My mom sent me a pressure cooker!
It was actually a wedding gift to my parents, so I guess it was new in 1985. But they never used it because my mom already had a pressure cooker… So I got it with the original packaging and everything! I’m not sure if it was ever even opened.
Pressure cookers reduce cooking time by ~3x (especially useful for beans). The weight on top of the steam vent builds pressure to 2 atm. This raises the boiling temperature of water to about 121°C (250°F), which causes food to cook faster. You can also use it as an autoclave!!
I recently learned that pressure cookers can’t actually explode, which makes me less nervous to use them. The worst that can happen is a steam explosion, in which case you’ll get steam burns. Still better than shrapnel, though.