The Simple Trick That Makes Meat Cooked in the Pressure Cooker Even Better

updated Jan 6, 2020
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(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

Here at The Kitchn, we love the pressure cooker and can’t stop singing its praises. It’s a game-changer for weeknight dinners, churning out dishes that usually take hours, like roasts and braises, into ones that cook up no time at all.

The tightly sealed cooker creates a high-pressure environment that quickly and efficiently steams whatever is inside of it at an extra-high heat. This technique also forces moisture into the food quickly. That’s why things like meaty stews and curries are so perfect in a pressure cooker — all of the moisture makes for saucy, extra-tender, succulent results.

Meat-based dishes that aren’t as liquid-heavy, like pulled pork, are also great contenders for a pressure cooker. However, because of that steam and moisture, the one thing these dishes have trouble achieving is a crispy, caramelized finish. For instance, while you can “roast” a chicken in a pressure cooker, you won’t achieve that addictive, crackly skin because of all of the moisture in the cooker.

Embrace Your Oven’s Broiler

So what’s the solution? Turn to your oven’s broiler. Once you’ve finished cooking your chicken in the pressure cooker, remove it to a rimmed baking sheet and run it under the broiler for a few minutes until the skin is nice and crispy. You can even drizzle a bit of olive oil or rub a little softened butter over the skin before putting the chicken under the broiler to boost the browning.

This is a great trick for any meat you want to have a roasted finish, be it wings, pulled pork, or even ribs. This recipe from Leite’s Culinaria proves just how fast and easy ribs made in a pressure cooker are. But once they’re finished, they won’t have that gooey crust on the outside that makes ribs so crowd-pleasing. Dump them on a rimmed baking sheet after they’re cooked and stick them under the broiler to get the glaze on them bubbling and perfectly sticky.

Sure, the broiler trick tacks on a few extra minutes of cooking, but when you’re already shaving off so much time by using your pressure cooker, those added five or six minutes are barely noticeable — and completely worth it.

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