No More Reasons to Be Scared of Pressure Cookers

Electric Pressure Cookers will Be Your Favorite Small Appliance

I’ve been using pressure cookers for a while not. First a traditional style small one for dinners (they cook foods soooo fast) and then a canning pressure cooker. I’ll admit, there was a fear factor with using both, but now that I’ve got the hang of pressure cooking. That makes the new electric pressure cookers all the more exciting. There’s nothing to be afraid of and as a matter of fact, they practically run themselves… safely, might I add. It’s the best new small appliance on the market.

So what the thing about pressure cookers that’s had people hiding under their kitchen tables? In your grandmother’s day, stories of pressure cookers exploding were not uncommon. Even back then they were mostly safe… as long as you’re paying attention. I think that’s where folks got in trouble and blew holes through their ceilings. You can’t walk away from a traditional pressure cooker.

The new electric pressure cooker, however, are automatically set so you don’t have to send time waiting for it to get to temperature and them monitoring it throughout the cooking process. Now, punch a few button, set the timer and head off to another room to read a book, watch TV or play with the kids. Dinner cooks up fast and delicious.

Fast is one of the great features about pressures cookers, electric or not. Dry beans can cook up in 25 minutes. Yup, 25 minutes. Even with the time it takes to get the cooker up to pressure, you still save about half the cooking time of traditional methods.

A pressure cooker is also great for tenderizing cheap cuts of meat. Any meat that benefits from long, slow cooking also benefits from short, high-pressure cooking. As I said, it’s one of the best new small appliances on the market. To see how a number of models stacked up in a comparison conducted by the Los Angeles Times, click here.

3 Tips For Buying Home Appliances Online

Before You Buy Online

Refrigerators, stoves and all the other home appliances you need are available for purchase online. What could be easier than sitting in front of you computer and clicking a button to buy. Lots of people are doing it, but if you have reservations, that’s okay.  Buying a home appliance online, sight unseen, should be something you think about. However, you should also know that many folks have found terrific bargains and good customer service. Before you buy anything online – home appliances or otherwise – keep these three tips in mind:
  1. Read all descriptions provided by the online retailer. All features are important, of course, but take special note of the size of the home appliance you’re buying. Often times, buyers underestimate the size of the appliance and are in for a big shock when it arrives. Create a mock-up with cardboard and paper if necessary and then test it in the area the appliance will sit.  
  2. Read as many reviews about the product as you can, both on the retailer’s site and on elsewhere. Retailers usually offer a section on their site for customer reviews and these are the best way to evaluate the appliance, especially since you’re buying sight unseen.
  3. Understand the return policy. If the appliance arrives broken or not what you expect, you’ll want to know how to return it. It’s better to know ahead of time how the return policy works and whether the retailer pays for the return or you do.  

And even when you’re buying home appliances online, make sure they’re energy efficient. This handy guide from the Federal Trade Commission will give you a leg up.

Measuring Appliance Energy Use

Learning How Much Energy Your Appliance Use Now Can Save in the Long Run

When it comes to appliances, you might think consumers want the latest and greatest. You know those appliances that practically run the whole house. A recent survey, however, says there’s something else consumers want even more – energy efficient appliances. In a poll conducted by the University of Texas at Austin, 80% of respondents were interested in reducing energy. But before you run out to buy the latest energy-saving refrigerator, you might know how much electricity your current appliance use. That’s easy to do with an electricity usage monitor.

This easy-to-use tool will help you discover your actually energy consumption. With the information and your electric bill, you’ll be able to figure out the dollars and cents. That’s what consumers say they want in the Energy Poll. While being Green is nice, saving green is even more important.

The electricity usage monitor is typically a hand-held device that that plugs between an appliance and the electrically outlet. You leave it plugged in over a certain period of time to get a true picture of energy use, generally for a few days to a week to get an accurate reading.

The monitor is useful to get an overall picture of usage, but it also pinpoints areas where you can reduce energy now.  It’s estimated by the U.S. Department of Energy that 20% of electrical usage comes from appliances that are left plugged in when not in use. The toaster oven, microwave and even the TV use up energy just by being plugged into the electrically outlet. That knowledge can help you reduce electrical usage now and delay the need to replace old appliances right away.