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Chris Amirault

Pressure Cookers: 2011 and beyond

508 posts in this topic

I took the plunge and bought the Fissler set with the smaller and larger pots...damn Amazon and their one click ordering. So now I need some "go to" basic recipes to make my husband not want to permanently block my internet access :huh:

Wow.. that was quick! If you got the Blue Point, just note that they do not yet have the removable handles (the new Vitaquick coming out do), but you will not disappointed!

.

.

Gekinaonna, I had a little chat with the Fissler USA rep yesterday and I found out that the Blue Point top can go in the dishwasher WHOLE! No dismantling - but you should remove the rubber/silicone gasket. The newer models, Vitavits, have a "self locking" handle (you do not need to slide the button to lock it) and could easily be damaged by the aggressive detergents in the dishwasher - so they need to be removed.

Oh.. and why was I chatting with the "rep" you might be wondering?!?! I will be doing a Fissler pressure cooker demo in Seattle next month - no molecular gastronomy (sorry) lots of fast Italian recipes! Maybe something in Nashville, or thereabouts, too. All are invited, and I will post details for anyone who's interested when they are finalized - would love to meet some of you!

Ciao,

L


Edited by pazzaglia (log)

hip pressure cooking - making pressure cooking hip, one recipe at a time!

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That's so cool! I may have to make a trip to Seattle! I'd love to have more info about that when you have it. I love my Fissler, although my Sous Vide supreme has been getting more action for the last couple of weeks...but nothing beats the pressure cooker for soup and I am planning on doing some more experimenting next week now that my blog is finishing up...


If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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Hi All,

Can someone explain to me how pressure is regulated if no steam is escaping? Seems to me if the valve isn't releasing pressure you can't know you are at pressure (without a gauge), and the pressure can be anything below target.

I just used my new Fagor duo for the second time last night to make stock, and I kept enough heat going to see steam escaping the whole cook. My first cook with it I did carrots in butter as I've seen described in the MC threads, they came out nothing special, like carrots cooked in a pan. I decided I really didn't have pressure because I turned the heat down too much, no steam escaping.

Thanks,

Larry

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Can someone explain to me how pressure is regulated if no steam is escaping? Seems to me if the valve isn't releasing pressure you can't know you are at pressure (without a gauge), and the pressure can be anything below target.

Older pressure cookers that emit vapor in spurts (or jiggles), maintain pressure by releasing vapor when it reaches over-pressure, as you noted. Imagine a wavy line of temperature and pressure with the peaks being when the pressure cooker releases vapor, then the pressure dips only to build up again. And so it continues...

Newer spring-valve non-venting pressure cookers regulate pressure with temperature - you need a MUCH, MUCH smaller flame to keep pressure. Here, the line to denote pressure and temperature is fairly constant ensuring even cooking and diminished evaporation.

A newer pressure cooker SHOULD NOT be realeasing vapor while it is under pressure - cooking this way means that you are operating it on too-high heat and in over-pressure. Releasing vapor is one of the first safety mechanisims and should be avoided.

Always operate your pressure cooker at the lowest heat setting you can get to, without loosing pressure.

I just used my new Fagor duo for the second time last night to make stock, and I kept enough heat going to see steam escaping the whole cook. My first cook with it I did carrots in butter as I've seen described in the MC threads, they came out nothing special, like carrots cooked in a pan. I decided I really didn't have pressure because I turned the heat down too much, no steam escaping.

This is how a spring-valve pressure cooker, like your Fagor, operates...

1. Use the minimum amount of liquid (or more) in the pressure cooker. Close and lock the lid.

2. Put the pressure cooker on high heat:

- oxygen and steam will escpe

- then, it will "stop" and the pressure indicator will pop up

If the pressure cooker does not reach pressure, check: that you have the correct amount of minimum liquid, you placed the rubber gasket correctly in the top, locked the handle, set the pressure setting to 1 or 2.

3. Turn the heat down to medium-low heat and start timing for your recipe.

- during operation a faint whisp of steam will exit the valve.

If the pressure indicator were to go down, you turned the heat down too low. If the pressure cooker begins emitting large amounts of vapor, turn the heat down. It will take a couple of recipes to get the right heat setting to avoid going in over-pressure or loosing pressure.

If you have a steamer basket, try my "steamy, naked carrot flowers" recipe. It's a great beginner recipe to introduces you to the flavor a pressure cooker can retain - and speed, too!

It's not the most "modernist" recipe out there... but it will help you get the hang of pressure cooking!

Ciao,

L

carrots_top1.jpg


hip pressure cooking - making pressure cooking hip, one recipe at a time!

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Hi All,

Can someone explain to me how pressure is regulated if no steam is escaping? Seems to me if the valve isn't releasing pressure you can't know you are at pressure (without a gauge), and the pressure can be anything below target.

I just used my new Fagor duo for the second time last night to make stock, and I kept enough heat going to see steam escaping the whole cook. My first cook with it I did carrots in butter as I've seen described in the MC threads, they came out nothing special, like carrots cooked in a pan. I decided I really didn't have pressure because I turned the heat down too much, no steam escaping.

Thanks,

Larry

The MC caramelized carrot soup utilizes baking soda to increase the carrot's pH and encourage a Maillard reaction. Without the baking soda, you will have soft carrots in a considerable amount of butter.


Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

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avaserfirer@egstaff.org

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I have a Fissler 8 qt, and I love it. Super easy to use, I made chicken stock in it last night. Best. Stock. Ever. I think I'm going to stop buying stock in a box and start saving all my chicken carcasses! The recipe I used had chicken wings and ground chicken in it, both browned, plus leeks, onions, and a couple of peppercorns. There was supposed to be white wine but I used some vermouth instead because that's what I had... It turned out a lovely dark golden color, set up like jello and made amazing vegetable soup! About 20 minutes hands-on time...


Edited by Genkinaonna (log)

If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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Thanks L,

Well I forced myself to read the manual (I'm a guy).

I can believe the valves are more accurate than older models but I don't see that you can turn the heat down to where no steam is escaping and maintain regulated pressure. On my Fagor the little pop up button is an indicator that it's ok to open the lid, not that your at target pressure. So without some sort of a gauge I think you need to see some steam escaping. I agree with you that it's a lot less steam than how I used to run my old cooker with the weighted regulator years ago, that son of a gun would dance and spit like no tomorrow but I probably was running it with too much heat.

From the Fagor manual, need to maintain a little bit of steam:

snapshot4.jpeg

Enjoying your website.

Thanks,

Larry

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Thanks Avaserfi,

Thats exactly what I made 8^). Can't blame my pressure cooker technique I guess. They were good anyway. Hope my MC set gets here soon.

Larry

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On my Fagor the little pop up button is an indicator that it's ok to open the lid, not that your at target pressure. So without some sort of a gauge I think you need to see some steam escaping.

Yes, there is a sliding scale of how much steam escapes depending on the manufacturer - I have an old weight-modified Barazzoni, Fagor Futuro, Kuhn-Rikon Duromatic and 6 or so Fissler models (I stopped counting after the first three). I rotate all of them regularly in my recipe photographs to be fair (except for the old guy, he is retired now). I noticed that from most to least in releasing steam during cooking Fagor is most (with a constant whisp, but sooo much better than my old weight-modified model!), next Kuhn Rikon (with a light percalating sound and occasional wisps) and last are my Fisslers (their latest model shuts the valve like a dream - no steam, no smell, no anything - made me wonder if it worked the first time I used it!)

The signal is not as accurate as a gauge. It works on a "range" and pops up during that "range".

The Kuhn Rikon valve is a good visual example of this "range". It has a rod that rises as pressure is building. It has two rings around that rod but it marks from 1PSI (when the rod starts to rise) to 8PSI (when it reaches the first ring) to 15 PSI (when it reaches the second ring) to 18 PSI (when the safety kicks-in and it begins to release pressure). So with the Kuhn, you could actually lower the heat anywhere during the rod's rise and cook at that pressure - but cooking pressure may vary if you lower the heat right at the ring, or just under it, or between the two.

4.jpg

I'm happy to give fellow eGulleters a preview of a a modernist-esque recipe I'm publishing at the end of June (see my forum avatar for the result). It's actually a popular Indian sweet made with Paneer. You put little balls in your pressure cooker and then when you open it they have inflated into beautiful little sponges!!! All the recipes out there are for the old "whistling" and "spitting" pressure cookers so I will have instructions and cooking times for the new ones - and you can make it in your Fagor!

I went against the trend (serving in a glass - I had 8 meals presented to me this way while I was traveling last month so I'm sooo over the trend) but these little balls would not be out of place stacked in a beautiful a little cylindrical glass as a sweet finish to any Modernist Cuisine -inspired dinner! The best part is that it's served chilled so it can even be made days ahead of time!!!

rasgulla_collage2.jpg

I'm on an international kick right now, but this is by far one my favorite recipes - the effect and flavor achieved for the ease can't be beat - so I can't wait to publish it for everyone to try!

Confession time: I just watched Marcel's Quantum Kitchen and when I saw his crazy gnocchi fail at the Chrysler dinner I was yelling at my TV, "Put them in the pressure cooker.. don't gellify them!!" I was really watching hoping pressure cookers would get a lot more "face" time but they were only mentioned once in the series and for a ho-hum pulled pork - everyone is pressure cooking pulled pork... how many people are blowing up paneer!?!?! The show could do without all of the "is he going to make it?!?!" and "is it safe to put a tiger in the backyard?" cheap reality-tv-drama-buidling teasers but otherwise it was great entertainment.

Ciao,

L


Edited by pazzaglia (log)

hip pressure cooking - making pressure cooking hip, one recipe at a time!

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OK, I know I'm late to this party, and I'm rocking a simple Presto stainless steel model. But I used it for the first time last night to get some black beans on the table for a kid who, I feared, wouldn't like the ribs I'd made. (I was right.) I kept rereading the chart that said I should cook them for two minutes, assuming I was misunderstanding. Nope: up to pressure, 2 minutes at pressure, then cooled down. Done.

My goodness. If you're on the fence about a pressure cooker, take the plunge.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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OK, I know I'm late to this party, and I'm rocking a simple Presto stainless steel model. But I used it for the first time last night to get some black beans on the table for a kid who, I feared, wouldn't like the ribs I'd made. (I was right.) I kept rereading the chart that said I should cook them for two minutes, assuming I was misunderstanding. Nope: up to pressure, 2 minutes at pressure, then cooled down. Done.

My goodness. If you're on the fence about a pressure cooker, take the plunge.

I had the same reaction as you. Now that I have a pressure cooker I can't believe I resisted getting one for so long. I use it weekly and it is perfect for last minute meals that normally take an hour or more to make. With the PC you can easily make them in 15-20 minutes, amazing!


Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

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avaserfirer@egstaff.org

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My goodness. If you're on the fence about a pressure cooker, take the plunge.

I can't believe I resisted getting one for so long. I use it weekly and it is perfect for last minute meals that normally take an hour or more to make. With the PC you can easily make them in 15-20 minutes, amazing!

So gad that something like Modernist Cuisine spurred this purchase for you guys and you are finding daily uses for it.

My personal goal is to get anyone who is just cooking, pressure cooking!

Be sure to blog about pressure cooking, tell your friends, relatives and anyone who will listen at the supermarket how great this is - not just fast, but flavorful and healthy (and very green, too) - very few things, today, can boast all of these things and have them actually be true!

Ciao,

L


hip pressure cooking - making pressure cooking hip, one recipe at a time!

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OK, here it is... I know most of you posting in this topic already have pressure cookers but there might be someone you might want to "convert" to pressure cooking! Send them, bring them, tell them about my free pressure cooking demo classes.

No, but I just ordered a 6 L Fagor. Thanks for the help deciding what to get. Looking forward to seeing what it can do.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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OK. I'm ready to buy. I'll be making stock and canning mostly, I think. I figure a larger one eg 8 qt with two pressure settings is the thing based on what I've read over various threads.

What I can't figure is what brand? Does it really matter?

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Here's a maintenance issue and question re: oiling the gasket

Earlier this week when using my PC I had some problems. First, I observed quite a bit of condensation dripping from the beneath the handle, which had not happened before. Then I found it difficult to maintain pressure. My PC's user manual "troubleshooting" section suggested that the problem was that the gasket need to be oiled. So I reduced the pressure, took off the cover, dried off the gasket and rubbed a little veg oil over it, reassembled it, and tried again. Problem solved.

I'd used this PC half a dozen times before without oiling the gasket and never experienced problems. Is this something I should be doing every time I use it? Is vegetable oil the correct oil to use?



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I'm trying to decide on a pressure cooker (my first). If anyone has an opinion please share. This is what I've read so far and I have a few questions:

1) The Kuhn Rikon doesn't vent and some have said the stocks are more flavorful because of this.

2) Fissler - great build quality. I've read it doesn't reach 15 psi? Does it not vent like the Kuhn Rikon?

3) Is the new Fissler Vitavit available in the USA?

4) Since I don't have a stockpot either I was thinking that I might as well buy a 10-12 quart pressure cooker for multiple uses. Do the larger pressure cookers prevent me from doing small amounts?

Thanks

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I'm trying to decide on a pressure cooker (my first). If anyone has an opinion please share. This is what I've read so far and I have a few questions:

1) The Kuhn Rikon doesn't vent and some have said the stocks are more flavorful because of this.

2) Fissler - great build quality. I've read it doesn't reach 15 psi? Does it not vent like the Kuhn Rikon?

3) Is the new Fissler Vitavit available in the USA?

4) Since I don't have a stockpot either I was thinking that I might as well buy a 10-12 quart pressure cooker for multiple uses. Do the larger pressure cookers prevent me from doing small amounts?

Thanks

Ad 1: What's the question?

Ad 2: AFAIK no European pressure cooker uses 15 psi as normal operation pressure. Like most pressure cookers over here, the Fissler uses 0,8 bar (approx. 12 psi) for its high pressure mode. Emergency pressure relief happens at around 1,5 bar (approx. 22 psi). So there is some leeway to cook at a higher pressure setting than recommended. All the European models I have seen use a spring-loaded valve and therefore do not vent.

Ad 3: Sorry, can't help you there. According to Amazon.com, they are still selling the Blue Point which has been phased out in Europe. But I'm getting my new 10 liters Fissler Vitavit Edition delivered tomorrow (to assist the 4.5 liters Fissler Blue Point when stock making).

Ad 4: It doesn't prevent you from doing small amounts (especially if you cook in some kind of container or with the non-perforated inset, but the bigger cookers are very heavy.


Edited by pep. (log)

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Thanks for your responses. 1) I was just wondering if that was true.

enjoy your new Vitavit

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Thanks for your responses. 1) I was just wondering if that was true.

Sorry, no access to a venting pressure cooker, so I can't compare. But Modernist Cuisine says the same thing (although it references the Cooking Issues post, so I'm not sure that they their own experiments on this one).

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When I use my WACFO All-American pressure canner (which vents, as needed for pressure-canning) as a cooker to make stock, I simply put the weight at 15 PSI and stack two quarters on top of it. Then I watch the gauge and when the pressure gets up to 15 PSI over atmospheric, I turn down and regulate the heat to keep it right around there. Et voila! No-venting cooking from a non-venting pressure cooker. Meanwhile, this design doesn't need a rubber gasket.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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fyi

Fissler USA just told me that the Vitavit is not available yet in the US as it's being approved still. It sounds like a 2012 release. Also the the Bluepoint line gets up to 15 psi.

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Well, except that it really doesn't (check the manual) - unless they sell different models by the same name in the US. There's an article on the web somewhere that claims that the elusive 15 psi stem from some older pressure cooker that really worked at 12.5 psi most of the time due to manufacturing tolerances. Supposedly, that pressure is "not needed in modern pressure cookers" and European manufacturers sometimes still claim 15 psi in the US as to not "confuse" the public.

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Here’s another type of pressure cooker used successfully by serious cooks, but I don’t know how it would fit in classification of "venting" or "non-venting" or "slow-venting":SEB, which is recommended by the Alain Ducasse cooking school in Paris and by Ducasse's colleague the Michelin-starred chef Benoit Witz, who wrote a book about it, Cocottes Classiques. SEB started making pressure cookers in the 19th Century, apparently, and has some developments in the last decade that made it particularly effective: http://www.seb.fr . SEB is now owned by TFal but I don’t think sold in the US. Sold everywhere in France under the SEB name. http://www.amazon.fr/Seb-Cuiseur-P4111506-Clipso-Control/dp/B000TGIKS4/ref=pd_rhf_cr_p_t_2

Does anyone have experience with this and/or know how it might differ from Kuhn-Rikon?


Edited by inductioncook (log)

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fyi

Fissler USA just told me that the Vitavit is not available yet in the US as it's being approved still. It sounds like a 2012 release. Also the the Bluepoint line gets up to 15 psi.

Well, except that it really doesn't (check the manual) - unless they sell different models by the same name in the US. There's an article on the web somewhere that claims that the elusive 15 psi stem from some older pressure cooker that really worked at 12.5 psi most of the time due to manufacturing tolerances. Supposedly, that pressure is "not needed in modern pressure cookers" and European manufacturers sometimes still claim 15 psi in the US as to not "confuse" the public.

I, personally, have a Blue Point and the manual states the ACTUAL maximum pressure - and it's 15PSI. If the metal lid, next to the handle has a little "U.S." engraved in it then you can be sure of it.

If that "article on the web somewhere" was on a website of a certain pressure cooking "Miss" I can assure you that we ironed that out in her forums - she was referring to the online manual of the European model and not aware that the company specifically made a version for the U.S. This also explains why the Fissler Vitavit, which is currently in production and for sale in Europe is not yet available in the U.S. - they need to make and test tops just for this standard.

Last year, I toured the German Fissler factories in person and they showed me differing machinery for making European and U.S. Pressure Cooker Tops - and the machine that tests them according to the pressure they are meant to withstand.

What IS true, is that 14.5 PSI (1Bar or 100kPa) is often rounded up and referred to as 15PSI.

Please don't spread vague knowledge without looking up the facts and information for yourself.

Ciao,

L


hip pressure cooking - making pressure cooking hip, one recipe at a time!

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Here’s another type of pressure cooker used successfully by serious cooks, but I don’t know how it would fit in classification of "venting" or "non-venting" or "slow-venting":SEB, which is recommended by the Alain Ducasse cooking school in Paris and by Ducasse's colleague the Michelin-starred chef Benoit Witz, who wrote a book about it, Cocottes Classiques. SEB started making pressure cookers in the 19th Century, apparently, and has some developments in the last decade that made it particularly effective: http://www.seb.fr . SEB is now owned by TFal but I don’t think sold in the US. Sold everywhere in France under the SEB name. http://www.amazon.fr/Seb-Cuiseur-P4111506-Clipso-Control/dp/B000TGIKS4/ref=pd_rhf_cr_p_t_2

Does anyone have experience with this and/or know how it might differ from Kuhn-Rikon?

SEB also makes the same pressure cooker in Italy, under the name Lagostina Acticook:

http://www.lagostina.it/collections/PENTOLE-A-PRESSIONE/Acticook/Acticook45.htm

From my understanding it has a spring-valve which would qualify it as a non-venting pressure cooker. However, I have not seen a model from them designed for the U.S., yet. If you were to purchase one from France, remember that you will need to purchase replacement parts (gaskets, etc.) from France as well.

Ciao,

L


hip pressure cooking - making pressure cooking hip, one recipe at a time!

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