Joni Sare, cooking instructor

Test: Pressure cooker vs oven roasting

I’m thinking about buying a pressure cooker and am testing out a friend’s Costco purchase … today – New Year’s Day – I’m testing a squash dish, comparing the pressure cooker with the good-old oven method. Here’r my steps, the recipe and the results…

See how I cut the veggies under TIPS.

TEST: Pressure Cooker vs Oven Roasting
Sweet'n Sour Squash and Sunchokes......... Ingredients: One medium Hubbard squash, 2 Granny Smith apples, 1.5 White onions, 3 Naval oranges, 2 head Shallots (8 cloves), 6 medium Sunchokes, 1/4 cup dried Black olives, 1/2 cup dried Cherries, 1/4 cup gogi berries, 1/4 cup dried Herbs (a mixture of chives, parsley, basil), 1/4 cup Brown Rice vinegar, 1/4 cup Tamari soy sauce. Makes 16 cups.
Step one: Peel and chop the squash and divide/place into pot and pan. See how I cut the squash, under TIPS.
Step Two: chop all the other ingredients and put in mixing bowl and toss well, then put on top of the squash. See - How to chop the veggies, under TIPS.
Step three - part A: Cook in pressure cooker, keep attentive; here you see the steam rising from a very done, too mushy dish. Total time was 21 minutes. Here's the breakdown: 10 minutes for the steamer plug to 'seed' ... meaning - once the pressure is high enough it forces the plug to seed, then pushes the steam out of the steam vent (btw - I'm using a gas burner, on high), then it took another 3 minutes for the steam to come out of the vent, this is when you put the timer on to cook for 6 minutes (clearly too long of cooking time, next time I'll try 1 minute at this high pressure). Then, at the end of the cooking time it took 2 minutes for the pot to cool down enough to open the lid.
Step three - part B: Cook in oven at 375 degrees F, unattended, shown here is steam rising from a very good al dente (not mushy) vegetables. Total time: 1 hour and 5 minutes (it took the oven 5 minutes to heat).
Step four: After tasting the dish it seemed to need a bit of 'fat' and I thought the Black Truffle oil would be a very good addition - and no surprise - it was. I also tried pumpkin seed oil, which was very good as well. And, I tried a bit of ghee. My favorite was the truffle oil.

0 thoughts on “Test: Pressure cooker vs oven roasting”

  1. I use a pressure cooker all the time. You can see my (mostly) abandoned blog at http://www.pressurecooking.blogspot.com

    I am not sure which pressure cooker you are using but most of them that say that you have to wait for the steam to come out are wrong. If it has a pressure valve and it pops up, start timing then.

    I only cook squash like you show for 3 minutes at pressure and then quick release the pressure. It usually comes out just great.

    You also don’t say how much water or liquid you added and that also has an effect, as well as the size of the pot which looks large.

    There are many factors to consider when buying a cooker. I hope that you make the switch, knowing that roasting is a whole different game than pressure cooking. Try some beans, lentils, whole grains or soup. Amazing.

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