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6 Unexpected Ways You Can Use Your Pressure Cooker This Fall

6 Unexpected Ways You Can Use Your Pressure Cooker This Fall

Chili. Soup. Rice. You’re probably familiar with these traditional pressure cooker foods. But did you know you can also make chicken pot pie, pumpkin cake, applesauce, and even baby food in your pressure cooker? Embrace the new season with new pressure cooker recipes the whole fam will gobble up.

What Is a Pressure Cooker, Anyway?

A pressure cooker is a tightly sealed pot with a pressure release valve. This valve helps to control the steam pressure inside. As the pot heats up, the liquid inside forms steam, which increases the pressure in the pot.

The trapped steam increases pressure and raises the temperature of the boiling water in the pot up to 250 degrees. Well above the boiling point of water! The high heat and high pressure helps the food cook faster and pushes more liquid into the food, making it extra tender.

Benefits of a Pressure Cooker

Pressure cookers also come with tons of great perks you might not otherwise find in your other kitchen appliances. Here are just a few.

  • They typically use less energy than other appliances.
  • They have step-by-step manuals and presets to make cooking simple.
  • They allow you to multitask while making meals.
  • They dramatically decrease cooking times.
  • They can cook almost anything — and it’s delicious.

5 Tips for Cooking with a Pressure Cooker

  1. Be safe! Check your equipment before use and release pressure safely — and always follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Clean and store your pressure cooker. Check the instructions on the proper methods and let it air dry completely before storing.
  3. Be sure to use enough liquid — but don’t overfill and watch for frothing.
  4. Sometimes, it’s best to pre-cook your food. Pressure cookers won’t brown food, but some things, like meat, benefit from a sear before adding liquid. Sautee onions, garlic, and other aromatics or veggies before adding the liquid also add flavor.
  5. Just like some weather can affect baking, altitude can affect pressure cooking. To adjust for high altitude, increase cooking time by 5% for every 1,000 ft above 2,000 ft elevation. So, if the recipe gives a cook time of 20 minutes and you are at 3,000 ft, increase the cook time to 21 minutes. Here’s a cheat sheet:

Pressure Cooking by Altitude

  • 3,000 ft: Increase cooking time by 5% (Multiply by 1.05)
  • 4,000 ft: Increase cooking time by 10% (Multiply by 1.10)
  • 5,000 ft: Increase cooking time by 15% (Multiply by 1.15)
  • 6,000 ft: Increase cooking time by 20% (Multiply by 1.20)
  • 7,000 ft: Increase cooking time by 25% (Multiply by 1.25)
  • 8,000 ft: Increase cooking time by 30% (Multiply by 1.30)
  • 9,000 ft: Increase cooking time by 35% (Multiply by 1.35)
  • 10,000 ft: Increase cooking time by 40% (Multiply by 1.40)

So, What Do You Cook in a Pressure Cooker?

There are many pressure cooker uses. You really can cook almost anything! Homemade mac and cheese, pot roast, chili, chicken noodle soup—you name it, slow cookers can make it. Even unexpected pressure cooker recipes like these that are perfect for fall:

1. Homemade Applesauce


8 apples
½ cup water
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon


  1. Peel, core, and chop the apples into large chunks. Add apples and water to your pressure cooker.
  2. Sprinkle the top of your apples with cinnamon.
  3. Set to manual high pressure for 8 minutes, then slowly release the steam.
  4. Use a potato masher or immersion blender to puree the softened apples until you reach the desired consistency.
  5. Store in mason jars for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

More ideas to try: Fruit or Vegetable Purées (aka homemade baby food), Homemade Cranberry Sauce, Homemade Yogurt

2. Giant Banana Pancake


2 cups flour
1 ½ tablespoon baking powder
4 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 banana, sliced


  1. Grease a springform pan, wrap the bottom in foil, and set aside.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, vanilla extract, and eggs.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and mix until combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and add the banana slices on top. Cover the top of the pan with foil.
  5. Pour 1 cup of water into the pressure cooker and place the trivet in the pot. Set the pan on the trivet and close and lock the lid. Set to manual high pressure for 35 minutes.
  6. Do a quick release and remove the pan from the pot. Let it set and cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan.

More breakfast recipes to try: Grandma’s Hash Brown Casserole, Soft or Hard Boiled Eggs, Instant Pot Gooey Cinnamon Rolls

3. Cornbread Dressing


6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup celery, chopped
½ cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground sage
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
4 cups dried cornbread, cubed
1 ¼ cup chicken broth


  1. Grease a cake pan or Bundt pan and set aside.
  2. Set pressure cooker to sauté. Add butter, celery, onion, salt, pepper, sage, thyme, and garlic powder. Cook until celery and onion are soft (about 3 minutes).
  3. Add the cornbread to the pot and stir until it is evenly coated. Turn off the pressure cooker.
  4. Press bread mixture into the prepared pan. Pour broth evenly over the mixture until just covered.
  5. Carefully wipe out the bottom of the pot. Pour in 1 ½ cups of water and place a trivet in the pot. Set the pan of dressing on the trivet.
  6. Close and lock the lid and set to high pressure for 15 minutes. Use a 10-minute natural release according to manufacturer’s instructions.

More recipes for festive sides to try: Mashed Potatoes, Mushroom Risotto, Green Bean Casserole

4. Chicken Pozole


1 lb tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and chopped
2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
2 Tablespoons lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup water
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
25 oz hominy, rinsed and drained
4 cups chicken broth


  1. Roast tomatillos, poblanos, and garlic in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, until lightly blistered. Remove and let cool, then blend in a food processor with lime juice until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Select sauté function on the pressure cooker. Add olive oil, chicken, onion, oregano, cumin, ancho chili powder, salt, and pepper to the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatillo mixture, hominy, and chicken broth. Stir to combine. Close and lock the lid. Set to manual high pressure function for 20 minutes.
  3. Release pressure carefully using the quick-release method (according to the manufacturer’s instructions). Adjust taste to preference. Serve with a garnish of cilantro and squeeze of lime juice.

More cozy soup recipes to try: English Pub Split Peas Soup, Butternut Squash Soup, Loaded Potato Soup

5. Beef Bourguignon


2 lbs stew meat or beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 oz bacon, cut into thick pieces
½ T olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
2 carrots, sliced into thick diagonals
1 onion, cut into thick pieces
8 oz baby Bella mushrooms
1 cup pearl onions
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ Tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
½ Tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 ½ cups dry red wine
1-2 cups low-sodium beef broth
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour


  1. Combine the flour and butter until it forms a thick, smooth paste, and set aside.
  2. Select the sauté function (medium/normal) and add the onion and bacon. Cook until bacon is browned, stirring frequently, then remove and set aside.
  3. Dry beef chunks completely with a paper towel. Add to the pot with oil and garlic, and brown on all sides.
  4. Then put the bacon and onions back in the pot along with the carrots, red wine, beef stock, tomato paste, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. Cook on the sauté setting for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottoms and sides.
  5. Turn off the sauté function and close the lid. Set to cook on manual high pressure setting for 35 minutes. Use a 10-minute natural release according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  6. Remove the bay leaf. Set to sauté, add the mushrooms and pearl onions, and cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the butter and flour mixture and cook until thickened (about 2 minutes), stirring occasionally. Adjust to taste as needed.

More comfort-food recipes to try: Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pie, Autumn Apple Chicken, Stuffed Pork Chops

6. Chocolate Lava Cakes


8 oz + 4 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
½ cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 egg yolks


  1. Grease 4 6-oz ramekins and set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate.
  3. Whisk butter into hot melted chocolate until combined. Whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Let cool.
  4. Add eggs and egg yolks and stir until combined. Lightly stir in flour and salt until just combined, careful not to overmix. Pour batter into ramekins.
  5. Pour one cup of water into the pressure cooker and set a trivet inside. Place ramekins on the trivet (cook 2 at a time or place 3 on the bottom and 1 on top). Set to manual high pressure for 8 minutes. Quick release and remove the lid.
  6. While cakes are cooking, melt another 4 oz of chocolate.
  7. Remove cakes from the pot and set upside down on a plate. Let sit for 2 minutes, then lift off the ramekins.
  8. Top with more melted chocolate and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

More fall dessert recipes to try: Pumpkin Pie, Apple Crisp, Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Fall Pressure Cooking with Rent-A-Center

Rent-A-Center now carries small kitchen appliances, like pressure cookers, crock pots, stand mixers, and more! Shop Rent-A-Center online or visit a store near you and snag flexible payments on all the kitchen gear you need for a tasty fall to remember.

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The good things in life don’t have to be out of reach. Rent-A-Center is here to make the things you want and need accessible, and Front & Center is your resource for living well on a budget.

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