If you’re anything like one of our editors, who has vivid memories of tomato sauce dripping from the kitchen ceiling after her mom’s 1970s pressure cooker exploded, you might be a little fearful of jumping on the pressure cooker bandwagon. But chances are good that, if you do, you won’t regret it (don’t worry—pressure cookers these days have safety valves to help prevent explosions). These kitchen contraptions are making a comeback due to their unmatched power to put a delicious dinner on the table in no time. Pressure cookers work by heating up food rapidly in a sealed pot. As the pot heats, the liquid forms steam and thus builds up pressure, which makes foods cook faster (and taste delicious, too). Based on the recipe, once the food is cooked, you release the steam either slowly or fast, and ta-da—your meal is done. You can cook all kinds of foods in a pressure cooker, but it’s used most often for beans, rice, stews, vegetables and meats.
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