Pressure cooking has changed a lot lately — there is a whole new generation of pressure cookers that are said to be foolproof. No more stories of the canner exploding and spewing its contents around the kitchen! If you are younger than I am, maybe you never even heard those stories.
Why use pressure cookers? They can cook food faster and thus save not only time but fuel. Beans, a mainstay of many simple food systems, are much tastier and easier to digest if they are thoroughly cooked, and this is where a pressure cooker excels. You can even cook beans in a pressure cooker without soaking them for hours beforehand. Tough cuts of meat become very tender in a pressure cooker too.
Here are the top two electric pressure cookers at Amazon:
Solar Box Cookers
We have one of these small ovens that uses only the sun, a Sun Oven, and we’ve used it a lot for baking potatoes, squash, and bread. We’ve also use it for cooking grains and some beans. I found it a nuisance in the considerable winds we used to get in Colorado, and tried to avoid using it when the wind was whipping things around. Now in New Mexico, we are using it more.
Instructions are available to make your own; here’s one book: Cooking With the Sun: How to Build and Use Solar Cookers. And there are a variety of solar cookers on the market now.