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Pressure Cooker

Once lauded as beacons of culinary convenience, pressure cookers fell out of favor as prepackaged foods began filling grocery store aisles and frozen, microwavable meals became de rigueur in homes across America. In fact, many generation Xers and Millennials grew up not really knowing what a pressure cooker does, though fans of competition cooking shows can't miss their integral role on programs like Top Chef. Forced to innovate under severe time crunches, the wiliest contestants use pressure cookers to beat the clock, creating tender braises and flavor-packed stocks in the space of an hour while their panicky cohorts tinker with oven temps and stovetop burners, praying for a miracle.