Cooking Under Pressure: Sloppy Joe

Power Pressure Cooker Brand
Last fall I bought a Power Pressure Cooker -- the 8 quart one. I'd had enough insomnia that I'd watched a lot of infomercials about this particular item.

There's something really soothing about watching infomercials where the products they advertise seem to work like magic.

Fortunately, the Power Pressure Cooker did work like magic. It was literally a meal saver for me. I'd reached the point where I was so short of time and so sleep deprived that I couldn't seem to plan ahead for dinner.

With the Power Pressure Cooker, I could literally take frozen chicken from the freezer, drop it into the cooker with maybe some rice and frozen vegetables, seasonings, and broth and in about a half hour have an edible meal ready. I must say, not just edible, but good.

Now instead of ordering pizza delivered or grabbing a burger, we have real meals again. I've used my Power Pressure Cooker for 8 months now and have had no problems with any function of it. I still garner recipes from online but I've also adopted many of my own recipes.

My Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup now takes 10 minutes instead of simmering all day. Chicken Fricassee with raw rice takes 25 minutes. Best of all, you can cook dry pasta with the other ingredients and come out with a 1 pot pasta meal.

Darling Hubby and I watch YouTube videos for recipes, and load up the Power Pressure Cooker with the ingredients as we watch the cooking videos.

CrockPot Pressure Cooker Brand
I loved this magic appliance so much that on Black Friday, I bought 3 at greatly reduced prices for CrockPot Pressure Cooker went to my daughter-in-law because it could be used as a pressure cooker or as a slow cooker.

She loves it because it helps her get dinner on the table fast after a long day at work.

The second CrockPot brand was for me -- for my house in the country. That's how much I like these appliances--plus, the price was so low on Black Friday that I could justify it.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
The third one was an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker for one of my daughters who had been hinting that's she'd like that type. I think the Instant Pot brand was perhaps the first of the power pressure cookers.

If not first, it was a fast second to the Power Pressure Cooker. In any event legions of fans--especially those who eat Paleo--fell in love with the Instant Pot.

I know my daughter uses her Instant Pot Pressure Cooker every week and just loves it.

Buying Tips

Any power pressure cooker recipe can be used in any of the brand name appliances. They pretty much all work the same way. They're nothing like the old pressure cookers your mom or grandmother used on the stove.

You can find thousands of recipes and videos online for a power pressure cooker. As you can see from the pictures of the 3 brands I've bought, they all pretty much look the same. Some may have more pre-programmed buttons or a Teflon lined cooker insert, but they all work the same.

Favorite Sloppy Joe

This recipe is one Larry loves--especially when accompanied by a dark beer. Tip: get all your ingredients ready beforehand because this goes fast.

  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1-2 crushed or minced garlic cloves
  • 1 large chopped bell pepper (in a pinch you can use 1 can chopped green chile, drained (I keep canned green chile in the pantry just to have on hand in case I don't have a fresh bell pepper)
  • 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 4 ounces dark beer (you can use light beer but dark gives it the best flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard (you know, the yellow powder from the spice section)
  • 1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons chili powder depending on how spicy you want it
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more if you want it spicy
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • If your pressure cooker has a browning function (the 3 above do) then brown the ground beef.
  • Pour off the fat. I dump the browned ground beef in a colander to drain it.
  • Put the olive oil in the cookpot and dump in the fresh onion and bell pepper. If you're using canned chile, don't put it in until you add all the ingredients.
  • Sweat the onion and bell pepper, that just means saute them until they're translucent but not browned.
  • Just before you think the sweated vegetables are ready, add the garlic cloves. Garlic burns easily so stir and pay attention.
  • After about a minute, dump the ground beef into the vegetables in the cookpot.
  • Now add the rest of the ingredients. If you're using the canned chile, add them now.
  • Stir everything around then put the lid on and set it to come up to pressure according to your appliance.
  • Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. That's usually the Rice Setting.
  • Let it naturally release the pressure or do a manual release if you're ready to eat.
  • Serve on a bun--I use homemade French bread, and it's delicious. Add a dollop of sweet pickle relish to your Sloppy Joe. Now it's super delicious!
Buying Tip

The prices on all of these, regardless of brand name, have increased dramatically since Christmas. If you want one of these, add it to your Amazon Wish List so you can monitor it for a price drop.

If you can wait until Amazon Prime Day in July or Black Friday in November, you can probably pick one up on sale. I'm getting gifts on Black Friday for 2 other family members.

Takeaway Truth

Of course, if you can't wait for one of these big sale days, go ahead and get one. You'll love the convenience and the time saved with this appliance--plus the food tastes good.

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