flavourless disaster! It’s best to only fill the cooker pot with enough water to cover all your ingredients unless of course, the recipe states otherwise.
  • Don’t overfill it – Never overfill your pressure cooker as this can lead to poor results and inefficiency. Overfilling can also become a safety hazard as too much food in the pot can cause the safety valve to activate.
  • Thickening agents – If your recipe involves thickeners or thickening agents, it’s important to remember to add them AFTER pressure cooking. If you add them before, the liquid within the cooker will have difficulty reaching boiling point, which in turn reduces steam and pressure buildup. No steam = no pressure.
  • How to cut your ingredients – You should cut your ingredients into similar sized pieces to ensure they cook in the same amount of time. Larger cuts of meat will cook slower than smaller cuts.

Don’t have a pressure cooker?

Fear not! We’re here to help. We stock an awesome range of high quality pressure cookers that’ll have you creating these recipes (and more!) in no time at all. Or if you’re really after more bang for your buck, then perhaps take a look at our multi-cooker range. With a multi-cooker you not only get to enjoy pressure cooking, but you can also enjoy the benefits of a slow cooker, rice cooker and sometimes even a yoghurt maker all in the one machine!

And with free delivery* available and friendly consultants ready to take your calls 24/7, buying a pressure cooker (or multi-cooker) online couldn’t be easier.

*Please read our full .

What you can cook in a pressure cooker, and how (2024)
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