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mguerra

Pressure/ Smoked Turkey

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Lately I’m not cooking full birds, but parts and roasts. These Butterball roasts, heretical as they may seem, are fantastic. Whether in the oven, the KK, or my hybrid pressure cooker/ KK method, I urge you to try one. Six minutes per pound in the pressure cooker for thawed product will get you in the ball park. You can pressue cook them frozen as well. We will cook one, cube it, and make anything like tetrazzini, chili, turkey salad, whatever your creative mind can come up with. Or slice for sammies or the plate. Check it out:

https://youtu.be/uTST8Zgo49U

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Interesting. I bought an 8.5 quart Fissler Vitaquick pressure cooker for my New York apartment, then their 10.6 quart cooker for California near our KK. Mostly a solution looking for a problem, as in many applications (beans, stews, ...) it is noticeably inferior to the best application of traditional methods. And we're not opposed to technology: I also have chamber vacuum machines and sous vide equipment in each kitchen, and they've seen steady use. My motivation for nevertheless buying a second (large) pressure cooker was to make custom stocks for ramen.

In our experience, the killer app for a pressure cooker is sweet potatoes. An underrated food available in many fascinating and obscure varieties if one hunts, they come out better pressure-cooked than by any other cooking method. (Let the pressure abate naturally; release the pressure quickly to see if they're done, and they explode into sweet potato puree.) Perhaps the wrong day to praise sweet potatoes, as everyone in the States just experienced their most dreadful incarnation yesterday. Eat them simply.

Your two-step bird steps into an interesting debate. Competition barbecue fiends start their meats cold in cold cookers, to maximize the smoke ring formation that wanes once the meat passes a threshold temperature and the proteins change structure. Meat continues to benefit from smoke after this threshold, but there are no longer visual cues. One could cynically argue that competition judges get their palates blown early by wretched examples of competitor smoke, so one wins by offering them visual cues. Or there is actually something fundamentally different about the application of smoke to cold, never-cooked meat.

Do your experiments give you any insight into this?

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I don't find it noticeably inferior for beans and stews, nor anything else. The pressure cooker has revolutionized our kitchen. And it is superb as you say for potatoes, sweet and otherwise. You will NEVER boil a pot of water for potatoes, rice or pasta again once you learn how to do it on a PC. Imagine throwing your rice and water in the pot, pushing a button and walking away, only to come back to a perfect pot of rice. Without the unitasker of a rice cooker. The applications for it are endless and the time saving is fantastic. Have you ever stood over a pot of steel cut oats for an hour endlessly stirring? Throw the oats and water in the PC, push the button for a 10 minute cook and walk away. Things you normally could not prep on a weeknight after work are easily accomplished with the PC. Now as far as the smoke ring, there is less of it with the PC. In this particular usage, getting turkey done at light speed, I am not concerned with that. Poultry in the PC stays moist and not dried out at a food safe 165ºF. It cooks extremely fast and you can put as much crispness, smoke and color on it as you want when you finish it in the KK. If you want to really smoke it, just cook it to about 140º in the PC and then finish it on fire. The PC is not the only way to cook, it is a fantastic addition to your array of methods. As far as beef, I have used it to precook ribs, roasts, and so on before finishing on the fire. I urge everyone to try it, it won't be the only way you ever cook beef but you WILL find applications for it, especially for time saving. It makes a pot roast in a flash. Doing ribs after work in an hour and a half versus 4-5 hours on  weekends only is something! The flavor and tenderness equal or surpass anything you can do on a straight fire. The visual of the smoke ring is irrelevant if you get the flavor and texture you want. I have not tried it on a brisket. You would have to cut the brisket up to fit it in the PC. I will absolutely try it, however. Some days I want the long extended cook, the time outdoors, the adult beverages, a cigar, the company of the coonhounds. Other days I want superb food in a ridiculously easy and fast cook. For stock, broth and soup you can't beat it.I have been so smitten with using the PC I bought another one. With two PC's you have your stove and ovens freed up to cook and warm anything for a big party.

Now for those who are unaware, modern electric pressure cookers have a browning and sautéing mode, a slow cooker mode (get rid of your Crock Pot), yogurt making, cheese cake making, cake baking, I really can't cover it all here. If you are curious, search Youtube for any recipe you ever make, but precede it with the term "pressure cooker" For example "pressure cooker chicken marsala" You will discover a new cooking life you never imagined. There is a learning curve but even your early learning missteps won't be disasters. There is an enormous wealth of tutorials on youtube, the web, and books. I honestly feel like I wasted a big part of the last 20 years of my cooking life by not having my pressure cookers.

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Feeling the Pressure: Giving in to the Pressure Cooker

Steve Sando founded Rancho Gordo beans, considered by many the best supplier of dried beans in the United States. (All bets are off once one includes Spain, where the best beans can require a second mortgage.)

To summarize, he has relaxed his prejudice against pressure cooker beans, seeing it now as a possible step whose shortcomings can be corrected in later steps. That's also how I use sous vide: as a step.

The issue isn't the quality of the beans themselves; pressure-cooked beans could be rinsed and placed on a salad, and no one would be the wiser. Rather, a pressure cooker fails to develop as rich a bean broth. One can indeed end up with a similar broth most of the time with most beans, but once one experiences a great broth from great beans, that becomes the quest.

That is also my experience with stews; the quality of the liquid base is key, and a pressure cooker can't compete with a long slow reduction. I know how to cook a stew in a clay pot so it comes out tasting like I used a pressure cooker. I don't know how to cook a stew in a pressure cooker so it comes out tasting like I used a clay pot. In this sense, the pressure cooker is less expressive.

There was a time when I would have claimed that beets were the killer app for pressure cookers. Then I realized that sous vide is the best way to cook beets. This doesn't carry over to sweet potatoes, where a pressure cooker rules.

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Once the beans or stew are finished, you can leave them in the pot, on the "keep warm" function for as many hours as you like. This holds the temp at 140ºF, and will develop the base liquid. Doing so completely obviates the time saving aspect of the pressure cooker. You can also cook your beans or stew on the slow cooker function, without pressure. However time saving is not the only benefit of using the PC. You can brown and saute in the pot and not in a separate skillet or saucier. The ease of just throwing ingredients in the pot and walking away from it while it cooks without having to fiddle with it is huge. You can put all your bean or stew ingredients in the pot in the morning, fire it up, it will pressure cook for the time you set, then flip over to "keep warm" mode. You come back at 5 or 6 or whatever, to a pot full of awesome goodness! On the other hand you can use the speed of the PC to make beans and stew in less than an hour and eat it. Will it be as good as the all day cook? Maybe not, but it will be pretty darn good! You get something really good to eat in no time. Another thing you can do with perishables is prep all your ingredients ahead of time, put them in the pot and put it in the fridge. Then when you are ready, pop the pot in the PC and fire it up. For non perishables you can put your ingredients in the pot, set the timer for a start time well ahead, and it will fire up at the predetermined time. This is great for steel cut oats for breakfast, put in your ingredients at bedtime and set it to start a few minutes before you get up. Or put your water and pasta or rice in the pot in the morning, set the start time, and come home to a finished pot of same. Converts to this device just rave about it, and I am one of them!

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This post was really timely for me.  I had been fretting about a planned meal of chilli with roasted sweet potatoes.  The chilli was going to be ready in good time but I had limited time to get home and get the sweet potatoes cooked the way I normally do them - wrapped in foil with butter and baked.  Pressure cooking will be a great solution to that time constraint.  Will try this "killer app" and report back. 

By complete coincidence I went back to a pine nut risotto recipe that I had been planning to try for a while.  It turns out that you pressure cook the pine nuts for 15 minutes, drain, add stock, prunes and onions cook a bit more and eat.  Delicious.  Here are the results with grilled quail.

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8 hours ago, Basher said:

Quail wrapped in bacon. Very neat Tekobo.

 

11 hours ago, MacKenzie said:

It looks to me like you stuffed the quail, what did you use?

Thanks both.  I was planning to de-bone the quail and grill it spatchcock style because they are easier to eat that way.  When I de-frosted the birds I found that our Italian butcher had neatly parcelled them up with a bay leaf on the front and pancetta all around.  Had to change cooking plan.  Cooked high up for most of the time and then browned low down. Came out juicy - fluke more than plan I suspect!

9 hours ago, tony b said:

Excellent. 

I really enjoyed the pine nut risotto.  A do again, particularly as I bought a kilo bag and was wondering how to use them up!  I used one of your suggestions this last Friday @tony b.  Instead of the usual balancing of sausage (cotechino) in a pan of water, I cooked them sous-vide using Kenji guidance.  They came out great and no messing around with pots and water.  Thanks.  

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I took Sygyzies' advice and cooked a sweet potatoe in a pressure cooker. I thought I eat half and have the other half tomorrow, but no such luck, it just tasted so good I ate the whole thing. I did put ghee and black pepper on the potatoe.  Beets from this summer's garden and KK chicken thighs as sides. ;)

1055195816_PCSweetPotatoDinner.thumb.jpg.c5dd529d1893c47f9ff00445e7d0b25b.jpg

 

 

 

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@mguerra @Syzygies

My mother used a range-top, old style pressure cooker for years.  It was one of the first cooking devices I purchased when I moved out  (actually when my dad threw me out after college - "get a job son").  

I did try one of the early models of the electric PC's and didn't like it compared to my stove top PC.     Guessing I need to rethink that decision and try a new-fangled electronic model. 

Last summer,  I discovered my Mom's original PC at the family cottage.  After careful inspection of the gaskets & safety valves  (I'm sure one is a lead plug), I gave it a spin.  Worked great but it is time to be put on the shelf. 

I have cooked on my stove top PC's twice a month for over 40 years and will never be without one.

Going to try a new electronic one and the sweet potatoes!  Thanks for posting!!  

 

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8 minutes ago, MacKenzie said:

Jon, I used my Kuhn Rikon, stove top pc. :) 

Does your's have a trivet for the bottom? 

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8 hours ago, Jon B. said:

Does your's have a trivet for the bottom? 

Mine came with this one and I just set the sweet potato on it. I put in about 1.25 C of water which stays just under this insert.

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You can also use one of these.

 

image.png.c220b5b8e3f884f9836ba058506393d2.png

Edited by MacKenzie
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This thing is fantastic. When you do pot in pot cooking, it keeps the inner pot off the heating element. You can place meat, corn on the cob, potatoes and all sorts of stuff on top of it as well. The honeycomb is perfectly sized to do boiled eggs, a superb use of the pressure cooker. If you are unaware of pot in pot cooking, look it up on you tube. You need it for things that don't have a lot of water that otherwise would scorch if they were in contact with the bottom of the pot, which sits right on top of the heating element. Lasagna, for example does great with pot in pot.

image.png.c73ab14a6176bd7bee2e4e056cc80197.pnghttps://www.amazon.com/OXO-11249500-Pressure-Cooker-Bakeware/dp/B07G418RSL/ref=sxin_3_osp32-db7bb984_cov?ascsubtag=db7bb984-be3c-4ff0-bbfd-ac7df9c95a4a&creativeASIN=B07G418RSL&cv_ct_id=amzn1.osp.db7bb984-be3c-4ff0-bbfd-ac7df9c95a4a&cv_ct_pg=search&cv_ct_wn=osp-search&keywords=pressure+cooker+trivet&linkCode=oas&pd_rd_i=B07G418RSL&pd_rd_r=ddb373d3-560b-4dc7-99f8-5a762d81eba5&pd_rd_w=d2vX5&pd_rd_wg=Z4eDY&pf_rd_p=53eff971-6e12-4016-9864-b6dfd929b2b3&pf_rd_r=YW72FDEANYJMD4TTCJ8Q&qid=1575593707&tag=thesprucepublish-20

Edited by mguerra
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Fat Daddios pots from amazon are perfect for pot in pot and they have one that is 7" x5" tall as opposed to all the other stackable ones which are 4". Let's you cook a little more.image.png.774701dc83dccf11b45f3bbd4685c30b.png

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