home Forums Pressure Cookers Do you own both an electric and stove-top PC?

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  • #41375
    achieholmesjr
    Participant

    If so, I’d like to understand what advantages you see if having both. I love my stove top ones (I have multiple sizes) but am intrigued with some of the automation possible with the electric ones…

    #41397
    HelenAdams
    Participant

    I have both.
    The electric is more convenient in that you don’t have to watch it or adjust burners or set seperate timer.

    I love them all but use the electric the most probably because it is sitting on the counter.
    Many find electric takes longer, I have always used same times and recipes in both and they turn out the same.

    Yesterday I put in a cup of water and potatoes and hit manual 4 minutes. 10 or 15 minutes later it beeped.

    I believe that the majority of people with both find the electric more convenient after using it for a while but a few never like it (Just from what I have read) but only way to find out really is get one and try it a few times.

    #41819
    Greg
    Participant

    I have three Kuhn Rikon stove tops and a Breville electric.
    I got the Breville to use while I was remodelling the kitchen, and used it pretty much daily for most of a year. Often more than once a day.

    It died (No longer holds full pressure) just as my kitchen was coming back online and just AFTER warranty expired. I haven’t bothered to get it fixed or replaced. I have just gone back to the Kuhn Rikons.

    Electrics:
    +More convenient
    +Easier to use – my wife is not scared of the electric.
    +Multifunction
    +Built in timer
    -Bulkier
    -Less reliable. Not just me – others report longevity issues. 1-2 years of constant use seems to be a normal lifespan. My youngest KR is more than 5 years old and not missing a beat.

    Stovetops:
    +Not dependent on electricity (not reliable where I live & I have a gas range)
    +More compact Even my 12L Kuhn Rikon fits in a cupboard. The 6L Breville doesn’t.
    +Maintains higher pressure ( not true of all brands)
    + Lower need for liquid. The manual says 50ml min for the KR & I have on occasion used none – just relied on the moisture inherent in the food. It only works for VERY short cooks. Most Electrics need a minimum of 375 ml*
    – You need to adjust the heat yourself. Hence…
    -Needs to be babysat. I NEVER leave the kitchen with a PC on the stove.
    -You need an external timer
    +No fiddly buttons and menus to navigate

    * Laura has recently reported elsewhere that Electrics with stovetop liquid requirements are beginning to appear.

    #106851
    Suzanne
    Participant

    Hey Greg, this thought was inspired by one of your recent responses in a different thread.

    You have mentioned several times being put off electric PCs partly by the early demise of your high-end Breville before it was quite a year old. I, too, have viewed this lack of longevity as a show-stopper. But in your case — you do more long cooks than I do, I think — I wonder if the investment could be justified if you used it only for long cooks that tend to pin you down in the kitchen. The electric might have a longer life, then, and you’d be freed from the worst of the babysitting.

    I’ve thought of this for myself, but I do only about 3-5 long cooks a year, so it wouldn’t change much.

    The question I keep coming back to is this: what type of use puts the miles on electric PCs? Total minutes at pressure? Or total number of cook cycles? If it’s the former, then the use approach I described above would not be likely to impact longevity much. But if it’s the later, then a cooker might be expected to last longer — like the difference between city miles and highway miles on a car.

    Seems like electric PCS have been around long enough that we consumers should be able to know this.

    #107185
    Greg
    Participant

    HI Suzanne,
    In my case the failure was odd. The Breville has a swivel point on the top. You put the lid down with a fixed pivot arm, then turn it to lock. The lid is held to the arm by a nut, and it is recommended the lid be removed and cleaned regularly. After I had done this a few times, it started leaking round the nut. There are two O-rings there that are supposed to prevent leakage. Both look fine. but it still leaks. I thought at first there was a washer as well that I had lost, but I pulled one apart on the shop and there was no washer on that one. I can still use it fine, but it will no longer reach high pressure. It just loses too much steam. It also costs more to run now as it doesn’t seal as well so it loses more heat.

    Needless to say, I simply went back to my Kuhn Rikons. Mind you I managed to stuff one of them up the other day. I pulled the lid off too early and the contents foamed up and went everywhere. Including into the emergency valve. That no longer seals. I couldn’t clean it out successfully so I have a new valve on order. Until it arrives I can only use one of my 28cm KRs. The big problem is no one carries them in this country anymore. So I have to order parts from overseas. $50 shipping for a $5 part. Sigh. I did add a few extras for the same shipping. So not a total loss.

    #107187
    Greg
    Participant

    As for just using an electric for long cooks… I see merit in that. But it would mean justifying having at least two pressure cookers.

    #107202
    Suzanne
    Participant

    Not sure I understand what you mean. Do you mean you’d have to justify having two electronic PCs?

    I could see your point there — storing two when one already is a pain to store would result in even more storage angst. I had assumed you would or had already decommissioned the old broken one.

    As to the reason electric PCS die, after I wrote the earlier comment, I thought, “That’s a silly question, because of course it’s the heat degrading the silicone parts, as it does in computers.” But, surprisingly, you say it’s a mechanical problem. A friend of mine had a number of junked Ford Falcons in his yard to supply his one beloved operating one with parts, but I suppose that approach would feel dangerous with a pressure cooker, unless you had a certified repairman installing the parts.

    Our U.S. KR supplier charges a ridiculously high shipping fee for the virtually weightless — and expensive, for what they are — bits of things one needs to keep a KR going, but $50 shipping??? Whew! I’ve used my KR for at least four years now, nothing replaced yet, fingers crossed. But when parts replacement day comes, it’ll still be a fraction of what it costs to replace an electric every couple of years, no repair person needed. The simplicity of that is hard to beat.

    #107212
    Suzanne
    Participant

    This is The Devil speaking, now.

    Budget option: Get an inexpensive electric coil burner for your long cooks, so you don’t have to monkey with adjusting a gas flame under the cooker, and get one of those kitchen timers that hangs on a lanyard around your neck.
    Set both your regular kitchen timer and the one around your neck, and off you go. If the electricity fails, it’s back to the gas stove and babysitting until the electricity is back on.

    I confess I do walk out of my kitchen to other parts of my home for the occasional long, routine cook — usually chicken stock, in my case, or maybe braised turkey legs. Once I didn’t hear my kitchen timer, and as you showed in the pictures you sent to this website, the steam — on a Kuhn Rikon PC — shoots down, not up. It left a bit of water on the stove top. Didn’t have to clean out the valves, even. My PC has over-pressured and kicked in steam release just once in four years. As you know, KRs start hissing fiercely when close to overpressure, so anyone who can hear would know there is a problem and not be caught unaware.

    Yes, KR says never leave your cook unattended. Because my long cooks use ingredients that are unlikely to cause problems and make a mess, and thus any KR over-pressure event will be low-impact, I do it anyway, because it seems safe enough in my circumstances: steady heat source + safe, liquidy ingredients + PC with dependable, low-impact safety features + two timers + no kids.

    #107299
    Greg
    Participant

    I wasn’t talking about my particular case. I already have three PCs. Four if you count the Breville. But I meant an electric for long cooks and a stovetop for shorter. If your speculation; that the electric would hold up longer if used less often but on long cooks; carries weight.

    I already have a lanyard timer. Two in fact. Have I mentioned I am a gear freak? [I bought a 3D printer yesterday – super price. But that’s a whole other story.] I tend to use the lanyards as my normal kitchen timer. Pam OTOH uses the one on the oven.

    Don’t get me wrong. I will leave the kitchen for briefly during a long cook. I have found that once I get the flame set right, I can trust pressure to remain steady. The problem is it can take up to 15 minutes for that to happen. Most cooks are over by then. The gas needs to be so low, almost any variance makes a significant difference. Also weather affects the sweet spot. We do NOT have a climate controlled house. Don’t want one. In winter I need the flame higher than I do in summer. Further it needs to be higher on a damp day too.

    Also I DO have an electric coil. The advantage of building your own kitchen is you can add the bits you want without worrying about what others (salesmen – yuck!) think is best. My oven is a different brand to the cooktop. And the cooktop is in two parts: a single electric coil and a three burner gas hob. I do use the electric for long cooks, but for some reason I have never thought to use it for long pressure cooks. Sometimes the blindingly obvious isn’t! Thanks for opening my eyes.

    Incidentally I also use the electric for scrambled eggs. I find the lower temperature (mid setting) gives a much better result. Sous vide is better again. But it is too much trouble for breakfast. I ALWAYS do omelettes on gas though. They need the high temperature gas provides.

    #107503
    Suzanne
    Participant

    Well . . . geez. With so much flexibity available in your newly operational kitchen, the Breville sounds well and truly supplanted, unless you are missing its automatic release feature.

    I’m slumped on the couch cooling off in the livingroom while my wild rice pilaf does its 22 minute pressure cook. I sort of regretted that last comment I made, because as I was driving to my food co-op, I thought, “Oh everyone and his/her sister is going to comment back what a silly-billy I am for walking away from my pressure cooker,” so it’s nice you’ve confessed to it as well. I WAS under the impression that you wouldn’t leave your stovetop PCs cooking unless something really outrageous — such as a hooded figure driving away with ALL your microplanes and digital scales — was happening.

    If you’ve already got a shop, the 3-D printer will come in handy. At the schools where I work, seems mostly robotics students are using them.

    Time to throw the parsley into the rice. Gruyere and spinach omlet with rice for supper tonight. Got pastured chicken eggs on sale today. Woo-hoo! :-)

    #107509
    Greg
    Participant

    I WAS under the impression that you wouldn’t leave your stovetop PCs cooking unless something really outrageous — such as a hooded figure driving away with ALL your microplanes and digital scales — was happening.

    It depends. If it is a really good book. I will use any excuse to sit tight in the kitchen. I just finished the Divergent Series. The first two were great. The last: not so much. Other times I am easily distracted. But I won’t go mow the lawn as I would be away too long. My excuse anyway. ;)

    That Omelette sounds great. Our favourite is with Boursin (a garlic & herb flavoured cream cheese from France). But omelettes are strictly for breakfast in our household.

    #166961
    Suzanne
    Participant

    Your omelet sounds delectable. Mmmm, Boursin! I discovered that when I was a teen and we opened a Boursin and crackers in the car while waiting for my stepfather. When he came out of the medical school, he was so busy telling my stepmother about his workday as she drove us home that he didn’t notice me eating all the Boursin. He was a quadriplegic and, understandably, set great store by his gustatory pleasures, and he loved Boursin, but I was just visiting and didn’t know this, so I was in the doghouse when he noticed the cheese was gone.

    I remember clearly the absence of moral decision-making in those minutes. It was just me and the cheese, together. Since then, I’ve associated Boursin with moral failing and guilt.

    I still won’t leave a cake of Bousin unfinished, so I stay away from the stuff. Like a recovering Boursin-oholic. I can only dream of how scrumptious it would be in an omlet.

    #167295
    HelenAdams
    Participant

    That is sad about the cheese.
    And sad about the Breville :(

    My Instant Pot is still going strong after 2.5 years. If it dies I would attempt to have it fixed or buy another. Instant Pot will sell you a new bottom or lid cheaper than a new one I believe although I might get a different one either model or brand instead.

    I would not be happy if it died tomorrow but they aren’t that expensive and have gotten quite a bit cheaper. I have had a $1500 computer fail after a year and seen many $300-800 ones do the same. And a friends over the range microwave just died at 17 months. He bought a cheap counter top one because it will cost $500+ to have it fixed he was told. ”
    I am actually (and regretfully as it was made in Spain) going to give away one of my nice stovetop PCs because I do not use it and need the space.

    #167376
    Greg
    Participant

    One third of a block of Boursin crumbled in a two egg omelette. Just sayin’ Suzanne. }:)>

    I am assuming you get the same little blocks over there that we get. 85g. About 3oz if my mental conversion is correct.

    #168204
    Suzanne
    Participant

    Greg, you caught me off-balance — I thought The Devil was finding plenty to do with our current Republican administration. He must be slipping away between tweets.

    Yes, our Boursin cakes are the same size as yours. Maybe I’ll give your recipe a try when I have houseguests who can be equally responsible for gobbling down the cheese that is left. It won’t be a lot, but it IS practically butter.

    Omelets are a desperation dinner here when I’ve been too disorganized to defrost the fish, although it’s no hardship to eat a cozy omelet and toast. I favor the Gruyere and spinach one. Once in a while I’ll make a garlic-scallion-asparagus-parmesan cheese one, which I like equally well, but for which am usually too lazy to undertake sauteing and chopping. My go-to omelet sounds almost as lazy as your Boursin one.

    #168206
    Suzanne
    Participant

    Helen, giving away your Fagor Futura??? I just don’t know who you are anymore. :-P

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