People have pressure cookers on their minds these days. In last Saturday’s “Pho Celebration” cooking class, we made two recipes from The Pho Cookbook that required a pressure cooker. (Why use a pressure cooker? It's great for cooks who are in a hurry. With respect to pho, a pressure cooker enables you to make pho on a weeknight.) Several people had never used one, while others remember them from the 1970s, when the cookers were a little scary – ours exploded, my mom recently reminded me. Another asked me about the different kinds.
On the same day in Houston, Chi T. was also pondering pressure cookers. When I got home, her email was in my inbox:
I bought your Pho book and love it, like your other books. Thank you for teaching me about Vietnamese culture as well as Vietnamese cooking in your books. I have all your books and look forward for more in the future. When I was younger, I missed the opportunity to learn Vietnamese cooking from my mom. I just was focused on other things like school and career than cooking. Now that I have kids, I wish I had paid more attention to my mom when she was trying to teach me, since I now live so far from my mom now. Reading your books have taught me so much and made me appreciate Vietnamese cooking.
I went off tangent since I do have a question for you, if you don't mind answering. I want to try the pressure cooker methods to cook Pho and am torn between getting a stovetop pressure cooker vs. an electric pressure cooker like Instant Pot. Which one do you prefer and why. I don't care about cost. I just would like to know which one you prefer.
Thanks again for gifting me another cookbook I will treasure for many, many years.
It was a coincidence that Chi wrote because I’d just been discussing the same topic with people in class. Here’s a summary of my thoughts and experience with pressure cookers.