Sometime back I was obsessing over humidity in my oven while baking. Having read about these steam injection deck ovens, I got an itch to try baking with steam. Not an ice cube on the floor of the oven steam, I wanted a ca. 10-20 psi intermittent blast applied in early stages of baking.
Off to the thrift store, I found a cheap pressure cooker. First I removed all safety exhaust ports from it, tapped some new threads and affixed a few pieces of pipe, a copper tubing outlet and a gauge.
Then, I tried using my contraption in our new sucky winter climate. I thought if I pumped steam into sub zero temps, I could create a snow machine. This didn't work either.
Then, even though it had no safety ports, I tried something crazy - standing over it the entire time and moderating the pressure manually - I tried beans in it. Soaked garbanzo beans cooked in a light brine at about 10 psi for30 minutes cooked to a consistency I've not experienced in a can. Not soft, but more done than the can and more done than I've been able to achieve by slow simmering. I then tried other beans, e.g., toor dal for sambar, red kidneys, a pork butt(!), etc. etc. This thing is amazing! Why am I so late to the party?
I spent some time with America's Test Kitchen watching their pressure cooker video and bought a safe one, the Faygor Duo. I can't wait to explore legumes and stews in a way I never have before.