Pressure Cookers?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Barefootgirl
Posts: 2152
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:05 pm

Pressure Cookers?

Post by Barefootgirl » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:23 am

I've noticed in certain healthful cooking articles, that pressure cookers are experiencing a resurgence.

The last pressure cooker I saw was in 1970, the one that left a mess of beans on my grandmother's kitchen ceiling.

Anyone try to use one of these beasts?

BFG
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.

User avatar
Sheepdog
Posts: 4796
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:05 pm
Location: Indiana, retired 1998 at age 65

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by Sheepdog » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:00 am

We used to have one years ago, like 1970 or so and my parents had one in the 50s. They are wonderful for fast cooking. Wonderful stews and roasts can be made in a relatively few minutes. (About 1 hour for a pot roast) They are great for a working couple. Years ago, many people stopped using them when there were reports of the safety valves not functioning properly, so the pressure cooker exploded. I imagine that today's cookers have superior safety valves and I imagine that you have to maintain them properly to keep them functional. Google "pressure cooker safety" or something like that.
People should not say everything they think. They should think about everything they say.

User avatar
Christine_NM
Posts: 2575
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:13 am
Location: New Mexico

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by Christine_NM » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:14 am

BFG -

Look at Farberware or Cuisinart pressure cookers on Amazon (or a store). I had a Farberware for a few years but tossed it when I retired. These don't use the stovetop, they have a built-in heating element and you plug the PC into a wall outlet like a rice cooker or coffeemaker.

The only drawback was that I was limited to instructions and recipes provided. I never felt comfortable experimenting -- you can't see what's happening inside and correct for mistakes the way you can with a saucepan.
10% cash 45% stock 45% bond. Retired, w/d rate 1.5%

texasdiver
Posts: 2284
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:50 am
Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by texasdiver » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:15 am

I have a Fagor 10 quart model I bought on amazon a few years ago. Superb piece of stainless steel kitchen technology made in Spain. But not cheap. I use it for a variety of beans, roasts, and stews. Basically anything one might cook in 8 hours in a slow cooker can be done in 20 minutes in a pressure cooker.

There are a variety of new models available today that are light years ahead of the old rattling aluminum kind that used to be sold decades ago.

I think pressure cookers are much more popular in other countries where fuel costs are much higher. Americans don't seem to use them so much. But there are some good new cookbooks devoted to pressure cooking. This one is good: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0764597264/

js2012
Posts: 118
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:13 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by js2012 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:03 pm

I have a Rikon Kuhn (sp) that is amazing. It truly was a game changer for me. Risotto and polenta are a cinch to make and really delicious. It speeds up cooking time and preserves all of the wonderful flavors of the food. I make corn on the cob, rice, lentil soups, and beans in mine and there are lots of wonderful resources on the internet on how to make cakes and other delicious things.

Definitely get a stainless steel brand (avoid aluminum) and if you have the money, invest in a quality piece that will last. My boyfriend has had his for almost 20 years and he cooks with it a lot. I have seen an electric pressure cooker that has different "levels" that allow you to make yogurt, but I like the stove top for myself.

The queen of pressure cooking is Lorna Sass and if you google her you can check out some of her recipes and/or videos to see how easy pressure cookers are to work with.

User avatar
William4u
Posts: 1260
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by William4u » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:11 pm

texasdiver wrote:I have a Fagor 10 quart model I bought on amazon a few years ago. Superb piece of stainless steel kitchen technology made in Spain. But not cheap. I use it for a variety of beans, roasts, and stews. Basically anything one might cook in 8 hours in a slow cooker can be done in 20 minutes in a pressure cooker.

There are a variety of new models available today that are light years ahead of the old rattling aluminum kind that used to be sold decades ago.

I think pressure cookers are much more popular in other countries where fuel costs are much higher. Americans don't seem to use them so much. But there are some good new cookbooks devoted to pressure cooking. This one is good: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0764597264/


+1 on the Fagor. Cooks Illustrated said it was a best buy.

I have the 6 and 10 quart models, and find the 6 quart is the best (much thicker steel)...
http://www.amazon.com/Fagor-Splendid-6- ... 0000717AU/

User avatar
gatorman
Posts: 2493
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:35 am
Location: The Swamp

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by gatorman » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:32 pm

We had one when I was a kid. My mom made many dishes I haven't had for years, chicken and dumplings, pot roast (I've had pot roast, but not her recipe) and stuffed cabbage are a few I remember. Thanks for posting, you brought back a lot of memories! I may buy one yet!
gatorman

madbrain
Posts: 4533
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by madbrain » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:36 pm

William4u wrote:
texasdiver wrote:I have a Fagor 10 quart model I bought on amazon a few years ago. Superb piece of stainless steel kitchen technology made in Spain. But not cheap. I use it for a variety of beans, roasts, and stews. Basically anything one might cook in 8 hours in a slow cooker can be done in 20 minutes in a pressure cooker.

There are a variety of new models available today that are light years ahead of the old rattling aluminum kind that used to be sold decades ago.

I think pressure cookers are much more popular in other countries where fuel costs are much higher. Americans don't seem to use them so much. But there are some good new cookbooks devoted to pressure cooking. This one is good: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0764597264/


+1 on the Fagor. Cooks Illustrated said it was a best buy.

I have the 6 and 10 quart models, and find the 6 quart is the best (much thicker steel)...
http://www.amazon.com/Fagor-Splendid-6- ... 0000717AU/


+1 on Fagor as well. I have a 6 quart for 8 years.
Combined with an induction cooktop, it's really a great and insanely fast cooking tool.

Edit: mine was made in Spain, but I believe they have moved some of their production to China since. This may explain the difference in steel thickness on the 10qt.

texasdiver
Posts: 2284
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:50 am
Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by texasdiver » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:53 pm

madbrain wrote:
William4u wrote:
texasdiver wrote:I have a Fagor 10 quart model I bought on amazon a few years ago. Superb piece of stainless steel kitchen technology made in Spain. But not cheap. I use it for a variety of beans, roasts, and stews. Basically anything one might cook in 8 hours in a slow cooker can be done in 20 minutes in a pressure cooker.

There are a variety of new models available today that are light years ahead of the old rattling aluminum kind that used to be sold decades ago.

I think pressure cookers are much more popular in other countries where fuel costs are much higher. Americans don't seem to use them so much. But there are some good new cookbooks devoted to pressure cooking. This one is good: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0764597264/


+1 on the Fagor. Cooks Illustrated said it was a best buy.

I have the 6 and 10 quart models, and find the 6 quart is the best (much thicker steel)...
http://www.amazon.com/Fagor-Splendid-6- ... 0000717AU/


+1 on Fagor as well. I have a 6 quart for 8 years.
Combined with an induction cooktop, it's really a great and insanely fast cooking tool.

Edit: mine was made in Spain, but I believe they have moved some of their production to China since. This may explain the difference in steel thickness on the 10qt.


I got the 10 quart with the idea of using it for ribs. It is OK for ribs and they take a lot of space. But in retrospect I'd probably get by with a smaller model for the other 98% of my cooking. Unless you have a specific need to get a huge one, go with a smaller one.

littlebird
Posts: 1268
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:05 pm
Location: Valley of the Sun, AZ

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by littlebird » Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:44 pm

I'm sure they've fixed this problem by now but . . . after using my 60's era pressure cooker ( got it as a premium for opening a bank account!!) for many years, I treated myself to a new "upgraded, updated" expensive Italian one about 20 years ago. Instead of the jiggling weight on a pointed valve, the new one had a plastic pop-up relief which, when the pot was held under the cold running water faucet to cool it as directed, allowed the cold water to run into the pot, ruining the meal. Takeaway: newer is not always better. I still occasionally use my 50 year old cheap aluminum Mirro brand pot, with an occasional new rubber gasket. Never a problem. :)

User avatar
dumbbunny
Posts: 797
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:00 pm
Location: Oregon coast

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by dumbbunny » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:12 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:The last pressure cooker I saw was in 1970, the one that left a mess of beans on my grandmother's kitchen ceiling.

I will guess from experience that the '70's event was operator error - probably didn't pre-soak the beans. Read the manual and measure well. I use a stainless steel pressure cooker. I think it is a Swedish model. It is packed away for the time being so I can't verify the brand.

I like to make kalua pork, pulled pork and chili in mine. When I homebrewed I canned starter wort in it.
“It’s the curse of old men to realize that in the end we control nothing." "Homeland" episode, "Gerontion"

User avatar
CABob
Posts: 4413
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:55 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by CABob » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:45 pm

We have a Cruisinart Electric and like it very much. Things that were difficult to get tender without "hours" of cooking time are now done to perfection in a much shorter time. Most common uses we have found are for stews, pot roast, swiss steak, beans, bean (and other) soup, and artichokes.
I recall my mother having a stove top pressure cooker years ago. The electrics with their timers etc. are a big improvement but I suppose even a stove top would work. It would just take more time to oversee to prevent the beans on the ceiling act.

We also recommend cookbooks and recipes especially made for electrics. We like some by Bob Warden.
Last edited by CABob on Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bob

LongerPrimer
Posts: 903
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:01 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by LongerPrimer » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:53 pm

"Instant Pot" about $130 . Faster than crock pot. Can be used as rice cooker, slow cooker, or pressure cooker. Electronic control.

Barefootgirl
Posts: 2152
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by Barefootgirl » Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:09 am

One thing I've noticed about low and slow cooking in the oven or countertop slow cooker is that an extended cooking time seems to be key in developing depth of flavor.

With these pressure cooking devices, does the pressure - rather than time - allow flavor to develop? how does flavor compare?

BFG
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.

User avatar
bertilak
Posts: 5705
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:23 pm
Location: East of the Pecos, West of the Mississippi

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by bertilak » Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:57 pm

We bought this one a whie back: http://www.amazon.com/Fagor-Rapida-Stai ... 004HOS3U4/

Fagor has several pressure cooker lines and that, the Fagor Rapida line, is their most basic (I think). Even so, it is very well made and works perfectly for us.

That particular combination kit is quite nice since it has two sizes AND has a non-pressure, glass, lid so both pots can be used as conventional pots. Very handy.

I recommend it.
Listen very carefully. I shall say this only once. (There! I've said it.)

User avatar
dumbbunny
Posts: 797
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:00 pm
Location: Oregon coast

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by dumbbunny » Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:25 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:One thing I've noticed about low and slow cooking in the oven or countertop slow cooker is that an extended cooking time seems to be key in developing depth of flavor. With these pressure cooking devices, does the pressure - rather than time - allow flavor to develop? how does flavor compare?
BFG

IMHO it's the seasonings you use that determine flavor. Pressure and/or time have an effect on the tenderness.
“It’s the curse of old men to realize that in the end we control nothing." "Homeland" episode, "Gerontion"

bigfun
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:58 am

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by bigfun » Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:29 pm

+1 for reading Lorna Sass. If you want to get an idea of what to expect, pick up a few of her books from the library, and you'll be amazed at what you can do.

I like to control the salt in my food so the ability to quickly cook dried beans, etc. is great.

Statch
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:23 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by Statch » Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:47 pm

I use the electric Cuisinart and like it quite a bit. I've stopped using a crockpot at all because of it. I make a veggie stock every week. When I first got the pressure cooker, I made the same recipe in it (cooked for 15 minutes at high pressure) and the crockpot. The pressure cooker version was far superior -- much more flavorful. I use it to cook dried beans, chilis and stews, mashed potatoes (cook the potatoes + 1/2 cup hot water for 9 minutes).

Be aware, though, that the stated cooking times for recipes does NOT include the time required to get up to full pressure or natural pressure release. (Some recipes call for allowing pressure to release naturally, which can take quite some time, versus manually releasing it, which just takes a minute or so.) Because of that, I don't find there's a significant time savings over stovetop cooking for most things but the pressure cooker time is hands-free (i.e., don't/can't keep checking it). It also has a 'keep warm' feature.

It took me a couple of tries to use it without fear but I have found (don't ask how) that it won't work if you don't have it set right. Mine is simple to use too. A tip: don't use it under a cabinet, as the pressure (manual or natural) releases steam from the top.

jdb
Posts: 1242
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:21 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by jdb » Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:16 am

And I thought from the title of the post that it was a query about a work environment like one I used to be in.

Mitchell777
Posts: 841
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 6:32 am

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by Mitchell777 » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:18 am

gatorman wrote:We had one when I was a kid. My mom made many dishes I haven't had for years, chicken and dumplings, pot roast (I've had pot roast, but not her recipe) and stuffed cabbage are a few I remember. Thanks for posting, you brought back a lot of memories! I may buy one yet!
gatorman

I have the same memories as a kid. In fact I still have the same pressure cooker. Sadly my mom can no longer explain to me how to use it and i'm afraid of the thing. I still can hear that loud noise of steam coming from it

bhsince87
Posts: 1415
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by bhsince87 » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:23 pm

I've been using them for at least 20 years, and never had a problem. So, yes, I am a fan!

We have 3, and use them several times per week. Two are cheap jiggle tops. One is 6 qt, the other 12 qt. The 6 qt (stainless steel) gets used probably 5X more than the large one (aluminum), but it's nice to have the extra capacity now and then.

I don't recall the brand names, but just about any of the manufactured in the past 15-20 years will have multiple safety systems.

We also have an electric combo pressure cooker/smoker. It's an interesting device for sure. Not like a traditional smoker at all, but it can create some tasty dishes in a hurry.

I am considering adding yet another pressure cooker to the mix. Some of the newest units use a technique that greatly reduces the amount of steam that escapes during cooking. This can make recipes more consistent, and some folks claim they can trap more volatile taste and odor compounds that can escape along with the steam in the the jiggle top models.
BH87

User avatar
patriciamgr2
Posts: 774
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:06 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by patriciamgr2 » Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:37 pm

OP: you asked about flavor. One of the advantages, IMO, to a stovetop pressure cooker (vs. slow cooker) is that you can use the same pot to (1) brown protein; and (2) saute aromatics (like onions & garlic) & also bloom spices (dry or in a scant amount of oil), before the main cooking begins. That will help develop flavor. Pressure itself seems, as another poster noted, to change the texture of food rather than flavor it (notwithstanding all of the claims about food being "infused" by flavor).

I heat the liquid in the microwave while I'm browning the chicken or meat. Because I tend to use frozen homemade stock, it's not really an extra step & it seems to shorten the time for the cooker to reach pressure (that's when you start measuring cooking times). Personally, unless a recipe would involve >30 mins conventionally, I haven't found the pressure cooker saves significant time. But, it's great for winter squash/stews/soups/turkey breast/stock, etc. Proteins that might be dry (poultry) or tough (leaner, cheaper cuts of meat) if cooked quickly in conventional oven or on the stovetop benefit from pressure cooking. It also keeps the kitchen from being overheated in warm weather.

In terms of health benefits, I believe I read that steaming veggies quickly in small amounts of liquid retained more nutrients than slow cooking or pressure cooking. I tend to steam or stir fry w/stock unless the veg requires a long cooking period. One buying tip: some brands feature interchangeable bases--so that you don't have to buy a new pressure lid if you decide you need a different size base pan (6 qt is what most people start with) later on. If you have any thoughts of canning, check your local extension service guides on what size is needed for that. I've never been that motivated; I just use reusable heat-sealed bags to freeze extras of e.g. soup.

User avatar
family_doc
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:00 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by family_doc » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:20 am

my two cents.

I purchased a Fissler 8.5 quart Vitaquick pressure cooker two years ago. Revolutionary! My thoughts on this since I purchased it.

I believe Fissler is considered the "Cadillac" of pressure cookers. It is produced by a German company. I believe they invented the pressure cooker over 100 years ago. Although this is not being exactly "Boglehead-ish", when I cook I tend to buy top-of-the-line items, and only by them once. My wife and I had a mid grade Fagor pressure cooker, and gave it to her mother-in-law. They've been happy with that gift.

The Fissler that I bought is built like a tank. Very heavy. High quality. Besides pressure cooking, the one half inch aluminum disk's swaged to the bottom make it very difficult to burn and scorch items if you use this as a conventional pot. My wife and I also have an induction cooktop, and the Fissler is induction ready, so temperature control with great precision as possible.

Pressure cooking is wonderful! Speeds up cooking tremendously; traditional Milanese Parmesan risotto is possible in eight minutes, start to finish! Sure beats 1 1/4 hours of constant stirring on the stovetop! Vegetables cooked insanely fast. Chicken soup, starting with a whole chicken, is unbelievable! Cooking times are markedly reduced; more energy-efficient in the summertime; I believe that the food taste better!

My wife and I will certainly use this cooking implement implement forever. No compromises here. Downside is fairly significant cost,, but it is only a one-time purchase.

BTW, there are no safety concerns now with the newer stainless steel pressure cookers. The old stories of grandma's pressure cooker exploding and decorating your ceiling with a tomato product are long gone. The newer modern pressure cookers have three different sets of release valves; it is impossible to make them explode. One may argue the cost, but I would rather have a one-time, lifelong, well purchased acquisition rather than a series of acquisitions throughout my lifetime.

Just my two cents.

With kindest regards,

family_doc

panzer
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:43 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by panzer » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:46 am

Use one 2-3x per day for years. I really don't understand how they were never in the mainstream. I mean, they are affordable and reduce the time of cooking exponentially, not too mention makes food more flavorful IMO.

If you're starting out, look for an electric one. InstantPot is a good starter.

dolphinsaremammals
Posts: 2094
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:18 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by dolphinsaremammals » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:31 am

panzer wrote: I really don't understand how they were never in the mainstream.


Too many of us saw the tomato sauce on the ceiling effect when our parents used them when we were kids.

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 34350
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by nisiprius » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:34 am

panzer wrote:Use one 2-3x per day for years. I really don't understand how they were never in the mainstream. I mean, they are affordable and reduce the time of cooking exponentially, not too mention makes food more flavorful IMO.

If you're starting out, look for an electric one. InstantPot is a good starter.
They were in the mainstream. I think microwave ovens created heavy competition with regard to cooking speed. And I do think the use of pressure cookers in the Boston Marathon bombing is likely to make them less unpopular, deservedly or not.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

an_asker
Posts: 1922
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:15 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by an_asker » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:38 am

dolphinsaremammals wrote:
panzer wrote: I really don't understand how they were never in the mainstream.


Too many of us saw the tomato sauce on the ceiling effect when our parents used them when we were kids.

Please don't blame the utensil. It is called Pressure Cooker for a reason! :oops:

Don't know about other countries, but these are/were pretty popular in India (though I have no idea how much of a market share they've lost to microwaves).

User avatar
Epsilon Delta
Posts: 6568
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:00 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:12 pm

an_asker wrote:Don't know about other countries, but these are/were pretty popular in India (though I have no idea how much of a market share they've lost to microwaves).


I believe there are something like 400 million Indians without electricity. A pressure cooker is well suited to third world conditions. Relatively cheap and saves a lot of fuel, giving a pretty high return on investment.

User avatar
dodecahedron
Posts: 3216
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:28 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by dodecahedron » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:18 pm

nisiprius wrote:
panzer wrote:Use one 2-3x per day for years. I really don't understand how they were never in the mainstream. I mean, they are affordable and reduce the time of cooking exponentially, not too mention makes food more flavorful IMO.

If you're starting out, look for an electric one. InstantPot is a good starter.
They were in the mainstream. I think microwave ovens created heavy competition with regard to cooking speed. And I do think the use of pressure cookers in the Boston Marathon bombing is likely to make them less unpopular, deservedly or not.


Agreed that microwaves pretty much killed off pressure cookers. As a child, I was terrified of the one my mother used, though I am sure it was eminently practical at the time. (Pre-microwave days and we had no air conditioning in a swampy southern climate, so anything you could do to reduce the time the kitchen was heating up was a great thing.) And now the Boston Marathon associations are too traumatizing for me to consider them. I like my convection oven and slowcooker. And in the summer, I love salads.

an_asker
Posts: 1922
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:15 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by an_asker » Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:36 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:
an_asker wrote:Don't know about other countries, but these are/were pretty popular in India (though I have no idea how much of a market share they've lost to microwaves).


I believe there are something like 400 million Indians without electricity. A pressure cooker is well suited to third world conditions. Relatively cheap and saves a lot of fuel, giving a pretty high return on investment.

I would go out on a limb and say that a majority of those in India who have a pressure cooker would also have access to electricity; however, I doubt if all of them could afford a microwave oven.

panzer
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:43 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by panzer » Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:17 pm

I never considered the pressure cooker and a microwave the same thing. Then again, I use a microwave only to heat up food I already made. Whereas a pressure cooker, I'm making soups, pilafs, legumes.. cooking multi-grain breakfasts, steaming vegetables - never really tried to cook in anything in a microwave, although I'm sure half of what I just mentioned would work.

User avatar
CABob
Posts: 4413
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:55 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by CABob » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:42 pm

panzer wrote:I never considered the pressure cooker and a microwave the same thing.

Then a pressure cooker for the microwave should really confuse you.
QVC link
:twisted:
Bob

User avatar
Higman
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:51 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by Higman » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:25 pm

We have a Duromatic by Kuhn Rikon. It is well made and is just right for certain dishes. However, be aware that it is a pain to use if you have an electric burner stove. You will need to buy a heat diffuser or else be constantly changing the burner setting to keep constant pressure in the pot. We also bought Pressure Perfect cookbook by Lorna Saas.

jdb
Posts: 1242
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:21 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by jdb » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:52 pm

FWIW: My experience is that most Americans born in postwar era (war being WWII, not Vietnam) have scary memories of these strange appliances used by their mothers. I still wouldn't go near one. But sure they are useful.

dolphinsaremammals
Posts: 2094
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:18 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by dolphinsaremammals » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:32 pm

jdb wrote:FWIW: My experience is that most Americans born in postwar era (war being WWII, not Vietnam) have scary memories of these strange appliances used by their mothers. I still wouldn't go near one. But sure they are useful.


Actually it was my Dad who was using the pressure cooker when I was traumatized for life :-)

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 34350
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by nisiprius » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:49 pm

panzer wrote:I never considered the pressure cooker and a microwave the same thing. Then again, I use a microwave only to heat up food I already made. Whereas a pressure cooker, I'm making soups, pilafs, legumes...
Funny, I could have sworn that my old Presto manual warned NOT to cook anything thick or pasty like legumes, because it could splash into the vent and block it...
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

js2012
Posts: 118
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:13 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by js2012 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:37 pm

@nisiparius, You do have to be careful cooking some items like beans and rice which may foam, thus blocking the valve. However, the solution to that is to add some oil to your pot, which helps to prevent foaming.

Someone above mentioned the newer models allowing water into the pot when it's placed under cold running water. This is an easy fix, simply hold the water stream so it's not coming directly down the middle, where the valve is. I have a Kuhn Ricon model with the same top that is described. I simply have the water go down a third or so of the lid, it cools down very quickly and excess water doesn't go into my meal.

As I mentioned before, I have a stovetop model (I also have a gas stove, which is a lot easier to use PCs with, in my opinion). They are a lot of fun to have and can really help to expand your repertoire if you feel like you don't have time to fix risottos and polentas. Go to youtube and check out Lorna Sass.

cheesepep
Posts: 705
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:58 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by cheesepep » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:05 pm

I own a pressure cooker and I'm scared of it.

I'm always afraid that it will blow up on me. Simple. I use it sometimes, but not as often as I would like. I prefer to use a slow cooker. Nice and easy.

js2012
Posts: 118
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:13 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by js2012 » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:57 am


User avatar
Hexdump
Posts: 1610
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:28 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by Hexdump » Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:19 am

We have been toying with the idea of trying one of these and based upon this thread, we ordered one today.
After tons of research we settled on the Fagor and got a heck of a price at Opensky.com.
The Fagor was the 2nd in line at cooksillustrated.com. after a Fissler which was a lot of $$$
By signing up at Opensky we got a $20.00 credit in addition to a 20% discount.
It was interesting in that they are now marketing a colored Fagor cooker, and emphasizing that it is made in Spain.
The presumed made in China is a lot cheaper.

I get to pick what will be the 1st thing cooked.

User avatar
PaddyMac
Posts: 1424
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:29 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by PaddyMac » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:32 am

I bought an Instant Pot recently and find it useful. It makes the best soft boiled potatoes without them going to mush. What I really value though (not sure if anyone mentioned it) is the "set it and forget it" aspect: You add the water and potatoes (say), set the time, and walk away. It heats up, runs for that number of minutes, then cools down and stays warm.

Previously when boiling anything on the stove, I had to babysit it. Potatoes boiling over created a mess on the stovetop, etc. It is easy to overcook things though, so might need to keep notes (I write notes in the manual).

panzer
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:43 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by panzer » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:57 am

PaddyMac wrote:Previously when boiling anything on the stove, I had to babysit it. Potatoes boiling over created a mess on the stovetop, etc. It is easy to overcook things though, so might need to keep notes (I write notes in the manual).


Also, with out electric pressure cooker we went from cooking 1-3 hrs on a gas stove each day, sometimes 2 or even 3x/day to ~6 to ~20 minutes in a standard AC outlet. Our gas bill plummeted and we found an extra hour or three each day in our lives. We could have just bought processed junk or ordered in to reclaim that time but we have a pretty specific diet and we are uber frugal.

Barefootgirl
Posts: 2152
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by Barefootgirl » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:02 pm

Would love to know some of your favorite recipes for the Instant Pot....I try to stick to whole foods as well, as they come in natures package lol

BFG
How many retired people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Only one, but he takes all day.

lululu
Posts: 1378
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:23 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by lululu » Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:06 am



I watched the whole video, but, alas, nothing blew up :D

For more reality (parental guidance for language, particularly in the last ten seconds.) It presumably doesn't need saying how many things were done unsafely in this video, and how lucky the people were:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA369GWrVRo
Last edited by lululu on Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

lululu
Posts: 1378
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:23 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by lululu » Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:09 am

PaddyMac wrote:Previously when boiling anything on the stove, I had to babysit it. Potatoes boiling over created a mess on the stovetop, etc.


This is the main reason I don't do enough actual cooking. NordicWare has come slightly to my rescue with microwave utensils like their boiled egg thing, which is foolproof and only requires that I set a timer to remind me that it's done.

gronkman
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:50 pm
Location: Washington DC

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by gronkman » Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:28 am

We have a Kuhn Rikon, and as someone said it's a game changer. No more scary hissing or whistling tops, and it feels well made.

The main drawback is that it weighs a ton, similar to enameled cast iron.

plantingourpennies
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:28 pm

Re: Pressure Cookers?

Post by plantingourpennies » Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:03 am

Lots of people in the frugality blogospheres use Pressure Cookers-they're very efficient and the meals can be quite inexpensive.

http://earlyretirementextreme.com/a-tri ... ooker.html

My wife has an "Instant Pot" and uses it 3-4 times a week.

Best,
Mr. PoP

Post Reply