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Chris Amirault

Pressure Cookers: 2011 and beyond

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Chippy,

I question ATK's methodology because I have used six of the eight pressure cookers America's test kitchen reviewed (earlier in this topic I said 5 but I'm currently testing the WMF).

I currently use two WMF PCs, and have to say they seem superior compared to two or three other brands I have used previously.

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Thanks to hippressurecooking.com and Linda in particular but other egulleters, I had a successful day with mustard seeds, short ribs and chicken breasts. I really began to understand and appreciate this fast cooker.

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I am relatively new to PCs. I had a problem I solved, and others have mentioned similar problems in various threads. The problem is that one has to constantly fiddle with the burner knob to maintain the correct pressure and it's hard to find the sweet spot.

My solution works for both my Presto and Kuhn Rikon PCs and will hold pressure for at least two hours without any adjustment. I don't know if it is well known, but I have not seen it before. I don't know if it will work for any one but me. I have used it at least a dozen times now.

So like most instructions say, bring the PC up to pressure in high, then turn to low. My theory is the PC is at this point unevenly heated. When the pressure drops usually in a couple of minutes, do not try to adjust the low flamebut instead turn the temp back to high until fully pressurized again. Continue this. I've never gone beyond three times. After this, at least for me, the PC can go for at least two hours on low with zero adjustments. There is also less risk of over pressuring the PC on a low but too high flame.

As I said, everyone else might know this. But it is not in my instruction manuals or anything else I've read.

ETA I should have said that I have a gas stove.


Edited by Ttogull (log)

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Low pressure - useful for white fish, especially thin fish like sole.

Also for steamed or even blanched vegetables, especially if you have a steamer insert. It's so fast that vegetables stay colorful and flavorful. You can poach fruit on low-pressure too, though that's something I haven't tried.

I just moved to London and need to build my kitchen from scratch. Instead of getting a regular big pot and a pressure cooker, I'd like to just get a pressure cooker. Boil pasta with the lid off.

I'd also like to have a steamer insert.

Any recommendations? Preferably available in the UK.

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Kent Wang, on 24 Apr 2013 - 00:51, said:

I just moved to London and need to build my kitchen from scratch. Instead of getting a regular big pot and a pressure cooker, I'd like to just get a pressure cooker. Boil pasta with the lid off.

I'd also like to have a steamer insert.

Any recommendations? Preferably available in the UK.

Kuhn RIkon, WMF, Fissler, and Fagor pressure cookers are all available on Amazon.uk, and they're all good stainless-steel units. If the cooker will double as your pasta pot and/or steamer, I'd suggest going with the Kuhn Rikon, WMF, or Fagor, as they're straight-sided. It seems to me that the Fissler's tapered shape would accelerate the evaporation of the pasta water, and it might also be difficult to find a steamer insert for it, especially if you wanted a deep one. As for regular lids, it's easy to find inexpensive ones that will fit any of these pots.


Edited by Miss Priss (log)

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The Fissler Vitaquick Pressure Cooker, 8.5qt is back in stock various places. I ordered one today from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00873AOIU

Any comments you can share about the Vitaquick? I'd love to hear what you have to say. I am still trying to decide between Fissler and Kuhn Rikon (and if I do get a Kuhn Rikon, which type of lid).

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Oh my! I have both K-R and Fissler pressure cookers. Trust me, the Fissler (Vitaquick) models are head and shoulders above the K-R which is a really, really nice PC. However, the Fisslers are a whole different product. They are beautifully made and the bottom disc covers the entire bottom of the pan...a really important feature as the smaller discs encourage scorching.

I have the 6.5 qt. Fissler and the 4.2 Fissler pressure pan that comes with a steaming basket and separate lid. I have found this pan to be so useful that I use it several times a week. And, it still looks so beautiful you'd swear it was brand new.

Literally no comparison between the two brands.

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I have the WMF pressure cooker which I bought on Amazon. It is a set, one is 81/2 quarts, the other is 41/2 quarts with an interchangeable lid. I haven't used it a while lot yet, as I am quite new to PC, but I really like them. I use both sizes.

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If I decide to buy a Fissler I am thinking of the 8 L, 26 cm size. Do any Fissler owners know if this model is tall enough to accomodate quart canning jars standing on the supplied insert?

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Unfortunately, they chose a lesser model Fissler to test.

The Vitaquick was the top choice in the CI test.

Fissler got a middle grade. I just ordered the recommended WMF Perfect Plus.

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Unfortunately, they chose a lesser model Fissler to test.

The Vitaquick was the top choice in the CI test.

Lindag, the Vitaquick sounds like a great cooker, but I'm not sure why you say the Vitavit is a lesser model. The Vitavit doesn't seem to be available in the US, but in countries where both models are sold, the Vitavit is the more expensive one (at least online).

I find CI's reviews to be very interesting and useful, and often take them into account when buying pricey kitchen equipment, but I'm still scratching my head over their previous round of PC reviews, 7 or 8 years ago. They claimed there was no way to quick-release the pressure from a Kuhn Rikon on the stovetop, even though the instruction manual clearly described the process. They gave their highest rating to the Fagor Duo, which is a fine product but, in my opinion, not the equal of the Kuhn Rikon.

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Fissler got a middle grade. I just ordered the recommended WMF Perfect Plus.

i have been following this thread as i have been looking for a replacement PC, for sometime.

I agree with MIssPriss in her post above, ie

Which is the lesser (or latest) model in the Fissler range of PCs? the vitaquick or the vitavit?

Check out the Fissler website

http://www.fissler-shop.de/Schnellkochtoepfe/

Can anyone give a rational explanation of why a PC should be conical in shape?


It's dangerous to eat, it's more dangerous to live.

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Can anyone give a rational explanation of why a PC should be conical in shape?

I read somewhere that it's to faciiltate stacking of units with the same diameter for efficient storage.

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I found this site, Hip Pressure Cooking, with some very detailed reviews. Fissler got a middle grade. I just ordered the recommended WMF Perfect Plus.

I believe hip pressure cooking is pazzaglia's site, so she should be around to comment soon.

Meanwhile I have not ordered yet, mostly for reasons of cost. But I am still leaning towards the Vitaquick. I wish someone could tell me whether the 8q model can hold quart size canning jars.

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Thanks for the introduction, you guys are doing great and I only step-in to clarify things, or if no one answers a question now.


Fissler's early marketing materials used to refer as the bases being conical for easy stacking - that has since been removed it from most places, but the photos are still there. One model still has the original text:
"A practical advantage for several pots in the cupboard: they can be stacked in each other."

http://www.fissler.co.uk/en/products/pressure_cookers/lines/vitavit_comfort.html

In my opinion, the dis-advantages of a smaller cooking area outweigh the advantages of faster evaporation (or the ability to stack several cookers). If you want to do any braises, or recipes that require browning first, you would have to do in batches what you can brown in other cookers in one round.

The Vitaquick is Fissler's the economy model - but that was not the deciding factor. I was visiting Fissler in Germany, almost two years ago, when they were deciding which model to introduce to the US. Headquarters had received feedback from the US marketing team that Americans would be confused by a dial-setting of the Vitavit. I mentioned that Fagor, one of the top-selling brands in the US, has had a dial setting for years - and no one has ever posted or commented in the websites I follow that they don't understand how to use it. I recommended they do more research.


I have used the Euro Vitaquick and could never get it to work.  It curdled flans, burned risotto's, ect. I sent it back to the manufacturer twice and they kept sending it back saying it worked. They sent me a replacement and it still didn't. I was reduced to just boiling potatoes when the last one finally kicked the bucket (valve failed).


HOWEVER, the Vitaquick that is being sold in the US is not the same I used. Fissler made a different Vitaquick valve and lid to meet the 15psi "US standard." This might explain why a cooker I could not get to cook the most basic things got top ratings from America's Test Kitchen.

Take a look at the reviews in this amazon listing and look at the product photos the reviewer uploaded. Unfortunately, it appears that the Vitaquick has similar durability issues that I had with the Vitavit: http://amzn.to/Z2zWXy


The features on the Fissler cookers are really above and beyond most cookers I have seen. Fissler cookers are really a joy to use - when they work. They use top-quality stainless steel and distribute the heat so well their pans are ALMOST non-stick BUT I simply cannot understand the company's choice to use sub-standard materials for the handles that chip or valves that fail or don't even work out-of-the-box due because of manufacturing defects.


The height of the 8 quart model might accommodate at least ONE 1-quart canning jar, I don't know if the width will let you use more than that.f you want to also do canning, take a look at a 10qt Fagor Cooker/Canner - it's wide enough to accommodate FOUR 1-quart canning jars. Fagor has several models but the Futuro (http://amzn.to/10LdddN) and the Duo (http://amzn.to/10LdddN) also have two pressure settings.


Ciao,

L


Edited by pazzaglia (log)

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

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Everything I have ever read about canning says you CANNOT can in a pressure cooker, you must use a Pressure CANNER.

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Linda, both Modernist Cuisine and the Ideas In Food blog have several pressure cooker recipes that use a canning jar - not for canning but as a Bain Marie container.

Take a look here:

http://modernistcuisine.com/recipes/garlic-confit/

And, here:
http://blog.ideasinfood.com/ideas_in_food/2010/02/roux-in-a-jar.html

Ciao,

L


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

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I was wondering if anyone has compared the kohn pressure cookers to the fagor? I have this kohn, no complaints and looking buying the larger size, but the fagor seems to be a bit less expensive...

thanks!


Edited by vimaladevi (log)

www.eatthesun.com

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I was wondering if anyone has compared the kohn pressure cookers to the fagor? I have this kohn, no complaints and looking buying the larger size, but the fagor seems to be a bit less expensive...

thanks!

I have the Kuhn Rikon Duromatic 5.25 liter and 2-liter set, and the Fagor Elite (one pressure setting) 8-liter and 4-liter set. For what it's worth, my Fagor was purchased some time ago and was made in Spain, not China. I like them both, but I prefer the Kuhn Rikon because it's easier to tell when full pressure has been reached, easier to tell whether pressure is being maintained, and, since it doesn't release any steam, requires less liquid. The interior finish of the Kuhn Rikon is also a bit smoother than the Fagor's, making it a bit easier to clean. I suspect that the Kuhn Rikon's aluminum disc base is thicker than the Fagor's, but it's hard to tell because the Fagor's is encapsulated. The fact that the Kuhn's disc doesn't extend to the edges of the pot doesn't concern me, as I've never had any problems with scorching on that account.

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