April 10, 2005

Brace Yourself

I feel a whole bunch of domestic posts coming on.

Bear in mind that I'm a schoolteacher's daughter, and on some sort of cellular level having more light means that it's time to clean/straighten the house: My mom used to pack a year's worth of housework into 2 1/2 months. I do the same, without a sliver of excuse for it.

So, today's question is, if I determine that I can afford to invest in a small appliance, should it be a Crock-Pot or a pressure cooker?

If I get a Crock-Pot, I can start dinner early in the day, and it'll be done in the evening. If I get a pressure cooker, I can compress a lot of cooking into a small amount of time. Given my propensity for procrastination, the pressure cooker is the more obvious choice.

But either one should be cheapest this time of year, and given that it's still chilly at night, there's at least another month (and probably two) of cold-weather meals we can have. Matter of fact, I can probably start using my grill before I give up on making beef stew.

At this particular moment, the world is my culinary oyster. Or it would be, if I were into shellfish.

UPDATE: The slow cooker is winning out, especially on the basis of price. If I were willing to use a pressure cooker on my little 60s-era electric stove, the cost difference could be narrowed down a bit. But I'm really not, which means that I'd be paying over $100 for an electric pressure cooker. That's a rather expensive upgrade at the moment. I can get a slow cooker for $40-$55, and I suspect that's the way I'll be going.

Posted by Attila at April 10, 2005 06:36 PM

A pressure cooker has the potential for accidents, plus I always have to fight with the gasket. Go crock pot. Or marry a chef and eat out.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis at April 10, 2005 09:59 PM

Never used a pressure cooker. During my 5 minute macrobiotic phase, it was highly recommended for cooking beans.

Posted by: jeff at April 11, 2005 01:10 PM

I don't know about the pressure cooker. The coyote always had major problems with it when trying to cook Bugs. Make sure you don't buy Acme.

Posted by: William Teach at April 11, 2005 05:40 PM

I have a crock pot that I haven't used in ten years. Nothing wrong with it--just not all it was cracked up to be. I would love a pressure cooker though. That's the way to make real falling-off-the-bone roasts. And the new ones aren't the dangerous exploding gasket types.

Posted by: gail at April 11, 2005 05:50 PM

I've never used a pressure cooker. We do have a love affair with our crockpot, though. I could never imagine a reason to have one, and now I can't figure how we could live without it. We make a lot of soup in the thing, since it's big enough to throw what's left of a chicken in. Homemade chicken soup. Yum.

Posted by: Deb at April 11, 2005 07:02 PM

It's starting to look like a Jets-and-Sharks sort of thing. From what I've read on the cooking discussion boards, passions run pretty high on this issue.

Posted by: Attila Girl at April 11, 2005 10:34 PM

Crockpot! Set and forget. Pressure cooker brings possibility of level 5 kablooey right there in the kitchen. No thanks.

Posted by: barry at April 12, 2005 03:10 AM

I like both pressure cookers AND crock pots, so I can't advise on this one. They are good for different things.

As for the housework thing... my ex called it a 'cleaning frenzy' when I went into that mode (play on the 'feeding frenzy' of sharks). Pretty accurate of him, I must admit...

Posted by: Kathy K at April 12, 2005 06:20 PM

It's astonishing how quickly those moods come upon one.

Of course, they go just as quickly.

Posted by: Attila Girl at April 12, 2005 10:53 PM

I'm 40 y/o and I still shiver at the thought of a pressure cooker. When I was a kid, my mother and grandmother really put the fear of God in me during canning season. In retrospect, they went a bit overboard.

Posted by: syd at April 13, 2005 12:40 PM

My mother used hers all the time. It was the old-fashioned rocking-steam-vent type, and electric. One of the three legs eventually gave way, so she had an old can of spices she'd use instead.

Posted by: Attila Girl at April 13, 2005 02:22 PM

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