“UNTIL I DISCOVERED COOKING, I WAS REALLY NEVER INTERESTED IN ANYTHING’ ~ Julia Child
What if I could share with you a way to cut your cooking time down by 1/3 of the normal cooking time? What if you could spend less on your energy utility bill simply by using a cooking method that takes less time to cook and because it takes less time to cook, less energy is needed? How about if I told you that the method of cooking I am about to introduce you to will also help you retain more minerals and vitamins in the foods you are preparing and all you need is ONE POT!? FAGOR Cookware has a Quality line of Pressure Cookers that can help you quickly prepare meals while keeping them healthy, vitamin and mineral loaded and drastically cut down on your in-the-kitchen time.
PRESSURE COOKING 101 ~ A FUNNY STORY
A pressure cooker can save you up to 70% cooking time. If you cook less, you expend less energy, and less energy used translates to less of an energy bill, which translates to more money in your pocket at the end of each meal! In addition, less cooking time means less heat in the house from cooking(great during the summer time). Cooking foods for longer periods of time can take away or dilute vitamins and minerals that COULD be in your foods simply by evaporating. Pressure Cookers provide a method to cook your food quicker an allow it to retain more color, flavor and to retain vitamins and minerals that might have been lost before. Less electric and the ability to keep everything in one pot made me switch from cooking many meals in many pots, and pans and dishes into ONE pot that does it all! Not all Pressure Cookers are made the same. Not all Pressure Cookers are FAGOR, I needed this pot last year: A few years ago I purchase a pressure cooker from a leading retailer and this past year I experienced it’s literal meltdown!
I was cooking vegetable soup, a pretty regularly served meal in my home as we all can consume it without ANY allergy concerns. While cooking I heard a bit of a ‘spitttzzzzzzz’ sound but I made nothing of it. The soup was laden with potatoes, carrots, celery, beans, etc. I served each person their own bowl as usual with a side of bread sticks. As I sat down to eat dinner with my family and we began eating I heard a clank. I asked everyone to stop eating. We listened and nothing more. We each began eating again, stirring our soup in our bowls to get to the cooler parts and ‘CLANK’ again! We all stopped mystified and then it hit me, the pressure toggle nut had fallen into the soup, into someone’s bowl and somebody at the table was about to get Toggle Nut Soup!. We located it in my daughters’ bowl and we pulled it out, but I recognized quickly there was another piece, so yet another stir in my sons’ bowl led to the other piece being FOUND! Needless to say, this was a cheaper pressure cooker and it was also a very USED pressure cooker and it is now a very in the trash can pressure cooker. Without a cooker for a good number of months, SOUP has all but disappeared from the menu, because I do not have time to nurse it along all day long on low, I am on the go, between work and kids there is NO TIME!
THE FAGOR PRESSURE COOKER
I recently was given the opportunity to try a new pressure cooker, not just any pressure cooker but a CHEF Pressure Cooker by Fagor. This Pressure Cooker is certain to provide me with MANY years of excellent cooking. The CHEF Pressure Cooker is made from high-quality, heavy gauge 18/10 stainless steel. The cooker meets ALL international safety standards. The Fagor has an easy-to-use pressure regulator and it is simple to determine which pressure to use for what food, you learn that there are pretty much two ways, Low or High.
I chose the Chef Pressure Cooker because it came with a Steamer/Grater Basket with Trivet which will allow me to also quickly steam veggies, which I survive on. In addition the CHEF Pressure Cooker comes with a Clear Glass lid which is useful because I can use the pot as a traditional cooking pot as well as a Pressure Cooker, Versatile and Space Saving! The CHEF pressure cooker has a built-in timer that is also removable–LOVE THIS!
You may be looking at this pot thinking this thing is way more than I would ever use, I can assure it is not, you will cook to it, and with it and I believe it will give you a real confidence boost in cooking because pressure cooking enhances the flavor of everything you cook in the pot. I love cooking sauces, soups, and chili in it, because it is fast, efficient and it enhances the flavor as it is all locked into the pressure.
PRESSURE GAUGE ON FAGOR CHEF PRESSURE COOKER
The handles are sturdy on this particular model, as you can see and the lid locks on simply lining marks up together which ensures that the lid is closed.
The pressure gauge is in the middle of the lid handle and this will tell you how much pressure is built up inside the cooker. The pressure builds and the indicator rises a bit(it is the little knob that rises out of the lid as you cook). If you have chosen to cook on LOW the knob will rise just up to the first line. Low cooking would include items like, vegetables and fish, delicate items, where as High Cooking with the knob rising to the second line you are probably cooking; stews, meats, meat balls, grains, or soups. It is very important to see what the knob is doing because if you had not intended a food to be cooked on High you will need to back the heat of the stove down a bit and the situation should correct itself, the pressure gauge is a great way to know if you are cooking on task! (it is super easy, believe me, you will never go back to traditional roasting, or cooking because of the time you are about to save and the taste of the food!)
WHEN TO ADJUST THE HEAT ON THE STOVE TOP
The steam you will see coming out of the top of the valve must maintain as a gentle, steady stream. Steam will start once the pressure in the pot has built and the food has begun its cooking process. When STEAM begins to come out of the pot you should Mark Time for cooking from beginning to end! Again, if there is too much steam coming out(you will know) you have to back the heat on the burner down and you will then note that less steam will come out, but you must have SOME steam appear. (*side note, if your steaming stops at any point in time, add a minute or 2 to the cooking time).
HOW TO RELEASE THE PRESSURE AFTER COOKING A MEAL
When you are done cooking, you release the pressure and there are a few ways to do this:
1) You can simply use the AUTOMATIC Release – just turn the dial
2) Naturally – take the pressure cooker off of the HOT BURNER and allow it to cool on a cool burner, DO NOT OPEN the lid you must allow the contents to cool. This can take up to 20 minutes, you are waiting for NO STEAM to be EMITTING from the steam operating Valve!
3) Cold Water Release-(I don’t like using this method) – Take the pressure cooker to the sink, tip it and make sure the OPERATING VALVE does not get water in it! Simply water the Pot down with Cold water by running water over the lid until the steam stops and the pressure indicator is lowered. YOU must make certain to not get water in the OPERATING VALVE which is also on the lid and remember the pot itself is hot. I have used this method ONCE and do not like it.
DO NOT JUST OPEN THE LID AFTER COOKING- the Pressure must level off. You will get burned if you simply attempt to open the lid.
HOW DO I WASH MY FAGOR?
The Fagor Chef Pressure Cooker is dishwasher safe, but I prefer to ‘baby’ mine and wash it by hand. The lid should ALWAYS be washed by hand with warm water and dish washing soap and a non-abrasive pad.
The silicone gasket that is attached to the underside of the lid, should be taken out of the lid after each use, washed with warm water and a mild dish washing detergent. Once washed, dry it and then use a paper towel (I Do) and rub it with vegetable oil before putting it back into the lid. This will extend the life of this gasket. The gasket provides the lid with the proper seal which allows pressure to build which in turn allows QUICK cooking!
Fagor has offered a great variety of recipes to help you along in your Pressure Cooking. This is one of my favs because it is super easy and the taste is Magnificent. Obviously you can change up some of the ingredients and put your OWN spin on it! Roasted Baby Potatoes done in 5 minutes!
How about Pot Roast in an hour, served up juicy, tender and quickly!
The possibilities are endless and the time you will save cooking in ONE pot with less energy makes this a simple choice as a purchase. With the up and coming holidays, you are sure to have someone who likes to COOK on your list and this would be the perfect gift! If you think you need a little bit less of a pressure cooker, FAGOR offers a WHOLE line of Pressure Cookers, this is simply the one I chose to review based on my knowledge and use of a pressure cooker! Check out their whole LINE here.
Stay tuned as I will be providing a giveaway for a Fagor Pressure Cooker, shortly!
I was provided a Fagor Pressure Cooker in return for my true and honest opinion/review as set forth in this blog. ***read all instructions before cooking, this is simply an overview and by no means is meant to guide you. The overall FAGOR pressure cooker comes with directions and a DVD that you SHOULD and NEED to review as cooking with a Pressure cooker could lead to steam burns. Please read all information provided by FAGOR before Cooking with your unit. PFM has simply offered an over view of the item.