Pressure Cooker Review: Fagor Futuro – Very Good
The Futuro is instantly recognizable with its art-deco style handles and wide curvy base that is just asking for a roast. Fagor’s Futuro does alot of things right – but some functionality takes you by surprise -literally!
Pressure Cooker Review: Fagor Futuro
Features: (3.5 out of 5 stars)
- Wide Base – While the opening is standard for a 6L/qt pressure cooker 8.8″ (22.5 cm) at its widest point this pressure cooker is 9.25″ (23.5 cm)! A half inch (1cm) does not sound like much, but when other pressure cookers, like the Fissler Vitavit, have an interior that is narrower than the opening a half inch difference starts to look like 2″ (5 cm)!
- Short Handles – I prefer pressure cookers with short handles, but the handles on the Futuro look so much alike, that I’m always trying to put the top on the wrong handle – a very small inconvenience for not having a long handle sticking out over a flame of the next burner or sticking out where my kids can reach them easily.
- Easy-cleaning valve – It really does just spin out and pop into your hand in a single piece that you can run under the water in your sink. But.. (see Clean-up section)
Unfortunately, the Fagor Futuro lacks one feature that is standard in most modern – and even first-generation pressure cookers – a maximum fill line. Although expert cooks can eye-ball it someone who is new to pressure cooking might have a difficult time deciding where exactly 2/3 capacity might be, and then half capacity for pressure cooking foamy or foods that expand, like legumes and grains.
Safety: (4.5 out of 5 stars)
The Futuro would have gotten 5 out of 5 stars in this category, if there had been a maximum capacity fill line – an important guide to ensure that food particles do not interfere with the operation of the pressure and safety valves. Although the manual lists only three, I have found this pressure cooker to have four safety mechanisms.
- Primary Over-Pressure Release – Integrated in the pressure release valve, releases pressure in case that it rises above the selected pressure.
- Secondary Safety Valve- Located under the lid handle, kicks in if the first is not able to reduce excess pressure (in case the first is clogged or the pressure is too high).
- Self-locking handle - The pressure cooker will lock closed when it begins to reach pressure, and will not allow you to open it until all pressure has been released.
- Safety vent – in case the first two safety mechanisms should fail, the gasket will buckle and allow pressure (and some of the contents of the pressure cooker) through the metal cut-out in the lid. Always point this little window in the rim away from you while operating the pressure cooker.
Performance: (3 out of 5 stars)
I have a love-hate relationship with the pressure regulator of the the Fagor Futuro.
I love the selection and release, but hate the indicator and regulator.
Pressure selection is a snap with big numbers and a lever to choose the needed pressure: 1-Low Pressure (8psi) or 2- High Pressure (15psi).
The pressure indicator, a little yellow thing buried in the handle, is too quiet and imprecise. It will pop up when the pan is reaching pressure, not when the selected pressure has been reached. Turning down the heat at the first sight of the yellow signal, as is customary, could mean a loss of pressure. Instead, you are supposed to wait until the valve goes into over-pressure and starts spewing out vapor, before turning the heat down. I’ve taken to touching the raised signal with my finger – if it has “give” or falls back down the pan has not reached pressure. But if it is solid to the touch then the pan has reached pressure. Unlike other pressure cookers tested, the Futuro is so quiet that it will not make a bunch of noise when it has reached over-pressure and it’s time to turn down the heat. Getting this pan up to pressure requires a fair bit of monitoring.
Although this valve appears to emit quite a bit more vapor than its peers during operation. The numbers tell a different story. In my tests the Fagor Futuro has an average 3.5% evaporation, the same as the Kuhn Rikon Duromatic.
However, the heat required to maintain pressure is higher than the Kuhn Rikon Duromatic (knob position 2.75 vs. 1.6 ) – which makes this pressure cooker grossly less energy efficient than its peers.
When pressure cooking is finished, I love this pressure cooker all over again. When it’s time to release pressure, I just need to flick the pressure selector to “release” and a diffused, wide, low-noise cloud shoots straight up into the exhaust fan above my cooktop. Why would such an intuitive function be something I love about this pressure cooker?!? Well, other high-end pressure cookers require you to turn something slowly, or push a button and lever and stand there for two minutes while the pressure cooker de-pressurizes shooting vapor in every possible direction except for where it would make the most sense.
Clean-up: (4 out 5 stars)
- Valve comes out easily
- Gasket easy to remove and hand wash
- Lid should be hand-washed, only
- Base is dishwasher safe but hand washing is recommended.
The valve is really easy to remove for regular, fast cleaning, but there are some nooks and crannies underneath where the system attaches to the pan, that can only be reached by un-screwing the top part of the pressure cooker… and it takes a Ph.D. in Fagor construction to figure out how to put it back correctly. However, depending on the use (and I use this pan alot), you would only be faced with this about once a year (or after a particularly messy experiment).
The total weight of the Futuro Pressure cooker base is about half a pound (200g) less than equivalent -sized Fissler Vitavit and Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Pressure cooker bases, and you can really feel the difference when it’s time to clean it. I found the Fagor Futuro stainless steel a little “stickier” than other pressure cookers I have tested so far. This means that you will need to use a little extra elbow grease after pressure cooking a particularly caramellized meal.
The Futuro comes standard with a trivet and stainless steel steamer basket. Like the base, the steamer basket is the widest I’ve seen in pressure cookers of equivalent size 8.5″ (21.5cm) vs. the 7.5″ (19 cm) of the Fissler Vitavit. It is nice and deep and has two handles that stay out of the way.Fagor made this steamer basket extra special by capitalizing on the holes that need to be there anyway and turning it into a grater- helpful in a pinch but not ergonomic enough to become your primary grater.
Also included is a small recipe book, with color photographs and recipes and a very detailed instruction manual.
- Dessert Accessory Kit
- Canning Accessory Kit (for 10L/QT and above)
- 3-piece Measuring Set
- Glass Lid
- Pasta Basket (see their website)
- 18/10 Stainless Steel with aluminum sandwich base
- Available Sizes: 4, 6 and 10qt
- Spring Valve with dial pressure selector (8 and 15 PSI)
- Maximum Cooking Temperature measured at high pressure: 120.7°C (249°F)
- Universal Base – Safe to use on gas, electric, ceramic and induction cook tops
- Width: (opening) 8.8″ or 22.5cm, (widest point) 9.25″ or 23.5 cm; Height (internal) 6″ or 15.5cm; Weight: (Base) 4.14lbs or 1.88k , (Base and Top) 6.28lbs or 2.85k
- 10 Year Warranty
- Made in Spain
- Fagor Futuro Instruction Manual
- Manufacturer Website: Fagor America
- Recipes on this website using Fagor Futuro
Conclusion and Score:
The Futuro has the best pressure release I have seen, yet. It’s quiet, really automatic (you can walk away while it is releasing pressure instead of pushing a button for two minutes to release pressure), and best of all the vapor goes in the right direction (straight up into my exhaust fan). The shape of the base is the next-best feature. I was able to fit roasts in the Futuro that would have otherwise been cooked diagonally in other pressure cookers. But, unless you have a well-trained ear, it’s a bit of a surprise when it reaches pressure and it needs a bit more heat than its peers to stay there.
The Futuro is fun to use and well.accessorized but compared to other premium cookers it’s not the most efficient in terms of energy consumption.
NOTE: This review was fact-checked by the Marketing and Communications Manager at Fagor America prior to publication.
From U.K (similar model with different base):
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In the interest of full disclosure, we would like to note that: The pressure cooker was sent to Hip Pressure Cooking by the manufacturer at no cost. Our relationship with the manufacturer, or lack thereof, does not affect the outcome of the review.