Pressure Cookers are the New Microwaves

I recently heard about a grade 6 science fair project where the junior scientist watered identical plant clippings; one with purified water and one with microwaved water.

While the experiment does not stand up to stringent scientific scrutiny (the junior scientist was only 11 years old at the time), it still manages to be downright alarming. Among the numerous reasons out there not to use a microwave, there is also some conjecture that microwaves alter the nutrients in food in such a way that the body doesn’t quite recognize it.

One word… Ew.

Right about now, you might be thinking, Oh, come on! Really?! In this day and age of running to keep up, I have to give up my microwave and actually cook lunch and dinner from scratch? Pffft.

Don’t panic. As you probably guessed from the title of this post, pressure cookers are the way to go. Seriously.

They’re as fast, if not faster than microwaves for cooking most foods, they’re waaaay easier to clean, and, unlike microwaves, they’re perfectly safe.

In fifteen minutes, start to finish, I can have the most succulent batch of chicken breasts you’ve ever tasted. Whole peeled potatoes? Five minutes to perfection. Pork tenderloin roulade with potatoes and mushroom medley? Thirty minutes.

They’re almost self-cleaning, what with all that high-pressure steam. If you make a stew or chili that gets crusted onto the sides, rinse it out well, put a cup of water in it and bring it up to pressure to steam clean the inside. Let it cool and wipe it out. Done and done.

Every time I talk to my mother about my pressure cooker, she tells me the story of her mother getting so badly burned by a pressure cooker that her father threw it into the backyard in a fit of drama that the children, apparently, never forgot. That event took place sometime between 1940 and 1950 as close as I can figure. They’ve come a long way since then and have at least 3 levels of built-in fail-safes. Just be careful not to reach across the pot right after you take off the lid and you’ll be fine.

Granted, you can’t make those quick frozen dinners in a pressure cooker, but my question is this: Why would you want to when you can have real food in the same amount of time?