Making stock with a pressure cooker

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by basilskite, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. basilskite

    basilskite

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    Has anyone had any experience with this? I've read that it dramatically cuts cooking time and gives the stock a much richer flavor. I just tried making beef stock and it came out very watery. I might have used too much water, considering this technique doesn't allow the stock to reduce since vapors can't escape. Any tips?
     
  2. butzy

    butzy

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    Yeah, sounds like too much water.

    I recently bought a pressure cooker and haven't used it yet to make stock, but the first dishes I made were also to liquid.

    I should have a recipe somewhere for stock in pressure cooker and will get back to you with the amount of water they recommend.
     
  3. nordicfood

    nordicfood

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    I think iv´e read something about making stock in the CIA teach and stuffs blogg. Im trying to find it as we speak. Think its like 2 articles and when they compare traditional ways and the pressure cooker way.

    Found two articles. Good reading. 

    This one is the one I have read.

    http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/11/22/pressure-cooked-stocks-we-got-schooled/#more-2561

    I haven't read this one but i think its more focused on the chemical and molecular

    http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/0...g-pressures-playing-with-chemistry/#more-3243
     
  4. dcarch

    dcarch

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    That's the only way I make stock.

    When you make stock the normal way, you have that wonderful smell filling your whole house for many hours.

    When you make stock in a pressure cooker, you smell very little.

    What you smell in the house is the flavor no longer in your stock, all boiled away.

    dcarch
     
  5. basilskite

    basilskite

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    Thanks Nordicfood. That was really helpful. So I'm re-simmering my tasteless stock with he bones I used last night. My parents have already made soup with it twice. How many times can bones be reused?
     
  6. nordicfood

    nordicfood

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    Where i used to work we used the bones 2 times. One big main batch and then we cooked a smaller batch to reduce and combine whit the main batch
     
  7. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I never make stock this way.  Making stock is an art, it's not something that I care to speed up.  If I don't have time to make stock I don't make stock.  I assume that what is happening inside the pressure cooker is rapid boiling, or at least a lot of agitation of all the ingredients.  I prefer to never let the ingredients in my stock to move around.  I'm quoting another member (BDL) who once said that good stock is made when ingredients steep in the water, never boil.  It takes much longer this way but you get a concentrated and very clear stock which is always my goal.

    After you take the ingredients out (chicken, bones, veggies etc) then you can start to boil down the stock which will concentrate it further.
     
    That's the most absurd thing I've ever heard.  When food unleashes its aroma it does NOT mean the flavor is boiled away.
     
  8. butzy

    butzy

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    I found the recipe I was talking about. It is from Delia's complete cookery course.

    She uses about half the amount of water as compared to her "normal" stock recipe, brings bones and all to the boil, skims and then cooks 40 minutes at 15 psi.She lets the cooker cool a bit and then puts it under cold water to release.

    As said, I haven't tried it yet, but she says elsewhere that she hates pressure cookers except for making stock, so there got to be something in it?

    I still make stock in a normal pan, but will try the pressure cooker one of these days and if it comes out alright it will be a great way to save some time.
     
  9. allanm

    allanm

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    Koukoukagia,

    There actually is very little if any boiling while the PC comes to pressure, and once up to pressure there won't be any boiling and little if any agitation.

    When you are making stock you are usually using a larger PC and several liters of water plus your meat and bones.  This means that even with a hot burner the temperature will rise fairly slowly.  As you know you start getting steam from a pot well before you reach a full boil.  Because the PC is closed the steam starts to raise the pressure inside and this results in raising the boiling point of the water.  This means that as the temperature rises it chases the boiling point but doesn't reach it. Once at pressure any extra steam has to be vented and even a mild simmer would have the PC hissing and dancing.

    This is confirmed in practice by the fact that when I cook in the PC my vegetables tend to come out intact and undisturbed.  If there was much boiling going on they would be at least partly dissolved by the agitation, think of vegetables in soup or boiled potatoes. My stocks come out flavorful and fairly clear, as good or better than I have gotten with conventional techniques.

    One side issue here is that you want to use a natural release for your stock, that is turn off the heat and let it cool off naturally. A rapid release such as venting or cold water can drop the pressure faster than temperature of the contents resulting in boiling. This would only last for a minute or two so it probably isn't critical.

    As for boiling away the flavor, Dave Arnold of the FCI actually did some tests and concluded that this does happen.

    http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/11/22/pressure-cooked-stocks-we-got-schooled/
     
  10. allanm

    allanm

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    Butzy,

    I have a couple of suggestion if you don't mind.

    I only use enough water to cover the ingredients and leave a little for evaporation.

    I don't find skimming to be necessary. I just fill the PC and bring it straight to temperature.  When I am done I do find a lot of crud on the sides and bottom of the PC that take serious scrubbing to clean but my stock isn't cloudy. You could always try with and without skimming and compare the results.

    Depending on what you are making I find I prefer longer cooking times. I find 1 hour for chicken and 1.5 for beef work well for me.  At that point the meat is tasteless and the bones can be crushed between two fingers.  You might want to try cooking for 30 minutes, letting it cool to release pressure and taking a sample of the stock.  Then reheat to pressure and cook another 15 minutes, let it cool and take another sample. Repeat out to 90 minutes.  Defat the samples and taste test for your preference.

    I would recommend that you let the temperature drop naturally and avoid a fast release.  The fast release can cause the stock to boil and mix any sediment into your stock. If time is an issue I wouldn't worry about the quick release but if I have the time why hurry.
     
  11. butzy

    butzy

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    Hey Allan,

    Of course I don't mind any suggestions, in fact I welcome them!

    I was already thinking about letting the pressure come down naturally. I think the emphasis in the recipe I sort of quoted was based on making a stock as fast as possible.

    I'm in need for some chicken stock one of these days, so will start experimenting....
     
  12. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Test have proved that indeed you loose both some flavor and quantiti each time a pot lid is lifted. Years ago I did experemental work for WR Grace corp in a teast kitchen we did a yield test on cooking soups  pot covered and not covered . covered pot gave greater finished yield with  pro taste testers, all agreed covered soup tasted better so its not so absurd. The food chemist could actually tell us how many times pot was uncovered and for how long based on final yield.  This was food science as was the whole test kitchen. Mr. Grace was very interested in food chemistry. He was one of the first to explore Souvide even before the French with their pate' fois gras.
     
  13. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Thanks for your post. I didn't know that it didn't boil inside, it's good to know that vegetables can be PC and not fall apart, however I still wouldn't use a PC to cook them.  Thanks for the info, the link was an interesting read although it was clear that the people conducting the tests desperately wanted the PC stock to win out and went to lengths to make it so.  I think what it proves is that you can make stock any which way and it's not a big deal in outcome, it's just personal preference.  I have a friend who swears by her method of breaking the bones in the stock to release flavor.  I wouldn't dream of doing it as to me it only makes a dingy stock.

    The absurdity over the notion that uncovered pots let flavor escape still stands on my part.  I'm no scientist but I have a hard time believing that aroma carries flavor away.  The only way to reduce a liquid is to leave it uncovered, thereby concentrating the flavor.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  14. sjdthepcmd

    sjdthepcmd

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    The entire process of PC cooking is so that you can cook the food at higher temp without boiling the food to pieces, under pressure, forcing flavors into the food, while shortening cooking time. As far as making stock, gravy, soup, sauce, ect. you may, and probably will have to reduce the liquid in the PC after cooking to get the desired result. Here's another interesting question for you why do they have pressure fryers? Do you know?
     
  15. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97

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    I just wanted to post a picture of stock I made today.  Half chicken and half turkey done in a pressure cooker.  I am boiling it down but ladled some up to cover sliced turkey breast and was impressed with the clarity[​IMG]
     
  16. pcieluck

    pcieluck

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    Most people when making stock do not use nearly enough meat and or bones. It's unfortunately lead many to believe that home made is actually bland and store bought is better... it's actually kind of sad. the best batches of stock i've ever made have been with over 15 lbs of bones. most cases several left over chicken carcasses and some veal bones picked up from my butcher.  my stock is done over a very long period of time at very low heat. frequently skimmed of scum off the top.  like at least 12 hours.  if you dont have time for this, go ahead and pressure cook. but if your stock is bland it's not because of the technique.  it's a bunch of stuff simmered in water. What you put into it and how long you intend to spend nurturing it is all going to create a better end result.  If it's watery, consider that you need no more water what what covers the top of you heaping pile of roasted bones, meats, vegetables, herbs, spices, etc.  

    I am surprised by scubadoo's picture though.  I'd otherwise assume that stock in the pressure cooker will result similarly to my stock if I threw the lid on top, never skimmed the scum, and let it roll for a while. Dirty, cloudy, with some weird impurities suspended in it. But that actually looks pretty darn good.
     
  17. pcieluck

    pcieluck

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    For different batches or just one?  A common practice in stock making is the remouillage.  Basically to make stock, strain it out, then make stock again from the same meats and vegetables, then combine the two and reduce by at least half.  Personally though, I make stock with bones, mirepoix, spices and herbs. Strain, then repeat with meat, fresh vegetables, and new spices and herbs.  It makes a VERY rich end result, but it's all about how much you're willing to put into it.  Point is, though, what you're talking about can be and often is done.  
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  18. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97

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    Figured I'd add a couple more pictures of the stock when cooled. 

    Disclaimer:  I filter my stock through a colander lined with paper towels.  Amazingly the fat stays behind and does not pass through the paper.  I end up with stock which is quite clear, and I don't skim at all, low in fat and gels like jello.  I usually add about 3 lbs of bones and trimmings from breaking down chickens into my 6 qt pressure cooker and fill it about 3/4 of the way with water.  I know I pass the half way mark which is "unsafe" per the manufacture but I've never had a problem.  I end up with about 13-14 cups of stock.  I am always surprised by how clear the stock is when I never skim.  Just toss it all in, cover and bring it to pressure.  I always turn down the heat once I get to pressure to just maintain it and not have my over pressure valve spewing gobs of steam. Even before filtering it's is pretty clear but not as clear as in the picture above.  I figured we all have to filter through something to remove the bones and scraps

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
     
  19. pcieluck

    pcieluck

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    I'm not sure that halfway mark has to do with safety as much as effectiveness. If you fill up a pressure cooker really high, i'ts not dangerous but will won't have enough room for pressure to build. Really the opposite of dangerous. That's the usual case as I know, I wouldn't argue with the manufacturer though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  20. dcarch

    dcarch

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    There is an interesting way to concentrate stock I have read.

    Water boils (evaporates) at lower temperature under low pressure. Using low pressure (vacuum) you can boil away water without boiling away many kinds of flavor at 212 F temperature. Again, when you boil food, the whole house smells good, what is in the whole house that you smell is no longer in the food.

    Taste, smell, flavor are all related. It is not absurd.

    dcarch