Pressure cookers have the ability to produce tasty and tender meals in a much shorter time compared to conventional cooking methods. Pressure cookers do this by creating a high atmospheric pressure in the pressure cooker that then traps water and steam that reach temperatures that are way higher than the boiling point of water. Like traditional cooking methods, the tenderness of your meat will depend on the cut that you choose to use as well as whether the meat has been stored for short or extended periods.
Which cuts of beef are best for pressure cooking?
Some cuts of beef are already more tender to begin with than others. Other cuts, especially those that contain chewy connective tissues are tougher and will require longer cooking periods to prepare fully. The connective tissue that is found in beef is usually made from collagen which is broken down when exposed to heat.
When cooked properly and efficiently, these connective tissues can make the beef rich and moist instead of being tough and chewy. A pressure cooker is one of the best tools for melting these connective tissues and is therefore the best to use when dealing with tougher cuts of meat.
The best cuts of beef for pressure cooking
The chuck one of the primal cuts of beef and is acquired from the shoulder, neck, as well as the upper arm muscles. The chuck has lots of fatty layers and connective tissue with plenty of flavour to offer. Because of the fatty layer and connective tissue, the chuck is a great choice for stews.
Short ribs are found on the underside area of the cow which is commonly known as the plate. Short ribs may not have as much meat as the chuck but they offer a rich beefy flavour and even grain that is consistent.
Sirloin is acquired from the front part of the hind legs. Sometimes sirloin comes attached to T-bone steaks but most butcheries sell the two parts separately. Sirloin can be used for grilling or any other cooking method that calls for dry heat, but it also produces great results in stews as well. Sirloin typically has a tender texture with a little chewiness to it.
Oxtails are some of the most delicious cuts of beef. Oxtails come jampacked with gelatin and fat and a whole lot of flavour. Every cross section of oxtail has a bone in the middle that is filled with marrow and as it cooks, the rendered fat from the marrow will seep out, covering the meat with a deep and lovely flavour. You can choose to keep the bones or discard them after pulling the meat off the bones. Oxtails take long to cook, so they are the perfect candidates for pressure cookers.
Brisket is usually acquired from the breast area of the cow and it can be braised easily using a pressure cooker or roasted over an open flame. Brisket cuts come in 2 parts, a lean and a fattier cut. One of the best things about briskets is that they are easy to cook with and after a few minutes in a pressure cooker, they will produce moist and tender results.