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Can we talk about pressure cookers for poor people? Cheap pots, cheap recipes: just stuff that poor people can participate in. 

Is this a type of cooking that will NOT save you money? Sometimes the best way to save money is to buy nothing and try nothing new.

Edited by Hunter
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Can we just all agree that municipal water supplies should provide water that is actually good for drinking, doesn't give people kidney stones or damage pipes, etc? It's not right that large area

I like having my instapot, but I could totally live without it. My crockpot, otoh, I wouldn’t want to be without.

Hunter:  1. You may want to google the term “total dissolved solids”. It is the technical term for when there are a lot of minerals and gunk in the water. If you have high TDS and you have kidney

I have a pressure cooker, and to be honest, I'm not very impressed with it. The only thing it does really, really well are roasts, brown rice, or split pea soup.  When we were super, super broke, a roast would have been out of my budget.  Making split pea soup or brown rice is cheap, but can be done in any big pot with enough time. 

My slow-cooker was cheaper and got used way more when we were broke. And I can cook a roast in it if the budget allows. 

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I have an instant pot 3 quart. It is useful but not a need. I usually cook over my gas stove. I use my instant pot for when I want to nap or I have to leave for a medical appointment. I can cook chicken rice or stew and just let the instant pot do the cooking followed automatically by the keep warm function. My kids can help themselves to lunch/dinner while I am on my way back from my medical appointment. 

I didn't have a rice cooker when we bought the instant pot. My husband thinks using the instant pot is safer than slow cooking over a gas stove and leaving the pot unattended. 

ETA: I don't have a slow cooker either. I used to cook rice using the microwave

Edited by Arcadia
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It's cheaper to buy a hunk of meat to make into a quick meal than it is to get fast food for our family of 6. I use our pressure cooker for pasta, chicken, pork roasts, & beef chunks (we don't really like beef roasts). One of the best sites for inexpensive meals is Budget Bytes. She has some pressure cooker meals but not all of her recipes use it. I like that she breaks the recipe down into cost per serving. That really helped me convince my DH that buying more expensive (relatively speaking) ingredients is cheaper than eating out. The pressure cooker is basically a time saver, which for working folks does help save money as you can make a nice meal in a fraction of the time. There are other strategies as well, but it really comes down to planning.

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Good to see you @Hunter. Been a long time.

I have mixed feelings about pressure cookers. Their utility is limited in my estimation.

They can be effective when cooking tough cuts of meat. But so are slow cookers.

Old fashioned pressure cookers are scary for many people to use and they can make a mess when cooking items like beans (which most manufacturers warn not to do, despite it being a prime use). The new Instapot type models are not scary to use, but not that cheap.

Back to beans--a great staple for poor people--with a pressure cooker if is very easy to overcook beans, so the texture gets "mushy." Mushy beans are not palatable.

In contrast a slow cooker (Crock Pot) is almost foolproof. 

A slow cooker will not create a big mess (as a pressure cooker might). It also would produce any anxiety over whether the unit will explode (as old fashioned pressure cookers surely do).

And the prime advantage of the slow cooker is that--while it cooks "slower"--all the cooking happens on passive time. Once can throw ingredients in the pot and walks away. No need to monitor what's happening. In contrast, traditional pressure cookers (not InstaPots) are all active time.  One doesn't want to walk away--nor stand too close--to a pressure cooker on the stove top.

Slow cookers can be had for peanuts in a thrift store. More advantageous IMO. If someone could score a multi-purpose InstaPot, that would be a good option as well (cost is the issue here). But an old fashioned pressure cooker? Not so keen on them personally. I know there are people who are devoted to them. Not me.

Bill

 

 

 

 

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I got an 8 qt. instant pot as a gift a couple years ago.  I wasn't sure what to do with it at first, but I use it about once or twice a week now.  I wouldn't go buy one on my own most likely, but it can be useful.  I would say my favorite things to make in it are risotto, brown rice, roasts, and corned beef.

I don't think it saves me any money.  I am sure I could find more things to use it for like making yogurt and such, but I never really have the desire to do that.

The thing I dislike the most is the cleaning.  It takes more work than my slow cooker.

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I have an instant pot.  It is used weekly.  I use it to make hard boiled eggs, beans, roasts, rice, the best corned beef, and my elderly dogs’ food.  I bought one for someone who lives without a stove.  She uses it to cook cakes and breads in addition to similar stuff above.  She can make a very small grocery budget go very far with it for her and her husband.  

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Being gluten free and not buying many expensive special foods, an IP is a good investment for me. Potatoes, brown rice, beans, and lentils all are staples here and are easy to get on the table with an IP. I do make yogurt for my family members that do dairy. I can make 1.5 gallons at a time super easily in my 8 qt. Boiling eggs for egg salad sandwiches is a breeze too. 

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It sounds like the answer to whether a pressure cooker would be good for poor people is "It depends". Depends on their budget, what access they have to stoves and ovens, dietary needs, etc. 

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I don't think they're a money saver. 

I haven't gotten much use out of mine - it doesn't seem as quick as they say, because you have to include the heating up time, etc. If you're home pretty often, just as easy to do cheap cuts or beans on the stove. Or in a crockpot, which is much cheaper. 

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I use my instant pot a lot— I don’t know that it is a $saver unless via less total electricity needed than for oven or stove top cooking .  Or maybe via ability to turn tough often less expensive foods into something good. And I Don know if 2nd hand ones would be good to get.

I usually use it as a pressure cooker but it also sautées, slow cooks etc.   It is an aggravation and time saver and makes it easy and fast to make perfect rice, beans,  soups, stews, broccoli lightly cooked with cheese on top, potatoes, eggs, “casseroles”,  and other basic “whole” foods easily.   No boil overs and kitchen messes. Only one burn problem when I forgot to put in the sealer ring and all the liquid got steamed out prematurely—and even that cleaned up remarkably easily. 

I usually eat at home which I think does save money, and saving work for myself is helpful. 

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I don't find it more economical. I'm not even sure it saves me time over my crockpot. I found myself trying to put food in based on the cooking time, but it would take a while to build up pressure, cook, then release which at least doubled cooking time. I'm sure I don't use it enough to really get the most out of it. I'd rather just use my crockpot. 

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I bought a Toastmaster electric pressure cooker at Dollar General when it was on sale for half off. It cost me $30. I’ve used it for over a year now. The sauté function stopped working early on. If I’d paid full price, I feel like it wouldn’t have been a great deal, but I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth out of it.

Cooking with it for a family of 5, I feel like it saves me money the same way a slow cooker does (using less convenience foods) but with the added benefit of not having to think ahead as much, which I’m not good at. I’m a champ at planning a menu with slow cooker items then forgetting until and hour or two before dinner, when it’s too late for slow cooking.
 

I can cook big batches of things like shredded chicken or soup and freeze half, which again means less convenience food. It probably also saves electricity over using the oven or stove, but I don’t have any idea how much.

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If you plan ahead you don't really need it.  Also, you don't HAVE to get a multi-cooker.  Most of the hype over instantpot is people discovering pressure cooking for the first time.  You can get an aluminum stovetop one for about $30 at ace hardware.  You don't NEED a bunch of other functions to get a pressure cooker, and the presto ones take up much less room and can be stored with your pots. It really saves you time more than money.  You can cook a chicken breast from frozen in about ten minutes, but your not saving any MONEY doing that.  The bonus is that the stovetop pressure cookers are faster.  You can get them up to temperature quicker than you can the electric models.  I've used them all my life and I'm not remotely scared of them.  You just make sure the valve isn't clogged every time you use it and it's fine.  You just look through a hole and if you can see daylight, you're good.  It's fine.

Or, you plan ahead and use your oven or crockpot and don't bother to calculate the extra pennies it takes to run those appliances. 

ETA: This video may help calm your fears.

 

Edited by KungFuPanda
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25 minutes ago, Plum said:

I don't find it more economical. I'm not even sure it saves me time over my crockpot. I found myself trying to put food in based on the cooking time, but it would take a while to build up pressure, cook, then release which at least doubled cooking time. I'm sure I don't use it enough to really get the most out of it. I'd rather just use my crockpot. 

Right?? It's all cooking time, people! 

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The pressure cooker has allowed us to eat a *lot* more beans. But, if I just planned ahead, soaked them overnight, and put them in the slow cooker, I could make the same recipes. However, I do frequently make more than one recipe in the IP per day, which I couldn't do with a slow cooker. I think you're cooking for one, so that wouldn't be an issue for you. 

Emily

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I would use a crockpot over a *stovetop* pressure cooker any day. We used a stove top pressure cooker growing us, as my mother dutifully cooked whole grain cereals from Laurel's Kitchen. NEVER would I want to do this! I use a larger pressure canner for canning, and even that maxes out my comfort. You wouldn't save any money and it's a pain, pain, danger, hot, don't do it. I mean, great power to others who want to, but not me.

I love my Instant Pot. If you have the money to get one half price with a deal around the holidays, go for it. I super love mine and find it invaluable for a lot of our basics. (brown rice, wild rice, soups, whole sweet potatoes, etc.) LOVE it. But you can cook any of those things in a $17 crockpot and be just fine. Maybe not as fast, but fine. 

I'm guessing if you tried Craigslist, you can snag a crockpot for almost free. Someone is doubtless ready to toss one to make space for an instant pot. I wouldn't go too old, as they used to have lead in the linings. But as long as it has a removable liner and is in good condition, used would be fine, sure. 

 

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I would keep/buy a Crock-Pot over my instant pot any day if I had to choose.

That said, I do like my instant pot.  You might find one on FB marketplace or a thrift store or even post on FB etc that you are looking for one 

It is great for hard boiled eggs, steel cut oatmeal, cooking beans and lentils, Mac and cheese, rice, and steaming veggies 

I rarely do meat in mine as I find the Crock-Pot easier for meats 

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1 hour ago, katilac said:

Right?? It's all cooking time, people! 

Well, I mean, no one expects a recipe for the oven to include the time it takes to preheat the oven, so I'm not sure why people are annoyed that the instant pot time doesn't include the preheat time? The pressure release time usually is mentioned in the recipe though. 

That said, they save time, not money. I am horrid at remembering to thaw things, or to put them in the crock pot. I can be forgetful and use the instant pot to cook sweet potatoes in 20 minutes when I realize oops, it's dinner time!

And for simplicity sake I often (pre gluten free) would throw a bag of frozen meatballs in the instant pot, top with pasta, then pasta sauce, then water, and let it all cook together in 6 minutes. One pot to clean, and I could walk away while it cooked. So it's a convenience, not a money saver, unless you are going to be ordering take out because you forgot to turn the crock pot on that morning 🙂

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I had a crock pot for years that didn’t get much use- DH felt it made meats too mushy. We are now vegan / whole  foods plants based and I use the IP several times a week, mostly for soups and stews. I think my plant based meals would get way too mushy in a crockpot. I don’t know if the IP saves us money, but I do think being vegan does!

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I have a BIG pressure cooker -- old style Presto one with the noisy jiggly thingy-- and all I use it for is canning.  I'm glad to have it for that.

I had a smaller old style Presto one-- all I used it for was to cook beans and rice-- which we eat a lot of, so it got frequent use.  Until the Great Explosion of 2020--my kitchen ceiling still bears the stain. 😉

I love my crock pot. 🙂 

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Just for perspective, because several people mentioned the pressure cooker saving them money over eating out: that can be achieved with a regular pot. I cook almost all our meals at home, but never owned a pressure cooker or a crockpot. So shouldn't the question rather be whether it saves you money over regular cookware?

Edited by regentrude
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1 hour ago, Emba said:

If I’d paid full price, I feel like it wouldn’t have been a great deal, but I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth out of it.

To clarify: I think that particular brand might be not a great deal because of the likelihood of breaking/becoming prematurely non-functional.  I use it so much that when it does, I’m going to spring for a more expensive one, maybe an actual instant pot. I use it 3-4 times a week, sometimes a lot more.

i also have a stovetop pressure cooker which was quite affordable and I used it for years but only for beans and gumbo. Never branched out, don’t know why.  I think you can do most of the same things with them, so far as pressure cooking goes. 

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6 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Just for perspective, because several people mentioned the pressure cooker saving them money over eating out: that can be achieved with a regular pot. I cook almost all our meals at home, but never owned a pressure cooker or a crockpot. 

This is true. Basically any cooking from ingredients is cheaper than eating out. Where instant pot and the crock pot have the advantage is really just the convenience. Both of cooking being hands off once the lid is on (so you can do other things) and of having food that can cook while you aren’t there, though you can do roasts and such in the oven while you’re out, too. I just don’t feel safe leaving things cooking in the oven or on the stove more than two hours. 

The convenience/less cooking time might translate to less money spent on food ( when I’m tired, I’m more likely to bust out the frozen chicken strips and boxed Mac and cheese than cook a whole meal, but throwing beans in the pressure cooker and leaving them while I take a shower is also very easy) or it might not. Depends on the person, I think.

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I didn't get a new stove for years because the oven worked and I got used to cooking with one burner for a family of 4. One pot meals, and a crockpot worked just fine. My mother made most of our food in an electric frying pan that had temperature adjustments. For something different I would look at recipes.

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As far as being cheaper, the Instant Pot is, of course, a more expensive appliance. But it is also several appliances in one, including a crock pot (with a stainless steel insert, so no worries about lead or other toxins, if that’s important to you). You can get really good deals on them sometimes, so that helps bring the cost down. The food that’s cooked in them can be as expensive or as cheap as you need it to be. Personally, I can’t do without it. 

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What do you typically eat? Do you have the ability to store leftovers (ie—cook beans in bulk and freeze the leftovers)? Do you have abundant time for cooking? Are you struggling with a broken oven or with overheating your apartment when you run the oven?

Personally, I use my instant pot almost daily. I do not have a crockpot, although my instant pot has a slow cooker feature. I use my instant pot to cook brown rice, beans, and meat often. That said, I am cooking for 6 nightly.

If instead you want to talk about inexpensive meals—eggs are a cheap protein. When our budget is tight, we almost always go back to eggs, beans, and rice with veg.

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1 hour ago, Emba said:

To clarify: I think that particular brand might be not a great deal because of the likelihood of breaking/becoming prematurely non-functional.  I use it so much that when it does, I’m going to spring for a more expensive one, maybe an actual instant pot. I use it 3-4 times a week, sometimes a lot more.

i also have a stovetop pressure cooker which was quite affordable and I used it for years but only for beans and gumbo. Never branched out, don’t know why.  I think you can do most of the same things with them, so far as pressure cooking goes. 

How do you cook gumbo in a pressure cooker?  Do you cook your roux separately first?

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Sorry, I ran out of likes.

I recently made a very sudden move across the country from a high-rise in a Covid-hotspot city to a slum in a desert. I was on the phone to a relative when he said what he could hear on the phone was a "Jack Nicholson movie" and booked me a flight to stay with him until I could get housed here. I feel safer here, with a door that opens out to sunbaked dirt. I don't care that it is a slum and that I lost all my belongings to get here. The door opens OUTSIDE!

I am living in an area with some elevation, and the water that is so full of minerals that it is basically unsweetened Gatorade. Water boils weirdly and interacts with some foods unexpectedly.  I am thinking that pressure might be more cost efficient than a regular pot. I only tried to make dried beans once and they couldn't cook properly even with a lot of money spent on fuel.

There is no such thing as take-out for me, except for the ultra-controversial "food stamp pizza" from 7/11, and the occasional T-mobile Tuesday treat. If I get a Covid supplement I have almost $200.00 a month. If I don't, I only have $50.00 a month. I get a supplement about 1/2 the months. So I guess on average I have about $120.00 a month. I am a little eater and not picky. I am trying to eat as healthy and basic as possible. I sometimes walk two miles just to buy two items that are cheaper than at a closer store. Work is no problem, but fuel costs are.

The move across state lines made me ineligible for resident tuition rates for online classes in either state, so I had to drop out of college for at least a year. I have time to do anything that I can do on foot within a 2 mile radius. Unfortunately, wearing out shoes costs something, too. LOL. 

The electric stove is very old and inefficient. It costs to use it, especially the oven. Mostly I only use a small cast-iron frying pan with a cover and turn the burner off early and let the food finish cooking from the heat stored in the cast iron pan. As a child, I remember an elderly couple using an aluminum pressure cooker and a cast iron frying pan to cook dinner every night, and only making things that cooked at quickly as possible in those two pans. The oven and other pots were only for holidays.

I'm trying to be very strategic about what I do. I cannot afford kitchen toys, but I am not comfortable about how long it took to cook the chicken soup yesterday. Would it be cheaper to stew a chicken in a cheap aluminum pressure cooker than any other way? Especially at an elevation with funky water?

I walk a 1/2 mile for water to make my tea, but it is 35 cents to refill a jug and heavy to carry. I only use that for the tea. The tap water dissolves the tea leaves into sludge and it is SOO nasty. I never thought I would be walking through a desert carrying water. LOL. But here I am. There are towns in this state and neighboring stares with no running water at all, so every time I make a water-run, I am chanting, "thank you" under my breath and I am not feeling sorry for myself one bit. 

But the cash I get each month IS limited and I want to be strategic about how I use it. If I want to keep the wifi, I need to be smart. I want to keep my wifi!!!

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@Hunter

Just throwing some crazy ideas out there to see if any seem possible for you. What about a solar oven? 

Or maybe a thermal cooker might be a good choice? I don't know much about them, but they seem to be a fairly passive way of cooking. 

Thermal Cooking recipes

Blog of a lady that seems really enthusiastic about thermal cooking

 

Or maybe an electric hot plate, since your stove is of questionable reliability?

Hot plates

Edited by MissLemon
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5 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

 You can get an aluminum stovetop one for about $30 at ace hardware.  The bonus is that the stovetop pressure cookers are faster.  You can get them up to temperature quicker than you can the electric models.  I've used them all my life and I'm not remotely scared of them.  You just make sure the valve isn't clogged every time you use it and it's fine.  You just look through a hole and if you can see daylight, you're good.  It's fine.

ETA: This video may help calm your fears.

 

The video is a really good one! Thanks!

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I love my Instant Pots.  I've got more than one now because I was using them so much.  My favorite one is the 6 qt. duo.  I didn't check the price on it over prime day, but the last one I bought I paid around $49 for.  With Black Friday sales coming again, you would probably find one around that price or less.  I use mine to make applesauce, yogurt, meatloaf, rice, mashed potatoes/sweet potatoes, jelly, pulled pork (the best!), pork chops, and roasts.  I've made other things in it also, such as cheesecake (the best!), bread, and spaghetti.

  I love how tender a roast comes out in the Instant Pot.  They are so tender.  I made one today in the crock pot and it wasn't as good.  

The Instant Pot does have a learning curve, but if you put in a little time to figure it out, it does pay off.  I've figured out how to estimate the pressurization time and factor that into my cooking.  I love mine.  If I had to choose between my crock pot and my instant pot now (after owning one for 5 years), I'd probably choose the Instant Pot.  

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35 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

@Hunter

Just throwing some crazy ideas out there to see if any seem possible for you. What about a solar oven? 

Or maybe a thermal cooker might be a good choice? I don't know much about them, but they seem to be a fairly passive way of cooking. 

Thermal Cooking recipes

Blog of a lady that seems really enthusiastic about thermal cooking

 

Or maybe an electric hot plate, since your stove is of questionable reliability?

Hot plates

I need to look more at thermal cooking options. I have not researched it in years. I have seen people that live on their boats wrap a pressure cooker in a blanket, in-between short bursts on the stove.

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3 minutes ago, mom2samlibby said:

With Black Friday sales coming again, 

  I love how tender a roast comes out in the Instant Pot.  They are so tender.  I made one today in the crock pot and it wasn't as good.  

What are the chances that there will be a Black Friday sale on stovetop versions. I might be able to find one locally for a good price. This area is like a giant flea market. Most of what is for sale is dirt cheap if a store has it, and then there are small amounts of very over-priced stuff that is the "normal" stuff.

I am thinking that the pressure will help the issues of high elevation and mineralized water?

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1 hour ago, Hunter said:

...

I am living in an area with some elevation, and the water that is so full of minerals that it is basically unsweetened Gatorade. Water boils weirdly and interacts with some foods unexpectedly.  I am thinking that pressure might be more cost efficient than a regular pot. I only tried to make dried beans once and they couldn't cook properly even with a lot of money spent on fuel.

...

The electric stove is very old and inefficient. It costs to use it, especially the oven. Mostly I only use a small cast-iron frying pan with a cover and turn the burner off early and let the food finish cooking from the heat stored in the cast iron pan. As a child, I remember an elderly couple using an aluminum pressure cooker and a cast iron frying pan to cook dinner every night, and only making things that cooked at quickly as possible in those two pans. The oven and other pots were only for holidays.

I'm trying to be very strategic about what I do. I cannot afford kitchen toys, but I am not comfortable about how long it took to cook the chicken soup yesterday. Would it be cheaper to stew a chicken in a cheap aluminum pressure cooker than any other way? Especially at an elevation with funky water?

I walk a 1/2 mile for water to make my tea, but it is 35 cents to refill a jug and heavy to carry. I only use that for the tea. The tap water dissolves the tea leaves into sludge and it is SOO nasty. I never thought I would be walking through a desert carrying water. LOL. But here I am. There are towns in this state and neighboring stares with no running water at all, so every time I make a water-run, I am chanting, "thank you" under my breath and I am not feeling sorry for myself one bit. 

 

Okay, this is all something I can speak to from my current living situation, except that I have a gas stove/oven. But the oven broke in March and I won't be in a position to fix it anytime soon, so I am not using the oven anyway regardless of gas cheapness, lol. You may be higher elevation? I think I'm around 5800.

Pressure cooker I have but I use rarely. It does not help me cook anything other than beans, but I don't have counter space (I have a little cart on wheels only) so it is more trouble to get out than just use a pot on the stove.  I don't know if the pressure cooker for beans would be worth it for you; it depends on your $/elec. I don't know about pressure cooker + this water, though, sorry.

Re chicken: best I've found is a stock pot or the large pot size under stock, put a chicken in it with some spices, should cook in ~hour at this elevation. If you don't have a meat thermometer, I think that's a good expense at high elevations because cooking times are way different from what i'm used to at "normal" elevation. (Also, sometimes my fire goes out and I don't notice, so it's double necessary for me to figure out what the heck is going on, I can't rely on cook times.) Why I think this pot is superior to all other ways: after you eat/debone the chicken meat, you can make stock from it in the same pot and you get as much flavor as posible with as little clean up as possible (yay for my laziness, lol).

I have bad icky mineralized water in this house so had to rely on store water for a year here. Best thing I've done for living in this house is buying a water filter, but it took a while to save up for one that fixed this water. Also, I know you're not picky about taste, but if you're doing something like stock, I'd recommend using the not-tap water if you can swing the expense, the water I'm dealing with wouldn't work in large quantities of cooking, from experience. Maybe look at water bottles that do filtering? Berkey has a sports water bottle that would be $34 for the first 100gal from municipal water source so the same as your $0.34/gal (a bit more after tax), then you'd have to buy a replacement filter @ $20, bringing your price/gal $0.20 thereafter. 

TLDR: Out of everything in my kitchen, I think the water filter, stock pot, and meat thermometer allow me to do the most, and are most versatile and can fit most of my needs without extra gadgets. I have a comal, I guess an iron skillet without sides?, that is immensely helpful too and fast cooking like quesadillas or reheating leftovers. And my knife. I'd throw away the kitchen sink before I gave these up. 

Edited by Moonhawk
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12 minutes ago, Hunter said:

What are the chances that there will be a Black Friday sale on stovetop versions. I might be able to find one locally for a good price. This area is like a giant flea market. Most of what is for sale is dirt cheap if a store has it, and then there are small amounts of very over-priced stuff that is the "normal" stuff.

I am thinking that the pressure will help the issues of high elevation and mineralized water?

I doubt those would be on sale.  I've never used a stove top one.  As far as the IP breaking, I've had one of mine for 5 years and it's still going strong.  From what I've seen in their facebook group, IP is pretty good about replacing them if they do break.  

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I looked into water filters, but only the most expensive kinds filter out calcium and magnesium. My relative talked to me a lot about filters. It just is not an option for me right now. I splurge on my tea as my one special thing, but otherwise I have to just be thankful I have running water at all. This is my Covid-bunker and I am just thankful for what I have. I maybe not have some things that I took for granted for years. My budget is $10.00 a month for filtered water, and I can't go over that.

But my door opens to the outside, not a hallway that bottlenecks at the elevators with a line of masked people lined up 6 feet apart waiting their turn to get both infected and poisoned (extreme overuse of cleaning supplies in a closed space) on the ride down, or attacked by someone off their meds because all the doctors and social workers abandoned their posts and everyone is off their meds and self-medicating instead.

Funky water is 10 times better than what I left behind. It is okay. Some extra minerals isn't going to poison me or punch me in the face.

This thread on a sailing forum is good,

https://www.sailnet.com/threads/pressure-cooker-advice.12139/

Edited by Hunter
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1 hour ago, Hunter said:

Okay, this is good to know that IP cookers seem to be so sturdy. I will stay on the lookout for BlackFriday sales. 

I'm in a bunch of coupon/deals groups on facebook.  If I see a great deal on an Instant Pot, I will post here. 

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5 hours ago, Hunter said:

What are the chances that there will be a Black Friday sale on stovetop versions. I might be able 

I am thinking that the pressure will help the issues of high elevation and mineralized water?

Definitely with elevation. The reduced pressure at high altitude is the reason beans and potatoes don't cook well ( because the bouling temp of water is lower) and with the pressure cooker that will no longer be an issue.

I don't see how the pressure should do anything about the mineralized water.

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7 hours ago, Hunter said:

How often do Instant Pots break? The stovetop ones have less parts to break, and seem to last decades.

Sorry again about the lack of likes. 

I've had mine for about 4 years. No issues. 

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7 hours ago, Hunter said:

How often do Instant Pots break? The stovetop ones have less parts to break, and seem to last decades.

Sorry again about the lack of likes. 

My Instant Pot broke after about 4 years. But I contacted IP, hoping to get a replacement part, and they sent me a new IP after walking me through a variety of ways of trying to fix it.

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8 hours ago, Hunter said:

Sorry, I ran out of likes.

I recently made a very sudden move across the country from a high-rise in a Covid-hotspot city to a slum in a desert. I was on the phone to a relative when he said what he could hear on the phone was a "Jack Nicholson movie" and booked me a flight to stay with him until I could get housed here. I feel safer here, with a door that opens out to sunbaked dirt. I don't care that it is a slum and that I lost all my belongings to get here. The door opens OUTSIDE!

I am living in an area with some elevation, and the water that is so full of minerals that it is basically unsweetened Gatorade.

 

Depending on what exactly the minerals are, that could be very healthy! 

 

8 hours ago, Hunter said:

Water boils weirdly and interacts with some foods unexpectedly.  I am thinking that pressure might be more cost efficient than a regular pot. I only tried to make dried beans once and they couldn't cook properly even with a lot of money spent on fuel.

 

Pressure might help due to elevation issue. Presoaking - even sprouting- beans might help.

(Old beans are hard to cook.)

 

 

8 hours ago, Hunter said:

The electric stove is very old and inefficient. It costs to use it, especially the oven.

 

You might find an IP better for almost everything then. 

 

 

8 hours ago, Hunter said:

I'm trying to be very strategic about what I do. I cannot afford kitchen toys, but I am not comfortable about how long it took to cook the chicken soup yesterday. Would it be cheaper to stew a chicken in a cheap aluminum pressure cooker than any other way? Especially at an elevation with funky water?

 

Haven’t used an aluminum pressure cooker. The stove top one we had when I was a kid scared me because of the way the top rocked and sometimes flew off plus spitting andvsteam.   It rarely got used whereas my IP became my main daily cooking implement—both for original cooking and reheating. 

It cooks soups including chicken soup well. 

Or a whole chicken can be cooked and the best meat parts taken for other meals while the bones and remains can be cooked into a chicken and bone stock for vegetables to be added. 

 

8 hours ago, Hunter said:

I walk a 1/2 mile for water to make my tea, but it is 35 cents to refill a jug and heavy to carry. I only use that for the tea. The tap water dissolves the tea leaves into sludge and it is SOO nasty.

That is weird. I hope it only has minerals and not something strange that would dissolve leaves. 

 

I think for some people IP ends up a waste of money gadget they don’t use.

For me it has been great and significantly changed the way I cook/eat.  

There are some things where I prefer other styles of cooking  (like I prefer scrambled eggs-whereas  in IP cooked eggs texture is different than boiled eggs and I am not used to it), but the ease of IP cooking and clean up tends to have me use IP and find a way I like the thing cooked. For example, I like eggs from it put into a jar with salt water which Can then be eaten cold as protein snacks, or halved and seasoned along with vegetables as a meal. 

 

Even without high elevation problems it definitely speeds up making soups and stews. 

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