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bonkboo

Pressure cooker or cutting board?

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I've got a WS gift card from Xmas and I've been debating how to use it. Initially, I thought a Boos board. But now I've started to think about a pressure cooker. My wife and I cook quite a bit and both work. Our cutting boards are nothing special but seem to be sufficient. We have a slow cooker, and I've rigged up one sous vide meal. Leave sous vide out for this consideration. Should I prioritize the board or the pressure cooker? Thanks.

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Well, the pressure cooker opens up a new set of recipes and techniques. The cutting board makes your prep marginally easier (assuming it's bigger and flatter than whatever you are currently using) and looks a bit better on the counter. Don't get me wrong, I love a good cutting board. But if these are your options I'd choose the pressure cooker.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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It sounds like you're considering a pressure cooker as a time-saving measure. Have you read through forums, recipes, etc? Given what you like to cook for dinner, do you think you'd use it semi-regularly? If so, go for it.

Boos blocks are really nice, but the larger boards on the W-S web site are edge grain vs. the generally more desirable end grain. There also are alternatives to Boos, for example, this.


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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I've found cheap, bamboo chopping boards to be perfectly acceptable, if you desire, you can always upgrade to a better chopping board at any time for a marginal improvement. On the other hand, a pressure cooker will immediately allow you to cook differently from what you are now, go with the pressure cooker.


PS: I am a guy.

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For me, a good knife used with a good cutting board (and sharpening kit) is an essential. But a pressure cooker's convenience and quality of food puts it way up on the desirable list. Leftover bones for stock become a treasure.

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I agree with everyone's advice, as far as practicality goes.

Ask yourself where the two of you stand in budget terms - can you treat yourselves to a luxury once a month ? Once a year ? Less ? When was the last time ?

I'm very happy with my pressure cooker. Stock that used to be 5-hr proposition is now a 1-hr one, so soup isn't any more a project that covers two days. I even like it enough that it'll have it's own space in the new kitchen cabinet I'm slowly cobbling together. In the meantime, when not in use it takes up a chunk of real estate on the dining table.

A cutting board you can keep in just a thin slice of space. You already have cutting boards, but it's a great feeling to work with the odd piece that feels like a piece of art as well as a tool. Practicality makes for sound advice, but if we applied it unfailingly we'd never treat ourselves to a single luxury.


Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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I had never used a pressure cooker before I bought my Kuhn Rikon a couple of years ago.

I was AMAZED at how useful and versatile it is...as well as beautiful to look at.

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I had no idea that a good cutting board can be such a nice thing in the kitchen until I got one.

It automatically elevates you to "famous chef" status to your friends.

Get both.

dcarch

TGbread2.jpg

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America's test kitchen recently on their current series recommented this:

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?client=safari&rls=en&q=pro-teak&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=9737105875701907261&sa=X&ei=INkzT4bFKIfl0QG1zt22Ag&ved=0CNUBEPMCMBE#ps-sellers

its teak and can be had for 60 bucks. its from a renewable forest in all places mexico.

the pressure cooker will help you out a lot more once you understand its use by looking over the thread here.

if what a pressure cooker can do interests you, put that at the top.

re WS:

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/proteak-rectangle-cutting-board/?catalogId=98&cm_src=AutoRel


Edited by rotuts (log)

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I've got several of the cutting boards from Michigan Maple, purchased from the Knife Merchant.

I like them better than the Boos boards - in which a lot of the cost is due to the name.

These thicker boards are better if you need to use a cleaver to chop through bones - I put a sheet of the padded drawer liner under them so they don't slip on the counter. I do have butcher block counters but while I routinely cut on them with knives, I don't want to use a cleaver on them.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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If you do get the pressure cooker, please post frequently about your use of it so I can perhaps get over my irrational fear of them. They sound so wonderful for grains and legumes, and soups, and of course, canning.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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If you do get the pressure cooker, please post frequently about your use of it so I can perhaps get over my irrational fear of them. They sound so wonderful for grains and legumes, and soups, and of course, canning.

Just want to be sure that the original poster knows that a pressure cooker is very different from a pressure canner. One cannot, as far as I know, safely use an ordinary pressure cooker to safely can foods. I am happy to be corrected if I am wrong. :smile:


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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This is true of those pesky low acid / low sugar types. I was thinking of using it for jam.

I'd edit my post to take out that part, but I cant so I wont, so I didnt so here we are!

I'm still afraid of the pressure cooker blowing up and spewing lentil smash all over the house.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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You might want to check the reviews on the pressure cookers that WS carries before you decide on anything. I did a review search recently and came to the conclusion that there are a lot of ways to go wrong when buying a pressure cooker.

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Yes, I understand it's different. Thanks to all with your ideas/input. I'd had this notion that a GREAT cutting board would be the be all and end all. But deep inside I knew it wasn't. As for the pressure cooker: I'd seen things on this site and other places that led me to believe I should try again. Okay, really for the first time. The only other time I used a pressure cooker was at my grandparents one night assuming I could make a vegetarian chili I had no idea how to produce. But I'd seen my grandmother deftly handle the pressure cooker for, well, food. Figured it couldn't be too hard. Long story short, it produced the only time my grandparents heard me swell loudly and in volume. I'm going to assume I can do better this time. Thanks again e-gullet'ers,

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You might want to check the reviews on the pressure cookers that WS carries before you decide on anything. I did a review search recently and came to the conclusion that there are a lot of ways to go wrong when buying a pressure cooker.

I will check again, but I thought the Fagor models they were flogging had good reviews there and elsewhere. If I've gone wrong on that reading, the Boos is always a nice item.

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@Bonkboo,

I recently purchased the Kuhn Rikon. Other than stock and a botched attempt at polenta I haven't quite warmed to pressure cooking. Like others, pressure cookers are a fixture in a relatives household. I've got plans for it, just need more time to practice and learn.

As for the board, if you don't have a good sized wood board already you should get one. I use mine every time I step into the kitchen. All work naturally gravitates to the board, whether it involves cutting or not. I've got a Boos board; 22x18 I think, long grain. It'll just stand up in the sink for washing. It's ever slightly warped, probably my fault for improper drying and not enough oiling. I'd probably splurge for the edge grain board if I did it again. I actually want for a bigger board, but then it wouldn't be so easy to clean.

I might miss the cooker. I'd be lost without the board.

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Pressure cooker. Those Boos boards are nice but so overpriced. And really, you can cut on a cheaper board, but you can't pressure cook in anything but a pressure cooker.

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I second the caramelized carrot soup, and would add that the pressure cooker is a great way to cook dried beans. Those are the two things I use mine for the most, though I'm always on the lookout for new ideas, too.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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O.K., strangest use of a pressure cooker.

The kitchen sink plastic brush bristles all get bent out of shape after a while and get disgusting yellowish brown.

1. Soak the brush in bleach overnight to whiten it.

2. Tie a rubber band around the bristles to straighten them.

3. Cook the brush in the PC full pressure for a couple of minutes.

4. Release pressure and take the brush out immediately and run it under cold water.

Your brush will have a new life.

dcarch

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I like that.

i do the bleach, 50/50 water in the microwave. but Ill try doing that in the micro with the tie-down!

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I agree that you have to decide why you might want a pressure cooker. Do you love soup, stew, chili, whole beans? Do you want to prepare them quickly when you get home from work? If so, then a pressure cooker is for you.

It's one of the kitchen tools that I have and use that has been life-changing. So much so, that I have been teaching people how to use a pressure cooker for more than 15 years. I even wrote a book about it.

I cutting board, while nice, will not change how you cook and think about making food. The pressure cooker can do that for you.

Just my two cents, as I promote improved personal and planetary health through pressure cooking.

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