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Chris Amirault

Pressure Cookers: 2011 and beyond

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[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.

I'd really like to see a scan of that manual page.

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.

You are correct about the the website (I found it via Google, never been there before). The article did not directly pertain to the Fissler models, so I'm not sure what the discussion you mentioned "set straight" (I've just looked it up, again via Google). I'm sure there are different certification requirements for the US, I'm not sure that a higher cooking pressure is one of them. While it is possible that they manufacture separate lids for the US and for the rest of the world, without some written documentation, I doubt it.

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

I think I put enough qualifiers to my statements to make that accusation very much unwarranted. Furthermore, there is no manual for a Fissler US model online anywhere. The European manuals (as well as a Taiwanese one) all state that the nominal operating pressure in high pressure mode is 0.8 bar. The maximum pressure (before emergency venting occurs) is 1.5 bar. In between, the pots start to vent more and more steam. So yes, the Bluepoint models can reach 15 psi, but no, it is not their designed operating pressure (see page 10 of the UK manual).

Please be assured that I'm not slamming FIssler's products - in fact, I own both a 4.5 liter Bluepoint and a 10 liter Vitavit and I like them very much. However, the existence of the special US line of pressure cookers hinges solely on your word at the moment. Sorry, but that's not enough proof for me. I've always been somewhat of a Doubting Thomas.

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I'd really like to see a scan of that manual page.

I have attached a photo of the manual page that states the pressure and where to look for the engraving on the lid to distinguish a US lid from a European world-wide lid.

Does your Blue Point have the engraving "US" on the lid?

I am in contact with several European manufacturers and since my website has a readership all English-speaking countries I take the differing standards seriously! Especially because I live in Europe and 80% of my readers are American. European pressure cooker manufacturers make a special model ONLY for the United States & Canada (to 15PSI) and Asian Market (with a third pressure setting). U.K., Australia & New Zealand, India and South Africa all other non-english speaking countries have the same models that are sold in Europe (around 13 PSI) - though some countries like Turkey and Saudia Arabia have customized exterior designs applied to the exterior.

I, personally, have not found an "official" reason as to why in Europe the standard is 13 and America it's 15 it's very likely to be legacy and marketing issues. Imagine trying to find a recipe for a pressure cooker if every company made a pressure cooker that reached a different pressure!

America (which has a different way to measure things from the rest of the world) had it's own separate pressure cooking manufacturing revolution in the 30's and 80's mainly fueled by American manufacturers who all wrote recipes for the 15PSI standard. In fact, UL Rating, which is an American Appliance Testing standard only says "15PSI or less" (http://ulstandardsinfonet.ul.com/scopes/0136.html) so an un-savvy European manufacturer could try to sell their 13PSI pressure cooker in the U.S. but it probably won't do very well.

In Europe, rules for the CE rating only states that a "simple pressure vessel" can be above .5 bar (7.2 psi) and below 50 bar (720 PSI) before having to adhere to further restrictions (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:264:0012:0029:en:PDF). The 13PSI limit could have come about either by the specific standards of individual EU Member countries - if just one country has a limit and it's not a very big market (like U.S.) it doesn't make sense to make a pressure cooker just for them. If several countries have differing standards it makes sense to build one that could be sold in all.

From the manufacturer's standpoint there has to be a threshold where it doesn't make sense to make a pressure cooker any more powerful in terms or pressure(most veggies are ready in 5 minutes or less at 13psi), cost of materials, and safety.

Please be assured that I'm not slamming FIssler's products - in fact, I own both a 4.5 liter Bluepoint and a 10 liter Vitavit and I like them very much. However, the existence of the special US line of pressure cokers hinges solely on your word at the moment. Sorry, but that's not enough proof for me. I've always been somewhat of a Doubting Thomas.

I am not trying to defend a specific manufacturer.. but the critical mis-information being doled out by a "respected" and published pressure cooking author who applies restricted knowledge of U.S. packaged foods and pressure cookers world-wide with the simple irresponsible stroke of the keyboard. And, as evidenced by your googling, it worked very well and was being passed again, as fact.

If you have any more lingering doubt, after reading my above essay with sources, links and photos.. I strongly encourage you to contact the manufacturer and ask them directly at what pressure their pressure cookers operate.

Don't believe everything you find on google, or even Wikipedia for that matter - I've given up trying to update the pressure cooker page since my entries and reference links are always deleted.

I take mis-information very seriously so any appearance of snarkyness in my post is not directed at you but the sources of such.

L

lid.jpg

manual.jpg


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

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Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately, your camera captured only the left page. On the right page, you will find information on the nominal operating pressure/temperature. If one looks closely, one can even see one temperature in the current image: 228 °F or 108.888... °C. This corresponds to the 109 °C given in the UK manual for the first ring. I'm quite sure that on the full page there is a second temperature given: 241 °F or roughly 116 °C for the second ring. This corresponds to a nominal operating pressure of 0.8 bar or 11.6 psi. The actual maximum pressure (before the valve blows) of the European models is 1.5 bar or 21.7 psi.

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The manual for my Kuhn Rikon (purchased in USA) also says that the high pressure setting results in 0.8 bar.


--

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The manual for my Kuhn Rikon (purchased in USA) also says that the high pressure setting results in 0.8 bar.

That is correct, when the second red ring first appears you have reached .8 bar, but it continues to go up and you can lower heat and maintain pressure at any point until it goes up too high and reaches 1.2 bar and begins automatically releasing excess pressure.

Think of the Kuhn Rikon pressure indicator rod as a measure of between 0-17.5 PSI with notches at 6 and 11.5PSI but it can maintain the pressure anywhere above and below those notches until it maxes out at 17.5. Though the notches may not be in the same same location, the same is true for the Fissler Blue Point and any other pressure cooker where you select the pressure via the distance of the rod coming out of the top.

L


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

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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

Thanks. I've since learned they used to be sold in the US under the T-Fal name. They were praised in the revised edition of tThe Cokk's Catalog.

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Hi all,

Sorry if this has been asked before, but I wasn't able to find it in the thread.

I'm thinking about picking up my first pressure cooker in the near future and I had a question about features.

How important is variable pressure when considering a cooker? I'm receiving my copy of Modernist Cuisine soon, and I'm interested in trying several of the PC recipes. Do most recipes use a "standard" pressure? If I do get a cooker that is locked at one pressure, is there a formula or guideline for adjusting cooking time for a recipe that recommends a different pressure?

Thanks much,

Justin

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From the thread on Cooking with Modernist Cuisine:

Yes, home presure cookers in the U.S. usually do 8 & 15 PSI or some models 5, 10, and 15 PSI. In Europe and the rest of the world they are 6.5 & 13 PSI -- except for Asia, where they are 8, 15, and 21 PSI (this is known as "turbo" mode) - I am not personally familiar with the Asian models. BTW, only in the US "grades" pressure cooker pressure using PSI. The rest of the world measures pressure cooker pressure using kPa and Bar (just in case you need one). As if miles, inches, pounds and onces weren't enough!


--

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How important is variable pressure when considering a cooker? I'm receiving my copy of Modernist Cuisine soon, and I'm interested in trying several of the PC recipes. Do most recipes use a "standard" pressure? If I do get a cooker that is locked at one pressure, is there a formula or guideline for adjusting cooking time for a recipe that recommends a different pressure?

There is always a possibility that you'll desperately want to make that 'one recipe' that has a pressure you don't have, but recipes with non-standard pressure are very very rare in english language cookbooks in my experience. There are guides kicking around to swap between the euro and US standard pressure (and the turbo 21 psi too).

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From the thread on Cooking with Modernist Cuisine:

Yes, home presure cookers in the U.S. usually do 8 & 15 PSI or some models 5, 10, and 15 PSI. In Europe and the rest of the world they are 6.5 & 13 PSI -- except for Asia, where they are 8, 15, and 21 PSI (this is known as "turbo" mode) - I am not personally familiar with the Asian models. BTW, only in the US "grades" pressure cooker pressure using PSI. The rest of the world measures pressure cooker pressure using kPa and Bar (just in case you need one). As if miles, inches, pounds and onces weren't enough!

My Danish-made Scanpan does 4-5 psi with the low pressure valve and 15-17 psi with the high pressure valve. This may be a bit too much of a sweeping generalisation to be of use.


Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I'm planning on investing in a pressure cooker and trying to make this a once in decades type of investment, esentially I'm hoping this can last as long as possible.

I cook for a family of 5 so I am thinking of one of the larger models. At a minumum I am looking at 8 Qt's.

Is a pressure cooker like a slow cooker where you ideally want the pot to be filled to a certain capacity? I know that if I made a small amount of food in a larger pressure cooker that it would take more time and energy to get to pressure, but, is this harmful to the pot? Does it degrade the food to cook a smaller amount in a larger pot?

Kuhn Rikon has two 8 Qt models per their website. An 8qt family style stockpot, item 3350, for MSRP $420. And, an 8 Qt stockpot, item 3266, for MSRP $250. The family style is wider and shallower and the other is narrower and taller. Only suggested use differences per the website is that it seems like the taller can be used for canning if desired. Obvioulsy it is a significant price difference. I would imagine the shallower and wider be better for traditional braises? For example, if I cooked a brisket, I could fit a larger cut in single layer. In the stockpot, would it be ok to take that same cut and stack it in two pieces and add more liquid to come up to the top piece? Would the shape of the pot make a difference in cooking rice dishes, vegetables, etc.?

Is there any quality difference between the two 8 Qt models which accounts for the price difference? My only thought is that the wider pot has a larger base\core which is the mass of the pot and could account for the difference.

Then, there is also the 12 Qt model which is on Amazon for $349 (whereas the 8 Qt family style is on amazon for $372). Now I'm thoroughly confused as to which model to get. On top if it, the Fissler Bluepoint 10.5 Qt for $269 seems like a happy medium amongst all of them yet the debate here on which valve is better has me leaning toward the Kuhn.

Any advice on what I should do?

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just purchased a Kuhn Rikon Duromatic 8-1/2-Quart Stockpot for $219 from Amazon. Seemed like a reasonable compromise size. Wanted to be able to cook moderate size batches of food, and still make stocks.

my first project will be cooking those Gigantes beans....

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I'm planning on investing in a pressure cooker and trying to make this a once in decades type of investment, esentially I'm hoping this can last as long as possible.

I cook for a family of 5 so I am thinking of one of the larger models. At a minumum I am looking at 8 Qt's.

Is a pressure cooker like a slow cooker where you ideally want the pot to be filled to a certain capacity? I know that if I made a small amount of food in a larger pressure cooker that it would take more time and energy to get to pressure, but, is this harmful to the pot? Does it degrade the food to cook a smaller amount in a larger pot?

Kuhn Rikon has two 8 Qt models per their website. An 8qt family style stockpot, item 3350, for MSRP $420. And, an 8 Qt stockpot, item 3266, for MSRP $250. The family style is wider and shallower and the other is narrower and taller. Only suggested use differences per the website is that it seems like the taller can be used for canning if desired. Obvioulsy it is a significant price difference. I would imagine the shallower and wider be better for traditional braises? For example, if I cooked a brisket, I could fit a larger cut in single layer. In the stockpot, would it be ok to take that same cut and stack it in two pieces and add more liquid to come up to the top piece? Would the shape of the pot make a difference in cooking rice dishes, vegetables, etc.?

Is there any quality difference between the two 8 Qt models which accounts for the price difference? My only thought is that the wider pot has a larger base\core which is the mass of the pot and could account for the difference.

Then, there is also the 12 Qt model which is on Amazon for $349 (whereas the 8 Qt family style is on amazon for $372). Now I'm thoroughly confused as to which model to get. On top if it, the Fissler Bluepoint 10.5 Qt for $269 seems like a happy medium amongst all of them yet the debate here on which valve is better has me leaning toward the Kuhn.

Any advice on what I should do?

I'm hardly an expert on pressure cooking, but as far as volume goes, everything I've read here and elsewhere says that you can't fill a pressure cooker to the top of the pot/lid. You would never have ingredients and liquid coming up to the top, that would likely be dangerous. At most, 2/3 full and if cooking ingredients that will expand substantially (rice, beans), only half full. So if you really want to cook large cuts of meat or large volumes of anything, you want a bigger pot. Keep in mind that a good pressure cooker is heavy, even before it's filled with food.



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Reading this thread has me wanting to get a pressure cooker asap!

Does anybody have an opinion on t-fal pressure cookers? The clipso series seems to be the ones being sold at the biggest discount on the Japanese Amazon site.

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Is a pressure cooker like a slow cooker where you ideally want the pot to be filled to a certain capacity?

I'm not familiar with slow-cookers, but pressure cookers have a maximum 2/3 capacity for most foods and 1/2 capacity for foamy foods (grains, beans, some fruits). Your 8 quarts would have an actual capacity of about 5.25 quarts and 4 quarts respectively.

I know that if I made a small amount of food in a larger pressure cooker that it would take more time and energy to get to pressure, but, is this harmful to the pot? Does it degrade the food to cook a smaller amount in a larger pot?

It does not harm the pot. The only difference is that you need to meet the minimum water requirement for the size of that pot. I believe the 8qt needs just a tad more than one cup (maybe 1.25? it depends on the model) to reach pressure.

This only degrades the food if you using a larger pressure cooker for a small amount of food, or you want to do a braise- where you want the minimum amount of water to BRAISE and not BOIL the food. Also, all of the extra metal to heat-up means the pressure cooker could take several minutes more to reach pressure and the small amount of food is cooking during that time so just be aware that you'll have to follow the pressure cooking time range on the low side.

Kuhn Rikon has two 8 Qt models per their website. An 8qt family style stockpot, item 3350, for MSRP $420. And, an 8 Qt stockpot, item 3266, for MSRP $250. The family style is wider and shallower and the other is narrower and taller. Only suggested use differences per the website is that it seems like the taller can be used for canning if desired. Obvioulsy it is a significant price difference. I would imagine the shallower and wider be better for traditional braises? For example, if I cooked a brisket, I could fit a larger cut in single layer. In the stockpot, would it be ok to take that same cut and stack it in two pieces and add more liquid to come up to the top piece? Would the shape of the pot make a difference in cooking rice dishes, vegetables, etc.?

Is there any quality difference between the two 8 Qt models which accounts for the price difference? My only thought is that the wider pot has a larger base\core which is the mass of the pot and could account for the difference.

The only comment I can give on the price difference is that the base of the wider pan will need more metal on the base for the aluminum sandwich, and the top is subjected to more square inches of also needs to be stronger so this would affect the cost to manufacture it. How Kuhn Rukon then decides to price it is really up to them.

I wrote a recipe specifically for the pressure pan and describe the benefits of having a pressure pan. I specifically address the difference between stacking vs. putting meat it in a single layer (after the turkey wing centerfold photo):

http://www.hippressurecooking.com/2011/11/pressure-cooker-cranberry-braised.html

In short, the benefits of a pressure pan vs. the same size pressure cooker are: larger area in direct contact with the heat source, faster time to pressure and faster evaporation (for when you need to reduce the liquid). All these are great for meats but if you make a soup, be sure to cover the pan so the contents don't reduce significantly by the time the family comes back for seconds!

Ciao,

L

turkey_cran_collage.jpg


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

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Piazzaglia, thank you for your response. You definitely answered my question about having a minimum amount in the cooker. My example of the slow cooker was probably not the best comparison, where you need to have the slow cooker filled at least half way. As per your explanation a minimum amount of liquid is needed and that will increase with the size of the cooker.

I do also appreciate the stacking (and boiling some food) vs single layer benefit.

So, I guess I have to try to determine how I will use the cooker the most and buy one base on what best fits those requirements.

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Kuhn Rikon has two 8 Qt models per their website. An 8qt family style stockpot, item 3350, for MSRP $420. And, an 8 Qt stockpot, item 3266, for MSRP $250. The family style is wider and shallower and the other is narrower and taller. Only suggested use differences per the website is that it seems like the taller can be used for canning if desired. Obvioulsy it is a significant price difference. I would imagine the shallower and wider be better for traditional braises? For example, if I cooked a brisket, I could fit a larger cut in single layer. In the stockpot, would it be ok to take that same cut and stack it in two pieces and add more liquid to come up to the top piece? Would the shape of the pot make a difference in cooking rice dishes, vegetables, etc.?

Kuhn just sent me their 5L "Braiser" (pressure pan). I compared it to my 5L "stockpot" (pressure cooker) and here is the difference in weight.

Kuhn Rikon 5L Pressure Cooker: 6.34lbs or 2.87kilos

Kuhn Rikon 5L Pressure Pan: 8.97lbs or 4.07kios

There is about a quater more materials in pressure pan vs. the pressure cooker. I imagine the 8L models will be significantly heavier - empty!

IMG_3248.JPG

I have just published the Kuhn Rikon Duromatic review and I was happy to discover during the fact-checking stage that this pressure cooker is COMPLETELY safe despite the lack of self-locking handle plus (this will be of interest to those who already have one) an undocumented, faster, way to open it!

http://www.hippressurecooking.com/2012/02/pressure-cooker-review-kuhn-rikon.html

Ciao!

L


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

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Hi pazzaglia, saw your tweet yesterday with your new Duromatic Hotel pan. That's also my pressure pan, as well as the 12 liters of the same model.

Wonderful cooker. Only problem is that I cannot find accessories using the higher width, such as perforated inserts or steamers. Not even Kuhn-Rikon has them in their catalog. Only the ones for the smaller Duromatic...

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Ciao Enrique,

I have the non-factory everyday "flower petal" steamer baskets in two sizes - small and large. I just checked and the bigger one fits nicely in the Kuhn Rikon 5L Braiser/Pressure Pan - you do need to remove the center stem to get the lid on, though! But you can pull these out by either screwing the little center thing back in, or folding the "petals" with tongs, and then pulling it all out with oven mitts.

I'm sure you'll find them at your local Euro shop! Here is a picture of my small one - so at least you can know what they look like. Maybe you already have one hiding in a deep dark corner of your kitchen?!?

steamer_basket.jpg

Ciao,

L


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

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Thanks Laura! I have two of those, for the other (smaller) pressure cookers, but still the bigger of them fully open is a little smaller than the cooker. I'll search for a bigger one.

Enrique

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Hmm... maybe there is a "medium" - I've only ever seen these as large or small. Here's the big one.

IMG_3249.JPG

Ciao,

L


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

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Those of you who are interested in preparing stocks in a pressure, and particularly large quantities, and especially those who liv at higher altitudes, might be interested in my article, High Altitude Pressure Cooking and Stock Making, at http://freshmealssolutions.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=71:high-altitude-pressure-cooking-and-stock-making&Itemid=100088. I t describes how I modified at 27-liter non-electric All-American Sterilizer 1925X made by Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry (WAFCO) for this purpose, and added a PID controller to control the temperature/pressure in combination with an electric griddle.

This is a non-venting unit with an actual pressure gauge on it. It is widely used by dentists, tattoo artists, etc. The pressure gauge is rated at 3%-2%-3%, which means 3% of the full span in the first and last quarters of the dial, and 2% for the middle 50% of the dial. The pressure relieve value releases pressure at 22 psi (+/-1 psi).

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Can anyone suggest a good deal on a very large pressure cooker?

It depends on what you mean by "very large." There are usually pressure canners in the 21 and 23 qt size (cast aluminum) on eBay for reasonable buy-it-now prices.

I happen to be partial to the All-American brand as they don't need a gasket, (I'm rather hard on gaskets) and have a 30 qt. which works great for the canning I do now. At one time I had the largest (41 qt.) that they make but it is just too difficult for me to work with, in fact the 30 qt. is just about impossible for me to use on the stove top. I have one of the portable burners for a turkey fryer that puts the canner at an easier height for me to use. (I use it out on the deck.)

All-American 30 quart on eBay.


"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

 

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