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Convenient Small Kitchen Appliances

| 1/30/2019 10:35:00 AM

small kitchen appliances

Modern pressure cookers offer plenty of options in addition to cooking under pressure. Photo by Carole Coates

I recently wrote about some kitchen tools I wouldn’t want to be without. Today I’m sharing two more. To be honest, if you’ve never had them, you’ll never miss them. That said, in my opinion they make cooking much faster, easier, and more versatile. These two modern inventions are the electric pressure cooker and the air fryer.

Electric Pressure Cooker

If you’re afraid of pressure cookers, you may not know how much they’ve changed over the years, whether electric or stove top. Today’s cookers have multiple safety features built in. Your job is to become familiar with the appliance and follow all the instructions: clean and check the vent hole and gasket, don’t use too little or too much liquid, use a trusted recipe.

What I like about the electric pressure cooker is how easy it is to operate. It’s basically a ‘set and forget’ appliance. The second thing I like is its multi-functionality. Depending on the model you purchase, you can even use it to make yogurt. I love that I can cook up large batches of rice or dried beans to store in the freezer in appropriately sized containers for quick and easy future meals. I can also prepare scrumptious one-dish meals in it. No muss, no fuss. Some people even take their pressure cookers on camping trips, business travel or vacations. Yes, you can prepare a hot home-cooked meal in your hotel room with an electric pressure cooker.

From start to finish, cooking with pressure may take about as long as using your stove top; however, using a pressure cooker frees up the cook’s time, since there’s no stirring, no watching the pot. Like I said, set it and forget it. That’s no small bonus. It also uses less energy and keeps the kitchen cooler than using a stove’s burner.

Like most things, if you don’t make a real commitment to it, you’ll probably find your pressure cooker gathering dust. After all, it’s a whole new way of food preparation. But there are some excellent resources, both online and hard copy, to help you turn it into an everyday convenience. If you invest in one, be sure to invest in a good pressure cooker cookbook—and use it. Registered dietitian Jill Nussinow is a pressure cooker advocate and has several excellent cookbooks out there. 

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