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Pressure Cooking help/suggestions

Started 1336451305.203 in Kitchen & Food Talk | Last reply 1336788877.17 by Missey1

Hello everyone! I have recently began pressure cooking and I am hoping that many of you will be able to offer me some suggestions. I purchased a highly-rated Bob Warden Pressure Cooking cook book and have been preparing recipes from this over the past few weeks. My problem is that, in just about all the dishes, the meat ends up being pretty tough. I have used boneless, skinless chicken, pork loin roast, beef chuck roast, etc. and each time the meat is not tender. Is that typical of pressure cooking?

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Truffles1336455892.493147 PostsRegistered 5/26/2007
I don't have Bob's cookbook..but know the meat should not be tough..could his recipes be off? Sounds like you may be overooking the meat. I picked up a couple of pressure cooking books a few years ago...Pressure Cooking for Dummies and Pressure Cooking for everyone by Rick Rodgers and Arlene Ward. Can't seem to find the Dummy cookbook and the other doesn't give a clear answer..Absolutely love my pressure cooker..hang in there..I know that you will as well.

NewNail1336456896.4032164 PostsRegistered 10/31/2011Los Angeles, CA
I am wondering if you have enough liquid for the size of your pressure cooker and for how long you cook it? Is yours electric or stovetop?

Lottina1336471093.1731359 PostsRegistered 6/19/2007Georgia

I am also a recent convert to the pressure cooker. I love the texture of the meat that I have turned out and this is so important to me because of swallowing problems especially with meats. Mine is a Cook's Essential Pressure Cooker. Can't imagine your meat not being tender. I hope you find the solution but I am not informed enough to know what your problem may be.

Lottina

1mamaj1336473779.1471574 PostsRegistered 10/24/2007Georgia

Check on what NewNail mentioned and make sure you have enough liquid; you may need to add a few minutes to your cooking time. When I open up my PC and if the meat is not as tender as I want it to be, I just close it up and add some more minutes to the cooking time and that usually solves the problem. good luck and don't give up, I wouldn't be without my PC!

Life is not about weathering the storm...it's about learning to dance in the rain.

beach-mom1336474997.99565 PostsRegistered 8/1/2007Mid-Atlantic

I agree with the others about adding enough liquid. I made a recipe last night, and I had to decrease the amount of the ingredients because my roast was a little smaller. Even though I decreased all of the vegeerables and spices, I kept the same amount of liquid. It turned out beautifully, and I definitely didn't have too much liquid in it! Good luck! Smile

lacey11336484735.3232349 PostsRegistered 6/5/2009

Give us some more info. What size pressure cooker, electric or stovetop? What size piece of meat are you using. Are you sure you are achieving pressure before you start timing?

Beebo1336487396.166959 PostsRegistered 4/13/2010

Your meat should not be turning out tough when cooking it in a pressure cooker. One of the reasons people cook in pressure cookers is so they can use less tender cuts of meat and have them come out tender. I agree with others who have said it could be not enough liquid.

4uthebest1336491483.743526 PostsRegistered 1/21/2009

I would guess that if the meat is tough it is also dry and that tells me that it was overcooked. Many pressure cooker recipes are a bit off on the timing and new pressure cooker users usually will overcook their meats.

I recommend for all foods that you cook to temperature rather than time and so I would also purchase a quick reading thermometer (5-7 seconds) and judge doneness that way.

iluvumj11336504488.3538 PostsRegistered 3/28/2010

Thank you all for your responses. The pressure cooker I am using is a an electric programmable model from Cook's Essentials. As for size, I believe it is 4 quarts...maybe 5. As previously stated, I am new to the pressure cooking scene so I have been following pressure cooking recipes to the "T". Many of you have suggested that it seems the meat is being overcooked. For example, from this book, I made Two-Can Cola Pork Roast...the meat being 2 1/2 pounds pork loin roast and then the only liquid called for was the 24 oz of soda. Instructions said to cook at 60 minutes on high. I do know for sure that I am reaching pressure before the timer starts counting down. I also made a pot roast using a 2 1/2 pound beef chuck roast and 1 1/2 cups of beef stock. Instructions said to cook on high 75 minutes. In both events, the meat was tough and did seem dry, even though there was still liquid left at the end of the cooking time.

Truffles1336508139.953147 PostsRegistered 5/26/2007
Wow! I am wondering if there is a typo...those times seem really off...not just a little. If you are sure pressure is being reached...no way..no how with an electric pressure cooker should it take that long. Should take half the time...IMHO.

forrestwolf1336513147.936021 PostsRegistered 6/20/2010Deep in South Georgia

I aagree, that after years of electric pressure cooking, that amount of time, and for the cuts of meat you are using is too long.........{#emotions_dlg.crying} Here is a web site that has helped many, and maybe you can learn something from it as well....Good Luck......Cool

http://fastcooking.ca/pressure_cookers/recipes_pressure_cooker_index.php

"For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack"
1895 Rudyard Kipling
EDUCATE........NOT ERADICATE

iluvumj11336516763.458 PostsRegistered 3/28/2010

Thank you all so much for your input! And forrestwolf, a big thank you for the attached website. I actually just put a beef chuck roast in the pressure cooker which called for cooking 60 minutes on high! Forget that! I am reducing the cooking time by half and will check to see if the cut of meat has reached proper temperature then. Too expensive to have these meals turn out tough and dry! Most of the recipes in this particular cookbook call for at least 60 minutes of cooking for beef and pork.....I don't know why the extensive cooking time. Thanks again everyone! Looking forward to see how this roast turns out!

4uthebest1336518446.5833526 PostsRegistered 1/21/2009
On 5/8/2012 iluvumj1 said:

Thank you all for your responses. The pressure cooker I am using is a an electric programmable model from Cook's Essentials. As for size, I believe it is 4 quarts...maybe 5. As previously stated, I am new to the pressure cooking scene so I have been following pressure cooking recipes to the "T". Many of you have suggested that it seems the meat is being overcooked. For example, from this book, I made Two-Can Cola Pork Roast...the meat being 2 1/2 pounds pork loin roast and then the only liquid called for was the 24 oz of soda. Instructions said to cook at 60 minutes on high. I do know for sure that I am reaching pressure before the timer starts counting down. I also made a pot roast using a 2 1/2 pound beef chuck roast and 1 1/2 cups of beef stock. Instructions said to cook on high 75 minutes. In both events, the meat was tough and did seem dry, even though there was still liquid left at the end of the cooking time.

iluvumj1,

There is no way that I would cook a small 2.5 lb LOIN of pork for 60 minutes in a pressure cooker.. you IMHO will absolutely ruin a good piece of meat if you do so. I would cook a 2lb for 30 min and 3 lb for 40 so splitting the difference, 35 min MAX for a 2.5 lb loin.

Then I see you say beef chuck roast for 75 minutes.. NO WAY !!! that is crazy (it seems like these instructions are certainly NOT for a 15 psi model and I would have trouble with a 12 psi and these timings)

If you use a 3lb chuck roast, I would cook no more than 45 minutes and I would check internal temperature before then probably around 36-39 minutes.

forrestwolf1336519663.0476021 PostsRegistered 6/20/2010Deep in South Georgia

I can cook a corned beef in 45 minutes, and then add the cabbage and carrots and potatoes for and additional 15 minutes, and it just falls apart......I can cook 15 bean soup in 45 minutes, and that is with sausage in it...........A good roast I cook in 30 minutes.........Pork, needs very little time, or it will be dry............too dry........The pressure cooker can be your best friend, especially with cheaper cuts of meat, if cooked right.......I now cook all of my hams in less than and hour, and that can be a 10 lb ham......NOW, the only way I cook a ham, and then take it out, and cook rice in the juices in 15 minutes or less.....I can cook green boiled peanuts, several pounds in 70 minutes, and my dad has the 4 qt, and cooks them in 62 minutes............I really have to question the cooking times on your recipes...............{#emotions_dlg.crying}

"For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack"
1895 Rudyard Kipling
EDUCATE........NOT ERADICATE

Grangie1336522105.51631 PostsRegistered 10/20/2006
Iluvumj1- I have that same exact pressure cooker and the same Bob Warden cookbook! I have the new and the old one. The cooking times are off on his cookbooks for the psi of our units! I am fairly new to cooking with one to (since Feb.) and I find that I have to cook everything longer than what he calls for. But, since I've figured that out the meat tastes good and isn't tough or dry! For instance the recipie for his boiled peanuts says an hour! I cook them for 4! Granted I double it but still is way off. I don't mind as I just plan for the meats I cook to take a little longer and even though it takes more time in most cases it's still quicker than cooking it the traditional way! I have made pork chops, beef roast and the same cola pork recipie that you made! Everything has been delicious and I just have to plan on a little more cooking time! HTH!

4uthebest1336575958.9333526 PostsRegistered 1/21/2009
On 5/8/2012 Grangie said: Iluvumj1- I have that same exact pressure cooker and the same Bob Warden cookbook! I have the new and the old one. The cooking times are off on his cookbooks for the psi of our units! I am fairly new to cooking with one to (since Feb.) and I find that I have to cook everything longer than what he calls for. But, since I've figured that out the meat tastes good and isn't tough or dry! For instance the recipie for his boiled peanuts says an hour! I cook them for 4! Granted I double it but still is way off. I don't mind as I just plan for the meats I cook to take a little longer and even though it takes more time in most cases it's still quicker than cooking it the traditional way! I have made pork chops, beef roast and the same cola pork recipie that you made! Everything has been delicious and I just have to plan on a little more cooking time! HTH!

Basically what you just said has contradicted Forrestwolf and myself. I do not know what in the world is going on but if I were iluvumj1 I would be more confused than ever so in that case, I would definitely contact the pressure cooker manufacturer and get the information right from the "horses mouth" as we seem to be shooting at a moving star now.

Roni1336577315.49611 PostsRegistered 2/9/2007Fort Lauderdale

I have all of his cookbooks and I find that consistently his cook times are not adequate. As an idea: pork tenderloin I cook for 60 min., beef stew meat- I cook for 45-50...just try this and see if it helps. My meat is always so tender you do not need a knife for anything... as for the liquids- anything cooking for 50 min or more I make sure I have 1.5C of liquid....anything less anything around a half a cup seems to work. I am on my third pressure cooker and have used them for about 8 years now....a LOT. (all digital electric)

4uthebest1336579115.093526 PostsRegistered 1/21/2009
On 5/9/2012 Roni said:

I have all of his cookbooks and I find that consistently his cook times are not adequate. As an idea: pork tenderloin I cook for 60 min., beef stew meat- I cook for 45-50...just try this and see if it helps. My meat is always so tender you do not need a knife for anything... as for the liquids- anything cooking for 50 min or more I make sure I have 1.5C of liquid....anything less anything around a half a cup seems to work. I am on my third pressure cooker and have used them for about 8 years now....a LOT. (all digital electric)

Well if you read post #9 she has liquid left over and tough meat so that says that the cooking time was too long not too short. Again I don't know what is going on. Remember this however (assuming you already knew it in the past) ,. electric pressure cookers cook at on high from 9-15 psi (some even as low as 6-7psi) and that is in actuality a huge difference and therefore one MUST know what their particular ELECTRIC pressure cooker cooks at to try to see any semblance of accuracy and that is why I said to contact the manufacturer and see what actually is the correct PSI, yet if meat is tough and dry, it was cooked too LONG not too short.

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postechnic­ian1336590161.116 PostsRegistered 6/6/2010
I have both of bob's cookbooks and I've made the two can cola pot roast and you only set it on high for 40 mins. Most recipes call for setting them on high for 40. I agree with most people , you're setting the time too high.

PamelaSue721336653594.423520 PostsRegistered 9/22/2011
On 5/9/2012 postechnician said: I have both of bob's cookbooks and I've made the two can cola pot roast and you only set it on high for 40 mins. Most recipes call for setting them on high for 40. I agree with most people , you're setting the time too high.


If I may add my two cents, 40 minutes for a chuck roast works out fine for me. No longer than that. I would never do a pork tenderloin for 60 minutes. I just wouldn't.

Last week, I did a 3.5 pound chuck roast, split in half, and browned, for 40 minutes. Vented the pressure, added the vegetables, and went for another 5 minutes. The meat was tender and juicy....and it was done. I would not have wanted to go another minute. But that was with my pc....and not all pcs are created equal, particularly not all electric pcs.

The interesting thing about the Nesco 6-quart electric pc (and part of the reason I chose that particular one) is that it cooks at 15 psi. Many electric pcs do not cook at that psi....some may cook at 9, some may cook at 11. The Nesco does cook at 15. And I think that's important to know. You need to know what your pc is cooking at. I did not realize that electric pc cooked at different levels until I started to do some research.

Contact the manufacturer to see what the psi level is for your pc.

camochef1336655827.693580 PostsRegistered 3/28/2010Gettysburg, Pa.

I have the Living Well, 6 qt pressure cooker that Montel sells. I've been using it for a little over two years now, and I love it! I also have both of Bob's books and I think they are great. While I haven't tried every recipe, I have tried most of them. If anything I have to reduce the time slightly to get perfect results.

Now the Living Well PC uses Kpa instead of PSI, ranging from 10 Kpa to 80 Kpa. I usually do everything on high (80 Kpa). I use mine at least 3/week and have never had anything come out tough or dry.

My signature dish is probably my corned beef and cabbage, (which I'm making again today), and I must say that I remove the corned beef in less time than Bob recommends and then add my potatoes, carrots for 5 minutes more. anything more would turn them to mush.

I hope you solve your problem because the world of pressure cooking is great and Bob's recipes are Fantastic!

Enjoy!

Camo

Foodie 71336680348.37740 PostsRegistered 3/9/2006
On 5/8/2012 iluvumj1 said:

Thank you all for your responses. The pressure cooker I am using is a an electric programmable model from Cook's Essentials. As for size, I believe it is 4 quarts...maybe 5. As previously stated, I am new to the pressure cooking scene so I have been following pressure cooking recipes to the "T". Many of you have suggested that it seems the meat is being overcooked. For example, from this book, I made Two-Can Cola Pork Roast...the meat being 2 1/2 pounds pork loin roast and then the only liquid called for was the 24 oz of soda. Instructions said to cook at 60 minutes on high. I do know for sure that I am reaching pressure before the timer starts counting down. I also made a pot roast using a 2 1/2 pound beef chuck roast and 1 1/2 cups of beef stock. Instructions said to cook on high 75 minutes. In both events, the meat was tough and did seem dry, even though there was still liquid left at the end of the cooking time.

iluvumj1,

I’m inclined to think you may need additional cooking time rather than additional cooking liquid. Pressure cookers cook by steam rather than because the food to be cooked is sitting in liquid though that is sometimes the case. With many recipes, the food to be cooked sits on top of a trivet and doesn’t sit in the actual cooking liquid. Your ratio of meat to liquid (2 ½ lbs beef chuck roast to 1 ½ cups liquid, 2 ½ lbs. pork loin to 3 cups liquid) sounds sufficient – and it is as long as there’s liquid remaining in the pot at the end of the cooking time and pressure is released. Some recipes for the pressure cooker use as little as ½ cup of liquid. Generally these don’t cook as long as a roast, but a lot of liquid is not needed.

I would try additional cooking time if the meat is tough – perhaps 15 minutes. If you’re worried about there not being enough liquid add a little more, but not a lot. However if you really think it’s overcooked, try cooking it for 15 fewer minutes the next time. Then reduce the pressure, remove the lid and check. You can always bring it back up to pressure and cook it longer.

Another couple of thoughts...

You mention using boneless, skinless chicken. If the recipe calls for bone-in, with skin on chicken, that will make a difference. Boneless, skinless chicken takes less time to cook than chicken with bone in and skin on so you’ll need to adjust your cooking time accordingly.

You also mention that you cooked pork loin roast…that’s a pretty lean cut of pork and you might want to try a fattier cut next time. Pork loin and especially pork tenderloin quick quite quickly and because they’re lean have a tendency to dry out if cooked too long.

It sounds like your pressure cooker is new. If you’re having the same poor results (by your definition) for most everything you cook, you may have a defective pc. I think this is a distinct possibility as you’re using a Cook’s Essentials PC and Bob Warden tested his recipes with CE pressure cookers – at least I assume he did as this is the brand he reps.

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4uthebest1336692959.033526 PostsRegistered 1/21/2009
On 5/10/2012 Sigrid said:
On 5/8/2012 iluvumj1 said:

I’m inclined to think you may need additional cooking time rather than additional cooking liquid....


You also mention that you cooked pork loin roast…that’s a pretty lean cut of pork and you might want to try a fattier cut next time. Pork loin and especially pork tenderloin quick quite quickly and because they’re lean have a tendency to dry out if cooked too long....

It sounds like your pressure cooker is new. If you’re having the same poor results (by your definition) for most everything you cook, you may have a defective pc. I think this is a distinct possibility as you’re using a Cook’s Essentials PC and Bob Warden tested his recipes with CE pressure cookers – at least I assume he did as this is the brand he reps.

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Here we go again... this is getting highly ridiculous with such diverse responses and like I said, you need to check with the pressure cooker manufacturer. If meat is tough and dry (as you stated) in a pressure cooker you NEVER want to cook it more....(at least that is what those that have been writing books about PC state) and there is ZERO way that I would do that as it is sure to dry and toughen meat more. Again for your particular pressure cooker, check with the manufacturer.

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forrestwolf1336698994.3276021 PostsRegistered 6/20/2010Deep in South Georgia

A pork loin is a very tricky meat.......It can cook on a grill or in the oven in way less than an hour......Todays pork is now so very lean........hence forth, the other white meat...{#emotions_dlg.crying} A loin of pork, does have a bit more fat, but still needs to cook for only a short period of time in the pressure cooker.....The whole principal behind pressure cooking, is that it infuses flavor, and cooks more with steam.........Look at it as how much water you use to just steam veggies, and they cook quickly........I do hope you learn to use your pressure cooker, as it is a wonderful appliance to have...........Cool The secret is to brown the meat, and add just a cup of liquid (unless you are making soup or stew), and cook for a short period of time..........I personally do not care for the amount that Bob Warden uses in some of his recipes, as the ingredients drown.........But do please realize, that even though I have used a pressure cooker for multitude of years, that does not make me an expert..........But I have figured out the learning curve, and have wonderful results with mine........I do wish you the best of luck, and now not totally confused.......Now I will say that my pressure cooker does cook at 15 PSI, and have never used my low setting, as I will just adjust times, and quick release if needed.........Otherwise, I just let it release naturally and have the warm method on........Cool

"For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack"
1895 Rudyard Kipling
EDUCATE........NOT ERADICATE

depglass1336772377.29323895 PostsRegistered 11/14/2006

I find I am cooking LONGER than Bob says, but I don't do chicken at all, just beef and pork. It doesn't seem logical that meat could go from tough going in, to tender, then back to tough. Take that tough piece of meat you have and run it another hour. I also find I do better with fattier cuts of meat as far as not getting it too dry.

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