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Chris Amirault

Pressure Cookers: 2011 and beyond

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I can see where the shorter, wider Family Style Stockpot might better accomodate bundt molds, springforms, or ramekins. That aside, what other advantages would justify spending an additional $160?

Brooks, I forgot to comment on this... yes, you can fit more ramekins (yaay!) but just because you can fit bigger bundt molds and standard-size spring-from pans it does not mean they will pressure cook well. I have noticed that once you get to a certain width or thickness it begins to take much longer to get the center cooked - you will still have wonderfully pressure steamed food though there may not be any actual time savings from doing it in the oven (energy, yes of course!!)

For the record, this would be my second pressure cooker. I also have the "standard" 5-liter Kuhn Rikon Duromatic (8.75" diameter, 6" tall, without lid), which has been fantastic.

With this second purchase, I'm looking for a cooker to do the same sort of cooking I've been doing (soups, beans, stews, vegetables), but in larger quantities — two pounds of beans, for example, instead of one.

.

.

I'm actually dithering between the 12-liter and the 8-liter. Out of curiosity, does it require a block and tackle to lift the 12-liter?

Ah.. OK! Then I say go for it! As you already guessed a 12L cooker is probably going to weigh quite a bit, empty, but it will also take longer to reach pressure (lots of metal and more contents to heat-up) and also the minimum liquid requirement will be a little higher. I'm just preparing you for the adjustments you may have to make to your go-to recipes when making them for a crowd in the 12L vs. 5L (less pressure cooking time - to compensate for the longer time to pressure- and a little more liquid).

For cooking 2lbs of beans let's figure out the minimum size of the pressure cooker you need.

I just ran to my kitchen to weigh 1 cup of dry Borlotti which is 150g (5.3 oz) so two pounds of beans would be a tad over 6 cups in volume. To cook them from dry you would need at least 3x the water (18 cups of water) and to cook them from soaked only 2x the water (12 cups). So the volume of un-soaked beans and their water is 24 cups (6L) and the volume of soaked beans and their water is 18 cups (4.25L). Remember, beans and their liquid should be 1/2 capacity or less. So the answer is: you will need a 12L cooker to pressure cook 2lbs of DRY beans - it's a bit of a squeeze but if you keep the total water under the 1/2 capacity mark you could do 2lbs of soaked beans in an 8L.

Great stuff, Laura, and grazie mille. I'm already a fan of your site, so it's a nice surprise bumping into you on eGullet. Hattip.gif

Thanks!! Glad to he be of help.

Just wondering what the verdict is on Scanpan? I read earlier a description of 'good, not great'. We got a lot of Scanpan stuff for our wedding and I've grown to really like it.

I'm not personally familiar with Scanpan, but if you're happy go with it! The main difference I have seen between Kuhn Rikon and other pressure cookers is that the whole pressure control mechanism is metal - unlike Fagor, Fissler or any other cooker I've seen so far. Due to use and accidental abuse (which I hope you won't do with a $150 pressure cooker) I have caught a pressure signal on fire (never pressure cook ANY amout of liquor - even a splash) and run one without water both of which have been fatal to the cookers, their valves and various bakelite and silicone parts. So, I recommend to look carefully at the pressure valve and housing of Scanpan and decide from there.

When I reviewed the Kuhn Rikon I was struck by it's minimalist elegance not just in the esthetics but the construction and use of least amount of "moving parts" to achieve the same effect. While many cookers have complicated and sophisticated handle-locking mechanisms with buttons levers and switches the Kuhn capitalizes the force of the internal pressure and uses the gasket to lock the lid closed while the contents are under pressure. That's just one example of the thought and detail that went into making their cookers - and one less thing that can break, too.

However, a cheap aluminum $30 pressure cooker and a fancy $300 will both get you the same result: pressure cooked food. The difference is only in the little details (even distribution of heat, features ect.) and durability. It's OK if your budget dictates a mid-range cooker. You will still get great results!

Ciao,

L


Edited by pazzaglia (log)

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

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Thanks, Enrique. Since my main goal is to cook and freeze big batches of soups and stews, I'm actually dithering between the 12-liter and the 8-liter. Out of curiosity, does it require a block and tackle to lift the 12-liter?

Of course it's a bit heavy but not that much when it's empty (full of stock and carcasses it is, but then I don't move it around until I carefully take out all the contents). I expected it to be heavier when I bought it.

I am really happy with my 12-liter, as it saves me so much time. I can make bigger batches of stock and bean stews with respect to my other cookers, which is a big time-saver, then freeze what I will not use in the following days. Now I always have different stocks "on stock".

My biggest problem is the space it takes up when not in use, and cleaning it as I have a small sink.

The KR was the only model I could find of that size, that's why I bought it. It seems to have a better quality, design and durability, but the food will not be different from the food cooked with much cheaper coookers.

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pazzaglia' timestamp='1339130525' post='1880390']...once you get to a certain width or thickness it begins to take much longer to get the center cooked - you will still have wonderfully pressure steamed food though there may not be any actual time savings from doing it in the oven

That's a useful piece of info, Laura, and thanks. The more I think about it, the more I think I should focus on my primary reason for getting a larger cooker: to save time in the kitchen by cooking and freezing large batches of soup, stews, and beans. To that end, it sounds like the 8 or 12-liter Kuhn Rikon would be the ticket.

I just ran to my kitchen to weigh 1 cup of dry Borlotti

Borlotti....love 'em! Wish they weren't so expensive here, and hard to find. Thanks for all the weighing, measuring, and computing. I was never too swift at math!

...it's a bit of a squeeze but if you keep the total water under the 1/2 capacity mark you could do 2lbs of soaked beans in an 8L.

Good to know. If the 12-liter Kuhn Rikon is too big for my tiny kitchen sink, I'll have to settle for the 8-liter. (Note to self: measure the sink.)

EnriqueB' timestamp='1339142035' post='1880400']My biggest problem is the space it takes up when not in use, and cleaning it as I have a small sink.

I hear ya, Enrique. My 5-liter cooker lives on the counter, my only other storage options being in the bathtub, under the bed, or on the floor.

I am really happy with my 12-liter

If my sink can accommodate it, I think that's the one I want.

You've all been very helpful. Many thanks.

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I have been using an 8 qt Kuhn Rikon to experiment with. I would now like to get down to making healthy quantities OS stock. The onl "large" (30 qt) p-cookers I could find we're aluminum. Alas, my stove is induction. Does anyone know of any large pressure cookers that are either stainless steel OR have stainless steel bottom plate?

Thanks in advance,

cfmiles.


Thanks in advance,

-cfmiles.

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You can always use an induction interface disk under the aluminium cooker. Examples on Amazon here and here.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

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This is great! Thank you very much.

Now, does anyone have a favorite 30L pressure cooker. (I have an 8L Kuhn Rikon and love it.)


Thanks in advance,

-cfmiles.

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This is great! Thank you very much.

Now, does anyone have a favorite 30L pressure cooker. (I have an 8L Kuhn Rikon and love it.)

See my article on high altitude pressure cookers, at http://freshmealssolutions.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=71:high-altitude-pressure-cooking-and-stock-making&Itemid=100088.

I use a modified 27 L All-American Sterilizer, controlled by a Fresh Meals Solutions Sous Vide Magic and an electric griddle. Works great for both canning and stock making.

You could use your induction stove (with an induction interface disk) to do the initial heating, and then use the electric griddle, or just use the griddle and wait a bit longer.

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I think we're at the "and beyond" stage of this topic now!

I wanted to share a recoding of last week's interview on Martha Stewart radio. Lots of information and tips on pressure cooking including: safety features all modern pressure cookers MUST have, tips on pressure cooking meats, why pressure cooker pasta works - and a carnitas recipe!

https://www.youtube....0&feature=g-upl

(in case you're at work, the audio starts as soon as the page loads ; )

So what has everyone been pressure cooking, this summer?

Ciao,

L

P.S. Forgot to mention, I'm the one being interviewed!


Edited by pazzaglia (log)

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

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What a great thread, and I was encouraged to 'go for it' by pazzaglia.

Being here in England and cooking for one i went for this model, which

is winging it's way from Germany to England at this moment.

http://www.amazon.co...49616949&sr=8-4

'What larks Pip old chap !'

What a pity we don't have a 'Like' button.....

Just listened to your Martha Stuart link,, great.

(I am not stalking you)


Edited by naguere (log)

Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

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I had a quick question regarding pressure cookers before buying one. It's been mentioned in this thread (at least I think so) that models from Kuhn Rikon, for example, operate with a pressure spring valve and will not let much steam through after coming to pressure. This makes for more flavourful stocks since not much escapes from the cooker while it's cooking, but a trade-off is that those models may not be appropriate for pressure canning because there is no way to ensure that all the air has escaped before the pressure valve locks.

I am not so concerned about canning for preservation, but there are a number of recipes in Modernist Cuisine at Home that involve cooking in canning jars in a pressure cooker. Will a Kuhn Rikon model be appropriate for this purpose? I'm thinking that the food safety issue is related to keeping the jars for a long time before opening them, and since I'd just be using them to cook things for near-immediate use it wouldn't be an issue. Am I right?

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I had a quick question regarding pressure cookers before buying one. It's been mentioned in this thread (at least I think so) that models from Kuhn Rikon, for example, operate with a pressure spring valve and will not let much steam through after coming to pressure. This makes for more flavourful stocks since not much escapes from the cooker while it's cooking, but a trade-off is that those models may not be appropriate for pressure canning because there is no way to ensure that all the air has escaped before the pressure valve locks.

I can't speak to Kuhn Rikon, but I have an electric Cuisinart that has a spring release. It lets out a lot of steam. Stands to reason there'd be no difference as the pressure has to go somewhere, regardless of the regulation method.


Edited by mgaretz (log)

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I am not so concerned about canning for preservation, but there are a number of recipes in Modernist Cuisine at Home that involve cooking in canning jars in a pressure cooker. Will a Kuhn Rikon model be appropriate for this purpose? I'm thinking that the food safety issue is related to keeping the jars for a long time before opening them, and since I'd just be using them to cook things for near-immediate use it wouldn't be an issue. Am I right?

That's certainly the way I understand it. I made the onion soup from Modernist Cuisine in my Kuhn-Rikon, which is cooked in canning jars in the pressure cooker, and it seemed to turn out just fine!


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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I can't speak to Kuhn Rikon, but I have an electric Cuisinart that has a spring release. It lets out a lot of steam. Stands to reason there'd be no difference as the pressure has to go somewhere, regardless of the regulation method.

From what I understand from what I've read, the Kuhn Rikon pressure spring valve models do not let out a lot of steam, and they lock and stop letting out steam when the pressure is achieved, meaning that some of the original air could be trapped inside. This is why I am asking the question.

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I don't understand what the problem is, "some of the original air could be trapped inside" makes no difference if the temperature and the pressure is there it's working.


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

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Just listened to your Martha Stuart link,, great.

(I am not stalking you)

hahaha! I'm not worried, I'm past the expiration date for stalking... for stock making, stalk away! ; )


Edited by pazzaglia (log)

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

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I can't speak to Kuhn Rikon, but I have an electric Cuisinart that has a spring release. It lets out a lot of steam. Stands to reason there'd be no difference as the pressure has to go somewhere, regardless of the regulation method.

From what I understand from what I've read, the Kuhn Rikon pressure spring valve models do not let out a lot of steam, and they lock and stop letting out steam when the pressure is achieved, meaning that some of the original air could be trapped inside. This is why I am asking the question.

It depends on the pressure cooker model, most household pressure cookers expel about 95% of the air before locking the valve to commence pressure cooking. All that "vapor" you see coming out of the valve before the pressure cooking is oxygen being pushed out.

100% air-free pressure cooking environment is only a concern for surgical sterilization and canning with the purpose of long-term shelf-stable storage (i.e. no refrigeration).

Great question!

I don't understand what the problem is, "some of the original air could be trapped inside" makes no difference if the temperature and the pressure is there it's working.

Yes, it does. Because air is insulating and could prevent the contents of the whole vessel from reaching the same temperature.

Ciao,

L


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

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I don't understand what the problem is, "some of the original air could be trapped inside" makes no difference if the temperature and the pressure is there it's working.

According to Modernist Cuisine, it actually does make a difference. The pressure reading from the gauge may not represent the actual pressure inside the vessel if the vessel contains a mix of steam and air instead of just steam. This has to do with Dalton's law of partial pressures. For example, if the pressure cooker has a mixture of 50% air and 50% steam inside, the gauge could indicate a pressure of 1 bar/15 psi while the actual vapor pressure inside the cooker will be 0.5bar, meaning the water will be at 111C/232F, which is not enough for safe sterilization and not the 120C/248F expected temperature.

Spring valves such as are present in Kuhn Rikon models will leave some air trapped as the valve locks, which means you can't be sure of the exact temperature of the water inside. I imagine that you won't have 50% air in there and that the temperature you reach is "close enough" for cooking purposes. When you cook a stock I think it's not a huge issue if it's going at 115C instead of 120C, for example, especially given that you'll expect some variation in the pressure reached by various different pressure cooker models. When you get into canning and are concerned about food sterilization for extended storage though, I guess it's much more important to reach the right temperature for the right amount of time.

The more I think about it the more I'm sure that if it's not for storage or preservation, that small temperature difference will not matter for what I'll be doing with it.

EDIT: Thanks, pazzaglia, what you're saying makes sense to me. And it looks like there's some good deals on Amazon today, so I'll probably be getting a 6qt Kuhn Rikon, as soon as I confirm my available storage space and all of that...


Edited by splice42 (log)

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I'd like some PC advice, as i plan to start using the one i have for MC and MC@H stuff, starting with soup and then those pork bellies.

I have the Fagor Rapid Express 6L/6qt model. it measures from the top of the base to the inner bottom a little over 6 1/4"

that implies from what Ive read I can fill up to 4 " from the bottom or leave 2" to the brim for safe PC'ing

with the bottom tray in its about 6 "

will the pint canning jars work in this model?

Ive yet to find a 10 qt bottom sold solo to add more height, and Im hoping this is all I need for most of the stuff in MC and MC@H

also would it be worth-while to get an induction cook top ( $ 85 amazonian ) for more efficient use?

many thanks!

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Has anyone had experience with both the normal, older Kuhn-Rikon valve and the newer "Top Model", that has a plastic knob that can be twisted to allow various styles of release? I notice that the Modernist Cuisine site, after recommending the normal models under "Gear", had a blog post linking to the "Top Model" and calling it their favorite.

I know pazzaglia's blog mentioned she would post about this when she had more information.


Edited by inductioncook (log)

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According to Modernist Cuisine, it actually does make a difference. The pressure reading from the gauge may not represent the actual pressure inside the vessel if the vessel contains a mix of steam and air instead of just steam. This has to do with Dalton's law of partial pressures. For example, if the pressure cooker has a mixture of 50% air and 50% steam inside, the gauge could indicate a pressure of 1 bar/15 psi while the actual vapor pressure inside the cooker will be 0.5bar, meaning the water will be at 111C/232F, which is not enough for safe sterilization and not the 120C/248F expected temperature.

Splice, your quote from the book has been bothering me ever since I read it. Then I did a little research. It appears that Dalton's Law of Partial Pressures is used to measure the equalized pressure of GASSES. The only problem is... that steam is a LIQUID. When I next get to speak to a Manufacturer's engineer, I will ask bout this. But on the surface, what was written does not appear to actually apply to pressure cooking.

I don't have the latest Modernist Cuisine book (@ Home), but I was sent a scan of one pressure cooker recipe. It instructs the cook to just "wait a little" before opening a jar who's contents have been pressurized. I don't think I need to explain to anyone here the dangers of accidentally opening a pressurized vessel.

I really feel they should have consulted with an expert to review both the technical and safety information before the book was published.

It's never too late, they have a lengthy errata page and active content sharing on their website.

Ciao,

L


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

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I'd like some PC advice, as i plan to start using the one i have for MC and MC@H stuff, starting with soup and then those pork bellies.

I have the Fagor Rapid Express 6L/6qt model. it measures from the top of the base to the inner bottom a little over 6 1/4"

that implies from what Ive read I can fill up to 4 " from the bottom or leave 2" to the brim for safe PC'ing

with the bottom tray in its about 6 "

will the pint canning jars work in this model?

Ive yet to find a 10 qt bottom sold solo to add more height, and Im hoping this is all I need for most of the stuff in MC and MC@H

also would it be worth-while to get an induction cook top ( $ 85 amazonian ) for more efficient use?

many thanks!

I don't have the latest book, so I cannot confirm whether a single pressure will cover all of the recipes there. Maybe someone here with the time, inclination, and book can answer.

The only problem with your math is not calculating for the height of a trivet/rack for keeping the jar from touching the bottom of the pressure cooker. The height of those varies between manufacturers and models.

Has anyone had experience with both the normal, older Kuhn-Rikon valve and the newer "Top Model", that has a plastic knob that can be twisted to allow various styles of release? I notice that the Modernist Cuisine site, after recommending the normal models under "Gear", had a blog post linking to the "Top Model" and calling it their favorite.

I know pazzaglia's blog mentioned she would post about this when she had more information.

I think the link to a specific model was unintentional. I have not seen "top", yet. But from Kuhn's description it seems to solve one of the FEW peeves I have about the Kuhn - which is standing there for two minutes holding the button down to release pressure. Instead, you get to twist something and WALK AWAY to do something else for those two minutes. The "twist to release" feature is something I already use and appreciate with the Fagor Futuro and Magefesa Ideal

So, I don't see any drawbacks to it from what I've heard and read.

Ciao,

L


Edited by pazzaglia (log)

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

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I'd like some PC advice, as i plan to start using the one i have for MC and MC@H stuff, starting with soup and then those pork bellies.

I have the Fagor Rapid Express 6L/6qt model. it measures from the top of the base to the inner bottom a little over 6 1/4"

that implies from what Ive read I can fill up to 4 " from the bottom or leave 2" to the brim for safe PC'ing

with the bottom tray in its about 6 "

will the pint canning jars work in this model?

Ive yet to find a 10 qt bottom sold solo to add more height, and Im hoping this is all I need for most of the stuff in MC and MC@H

also would it be worth-while to get an induction cook top ( $ 85 amazonian ) for more efficient use?

many thanks!

I don't have the latest book, so I cannot confirm whether a single pressure will cover all of the recipes there. Maybe someone here with the time, inclination, and book can answer.

The only problem with your math is not calculating for the height of a trivet/rack for keeping the jar from touching the bottom of the pressure cooker. The height of those varies between manufacturers and models.

Has anyone had experience with both the normal, older Kuhn-Rikon valve and the newer "Top Model", that has a plastic knob that can be twisted to allow various styles of release? I notice that the Modernist Cuisine site, after recommending the normal models under "Gear", had a blog post linking to the "Top Model" and calling it their favorite.

I know pazzaglia's blog mentioned she would post about this when she had more information.

I think the link to a specific model was unintentional. I have not seen "top", yet. But from Kuhn's description it seems to solve one of the FEW peeves I have about the Kuhn - which is standing there for two minutes holding the button down to release pressure. Instead, you get to twist something and WALK AWAY to do something else for those two minutes. The "twist to release" feature is something I already use and appreciate with the Fagor Futuro and Magefesa Ideal

So, I don't see any drawbacks to it from what I've heard and read.

Ciao,

L

In the US the "Top" valve only seems to be available with the long-handled models, while in Europe Kuhn-Rikon makes it for the stockpots as well. I can't see any benefit to the long handle, can you?

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In the US the "Top" valve only seems to be available with the long-handled models, while in Europe Kuhn-Rikon makes it for the stockpots as well. I can't see any benefit to the long handle, can you?

There no substantial benefit to the long handle. Some cookers call the long handle "helper handle". It's designed to give the cook better leverage when twisting off the lid, and more distance when carrying around the pressure cooker - in newer German pressure cooker models the handle houses some of the functionality and pressure selection mechanisms.

I spend all of my time ensuring that the long handle doesn't stick out from the cook-top, or over an open flame, so to me they are more of a bother than a help!

Ciao,

L


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

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Ill get some smaller canning jars today and see how they fit. the math was OK: 6 1/4" bottom to lip, 6" with bottom 'tray'

thanks! Ill even post a pic later.

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Rotuts, glad it worked out! Can't wait to see them.

Splice, your quote from the book has been bothering me ever since I read it. Then I did a little research. It appears that Dalton's Law of Partial Pressures is used to measure the equalized pressure of GASSES. The only problem is... that steam is a LIQUID. When I next get to speak to a Manufacturer's engineer, I will ask bout this. But on the surface, what was written does not appear to actually apply to pressure cooking.

I'm quoting myself here because I have more information- thanks to an email from a participant and a little more research. When steam is super-heated (which means above 100°C, like in pressure cooking) it no longer contains any liquid. It is then called vapor and considered a gas.

Although I am a pressure cooking expert, I am not a Thermodynamics expert which is why I defer to one before drawing any final conclusions as in this situation. I shot off an email to an Engineer and will gladly share the results with anyone who is interested!

Ciao,

L


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

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