Pressure Cooking with Induction

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I spent a good three months burning onions, scorching tomato sauces and under-cooking food in my pressure cookers before I figured out how to pressure cook on induction.   Unlike pressure cooking on gas, or an electric coil,  where the heat is generated by a flame or element and then transferred onto the base and sides of the cooker and eventually the food inside, induction cooking turns the pressure cooker’s base into the heat source – heating only the base of the cooker to cook the food!

So, is it even a good idea to pressure cook with induction? The answer is a resounding, yes!

The adjustments are small and, besides,  induction cooking transfers 90% of it’s energy to the pot (compare that to an electric burner that only transfers 47%), so pairing your pressure cooker with an induction burner will turn your household into an energy-saving super-star!

How to Pressure Cook on Induction

DON’T pre-heat the cooker.
I got into the habit of preheating the base of the pressure cooker on a low flame to give me time to slice onions or peel garlic cloves while the cooker was pre-heating. But, on induction, I kept getting burned olive oil and charred onions. Don’t pre-heat your cooker on induction – the cooking surface is hot and ready to saute in 15 seconds!

DO slice the aromatics first, and then turn on the induction burner just before tossing oil or aromatics to saute’.

DON’T bring the cooker to pressure on high heat.
Following the old standby advice about bringing the cooker to pressure on high heat several obvious things will happen: the cooker reaches pressure at break-neck speed (about 4 minutes), tomato sauces carbonize and bond to the base of the cooker, and the food comes out disappointingly under-done. One more thing that is not obvious will happen, too: the pressure cooker does not have time to expel all of the air and actually cooks the food at a lower temperature (mechanics explained, below).

DO bring the pressure cooker to pressure on medium heat or tack on a few minutes to the cooking time to compensate for the lower pressure cooking temperature and shorter time to pressure.

DON’T walk away from a very full or wide cooker right after you’ve adjusted the heat.
This is where the instant heat of induction does a disservice to pressure cooking. Although the cooker may have reached pressure, the sides are  still  at a lower temperature than the piping hot aluminum-disk-clad base. Walking away from the cooker once the heat is lowered will cause internal pressure to quickly  fall  since the heat generated from the base is not enough to both keep the food inside boiling and maintaining pressure and heat up the rest of the cooker or food.

DO hang around to make heat adjustments for the first 5 minutes of pressure for very full or very wide cookers.

DO use the induction burner’s timer feature to set the pressure cooking time so the burner turns itself off automatically when time is up!

How Induction Cooking Works

Induction works with electricity – generating a small magnetic current that causes friction within the pot – and this friction generates heat.
how induction cooking works

  1. Electric current runs through a copper coil that is wound underneath the cooking surface.
  2. The coil generates an electromagnetic field a short distance from the cooking surface – enough to reach the base of the pot.
  3. The magnetic field induces (or forces) an electric current into the base of the cookware within this field. The metal in the cookware resists the flow of this current (with friction) and heats up.
  4. The hot metal from the pot heats the food or liquid inside.

Induction is a more efficient way to bring heat to the food because almost all of the energy used is conducted directly to the base of the pot, unlike cooking on a gas or electric coil where much heat escapes around the sides of the pot and in addition to heating up the food it heats up the room and the outside of the cooker.

Mechanics of pressure cookers on induction

Heat transfer of induction cooking verus cooking on gasInduction cooking has the unique ability to bring the base of a pan, or pressure cooker, to searing  heat instantly  while the edges and lid are still cool enough to touch. That’s a by-product induction’s efficiency that can work against the pressure cooker, too.

Pressure cookers brought to pressure on induction at its highest setting reach pressure so quickly that they trap more air inside (shorter time to pressure, less venting time) than a cooker being brought to pressure on gas or electric cook tops.  In other words, the maximum temperature that can be achieved inside a pressure cooker  containing water, steam and air is less than the temperature that can be achieved by a cooker that contains water and steam alone.

As induction becomes more common, pressure cooker manufacturers will be pressed to include instructions on how to operate their cooker on induction in their manuals or design a more sophisticated pressure regulating valve that can ensure the complete removal of air inside the cooker regardless of the time it takes to come to pressure.

Induction Burner Shopping

Buy the highest wattage induction burner you can afford and your kitchen outlets can handle – the low-wattage cheaper induction burners can bring a cup of water to a boil in a couple of minutes, too,  but increase that to a 16 cup soup or stock and they begin to struggle and show their “you get what you pay for” cheapness.

Also purchase from: Canada, UK, Germany, and Italy

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106 Comments

  1. For any of you living in the US, the HSN Today’s Special today (December 11) is the NuWave Portable Induction Cooker. If you or anyone you know is interested in getting the NuWave PIC, you can get it for $79.95 and this is a good deal. Current price on Amazon is 94.99. There are no gimmicks, no games, no buy one get one “free” (as long as you pay shipping and handling) sleight of hand as you see on the NuWave website. You cannot get this good a price for a single NuWave PIC from their website. When I bought mine I did get this price, but to get it, I had to purchase two PICs.

    I own and LOVE the NuWave PIC. Since I purchased it, I almost never use my stove anymore. My preference is for stovetop PCs and I use the NuWave PIC with my pressure cookers. Because of the fine temperature control with the NuWave PIC (temperature is adjustable in 10 degree increments) I can just about “set it and forget it” as you can with electric PCs.

    Remember this deal at HSN is for today only, December 11th.

  2. Razzy 7: the Nuwave is only 1300 wattage. I have had the duxtop 1800 watt that Laura recommends for about a year–it is excellent. Previously, I had the Nuwave 1300, but what a difference the extra wattage makes!!! I would never ” set it and forget it”. I have a Kuhn Ricon and the temperature fluctuates a bit. Like you, I never use my stove-top anymore, induction is where it’s at.

  3. Razzy and Bonnie, thank you both for sharing your personal experiences!

    Ciao,

    L

  4. Bonnie,
    True the Duxtop has 1800 watts while the Nuwave has 1300 watts, however there apparently is not a direct relationship between wattage and the amount of heat that can be generated. The Nuwave has a wider range of available temperatures (100°F to 575°F) than the Duxtop (140°F to 460°F ) and is adjustable in 10 degree increments, thus providing 52 possible temperatures and allowing more precise heat control. The Duxtop, on the other hand, has 10 temperature setting choices and is not adjustable up or down from those 10 settings. This is like the Max Burton (also 1800 watts) I used previously which also had only 10 heat settings and wasn’t adjustable within those ranges.

    You say you would “never set it and forget it.” I’m not sure whether the “it” in this case is referring to the Duxtop or the Nuwave. While I don’t think it’s smart to leave anything cooking and totally “forget” it – even the digital PCs, I am to the point now that I pretty much know which temperature setting on the Nuwave to use with my different stovetop PCs. Hence there isn’t a need to constantly monitor the PC while I’m cooking in it.

    Bonnie, I’m wondering if you possibly had a defective NuWave. Reading reviews of portable induction cooktops on Amazon, it’s pretty clear that regardless of the brand, there are a number of units that are DOA and other units that function initially but before long have problems. Sadly I think this is true of portable induction burners of various brands (and digital PCs as well, for that matter).

    Bonnie, please know I’m not trying to argue with you but simply to advance the discussion. I’m glad we both have portable induction burners that we are pleased with. As you say, “induction is where it’s at.”

    1. Hi Razzy, you made your comment 4 years ago but I’m just reading it now :-)
      You say ” there apparently is not a direct relationship between wattage and the amount of heat that can be generated” and then go on to quote various temperatures that the induction elements can be set to. But you have confused “temperature” with “heat”. An 1800 watt element will produce almost 40% more *heat* at full power than a 1300 watt element. Given enough time, either one can cause the pan resting on it to reach high *temperatures*. But temperature and heat are not the same thing. Consider a burning log versus a burning toothpick. They both have the same high temperature that will burn your finger, but only the log is capable of warming a whole room because of the heat energy it produces. The 1800 watt element is a “big log” and the 1300 watt element is a “small log”. They’ll both heat pans, but the big log can give off much more heat energy and will take less time. (It is just the manufacturers’ choice to limit the maximum temperature of their devices at different levels; that doesn’t limit the amount of heat energy each can produce.)
      Hope this helps!

  5. razzy 7: I was a Nuwave junkie!! I had to send their Pressure cooker back, it was horrible, and so was their customer service, so I will no longer purchase from them, but still use the items I did purchased. Back to the duxtop/PIC…

    I cook large amounts of soup per week and there is a noticeable difference in heating time. Anything else I’ve cooked has the same results. It just heats/cooks quicker.

    I base my opinion on experience. I’ve been using the duxtop induction cooktop for over a year, and my RK’s for 2 years. (I used the PIC for close to 9 months before I banished it to the garage for donation) Fortunately, I’ve not had problems with duxtop or RK.

    Discussion is good, perhaps food for thought for others. I’m super happy with my “toys”, and understandably, you are happy with yours. More power, more better.

  6. I agree with what you said about the Nuwave PC – while I didn’t get it, it looks really cheap. I didn’t purchase anything but the PICs. I suspect their cookware isn’t all that great either, but I didn’t need to get any new cookware. I too base my opinions on considerable experience as do you.

    Glad we’re both happy with what we have.

    By the way when you referred to RK did you mean KR – Kuhn Rikon, your brand of pressure cooker? I also own a Kuhn Rikon as well as a Fissler and four B/R/K pressure cookers. I like all of them, though the B/R/Ks are my favorites. Unfortunately there’s no longer a distributor in the US for B/R/K so as much as I love them I can’t in good conscience recommend them to friends.

  7. Razzy 7: oops!!! I did mean KR!!! I have 3 (so far). Sorry for the error, just got home from a 24-hour travel day from Paris to SFO, so I’m not too together just now.

    I have the Nuwave oven and mini oven, both are fantastic.

    Don’t know what I’d do without Laura’s website. She is fantastic!!!

    Happy new Year to alll!!

  8. I have an Avantco and really like it. commercial quality purchased from a restaurant supply house for $144 inc shipping.

  9. I recently purchased the Nuwave PIC Pro. It has a sear setting that’s rated at 1800 Watts I bought the whole set. Like Bonnie I tried the pressure cooker and I returned it today. It is only holds 13PSI for it’s high setting according to the manual and I didn’t trust that. The rest of the cook ware seems to be of good quality. I have cooked omlettes with 10 1/2” frying pan that really turned out great. The non-stick coating works very well and the base of all the pots and pans are approx. 1/2” and seems to distribute the heat in the bottom of the pots and pans very well. The. roasts, corned beef and cabbage and beef stroganoff that I cooked in the pressure cooker turned out OK but I’m new to pressure cooking and used too high a temperature. The recipe called for cooking it on High so I cooked them at too long on the high setting on the cook top. Came close to over cooking the roasts and corned beef. I ordered a Fagor Futuro 10qt pressure cooker/canner with the hopes of being able to do a small amount of canning. Has any one attempted canning with the 10qt Futuro and an induction cook top? I won’t attempt any canning until I have mastered the pressure cooking aspect of it but I would like some feedback if someone has tried it on an induction cook top . Reserching on the other forums gives mixed opinions

  10. Mac,
    You note that “The roasts, corned beef and cabbage and beef stroganoff that I cooked in the pressure cooker turned out OK but I’m new to pressure cooking and used too high a temperature.” I suspect that you didn’t use too high a temperature but that once the PC came to pressure, you failed to reduce the heat quickly enough and/or didn’t reduce it to the point that it maintained high pressure. Once the PC has reached pressure you only want to use a temperature high enough to maintain that pressure – and no higher. If you don’t reduce the temperature quickly enough or sufficiently, all the liquid in your PC is likely to escape and your food will likely burn and overcook as well.

    You also note, that “The recipe called for cooking it on High so I cooked them at too long on the high setting on the cook top.” I wonder if you are confusing “high PRESSURE” with the “high TEMPERATURE setting” on you Nuwave. When the recipe called for cooking the food on the high setting, it was referring to using high pressure, rather than low pressure. To enable the PC to attain high pressure, you would use a high temperature setting on the Nuwave (note Laura and I differ a bit in selecting the temperature on an induction burner to allow the pressure cooker to get to high pressure, but one does have to use a high enough pressure to enable the PC to reach high pressure). On MY Nuwave, I use the Sear setting and as soon as the little button on my PC pops up indicating that the PC has reached high pressure, I immediately reduce the temperature setting. I don’t have a Fagor nor a Nuwave PC so I do not know how either PC indicates that it is at high pressure though they probably work similarly to mine. With my PCs and my Nuwave, reducing the temperature typically means reducing the temperature from Sear to between 230 to 260 degrees, depending upon which of my stovetop PCs I am using. With a little experience you’ll soon learn what temperature to reduce your Nuwave to, to maintain high pressure in whatever PC you are using. Remember you will not be COOKING your food at high temperature, you are using a high temperature only until the pressure cooker reaches high pressure. You’re actually cooking the food at a fairly low temperature, but at high pressure.

    Now about canning…first let me say that I am not a canner and you’ll want to talk to someone who is. There are groups on Yahoo and probably elsewhere specifically for those interested in pressure canning. That said, this video from Fagor, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj7AfMfbfR4 describes canning in the 10 qt. Fagor Futuro. I don’t know what you purchased, but you’ll need the Fagor Home Canning Kit which includes a book titled Home Canning Cookbook. I assume the Home Canning Kit is an extra cost item that does not come with the PC. If you have not purchased the Home Canning Kit, you’d need to. I would not attempt canning without this kit or using the instructions from Fagor. The video demonstrates canning Bolognese sauce and Spicy Seafood Sauce (a fruit sauce).

    As far as canning with the 10 qt Futuro on your NuWave, I’d contact BOTH Fagor and NuWave with that question. Fagor ought to have an answer as that company also markets a portable induction burner. However even it Fagor says yes, you need to ask that question specifically of NuWave about its product as the NuWave portable induction cooker may work differently in some respects than the Fagor that would affect whether or not it could be used for canning. Fagor can be contacted here:1-800-207-0806 or [email protected] and your Nuwave instruction manual should have contact info for Nuwave.

    Good luck Mac. If you have other questions, or if anything I said is confusing, please ask again. Laura, of course, is more than willing to help you and others participating in this Forum are as well.

  11. Thanks for the quick reply.As the saying goes “When all else fails read the instructions”! I’m lucky I haven’t ruined anything yet. Before I sent the Nuwave PC back I was doing some experimenting on the temperature settings with boiling water. According to what I’ve read if my pc had a 13psi release it should release at 240 deg. I could bring the temp on my cooktop all the way down to 215 deg and it would still release steam. Is this normal? I thought if the PC was working right it wouldn’t release any steam until it reached release pressure. I’ve checked the water temps compared to the digital readout on my cooktop up to boiling and they are within 5 deg. of readout temp. I checked the temps with a Thermo Works thermometer with a test probe so there shouldn’t be a problem with the accuracy.

  12. Agree, Mac, ThemoWorks thermometers are excellent in terms of accuracy. I love mine.

    “According to what I’ve read if my pc had a 13psi release it should release at 240 deg. I could bring the temp on my cooktop all the way down to 215 deg and it would still release steam. Is this normal?” Not sure, Mac but don’t worry about the exact temperature reading. I don’t do any measureing of temperature on my cooktop or in my PCs. I just bring whichever of my stovetop PCs I’m using to high pressure – as indicated on my PCs by a little indicator on the lid that pops up thus sealing the pressure cooker. At that point I immediately reduce the temperature to as low a setting as possible that will still maintain the high pressure — if the little indicator drops down I know I’ve reduced it too much and increase the temperature a bit.

    “I thought if the PC was working right it wouldn’t release any steam until it reached release pressure.” As a pressure cooker is coming to pressure, it begins to release some steam as soon as as the contents in the pot are hot enough for steam to be created. Once that begins to happen it will continue to release steam until there’s enough pressure created in the pot to nudge the little pressure valve indicator up thus sealing the pressure cooker and indicating that the cooker is at high pressure. If you don’t reduce the temperature at this point, more and more pressure will continue to build and be released, not only through the little pressure indicator/valve but through some of the safety mechanisms of the pressure cooker. If that didn’t happen there’d be a risk of the lid blowing off. The purpose of the safety mechanisms is to keep that from happening. But you don’t want your PC to get to this point. As soon as your pressure cooker has reached high pressure as indicated by whatever means your PC uses to indicate that it’s reached high pressure, you want to reduce the temperature significantly. The goal is to keep the pressure high enough inside the pot to maintain high pressure but not so high that the pressure continues to build. It takes a bit of trial and error to know just how much you need to reduce the temperature to maintain the high pressure. When the PC has reached and is maintaining high pressure, a very little steam may escape but not much at all. If you hear lots of steam escaping, the heat is too high and pressure is building to too high a level. If you notice that the pressure valve indicator drops down, it means that the heat is too low to maintain high pressure within the PC and it needs to be increased. I know getting a PC to high pressure and maintaining that perfect pressure sounds like a complicated dance, but it really is not. It just takes a bit of practice. It’s a good thing to try this process with nothing in the PC but water. That way while one is learning he/she won’t be burning any food but will get a sense of what it takes for the PC to reach pressure, how much to reduce the heat at that point and just what setting maintains the proper pressure.

    If I’ve confused you or you have more questions, ask again.

  13. Thanks for the feedback. I’m looking forward to getting my new Fagor and using the boiling water to get a feel for it. I don’t think that the Nuwave PC was accurate in it’s release of steam at the proper pressure. I’ve been reading your beginners section on cooking with a PC and getting a lot out it. Looking forward to doing some venision roasts after next hunting season. Thanks again for this very informative web site.

  14. Laura: Thank you for this article. I just got my Fissler 8.5 L PC last week. I have a built-in induction cooktop that is 10 years old (Diva DDP-5). It doesn’t have controls to set temperature, it just has settings from 1 to 12, with 1 = 50 watts (simmer) and 12 being 2800 watts (Max). The manufacturer refers to setting 1 as simmer, 6 as medium, 10 as med-high and 12 as high.

    To give an idea of temperatures, we cook sauces made with butter or eggs on 4, sauces thickened with flour on 5 or 6 (after reaching a boil), cook custards on 6, sauté onions and cook rice on 7, cook pasta (once boiling) or pancakes or eggs on 8, scald milk on 9, boil stews on 10 (then lower to 4), pan fry meats (cast iron skillet) on 10, rapid boil anything at 12.

    The induction cooktop manual specifically says to bring pressure cookers to pressure on 12, then maintain at 5.

    So, before seeing this article, I had made an Italian meatloaf (twice) that calls for adding 2 cups of marina as the liquid for the PC. The recipe said to bring the PC to pressure on “medium high,” so I used 10 as the setting. The marinara scorched. Both times. By not stirring the marina at the end of the cooking phase, I was able to pour off and use the sauce without much scorched taste. But I would like to learn from the experience.

    Other recipes I have made (moose roast in cognac mushroom sauce, a whole chicken with a rosemary lemon sauce, and a chicken stock) have all come up to pressure without problems or scorching at settings of 10 or 12. Pots with larger quantities I can maintain pressure at a setting of 4, but lesser quantities (which includes the Italian meatloaf with the marinara in the pot) needed to see-saw between 5 and 6. Very little fiddling needed, though. All of the meats cooked to the proper level of doneness.

    So, I realize the sugar content in the marinara, at the heat levels I used, caused the scorching. Bringing to pressure at 10 or 12 is clearly the wrong setting with that marinara in there! But, at the time, I was concerned that if I brought up the pressure too slowly, the food would get-to-cooking too soon, and would end up over-cooked. So, if for this recipe I need to use a setting of 5-6 to maintain pressure, I think I will try to come up to pressure on 8 and just let it take however long it needs. That is the setting I use to fry eggs or make pancakes. (Omelettes, however, cook covered on 6.) Sound in the right ballpark to you?

    Do you know of any tricks to use to figure out what cooktop settings produce what temperatures? I figure I should be able to put some high-smoke-point liquid into a pan, set a cooktop setting, let the liquid in the pan come to a steady temperature. Record that, then up the cooktop to the next higher setting, let the liquid come to a steady temperature, record that, and continue for each setting on the cooktop. Any idea what kind of high smoke-point liquid I could use for such a test? Is there another way?

    Brad

    1. Brad, It sounds like you’ve been making some delicious meals in your pressure cooker!

      It’s not the sugar from the tomatoes that is scorching in the base of the cooker, it’s the thickness of the sauce and the speed at which it is being heated (faster than it can boil, if it can boil). I would add a little bit of water, or substitute the tomato puree’ with “chopped” tomatoes (which are already tad more watery).

      In terms of finding the right setting for your cooker on induction, it’s pretty simple. Most pressure cooker recipes (well-written ones, anyway) assume you’re bringing your cooker up to pressure and it will take about 10 minutes for the cooker to reach it. I would say that the induction heat setting that has your cooker take about that long to reach pressure is the right one. I would try 8 or 9 and see how that goes.

      Ciao,

      L

  15. Does anyone know if there is any research on use of the Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burners with pressure canners?

    I am pondering questions such as —
    (1) is it safe, will it maintain heat so that the pressure is maintained, as a drop in pressure can be fatal;
    (2) what about the weight factor. I see some portable induction burners say maximum 50 lbs, etc, weight. Well if I put my 23 quart Presto pressure canner in there, and 3 US quarts (3 litres) of weight, then double stack it with 20 x 500 ml jars of produce, will I just hear an expensive *CRACK* as the induction burner gives in?

    1. Cancel that question — just came across the “acid test” test for induction of sticking a magnet to the pot bottom, and a magnet won’t stick to the bottom of the Presto 23 quart pressure cooker / canner :{ So that’s a non-starter! Was thinking of running the canner down in the basement to leave the stove free for cooking the stuff to go into the mason jars, oh well.

      1. I think your 23qt is aluminum – which is not magnetic. BUT your questions are still valid – that’s because an incompatible pan could be used with a special round metal “converter” that goes between the burner and the pan to generate heat.

        I would be worried more about the weight than the temperature. Most induction burners can run either on “wattage” or “temperature”. Although the “temperature” setting is more predictable it involves the induction burner turning on/off at certain ranges while the “wattage” setting is a little trickier to set but keeps a constant quantity of induced “heat” (no matter the temperature of the pressure cooker/canner).

        Google says Nil. It would be great to hear what the National Center for Home Food Preservation think about pressure canning on induction.

        Ciao,

        L

  16. I just found the converter you mention, there’s one on amazon, “Induction Interface Disk.”

    But yeah, you’re right the bigger concerns are the weight. And whether NCHFP has any comment. I’ll see if I can wrangle a comment out of them, they are very cautious, but lots of times they will email you privately and off the record /: } wink.

    Thanks Laura.

    1. One other thought on the disk…

      The disk is ferrous and that’s what let’s it work with the induction cooktop. However, the disk heats the aluminum pan just like any electric stove heats a pan, effectively cancelling many of the advantages that the induction cooktop provides.

      If one only had an induction cooktop and wanted to use an aluminum canner, (maybe that is your case?) it is a solution, providing the weight issue is resolved.

      Getting an induction ready canner would likely provide the best energy transfer through its efficiency.

      1. Thanks Kole.

        Good logic.

        You’re right, if one had a burner and it happened to be induction, it would solve the problem.

        But if your don’t already have a burner, I think I’ve decided it’s probably better to look for a non induction burner that can stand the weight.

        And given as you point out that the disk would cancel out the benefits of induction — plus given that all the very best pressure canners *are* aluminum, so there’s no real choice about the pot material — well there’s another reason too eh?

        Cheers

  17. Cook’s Illustrated reviewed three models of induction interface disks. Only one, the Max Burton Induction Interface Disk was recommended. Cost $49. Cook’s Illustrated gave the other two a Not Recommended rating. Those two were the Mauviel Specialty Induction Interface Disk, cost $100 and the Emile Henry Flame Top Induction Disk, cost $100. Hence if I were purchasing one of these interface disks I’d choose the Max Burton. However depending upon what pot or pan I had that wasn’t induction capable, I might instead just consider purchasing an induction-compatible pan. I’ve read elsewhere – can’t recall where – that these induction interface disks really aren’t great solutions for using non-induction ready cookware.

  18. This page has been helpful to me. I’ve had my induction freestanding cooker for a month now and I use a Fagor stovetop pressure cooker on the induction hob. I find induction is extremely quick! Having followed the tips on this page, I found it helpful to use 90% induction power to bring the pressure cooker up to pressure, instead of adding extra minutes onto the actual cooking time.

    A month on… I can bring the water in the pressure cooker to boiling by using 100% induction power (but not using the power/boost setting) and then lower it to 90% once the water has started bubbling a lot, to give a “weaker” boiling, before locking the lid in place and setting the pressure dial to either low or high. IT WORKS! The pressure cooker does take longer reaching pressure (and as this page says) the longer time to pressure removes the air inside and heats the the lid and sides more.

    Just don’t be tempted to leave the induction on 100% power to reach pressure – it doesn’t work and the food will be undercooked.

    I hope this info is helpful to others who use pressure cookers on induction.

    1. David, congrats on your new induction burner – thanks so much for sharing your experience here!

      Ciao,

      L

    2. I have also discovered that, when adding ingredients later into the pressure cooking time, you bring the cooker back up to pressure using *just* 80 – 90% induction power, because the pressure cooker is already warm inside. If you bring the water to the boil with 100% power in a warm/hot pressure cooker, the lid will likely seal before all of the air has been removed, even if you lower the power straight away.

      My experience so far shows that with a cold pressure cooker and raw ingredients, you can use 100% power (or even a “booster” setting, if the cooker has a lot of liquid – up to 1/2 full with liquid for safety) to get the water to *boiling* temperature, then you lower the heat a little to give a weaker boiling. When adding quick-cooking ingredients later into pressure cooker, then only use 80 – 90% induction power.

      1. David, thanks so much for your updates – induction is really tricky with pressure cooking because of all the elements involved so its very helpful to read your observations and experience!

        Ciao,

        L

  19. I beg to differ with you, David though I’m not discounting your personal experience with your freestanding induction cooker. Different techniques work well for different people I suspect. I now do 95% of my cooking (both pressure and non-pressure) on the Nuwave PIC Pro – temperature adjustable in 5 degree increments. I always use the highest setting to bring my PC to pressure and use the cooking time recommended in a recipe – whether it’s one of Laura’s recipes or another. In my case, the highest setting is the Sear setting. I’ve never had a problem with this strategy and my dishes turn out well – they are not undercooked. The key, I think for any of us, is do whatever works for you. Read of the experiences of others and try what sounds the best for your situation.

    1. If it works for you that’s great.

      If the induction zone is making the water/liquid boil very fiercely, the pressure cooker lid could seal shut before all of the air inside has been expelled. Air pockets inside the pressure cooker will lower the temperature of the liquid/steam/food and this could result in undercooked food after following the recommended cooking time under pressure. Also any trapped air will affect the flavour of the food and destroy vitamins – doing the opposite of what a pressure cooker is supposed to do i.e. make food taste better and preserve vitamins, by cooking faster in pure steam.

  20. I’ve used my cheap 1000 Watt induction burner with my Fager Futuro pressure cooker about 12 times.
    What works for me is
    4 minutes on setting 4 (of 6)
    1 minute on setting 3
    remaining time on setting 2.

    Every thing I have done this way I have made previously on the stovetop or in my Instant Pot. The results appear identical so far.

    This is my goto method for things that require presearing as the Futuro is easier to clean after searing than the Instant Pot and the Induction burner requires very little attention compared to the stovetop.

    Everything I have made so far required 1 cup of water except for risotto which still took 4 minutes and soup which took a minute longer to reach pressure, and but still it was a good starting point.

    I do have the temperatures for my induction burner somewhere if anyone wants to know. I did a lot of water testing and temperature measuring before I trusted it with real food.

    Overall I am thrilled that my 8 year old, cheap even when I bought it, cooktop seems to be so consistent.

    1. Helen, I would love to know your temperatures and measurements etc that you use with your induction burner.

      Great information everyone, thank you.

    2. I’m just beginning my pressure cooking studies. I looked at the Instant Pot and then decided on the TFal for my induction burner. Mostly based on price (in case I didn’t like the pressure cooking). Since you own both, which do you prefer? I’m keeping an eye out for any deals on the DUO as I may decide to do both.

      And yes! Your temperature guide would be fantastic!

      Thanks!

  21. Hi Everyone,
    I bought my first PC on Sunday, a Fissler 4.5L, and I’ve made basic risotto and lentil soup. Great to start off with!
    I am wondering, Laura, if the pictures of the items, for example, Induction Stove Tops on this forum are the ones you would recommend or are they just links that amazon put up that you have no control over?
    I am interested in the small induction stove tops due to being in Aus with no A/C as I feel that they would not contribute as much heat as the gas stove to the actual air temperature.

    1. Hi Liz, the items I recommend on the bottom of the page are selected by me. I looked at their capabilities and reviews before making the selection – I’ve used the Fagor personally for doing demos in the U.S. but I could not find an equivalent brand of what I’m using in Italy for sale in the U.S. ; )

      Anything that is recommended in the side-bar as an ad I do not have any control over – as you’ve guessed.

      Welcome!

      Ciao,

      L

    2. Liz,

      Laura and I disagree on this, but that’s okay. Unlike some in the world of pressure cooking, Laura values and appreciates differing views on all kinds of things and doesn’t attempt to censor differing opinions. After all, it’s how we all learn. Having used a Nuwave Portable Induction Cooker (PIC) for probably 2 1/2 years now, I believe it is unquestionably the best portable induction cooker on the market – at least in the US market. I can’t speak to what’s available in other countries. I think if Laura tried it, she’d love it as well :-). However I don’t know if it’s available in Australia, Liz. Note that I’ve written about Nuwaves previously, so what I’ve previously said may be different than what I’m writing now as new Nuwave models have become available and I have the latest model now, having replaced my original model. My first portable induction cooker was a Max Burton and I thought it was okay until I learned about and purchased my first Nuwave. There was no comparison. Both older and newer Nuwave PICs are still available in the marketplace, so if purchasing one, make sure it’s the latest model. How will you know? The latest Nuwave has the ability to adjust temperatures in 5 degree increments; the older models in only 10 degree increments. The latest model also is an 1800 watt model; the older ones have less wattage. The heating ring in the new models is also slightly larger. My old Max Burton could only adjust temperature in increments of 30 or 40 degrees and that’s just not good enough in my opinion. It also had temperatures ranging from 140 to 450 degrees. The Nuwave goes from 100 degrees to 575 degrees – also an advantage, I believe. If your Nuwave doesn’t allow temperature adjustment in 5 degree increments and isn’t 1800 watts, it’s an older model. Get the newest model, not an older model. I am not aware of any portable induction cooker that has the features of a Nuwave.

      I recently moved to a retirement community where I don’t even have a stove. I do all my cooking on my Nuwave PIC, including pressure cooking. Baking and roasting I do in a Breville Smart Oven.

      If you purchase a Nuwave, don’t purchase it from an infomercial – their purchasing system is a nightmare. Purchase it though HSN or from Amazon or a retailer. At HSN, you have 30 days to try it out and if you don’t like it return it.

      Congratulations on your new Fissler, Liz. I’m sure you’ll continue to love it. An induction cooktop would definitely be cooker in your kitchen. Nothing gets hot but the pot you’re using so little heat is released to the air, so to speak.

      1. Absolutely, Razzy! I believe everyone’s opinion counts and I love to hear about their experiences (especially since they are different from mine so I can learn something new). I do wish my induction burner had smaller increments of temperature to choose from, but I make do with 20°C increments but it was really handy to also have the option to choose “saute” or “simmer” from the Fagor burner so I wouldn’t have to look-up the corresponding temperature.

        Hopefully, in the next few years we’ll see induction burners with more options!!

        Ciao,

        L

        1. I neglected to mention a feature of the Nuwave Portable Induction Cooker that speaks to what Laura said about finding it handy to choose sauce, simmer etc. without having to look up the corresponding temp.

          There are buttons on the Nuwave labeled low, med. low, med., med high, high and max/sear. The instruction book shows the more meaningful temperature descriptions and the corresponding temperatures.
          low – warm – 100F
          med. low – simmer – 175F
          med – steam – 275
          med high – stir/deep fry – 375F
          high – boil/saute – 425F
          max/sear – sear – 575

          While I think labeling those buttons warm, simmer, steam, stir/deep fry, boil/saute, and sear would have been more meaningful one quickly becomes accustomed to how the buttons function. I’ve also put the above info on an index card I keep near the Nuwave PIC for easy reference. In addition to the 6 buttons of course, there are + and – buttons to change a button setting up or down 5 degrees. For example, if I start cooking by pushing the the med high button which is 375 degrees I can press the + button to go up 5 degrees at a time or press the – button to down in 5 degree increments.

          I agree with Laura, hopefully in the next few years we’ll see induction burners with more features and more options. Right now I believe the Nuwave Portable Induction Cooker is the best selling induction unit on the market. That’s likely because it has features no competitor has and because HSN has sold thousands and thousands of them and the infomercial has as well I suspect.

          1. It’s handy to have the temperatures right here. Thanks Razzy!

            Ciao,

            L

      2. Hi Razzy!
        I too use the Breville and the new PICs, Love them! Can you tell me which temperatures you use to get to pressure and maintain pressure? I am new to all this so someone using the same induction burner would be really helpful for me.

        -Aimee

  22. Hi, I am certainly not an expert on pressure cookers or pressure cooking but many of the comments in this thread have me confused. I have owned a number of PCs in my lifetime ( Presto, Mirro, T-Fal, an unmarked English one – my favourite and several others that I have forgotten) all of which have operated basically the same. Each of them have had a lock feature (button popup or lock that engages at pressure) however this popup or lock does not indicate “high pressure” but is merely a safety feature to stop someone from opening the PC while under any pressure but Not only cooking pressure. In addition, they have had either a weighted top (usually indicating 5,10 or15 pounds pressure) or they have had a dial like knob built into the top cover. All have expelled steam with a chuga-chuga action and at this time you turn the heat down so this only occurs between 2 to 4 times a minute. This then indicates that your pressure is now up to the 5,10 or 15 pounds that you set. This is the point at which you start timing your cooking according to your recipe.

    Also, with regard to heating too fast to result in trapped air, this should not happen insofar as the escaping steam, as mentioned in the paragraph above, will purge the PC of any air especially since the steam escapes from the very top of the PC.

    I have not owned nor have I seen any of the expensive PCs and maybe they are closed systems that do not allow any steam to escape except in case of emergency.

    If my understanding of the workings of a PC is in error then someone please let me know and I will just thank my lucky stars that I did not blow my self up over the past 50 years.

    1. I’ve never used a weighted pressure cooker on induction, so I don’t know if anything would be different, but spring-valve pressure cookers need to be completely vented (how long depends on the manufacture of the valve) in order to reach full temperature. With induction, there is the additional problem of maintaing a high-enough temperature to boil and create steam. By this I mean that the water inside could boil while the lid is still “cool to the touch” (cold in pressure cooker speak). This means that the boiling water not only has to heat-up the food, but also heat-up the cooker – this is not something that happens on gas or electric where there is enough “inefficiency” in the heat to go up the sides of the pressure cooker.

      When I first experienced this “imbalance” I realized I could just extend the cooking time to get the same results. However, after discussing the issue with a thermodynamics engineer at Kuhn Rikon the actual cause: mixture of un-vented air and pressure lowering the inside cooking temperature.

      If you’re interested in knowing more, read the bit on the importance of exhausting pressure canners for more details:
      http://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-canning-faq-put-em-up/#exh

      And please, share with us how your weighted pressure cookers have worked with induction.

      Ciao,

      L

  23. It wouldn’t matter what heat the pan is at, the pressure inside is determined by the steam or rather the expansion of gasses within the chamber.
    The PC would just take longer to heat the pan initially as the steam would condense on the colder surface, however the time to overcome this effect would probably not be long.
    All pressure cookers work on the same basic principle, you create a water vapour on the inside of the chamber which is under pressure, this super heated water vapour then cooks the food. The pressure just stops that water vapour condensing and turning back to water.
    Again it wouldn’t matter which type of pressure cooker you used on the induction hob, as they all work in the same way, however I have only seen the aluminium type with weights, which of course are no good for the induction hob, as the cooker needs to induce a high frequency magnetic field into a steel object. to cook food.

    A good very article and explanation on induction cookers, which a number of so called chefs, on YouTube, extolling the virtues of different type of pressure cooker could do with reading.

    1. Actually, no. The trapped air inside the pressure cooker (because it didn’t vent for a long enough period) would give a false positive of having reached pressure while in fact the air trapped inside would prevent the the cooker from reaching the full predicted temperature (which is based on mainly steam being trapped inside not steam and air). Refer to Dalton’s Law of Partial Pressures for more detail on this phenomena or read this bit – it displays a chart at 10psi, but at higher pressure the down-ward temperature trend would be the same:
      http://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-canning-faq-put-em-up/#exh

      Ciao,

      L

  24. You have made an assumption here that I really don’t understand. You speak of air inside the PC, whereas under normal conditions you put the weights on once pressurised steam is being vented from the PC. I at no time mentioned air inside the PC.

    As the induction hob heats the pan in the region of the pan next to the hob, then it stands to reason that the pan will not be heated directly by induction, but by convection from the point of origin of the heat source and be heated by whatever is in the pan. As the liquid boils, it will naturally give off steam, which will aid the convection heating of the pan.

    As we all know, when venting a PC, you don’t add weight until there is a constant high pressure flow of steam, something that will not happen if the surface of the pan is condensing the steam. As the pan heats, there will come a point in time when the steam will not be condensed and a good head of pressurised steam will be vented from the top of the PC.

    Air cannot get trapped inside of the PC, if you follow a simple set of procedures like venting correctly first.

    1. Mike, your are right. My article does not specifically mention spring-valve. And incomplete venting is a side-effect of spring valve-controlled pressure cookers operating on induction. If you’re using a weight-controlled cooker (and there are very few that are induction compatible on the market) then you will not have that problem. However, there are other reasons that I mention in the article as to why you should not bring your cooker up to pressure on “high” induction heat.

      If you’re not having any issues with scorched food, under-cooked food, or maintaining a steady pressure while using induction, then you should keep doing what works for you.

      Ciao,

      L

  25. Thank you for the explanation. Not having a spring valve cooker I can only imagine that the manufacturers could do with speaking to someone like yourself to point out the weaknesses of that type of cooker.
    I suppose a good design would be to have a triggered latch spring, rather than, to me at least, the terrible varieties of pressure relief they use.
    I must say I don’t like the spring type given it is yet another mechanical device that is prone to failure in so many different ways. Springs can stick, their properties can change over time and the pressure could conceivably change depending on how good the tempering of the spring is.
    With weights, you have full control, mine has three, which allows for different pressures and as such will never change over time.
    To use on an induction hob, you can buy steel plates which act as a heating element for non conductive pans like aluminium. I have a cast iron one which does the job equally well.
    I am actually looking at buying a decent steel PC at the moment, but there does appear to be a propensity for those to be spring valve type, which I really don’t want.

    1. I encourage you to consider the advantages of spring-controlled cookers: They use much less energy to operate (they are controlled by heat not the weight), they do not make any noise while maintaining pressure (no or very faint venting), the food that cooks inside the cooker remains in large part undisturbed (bubbling only while the cooker is reaching and loosing pressure). The flavor is slightly different too, as many of the volatile compounds remain in the cooker, condense and drip back into the food vs. escaping with that pushes up on the weight. When a spring begins to fail it is evident as the cooker is not able to reach pressure or the food is grossly under-cooked. Spring-valve and float-valve (electric) cookers are a big step forward in technology.

      Spring-valve controlled pressure cookers are only disadvantaged where precision is absolutely necessary (such as in pressure canning) and require a little tweaking when being used with induction.

      Ciao,

      L

      1. I second what Laura has said, Mike. I too encourage you to consider a spring-valve pressure cooker. In my experience they work beautifully and in my opinion are superior to the old weighted variety (like the old Prestos).

        While as you note, you can buy steel plates which act as a heating element for non conductive pans like aluminium on an induction hub, an article in Cooks Illustrated notes that this is not nearly as good as an option as using a pot that is induction-ready. As I recall, the the use of a steel plate between the non-induction ready pot and the induction burner surface makes the induction system less efficient.

        While Laura has experienced a need to use a little tweaking when used with induction, I have not experienced any such need. She’s mentioned in her article that you should not bring your cooker up to pressure on “high” induction heat. I do exactly that – bring my PC to pressure at the highest heat setting on my induction burner (Sear) and have experienced no problems whatsoever. Perhaps that difference could be attributed to the induction burner used (Laura and I use different brands) and/or the brand/model PC used. We also use different brands of stovetop PCs.

        To each his own of course, but I can’t imagine not choosing a spring-valve stovetop PC. It is, as Laura notes, a big step forward in technology.

        1. Wow it must be a “Mike” thing but I too don’t see the need for a spring type PC. They sound unnecessarily fussy from these descriptions here. I had been using a cheap aluminum presto for the last 20 years and recently it got knocked off the counter and hit my tile floors and would no longer seal. Up until that time it was as easy as using any other pan. Didn’t have to worry about trapped air, gravitational pull of the moon or anything else lol. Since it died I replaced it with a newer slightly fancier presto stainless and although the top no longer jiggles it’s still weight based. Dropped it on my new induction cooktop and it is even less trouble than before if that’s possible. Get it to hiss, drop the setting to 250 degrees set a timer and drink some wine until dinner. To each their own I guess. Happy cooking

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