The thought of using a pressure cooker never crossed my mind until I bought the cookbook, The Passionate Vegetarian. However, when I read how much a pressure cooker shortens the cooking times for various foods, I quickly became convinced that I needed to buy one. I haven’t been disappointed. My pressure cooker cuts the cooking times for pre-soaked beans, rice, potatoes and many vegetables by up to 70%.
The Passionate Vegetarian includes cooking times for various types of beans, vegetables and rice and I have found this information extremely useful. However, after pressure cooking beets at my parents house with my Mom’s pressure cooker, I realized that different pressure cookers on the market will sometimes cook at different PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). For instance, my pressure cooker cooks at 10 PSI while my Mom’s pressure cooker allows you to select 15 or 25 PSI. This will affect the cooking time that is necessary for various foods.
After some additional research, I discovered that 15 PSI is the standard for most pressure cookers. If a cookbook or website that lists pressure cooking times does not list the PSI, then 15 PSI is probably assumed. Check the manual for your pressure cooker to find out what PSI it uses. The manual may also include a chart of recommended cook times for a wide variety of beans, vegetables and rice types based on the pressure cooker’s PSI. I was surprised to discover that mine does. Be sure to read through the manual for important safety information and detailed instructions.