From cooking in an open fire to having modern appliances that can make almost everything for you, cooking techniques have evolved considerably over the years.

The origins of cooking are not precise. It is said that when humans discovered fire, the next step was to use it for cooking. The first known method was roasting in campfires. Then, with the invention of pottery, boiling in water opened new possibilities for preparing foods.

From there on, the creation of kitchen utensils helped to develop various ways of cooking: stewing, braising and even baking were just some of the first methods used for making elaborate meals out of raw food.

The technology made possible the innovation of cooking utensils and the creation of new appliances capable of making cooking easier, and faster.  Some of these innovative tools are rice cookers, pressure cookers, instant pots, and deep fryers.

They can look somewhat sophisticated, but you have to know that they were created for reducing your time in the kitchen, not to stress you more. Let’s take the time to learn how the appliances work and pick the right for you.

Getting to know some kitchen appliances

The idea behind all kitchen equipment is to make the most of the culinary techniques. Some of them simplify these methods for making the cooking experience less stressful and time consuming.

Nearly any type of food can be cooked with it, from simple white rice to tender meats. Their functioning is so simple that you do not have to be afraid of using them at any time of the day.

  • A rice cooker, also called a rice steamer, consists of a cooking pot with a heat source for making perfect rice every time you use it. It is easy to use because you only need to pour all the ingredients inside the pot, press a button and wait for the result.
  • An instant pot is an electric device that can cook in different ways. You can make a lot of preparations by pressure cooking, slow cooking, steaming, warming, and sautéing.
  • Pressure cookers are one of the oldest kitchen appliances still in use today. It was invented in 1600 using the technology of pressure and steam to cook food faster. In short, it is a sealed pot in which foods are steam-cooked at high temperature and high pressure.

The cooking process of this device implies using the steam released by boiling water or any liquid inside the pot. This action produces high temperatures which allows cooking food quicker, sometimes reducing by half the time of regular cooking techniques.

Maybe your mother or grandmother had a pressure cooker, and they warned you of the dangers of using it in the wrong way. Legends surrounding this kitchen gadget said they explode, the lid can fly, or the water inside can burn anyone near it. These stories could be true in the past, mainly because of the poor construction materials and the few existing safety controls.

Nowadays, pressure cookers available in stores are made of high-quality materials and include safety mechanisms such as multiple valves, pressure regulators, and spring lid locks.

You do not have more excuses; if you want to cook faster and easier, the pressure cooker is the right option for you.

What can you do with a pressure cooker?

There are several models of pressure cookers into 2 major groups: traditional (stovetop) and electric.

  • The traditional pressure cooker works by placing it over the stove and using the fire as heat source, like an ordinary cooking pot.
  • The electric pressure cooker uses electricity as its source of energy.

Whatever type you choose, you can prepare countless meals. Any recipe that implies throwing all the ingredients inside of it is a perfect choice.

From stews, beans, chickpeas, meats, eggs, to the preferred staple: rice. You only need to find the right recipe and get confident with cooking with the pressure cooker.

For instance, you can try recipes like jasmine rice instant pot or garlic and herbs rice. For more difficult dishes, you may cook chicken and rice; Mexican pork and rice, or a lemon risotto.

If you are still a bit concerned, read the following safety tips and stop being afraid:

  • Check the lid rubber gasket: it must be flexible and free of cracks.
  • Keep the pressure relief valve always clean.
  • Do not overfill the pot, follow the manufacturer instructions.
  • Always use liquid, at least ½ cup of any liquid.
  • Do not use it for frying.

Two simple rice recipes to try out

Let’s learn how to make delicious meals in a pressure cooker without too much hassle.

Mexican pork and rice

This recipe is for 6 servings, and will take around 20 minutes of preparation and 25 minutes of cooking.


  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • 1 diced green bell pepper.
  • 1/2 sliced large yellow onion.
  • 1 sliced large zucchini.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce.
  • 1 cup of water.
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika.
  • 1 k of bone-in pork shoulder blade steaks.
  • 2 cups of long-grain rice.
  • 1/2 cup of sliced olives.
  • 8 tablespoons of fresh cheese.
  • Extra salt and pepper for seasoning pork.
  • Lime zest for garnish.
  • Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish.


  1. Pour the olive oil into the pressure cooker. Cook at medium heat.
  2. Add peppers, onion, zucchini, salt, and pepper. Cook until they are tender.
  3. Take the vegetables out of the pot and reserve.
  4. Pour tomato sauce, water, and paprika into the pressure cooker. Stir very well.
  5. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Incorporate to the pressure cooker.
  6. Cover the pressure cooker and put the valve in a sealing position.
  7. Cook for 20 minutes. Then, let the steam release.
  8. Take the pork out, chop it into small pieces and put it aside.
  9. Add rice to the pressure cooker and cook covered for 5 minutes.
  10. Incorporate pork, olives, and vegetables. Mix very well.
  11. Serve with cheese, cilantro, and lemon zest on the top.

Lemon Risotto

Servings: 4 Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes


2 tablespoons of butter.

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • 1 chopped medium onion.
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice.
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
  • 3 1/2 cups of vegetable broth.
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley.
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Salt and fresh pepper to taste.
  • Lemon zest.
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish.


  1. In the pressure cooker, pour oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.
  2. Add onion until it is tender.
  3. Incorporate rice and stir very well until it is covered with all ingredients.
  4. Pour lemon juice and the vegetable broth.
  5. Put the lid on and cook for 5 minutes. Let the steam release.
  6. Cook uncovered for 2 minutes while stirring constantly
  7. Add cheese, fresh parsley, lemon zest, and the remaining butter.
  8. Incorporate salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve immediately with Parmesan cheese.