L Barnebey asked about crockpot cooking:
>I am considering investing in either a pressure cooker or a slow cooker.
>Lorna Sass's cookbooks are a great argument for choosing a pressure cooker,
>but I'm still not sure. What I would like is an easier way to prepare
>beans. Are slow cookers useful for this? Can I start soaked beans with
>other ingredients in the morning and have a meal ready for dinner? Are
>there any good cookbooks for vegan meals in slow cookers? Does anyone have
>information about nutrient loss? Is it better to cook food faster and
>hotter or longer at less heat?
Both pressure cookers and crockpots have their advantages. I have used my
crockpot for many years to cook beans-- my technique is to put them in the
crockpot the night before with lots of water and turn it to auto-shift-- this
them on high and shifts to low. They are usually quite ready by dinner. You
also experiment around with the high/low settings to find something you like.
The crockpot is great for throwing stuff in a pot and forgetting it, as long
do it far enough in advance. Crockpots are also pretty inexpensive- I believe
prices are usually $25-$40 or so. Be sure to buy one with a removeable
since these are *much* easier to clean.
Pressure cookers are great when you want to cook something fast. I don't
have one, but I am hoping that Santa will get around to delivering one to me
this year. I also think that there are far more recipes out there for
cookers than for crockpots. Beans can be a slight problem in pressure
cookers, from what I understand, since the bean skins can sometimes clog
up the vents. I think the workaround is to make less than half a pot at a
but someone with more expertise can probably fill you in on this. Good
pressure cookers are somewhat expensive, usually $100 and more. I also
know that some people are afraid that their pressure cookers will explode
on them-- my mom never used one for this reason, which is why I probably
haven't added one to my pot collection yet. I believe that modern pressure
cookers do not have this problem anymore, so be a little wary of used ones.
I have no idea which method has less nutrient loss, so I'm not much help
there. IMHO, you could easily find good use for both.
Hope this helps,