Using a Pressure Cooker for Gluten-Free Food Fast


Ellen Allard, the Gluten-Free Diva, joins me again with the basics on using a pressure cooker for the building blocks of gluten-free meals. I've had several comments that the pressure cooker still inspires fear and Ellen reassures us that it's safe and easy with a new generation of pressure cookers.

 Brown Rice 

I don’t remember my mother having a pressure cooker when I was a kid. But I’ve heard lots of stories from other people who recall their mother or grandmother having a pressure cooker that blew up in the kitchen, splattering its contents all over the ceiling. Needless to say, that was enough to scare me away from ever even considering trying to use one.

Until a few years ago. Don’t know, something just shifted in me. I decided it was time to challenge myself and try something new. The pressure cooker spoke to me loud and clear, and I decided to go for it. Without sounding overly dramatic, it changed my cooking. For the better. Not to mention that with having to shift to a totally gluten free diet, I needed to find some ways to make healthy foods quckly and easily. Pressure cooker to the rescue.

Two of the foods I prepare in it on a regular basis are brown rice and chickpeas, not at the same time, both staples in my diet. I love the nuttiness of brown rice, and I like love the fact that you can cook it and freeze it and defrost it in no time at all. But, honestly, pre-pressure cooker, I didn’t make it that often because it takes a good hour on the stove as well as in a rice cooker. There are times when, well, I want it now, and I don’t want to wait. Call me petulant if you must. But when I can make brown rice in less than 30 minutes in my Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker, start to finish (including bringing the rice and water up to pressure), this method wins hand down every time.

I put 1½ cups of brown rice in the pressure cooker along with 5½ cups of water, 1 tablespoon of oil, and a pinch or two of salt. I lock the lid in place, bring the pressure cooker to high pressure over high heat, then reduce the heat enough to maintain the high pressure and cook the rice for 15 minutes on the nose.

Wendy Gregory Kaho
4/10/2011 6:23:08 AM

Thanks for sharing your links, Laura. I do polenta in the pressure cooker in half the normal time. Gneiss, you make a very good point. ALWAYS read your owner's manual. My brand of pressure cooker doesn't use the cold water method either. My Fagor has a quick release valve.

Laura Pazzaglia
4/10/2011 12:10:54 AM

Thank you for stating the, number one reason, for me anyway (among many more!) for why pressure cooking is fantastic - it will broaden the range of whole foods because they take less time to prepare. I make risotto's and roasts more often now that pressure cooking them takes just as long as making a pack of pasta!Ciao, L Here are my gluten-free pressure cooker recipes:

4/9/2011 9:02:19 PM

This article has probably saved us time and money. I'd thought about buying a rice cooker specifically because of the longer cooking times with brown rice. We already have two pressure cookers, not including the canner, but it never occurred to us that it could be used for rice. One observation: Our pressure cookers, both non-Kuhn Rikkon, warns against running cold water across the top to speed opening. Readers should check the instructions for their pressure cooker, and follow accordingly.

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