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For Electric Cooperative Members

Save Energy by Cooking With Pressure Cookers and Slow Cookers

Enjoy meals low on cost but high on taste

Pressure cookers (also known by the brand name Instant Pots) have made a huge comeback lately and are giving slow cookers a run for their money—and with good reason.

While both appliances are more energy efficient than ovens or stoves, pressure cookers are more versatile and cook more efficiently—especially today’s versions. When comparing appliances, you’ll find that the pressure cooker beats even the most energy-efficient slow cooker in terms of using less power and adding less heat into your home.

Pressure cookers consume much less power than a standard electric oven, which uses around 2,000 watts of electricity on medium heat. If you cooked a pot roast in an electric oven for more than three hours, you would use at least 6 kilowatt-hours of energy. If you cooked that same pot roast in a pressure cooker, you may only use 1–2 kWh.

Pressure cookers cut energy use in two ways. First, they cook food faster than a slow cooker because they can slash cooking time by 70%. Secondly, they are well insulated, retaining heat that is transferred to cooking so you don’t waste energy radiating heat into your kitchen.

The device also can track the temperature of the food inside during cooking, and when a preselected temperature is reached, the heating element automatically turns off. Because it is insulated, it maintains that optimal cooking temperature while consuming electricity only 60% of the cooking time. Even the most efficient slow cooker requires constant energy while it’s cooking.

With your pressure cooker, this chili is ready to serve in 25 minutes and will taste like it’s been simmering for hours.

Pressure Cooker Chili

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes (use kind with green chiles for extra spice)
1/2 cup water
1 can (14 ounces) chili beans
1 packet chili seasoning

1. Brown the ground beef and onions on the sauté setting. Salt and pepper generously.

2. When the beef is brown and the onions translucent, pour in the tomatoes, water, chili beans and seasoning.

3. Stir everything together and set the vent to sealing.

4. Cook on high pressure 8 minutes. Allow the pot to natural release 5 minutes. Release the rest of the steam and serve.

Serves 4–6.