I have a confession to make.
Not everyone is going to enjoy pressure cooked vegetables. They’re not.
People who enjoy raw vegetables, barely-cooked vegetables and crunchy vegetables… they’re just not going to enjoy what comes out of the pressure cooker. Pressure cooked vegetables are tender, flavorful and packed with nutrients – but they’re not going to be crunchy and they’re not going to be al dente.
Here’s three way to up your pressure cooker veggie game…
- Go LOW or NO pressure. Choose a “low” pressure setting to ensure more delicate cooking – this setting is usually half the heat of “high” pressure. And, some cookers will also let you steam veggies without any pressure at all!
- Open the pressure cooker quickly. Using Normal or Quick release, because even if the cooker is off the vegetables are still in a very hot environment and they’re going to continue to cook. And we don’t want that!
- Phase it in. For mixed recipes like a “veggie and bean” or “meat and veggie” stew, add the vegetables towards the end of cooking to ensure they’re not overly tender.
Personally, I don’t have an issue with tender veggies from the pressure cooker. They taste better. That’s because they’re flash-cooked at higher temperatures than conventional cooking (like boiling or baking) but for a much shorter amount of time. Studies have proven that pressure cooking vegetables preserve more vitamins and minerals than other cooking methods.
See Also: Nutritional Effects of Pressure Cooking
But you don’t have to be a scientist to know this. You can actually taste the difference. Eating a pressure cooked vegetable is like tasting vegetables in HD.
So, let’s try it!
See, I thought I would live the cooker. But it makes dead food and sometimes, dead mush. I don’t love the cooker. I wanted too. TADA! … BLEH.
Angela, try the recipes in this series. I think they will change your mind about most of what comes out of the pressure cooker. My goal is to use the least amount of ingredients to coax the most flavor from them using pressure. ; ) If you’ve tried winging it or used unreliable sources then the results will certainly disappoint.
It makes dead food, or you make dead food? If your food is mush, it sounds like you are over-cooking it. I never get “dead mush” from my pressure cooker.
Great video Laura. :-)
The flavour of pressure-cooked veg is much nicer. I can’t eat plain boiled veg, they have to be pressure cooked.
Diced potatoes in the water (use enough water to almost cover the bottom row of potatoes) and a basket of veg above, 5 minutes at low pressure (stove top) works for me every time. Cut longer-cooking veg smaller. All veg are cooked together at once.
The more veg you are cooking in one go, the longer it will take to reach pressure. If it’s taking more than 12 minutes to reach pressure, time for 4 minutes when pressure is reached instead of 5 to avoid any overcooked broccoli etc.
Dave, would love to see a guest post from you on here telling everyone about the all-in-one veggie technique you’ve perfected over the years. ; )
Not sure what you mean by “guest” post?
I’m glad I finally mastered this veg-cooking technique after years of trying. :)
I’m actually shocked to learn that anyone still boils veggies. When I was a kid there was already a big public info campaign that steaming or saute was better.
What goes around comes around. I have lived through:
1. Eggs are good for you. Eggs are bad for you. Eggs are good for you
2. Butter is good for you. Butter is bad for you. Butter is good for you.
3. Ditto Honey
4. Ditto poly unsaturated oils ( except it is still in the bad for you phase)
5. Olive oil is purely medicinal (when I was young it could only be bought at the chemists). Olive oil is good for you. Olive oil is bad for you. Olive oil is good for you
6. Red wine ditto. Except it has done a few more iterations than most.
I will not be at all surprised when someone announces steaming veggies is bad and we should be boiling them instead. As for sautéing I have recently seen “That causes cancer”!
Maybe I have lived too long!
I have a question regarding your statements on adding veggies at the end when cooking stews. I generally use natural release for meat. Do you still NR the pressure cooker before adding the veggies toward the end of the cooking time? That will take a looong time!
Watch the second half of this video, where I discuss the opening methods. Phasing-in veggies using “Natural Release” absolutely qualify as impractical. In this case, you can use “Slow Normal” and throw the veggies in VERY quickly and then use “Natural” at the end.
I will show you exactly how this works in the next lesson – as that episode will have a phase-in recipe. : )
Thanks! I will look forward to the next lesson. I love my pressure cooker but I would prefer not to make baby food carrots!
What Fagor pressure cooker are you using? Thank you for explaining in detail how to make flavorful veggies
I’m using the new Fagor LUX LCD in the frozen green bean recipe. : )
I like my pressure cooked vegetables, but I have better luck with them in my stove top cooker, because I can get the steam released faster.
For those of you with a stovetop pressure cooker (PC) only offering “high” pressure (15 psi), I believe you can still cook the veggies at HIGH pressure for 3 minutes – with quick release. Cut longer-cooking veg (e.g. potatoes) much smaller and quicker-cooking veg bigger.
Laura, I’m wondering if you still use your stovetop PC’s? :)
I used to still use stovetops, occasionally, but when Fagor sent me their spring-valve electric (LUX) I honestly don’t use them anymore!!!
i have a wear ever stove top cooker icooked a slab of baby back ribs for alotted time 16 minutes and the meat was tough..high.