• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Chris Amirault

Pressure Cookers: 2011 and beyond

508 posts in this topic

I have a 5 liter (6 quart) cooker, and the instructions say it should be filled *no more* than 2/3rds full at the max. When you factor in the space taken up with bones and veggies and whatnot, I'd say the max amount of stock you could make in it would be 3 quarts, and that's probably pushing it -- maybe more like 2.5...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ANother vote here for Kuhn Rikon they don't vent like other preasure cookers so keep all the flavours inside...

Can someone explain this? It can't be true, right? Any extra heat that is inputed into the pressure cooker after it's reached the max pressure is going to make steam, which must be vented to prevent overpressure, right?

Having never owned one, I can't answer this definitively, but the way I read the link I posted above, it sounds like most models of pressure cooker vent when they reach the desired pressure. The Kuhn Rikon, by contrast, simply indicates that it's reached the desired pressure, and you prevent it from going over by moderating the heat. Obviously, if you let the pressure get out of hand, it will eventually vent for safety reasons. At least, that's how I understand it.

Edit: As far as the volume of stock goes, I wonder if the smaller size can be offset by the fact that it takes less time to cook this way. So you may not make as much, but you can make it more often. Heck, it sounds like I could make three batches of pressure-cooked stock back-to-back in the time it would take me to make one batch of stock at atmospheric pressure.


Edited by mkayahara (log)

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ermintrude or anyone,

On the Kuon Rucor.. or on any of the pressure cookers!! How do you know the vent is not clogged by liquids perking through ?

Curious.

This has me interested in one!! I do a fair amount of canning and make all my own stocks usually.. What is a good universal size?

Paul


Edited by Paul Bacino (log)

Its good to have Morels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to throw another factor into my decision-making process, I just noticed that the 8-litre stockpot-style pressure cooker would be cheaper for me than the 7-litre saucepan-style one. Is there really any difference between the two styles? Or am I really paying less money and getting more volume?


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Fissler pressure cooker that I have has the same kind of spring-loaded pressurizing system. It doesn't release steam constantly the way an old jiggler-type pressure cooker does...but if you overheat it A LOT, you will see steam coming out the quick-release valve on the handle. However, to be honest I've started working and forgotten about turning it down, without having any problems (not that I recommend it!).

I have once or twice allowed the valve to get clogged by cooking several things in succession without cleaning the valve area thoroughly enough. When that happened, the cooker simply failed to come up to pressure...in other words, the error was on the side of safety rather than risk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I work for University of Missouri Extension--my office spends a lot of time answering canning questions. According to USDA, if you want to use a pressure cooker for canning, it must be large enough to hold at least 4 standard quart jars. The reason: timing, not only temperature, is considered for canning recipes. If you use a smaller pressure cooker, it will not take enough time to heat the contents to the proper temperature. Just trying to keep you all safe!!

University of Georgia's canning website--everything you need to know to can safely!!

If you want to can--go for the big canners. They hold 7 quart jars, and if you want to make stock, you have enough room to make a decent batch. Mine holds 16 quarts of water, so you have 8 or 9 quarts of space for stock, when you fill it half full. There are double decker canners that will hold 14 quart jars--don't know the capacity of those.


sparrowgrass

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got an old SEB that looks a lot like this one, and one of these.

The SEB has a weight with three holes, that lets you choose low, medium, and high pressures; when it starts venting, I just turn down the heat until it just quits venting. I check it by touching the weight; if its almost at pressure, the lightest touch will cause it to vent.

It would be easy to mount a replacement gage for the All-American to any pressure cooker. Drill & tap a hole for the gage, and seal it with teflon pipe tape. If the lid is too thin to seal well, put a backing nut sealed with silicone rubber aquarium cement(its non toxic - anything leaching out would kill the fish) on the stem. You could then adjust the heat to achieve any ventless pressure you wanted below the venting pressure, and the weight vent would act as a safety relief.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another happy Kuhn Rikon user here. We have something like this set and all the parts get regular use - the glass lid is useful for seeing what's going on while bringing up to temperature, the small pan does a great pressure braise and is an effective saute pan, while the larger pan makes stock from a couple of good sized poultry carcases, or meals for six. I haven't found myself wishing for a larger size, but I'm rarely cooking for large numbers - more a case of cooking for the freezer, and if needed we do have big conventional stockpots.

mkayahara's understanding of the KR vent system is essentially correct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if this really fits in this topic but a new appliance, combining a pressure cooker and a smoker will be available in a couple of weeks.

Today's email from Hammacher Schlemmer touted "the best two slice toaster" and when I went to the web page there were other appliances, one of which was this.

"The Only Indoor Pressure Smoker."

Sounds intriguing, doesn't it?


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ermintrude or anyone,

On the Kuon Rucor.. or on any of the pressure cookers!! How do you know the vent is not clogged by liquids perking through ?

The Kuhn Rikon uses a spring loaded valve, as the pressure inside increases the valve is pushed up against the resistance of the spring. When 1 red bar is showing the pressure is >=5PSI when 2 red bands are showing the pressure is 15PSI by regulating the heat the correct pressure is obtained without venting steam. If heat is not regulated eventually the spring valve will reach the position where it will start to vent. In addition for extra safety there is a secondary valve that will vent if maximum pressure is exceeded. The Kuhn Rikon website may help in understanding how this works

This page How is the DUROMATIC pressure cooker different from my Grandmother's? from thier FAQ also gives a good explanation

And finally, to answer your question "How do you know the vent is not clogged by liquids perking through" unless you go over pressure then there is no venting of liquids so the vent will not clog. If it does vent due to over pressure or overfilling then you need to clean the valve

Also I found the blog where they looked how different pressure cookers changed the results when making stock HERE

Hope that helps


Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Pressure Cooker question I'd love some feedback on. I had never used a pressure cooker or even seen one being used other than through edited video clips but after reading enough great things about them I took the plunge and bought a Kuhn Rikon 12qt Family style stockpot pressure cooker last week.

What I expected based on this being a higher end pressure cooker was that it would be relatively quiet, at least once it hits the right pressure, and that it would hold pressure on a lowish flame. My expectation was based on what I've read, not seen so I'm not exactly sure if I have a real problem or just a problem with expectations.

What I have experienced in my two attempts (chicken stock at 1 red line and baby back ribs at the 2nd red line so high pressure) was that there was a slightly loud steamy noise throughout the entire cooking process that was loud enough to hear upstairs or pretty much anywhere in my home if I listened carefully. Once it hit pressure the sound never went away - in fact nothing really changed. Some steam was visible but not a whole lot and there was a little bit of water spitting out from under that plate that surrounds the pressure valve. I had to keep the heat at medium high to keep high pressure - if I lowered it to low or medium low it would quickly lose pressure. This is a Viking Professional range so low heat seems like it should have been ok. Does this all sound relatively normal or should I be returning it / cleaning the valve / something else? Could it be because the PC is very large? I so clean and reseat the gasket each time making sure it is in right but same issue.

Thanks,

rg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well after years of owning two or more pressure cookers and rarely making use of them, I am a convert. In the past I have on occasion tried to get over my fear of something that sounds like a boiler about to explode but the fear factor usually won after one or two attempts at cooking something. But now I have found the perfect pairing – pressure cooker + induction hob! The pressure comes up very quickly and then is easily controlled by the precision of induction. No more sounds of an imminent explosion. I can maintain the pressure easily with almost no escaping steam. In addition, the ability to set the induction hob timer means an extra level of safety as the heat source will shut off at the set time.

Presently I am using the Lagostina with the thin stainless lid that locks under the rim of the vessel and have turned out a number of chicken stocks and a very presentable beef stew. I want to expand my repertoire though and am hoping that all the pressure cooker owners who have contributed to this topic will share their favourite recipes and uses for this appliance.

I know one can google for recipes and that there are sites devoted to pressure cooking but they are not all that reliable and I prefer to hear from other eG members about their successes.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I expected based on this being a higher end pressure cooker was that it would be relatively quiet, at least once it hits the right pressure, and that it would hold pressure on a lowish flame. My expectation was based on what I've read, not seen so I'm not exactly sure if I have a real problem or just a problem with expectations.

It is always hard to line up expectations and your experience with what "should" happen. First, go look at this video and pop forward to about 3:30. When people say the KR is very quiet and doesn't put out steam, that is what they are comparing to.

On the low-heat thing, it may well be due to the size of the cooker; 12 qt is pretty good. Compare your experience with the video, and you should get an idea if you are much much quieter and less steamy then that. If not, then your cooker could be defective (but it isn't likely, but of course not at all impossible)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I expected based on this being a higher end pressure cooker was that it would be relatively quiet, at least once it hits the right pressure, and that it would hold pressure on a lowish flame. My expectation was based on what I've read, not seen so I'm not exactly sure if I have a real problem or just a problem with expectations.

It is always hard to line up expectations and your experience with what "should" happen. First, go look at this video and pop forward to about 3:30. When people say the KR is very quiet and doesn't put out steam, that is what they are comparing to.

On the low-heat thing, it may well be due to the size of the cooker; 12 qt is pretty good. Compare your experience with the video, and you should get an idea if you are much much quieter and less steamy then that. If not, then your cooker could be defective (but it isn't likely, but of course not at all impossible)

WOW - that is the style of pressure cooker I have and mine is nowhere near as noisy or as steamy. It is only necessary to keep the pressure indicator "popped up" to maintain pressure. I think this lady is trying to make her new technology pressure cooker sound and act like the old kind with the jiggling weight.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I expected based on this being a higher end pressure cooker was that it would be relatively quiet, at least once it hits the right pressure, and that it would hold pressure on a lowish flame. My expectation was based on what I've read, not seen so I'm not exactly sure if I have a real problem or just a problem with expectations.

It is always hard to line up expectations and your experience with what "should" happen. First, go look at this video and pop forward to about 3:30. When people say the KR is very quiet and doesn't put out steam, that is what they are comparing to.

On the low-heat thing, it may well be due to the size of the cooker; 12 qt is pretty good. Compare your experience with the video, and you should get an idea if you are much much quieter and less steamy then that. If not, then your cooker could be defective (but it isn't likely, but of course not at all impossible)

Thanks for the feedback, mine is very loud. Comparable to that youtube video, maybe louder. I just did a test where I put in 4 cups of water, brought to high pressure then lowered the heat slightly to keep it so that the second red line was just completely visible and let it "cook" for 10 minutes. I did a quick release using the button / valve and when I remeasured there was just under 2 cups remaining... That explains why my ribs burnt after all liquids evaporated a couple of days ago! Maybe I'm doing something horribly wrong but it seems pretty simple. Make sure the gasket is in properly, put in the water, seal the lid, bring to high pressure and set timer. I got a response from Kuhn Rikon support and they said "It's also possible that butanes need to be lowered, I have had this happen to other customers with professional gas ranges."??

Unless someone has some other ideas I'll have to bring this back and get it replaced I suppose.

Thanks,

rg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

....

Unless someone has some other ideas I'll have to bring this back and get it replaced I suppose.

Thanks,

rg

It sounds to me as if you are keeping the heat too high. Once it has reached pressure it should need very little to keep it there. If you are losing 50% of your water in 10 mins then something is wrong either with the vessel or with the heat level. I would test it again with 4 cups of water and keep lowering the heat until the pressure level drops. Note where that is in relation to your heat level and then try again with just a bit more heat until you discover the perfect heat level to maintain the pressure but nothing more. I hope you get more suggestions from others who have much more experience with pressure cookers than I have.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds to me as if you are keeping the heat too high. Once it has reached pressure it should need very little to keep it there.

I think that's at the core of the problem. If I drop the heat below medium-high the pressure drops almost immediately so i need to keep the heat cranked up to keep high pressure which then evaporates the cooking liquid making it even harder to keep pressure. Difficulty holding pressure sounds like a leak problem I guess? I wish I knew more about these things but I think I'm getting closer to a solution.

One other thing I noticed is that under the protection cap there is a lot of liquid accumulating. I tried the pressure cook water test again but with the cap off to see if I could spot the leak and the water and steam is escaping through the small holes all around the metal casing (valve socket) well before the pressure cap even gets to the first red line or even starts moving.

Thanks for all of the help and info

rg


Edited by roygon (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second the Fagor Duo...Love my pressure cooker.

Black Eyed Peas, Beans, Chickpeas are all regular meals. It's hard to believe how quick they cook!

Stock - just awesome to make stock with this....

But the real eye opener is making curry. You can get the meat super tender but still complete and not falling apart.

Luke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A thought about size: I bought a 4.5 liter size (4-5 quarts,is that?) because I thought that was the largest I could deal with in a Japanese-sized kitchen. If I'd been in a western country, I might have bought a larger size, but I'm glad I didn't. I don't really want to make gallons and gallons of stock to get old and tasteless in the freezer - one good thing about the pressure cooker is that making a fresh, tasty stock only takes 40-60 minutes tops.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A thought about size: I bought a 4.5 liter size (4-5 quarts,is that?) because I thought that was the largest I could deal with in a Japanese-sized kitchen. If I'd been in a western country, I might have bought a larger size, but I'm glad I didn't. I don't really want to make gallons and gallons of stock to get old and tasteless in the freezer - one good thing about the pressure cooker is that making a fresh, tasty stock only takes 40-60 minutes tops.

You make an excellent point, Helen. We tend to get into a thought rut about stock since it used to take a long time, we felt the need to make gallons. With a pressure cooker that does not make nearly as much sense.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another fan of PCs here. I started many years ago with my ancestors' Presto (with the jiggly top) and then graduated to the Fagor Combi Set when the price dropped so low that I couldn't resist. However, after moving to a house with a very powerful gas cooktop, I found it necessary to constantly adjust the flame to maintain the desired pressure, which was bothersome. Consequently, the PCs fell into disuse.

Recently, however, due to a sale at Amazon, I found myself the owner of this electric pressure cooker by Cuisinart. I was hesitant at first due to the bad reputation of electric pressure cookers, but was pleasantly surprised at the speed with which this appliance heats up. It has saute, simmer and "keep warm" functions that actually work quite well. And the best part is that you literally put the ingredients in, select the desired pressure setting, and start the timer. Constant attention to the flame is not required.

It is not the largest PC available, and could not be used for canning, but I think that most home cooks would be quite satisfied with its performance. I use it regularly to prepare dried beans, soups, stock, and stews.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m something of a pressure cooker addict. I have, um, eight or is it nine of them. I don’t use the large ones much any more as I have trouble dealing with their weight when full, but totally agree for stocks etc. And for doing that turkey recipe from Mexico: the beautiful, where it is wrapped in spices, avocado leaves and co, cooked, then served sliced with an orange based dressing. {sorry, doing that from memory}.

So, I downsized to the small 2.5L, 3 L and 4.5L versions that are ideal for dinner. Curries, stews etc in one, and rice in the other. Not being one to follow instructions well, I now combine all of it in one cooker. Make sure you use the trivet in the bottom as pressure cookers go from nearly cooked to horribly burned in a flash.

For a curry or meat dishes, I mix the paste with nearly boiling water or stock [cuts down on cooking time] put in the rice and meat, hard veges like potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, bring to pressure, cook for five minutes, let cool, add fresh veges and herbs and eat. {yes, I know I lose flavour by not frying the paste, but I’m often not well enough to do that.]

For pasta, I ignore the instruction to say I shouldn’t, add pasta, boiling water or stock, olives, anchovies, tomato paste, if using, dried herbs, small amount of sugar [i’m told tomatoes need it!] mushrooms, etc etc. Bring to pressure, pay attention to how it is going and cook for two, no more than three minutes. Let cool down, then do further pasta things to it and eat. One gets that wonderful concentrated pasta water this way

For ‘risottos’, use the trivet and add rice and stock and whatever. I make a Japanese ‘risotto’ by adding different seaweeds, especially kombu, black sesame seeds, soy, ginger, dried shitake mushrooms, mirin etc. bring to pressure, cook for five minutes, let cool then add miso, fish, etc. Not great on the aesthetic side for a Japanese dish, but tastes good.

I even make up meals that Dexter the Airedale and I can share. This is where the Kuhn Rikon ‘frypan’ model is very useful. If I’m making, say, a Middle Eastern Tagine, I leave his side without too many spices and have them on my side of the pan.

So, I have:

Kuhn Rikon 2.5L fryer braiser–Excellent and such a great design

Silit set of 4.5L and 3L, and a 2.5L in yellow [!]. these are excellent and have a non-stick interior so even more points for that.

Scanpan 6L good, not great.

Magefesa a well-known Spanish brand, 6L and 8L very good for the price,

Fissler, two 3L and a 6L excellent as you would expect, but they no longer make the seals for the smaller ones, which partially explains why a few new smaller ones have followed me home.

I had some arcosteel cheapies with the weight on top. They always worked well. I have given them away to friends.

Hope this is of some help. And I hope you are not too horrified at some of the short cuts and compromises I take!


Edited by Miranda (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Between this topic and the discussion in the "Cooking with 'Modernist Cuisine'" of using pressure cooking for stocks, I think it's time that I overcome my outdated fear of pressure cookers. Thanks for all the good information.

This comment caught my eye:

However, after moving to a house with a very powerful gas cooktop, I found it necessary to constantly adjust the flame to maintain the desired pressure, which was bothersome.

There's also been mention of using heat diffusers when using gas stoves. Is that generally recommended? Do they solve the problem mentioned above? Or do I simply use my simmer burner rather than one of my high-BTU burners?



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Between this topic and the discussion in the "Cooking with 'Modernist Cuisine'" of using pressure cooking for stocks, I think it's time that I overcome my outdated fear of pressure cookers. Thanks for all the good information.

This comment caught my eye:

However, after moving to a house with a very powerful gas cooktop, I found it necessary to constantly adjust the flame to maintain the desired pressure, which was bothersome.

There's also been mention of using heat diffusers when using gas stoves. Is that generally recommended? Do they solve the problem mentioned above? Or do I simply use my simmer burner rather than one of my high-BTU burners?

I totally understand your reluctance to use a pressure cooker. I have finally got over mine! But one of the things that really helped me was using a portable induction hob as it is so easy to control the heat under the pressure cooker. They are available for under $100 and I am certain that if you do decide to go that route you will be using for much more than the pressure cooker. Of course, you need to make sure you have an induction-ready pressure cooker, i.e., NOT an aluminum one. As a bonus, most come with a timer so that once you have reached pressure and are maintaining it, you can set the induction hob to turn itself off - an added safety feature.

For someone whose pressure cooker(s) collected dust for more than 10 years I now find myself using one two or more times a week.

Just a thought for you to consider.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds to me as if you are keeping the heat too high. Once it has reached pressure it should need very little to keep it there.

I think that's at the core of the problem. If I drop the heat below medium-high the pressure drops almost immediately so i need to keep the heat cranked up to keep high pressure which then evaporates the cooking liquid making it even harder to keep pressure. Difficulty holding pressure sounds like a leak problem I guess? I wish I knew more about these things but I think I'm getting closer to a solution.

One other thing I noticed is that under the protection cap there is a lot of liquid accumulating. I tried the pressure cook water test again but with the cap off to see if I could spot the leak and the water and steam is escaping through the small holes all around the metal casing (valve socket) well before the pressure cap even gets to the first red line or even starts moving.

Thanks for all of the help and info

rg

Turns out the main valve was damaged right out of the box. I recorded a video and sent to Kuhn Rikon so they could see it and they had me send it back and took care of it right away. I'm loving making quick stocks, ribs, soups etc in the pressure cooker and can't wait until Modernist Cuisine arrives so I can broaden my PC repertoire

rg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.