Free online class on electric pressure cookers

Rice with meat and vegetables prepared in multi cooker (Photo: iStock - Nature, food, landscape, travel)

The University of Wyoming Extension has released a free online course on how to use electric pressure cookers to prepare healthy, inexpensive meals.

“Today, food costs are more expensive and everyone’s budgets are tighter,” says Kali McCrackin Goodenough, manager of UW Extension’s Cent$ible Nutrition Program (CNP). “Using an electric pressure cooker can decrease the amount of active time to cook dinner, which may mean cooking from scratch more often. It can also be less expensive than buying fast food or convenience foods.”

Red beans and rice prepared using an electric pressure cooker. Photo courtesy of UW Extension’s Cent$ible Nutrition Program.
Red beans and rice prepared using an electric pressure cooker. Photo courtesy of UW Extension’s Cent$ible Nutrition Program.

The online course, which is approximately an hour long, introduces the device’s components and settings, then demonstrates how to safely operate and clean it. An e-booklet with budget-friendly recipes adapted for electric pressure cookers is also provided.

“Using an electric pressure cooker can be a little intimidating at first,” says Wendy Nielson, a CNP educator based in Sweetwater County. “The information that is taught in the class is a great resource for folks wanting to learn how to safely use it.”

The self-paced course is designed with Wyoming cooks in mind, using recipes from CNP’s signature cookbook and explaining how to adjust other recipes for higher altitude locations. “It’s tailored to people who haven’t used an electric pressure cooker before, but also to the realities of living and cooking in Wyoming,” McCrackin Goodenough explains.

The CNP team initially developed the “Wyoming Under Pressure” course in response to a need articulated by food pantries across the state. Dry beans, which are an inexpensive, healthy source of protein, were sitting on food pantry shelves untouched. While nutritious and cost effective, dry beans are notorious for requiring hours of prep time.

CNP, which serves Wyoming residents facing food insecurity, responded by expanding its hands-on cooking and nutrition curriculum to include a class on electric pressure cookers. Recognizing that these devices may not be affordable for the people with limited resources, CNP staff secured external funding from Wyoming Hunger Initiative, Farm Credit Services of America, and other sources to provide electric pressure cookers to CNP-eligible participants who completed the in-person course.

UW Extension’s new online class is open to the general public as well as CNP participants. “When we realized how many people were unsure of how to use their electric pressure cooker, we wanted to open the course to the public,” comments McCrackin Goodenough. “We’re part of extension and it’s nice to be able to share the course more widely.”

To view the online course, visit