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Could a pressure cooker save you money?

Why buy a pressure cooker?

Simple. It will save you money on power, save you money on meat and save your valuable time. Pressure cookers have been on the market for many years but have recently enjoyed a surge in popularity amongst home cooks, with stainless steel models available in the shops from around £30 to £50.

The pressure cooker is an excellent way to create nutritious family meals quickly and easily. Owning a pressure cooker can save money because it reduces the cooking time for many popular dishes, so it is ideal for busy families with both parents working. Pressure cooking enables families to create delicious meals from cheaper joints of meat which would normally require lengthy cooking times in a conventional oven.

How does a pressure cooker save money?

There are many good reasons for using a pressure cooker as an alternative to a conventional gas or electric oven. For example it would normally take about two hours to cook a chicken weighing around 2 kilograms, whereas in the pressure cooker the same meat will be ready to eat in just 15 minutes. With an average cost of about 35p an hour for running an oven, this could create considerable savings.

Amongst the most popular pressure cooker recipes are casseroles and curries which take around 20 to 25 minutes at high pressure, compared with several hours in a conventional oven, saving expensive fuel. Whilst chickpeas take an hour on a conventional stove the cooking time in a pressure cooker is just 10 minutes. It is estimated that using a modern stainless steel pressure cooker can reduce energy consumption by as much as 70%.

Pressure cooking is ideal for cheaper cuts of meat such as oxtail or silverside of beef, which require long slow cooking in an oven and are unsuitable for roasting. There has recently been a resurgence in interest in cooking these unfashionable cuts of meat which had previously fallen out of favour, due to their lengthy cooking times.

Other advantages to pressure cooking

Using a pressure cooker can save on washing up since there are many all-in-one meals which can be cooked in one pot, such as beef stew with herby dumplings or chicken curry with rice, making this method popular with busy families.

Another advantage is that there is hardly any evaporation of liquid during pressure cooking. Conventional methods can result in loss of 30% liquid during the cooking process, whereas with a pressure cooker this reduces to just 3%, so that valuable health-giving nutrients are retained in the cooking process.

The pressure cooker is a compact piece of equipment which does not take up too much space in a small kitchen and can be easily stored in a cupboard when it is not in use.

Disadvantages of pressure cooking

Timing the cooking carefully is essential when using a pressure cooker. A delicate fish such as plaice requires just 3 minutes cooking time. If this is exceeded the results can be disappointing.

Save time and money by pressure cooking

Today’s pressure cookers are energy efficient appliances which can produce tasty and economical meals in a fraction of the time required by conventional cooking methods.
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