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Chris Amirault

Pressure Cookers: 2011 and beyond

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OK, I got a chance to run the test this morning, and my findings are that the US Vitaquick’s operating pressure is consistent with what is printed in their manual 60kpa (8.7psi).

Here’s a a photo documentary of the test (also includes raw test data worksheet):

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0BzgwNX-MdvL2Qy1IUHZlcHFZRW8&usp=sharing

Thanks, Laura! I'm looking forward to the results of KR tests for comparison. I'll monitor your website.

I note in the photos that to achieve max pressure, the entire blue ring is exposed. In actual use, is it recommended to take it to overpressure and then back off?


Monterey Bay area

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I note in the photos that to achieve max pressure, the entire blue ring is exposed. In actual use, is it recommended to take it to overpressure and then back off?

Venting a spring-valve cooker is something that I learned from a Kuhn Rikon engineer that could be done with their pressure cookers to ensure ALL of the oxygen exits the cooker for niche uses - sterilization or canning - where maximum temperatures are important.

However, that is not recommended for daily use or even noted in the manufacturer's manual - because going into over-pressure is a safety feature. I personally do not recommend anyone do this and and then depend on secondary or, in some cases, tertiary safety systems to keep the pressure where it should be. The only exception would be if this action is recommended by the manufacturer (such as certain models from Fagor) or during the inevitable learning process. The Fissler manual does not recommend venting prior to pressure cooking.

It's important to note that today's high-quality pressure cookers already vent 90-95% of the oxygen when building pressure so that extra 5% will not make a significant difference in the cooking temperature.

During my test, the cooker did begin to vent, but that was just because it was my fist time using this cooker and I hadn't gotten the feel for the right heat to keep it at pressure. If you see from the temperature chart, I turned the heat down after building pressure but initially, it was not enough.

Ciao,

L


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

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OK, I got a chance to run the test this morning, and my findings are that the US Vitaquick’s operating pressure is consistent with what is printed in their manual 60kpa (8.7psi).

Thanks so much for testing and sharing your results!

Here's another response from Fissler USA that I just received:

All of Fissler pressure cookers operate at an average of 10 PSI at 1st level (of the indicator) and at an average of 15 PSI at the 2nd level.

According to Fissler, if you let the 2nd level rise higher, the cooker will reach up to 18 PSI. Because the US does not allow such high heats, at that temperature/level, the steam will automatically be released from your cooker as a safety measure.

In the manual, it states the lowest PSI of the range.

The Vitaquick operates at 9-11 PSI on the low setting and 13-15 PSI on the high setting.

The maximum PSI on the second cooking setting is 15 PSI.

It baffles me how Fissler could get things so mixed up, especially as it seems (according to reviews) that they make some high quality products. But I suppose we're all entitled to mistakes once in a while. :) Still, I'd love to know why they engineered such a product for the US market (and then didn't communicate with the US branch the product specs). Or did they make some production error and then try to pass the cooker off as a 15 psi cooker? But then they wouldn't have written the specs in the manual. Well, if you ever solve the mystery, Laura, and feel like sharing... :)

As much of a bother as it is, given all the the info (Laura's tests, Fissler's intercompany confusion, and ATK's apparent lack of expertise with PKs), I think I'll have to send this one back and go with the WMF Perfect Plus set. I guess I'll have to rely on other means of cooking for Thanksgiving. :) Btw, that set happens to be on sale at the moment if anyone's interested--I suspect this is because they're out of stock... (It's less expensive than buying just the 8-1/2 quart PK individually.)

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Hey all,

Typically my philosophy with cooking equipment is that bigger is better. I can always make less in a large vessel, but can never make more in a small vessel.

Is this a smart line of thinking for pressure cookers too? I only cook right now for myself and one other, but I'm more about thinking in the long term and not purchasing multiple things over the years. Buy one, buy the best, pay the most, and be done with it.

Anyway, this is the one I was thinking about - http://www.amazon.com/Kuhn-Rikon-Duromatic-2-Quart-Stockpot/dp/B00009A9XU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385831057&sr=8-1&keywords=kuhn+rikon+duromatic+8-1+2-quart+stockpot

It calls it a 8 1/2 quart stockpot, but I'm pretty sure it is a pressure cooker. The name changes for each size.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Is it recommended? Is bigger better for pressure cookers? 8 and a half is the largest I'm going right now due to the size of my apartment.

Thanks for the opinions and help!

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Hey all,

Typically my philosophy with cooking equipment is that bigger is better. I can always make less in a large vessel, but can never make more in a small vessel.

Is this a smart line of thinking for pressure cookers too? I only cook right now for myself and one other, but I'm more about thinking in the long term and not purchasing multiple things over the years. Buy one, buy the best, pay the most, and be done with it.

Anyway, this is the one I was thinking about - http://www.amazon.com/Kuhn-Rikon-Duromatic-2-Quart-Stockpot/dp/B00009A9XU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385831057&sr=8-1&keywords=kuhn+rikon+duromatic+8-1+2-quart+stockpot

It calls it a 8 1/2 quart stockpot, but I'm pretty sure it is a pressure cooker. The name changes for each size.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Is it recommended? Is bigger better for pressure cookers? 8 and a half is the largest I'm going right now due to the size of my apartment.

Thanks for the opinions and help!

http://www.amazon.com/WMF-Perfect-Stainless-Pressure-Interchangeable/dp/B005EQK3IE/ref=sr_1_4?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1385833481&sr=1-4&keywords=wmf+pressure+cooker

This is the one I have and am very happy with it. If you get this set you get the best of both worlds.

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Does anyone have any experience with this? Is it recommended? Is bigger better for pressure cookers? 8 and a half is the largest I'm going right now due to the size of my apartment.

Thanks for the opinions and help!

Personally, I wouldn't go any larger - especially if you're cooking for just two. A few months ago, I wrote a little article to answer your "is bigger better" question. It explains the whats and why's along with a little chart that figures out how many servings of rice and soup you can get from each pressure cooker size:

Does pressure cooker size matter? Of course!

http://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooker-sizes-and-types/

I recommend my readers to start with a 6 or 8L pressure cookers (the one you linked to is 8L - so, you're in!). You can make 6 servings of rice or 16 cups of soup in that one. Of course, the nice thing is that you can also make less without adjustments since you can still get away with adding just a cup of cooking liquid for most recipes with that size.

You chose a nice shape, too. The pressure braisers are wide and have a larger browning area than your typical stockpot-shaped pressure cooker. You made an excellent choice!

Ciao,

L


Edited by pazzaglia (log)

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

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