Electric Pressure Cooker: Eureka!

I’m not a gadget person. I don’t jump on the first new thing when it comes out. In fact, the only machine I ever trusted was myself. True story: I didn’t even trust calculators when they came out. (Yes. I’m older than handheld calculators.) I used to work out the problem on paper to see if that little contraption was right.

Elite Bistro Cooker

So it surprised me when I finally bought a pressure cooker. I have an old pressure canner, one of those ancient cookers with the weighted lid and the bolt down locks. I keep it for those rare times I actually need to can food.

Someone had raved about her electric pressure cooker and my interest was piqued, but at $140 it wasn’t that piqued. I kept the Elite Bistro 8 qt cooker on my Amazon Wish List for over a year. It would go down slightly and then jump back up. At one point it had jumped to nearly $190. I was convinced it was never going to be mine.

pressure cooker2
Notice the steam billowing out.

One day it had dropped down to the weird price of $95.69. I immediately put it in my cart. The best part though was yet to come. I had recently opened a new credit card with Amazon. They offered a $40 credit to open an account. Plus, I had a $30 refund from Amazon for an item that had gone down in price and I had asked for a refund of the difference. See my post on Amazon’s price drop guarantee.

My final price was $25.69!

It arrived and I walked around this humongous box, afraid to open it. This was the moment of truth. Me and electronic gadgets have never been the best of friends.

Finally, I had to go big or go home. I called my handsome assistant, Greg, and set up the cooker like a surgeon prepping his patient for the first incision.

It was so easy it was almost anti-climatic. The machine had preset times for various meals. All I did was push the button and hit start.

The first thing I cooked was bebean soupan soup. I had soaked the beans the night before, but I never expected the soup to be finished in under 20 minutes. Greg liked the soup so much he asked me to make it again.

Yay, I got him to add a vegetarian dish to his repertoire of favorite meals. Well, it’s a vegetarian base. He insisted on adding sausage.

Then I tried rice. I cook a lot of rice both for us and the dogs. It came out fluffy with perfect texture.

The big test came with a frozen brick of pork roast I had forgotten in the back of the freezer. It was older than I’d like to admit, but what did I have to lose? I cooked it for 3o minutes. It was moist and tender but I needed it softer so I could shred it, so I cooked it for ten more minutes. Perfection!

I made four different meals out of that old pork roast. Note: The pork roast I’ll be cooking tonight will be my second attempt at pressure cooking pork.

I’ll admit, the final price I got was a rare event. Had I known it would give me results like this I would’ve bought it long ago. We use it at least two to three times a week now.

The final verdict: The pressure cooker is a winner. The only disadvantage is that it’s big and bulky, but the time savings is incredible and my very picky epicurean has loved everything I’ve made so far.

(I really want this book! It’s on my wish list.)
Addendum: I’m more popular than I thought. One of my good friends just bought me this book. Thanks, Mel!


Update: I can report now having used it for several months that I’m still ecstatic with this machine. I haven’t touched my slow cooker since the pressure cooker arrived. I’m afraid the old slow cooker is headed for the attic. The ‘Insta-pot’ or electric pressure cooker, whichever you want to call it is here to stay. I am so glad I bought this machine.


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Clicking on these links cost you nothing, but they do help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting MariaZanniniHome. I appreciate you!

All original content copyrighted by Maria Zannini 2016 - 2019.


  1. Darke Conteur

    My mother wants to get a pressure cooker. She says it’ll cut the time in half for things like soup and stock, but I find that a cop out. Mind you, it sounds like it’s good for other foods.

  2. Darke: I thought so too. Believe me, it’s absolutely true. The stock I got from the pork shoulder was excellent.

    The next time I have chickens going to chicken heaven, I’m going to do them in the cooker. I use chicken broth a lot.

    I need to make some beef stock soon too. I’m almost out. I’ll report again when I’ve had some results on the chicken and beef.

    PS Mother’s Day is coming soon. 🙂
    My mother kept eyeing Greg’s Keurig coffeemaker. When I bought her one she was over the moon.

  3. Angela Brown

    I’ve been using my slow cooker a lot but have a pressure cooker on my radar. A coworker of mine mentioned how wonderful her food turns out in much less time.

    Your results sound wonderful. 🙂

    • I haven’t used my crockpot since I got this cooker. The crockpot is fine if you want to start it first thing in the morning and have it ready for dinner when you get home, but I’ll admit, I don’t like to leave it on if I’m not at home.

      After living through a house fire, I don’t leave anything on that could start a fire. I’m sure it’s safe, but I’m spooked now and don’t take chances.

    • Madeline: I saw a cooking show where they used a commercial pressure cooker. That meat turned out awesome.

      So far, my favorite meals have been the soups I’ve made in mine. Soup always took half a day to make before. Now I can cook it in half an hour.

  4. Betty: I was ready to pay the $140 I saw it at but it was a luxury. That and I knew nothing about pressure cookers so I’d be taking a gamble.

    It was just a stroke of luck I had credit piling up on the Amazon account.

    After researching several brands this one still came out on top so I’m happy with it. If that changes, I’ll report back.

  5. JackieBCentralTexas

    Slow cooker on steroids and what a wonderful deal you got by being patient Maria.

    My mother-in-law had the old time pressure cooker and according to my husband it made the best food she ever cooked for the family.

  6. Jackie: My old canner was strictly for canning. It was too ugly for anything else. I had inherited it from who knows where. I never felt comfortable cooking food directly inside it.

    Although my new electronic cooker says it can pressure can, I think it has limits on pressure. If it were more than 10psi I think I’d use the old canner.

  7. Susan: I truly love it. I used to say that about my crock pot, but this cooker is so much easier and quicker.

    I’ve always had trouble timing my rice so it’d be ready in time. This takes the guesswork out of it.

  8. What a great bargain. My dad the chef loved his old-fashioned pressure cooker, but all the noise it made always scared me. I think that’s why I never invested in one — that and I’m not good with most gadgets.

    You have me rethinking all that now. 🙂

    • Lynn: I thought the same way. It was only when I heard someone else rave about theirs that made me give this a second look. We use it all the time now.

      The only drawback is that it’s so big. You can get smaller ones, but since I make big batch meals it seemed more prudent to get this one.

  9. Pingback: Lynn's Pot Roast | Maria Zannini

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