home Forums Kitchen Chit-Chat First Commercial Electric Pressure Coooker?

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  • #586231
    4Eyes
    Participant

    For no particular reason, I decided I ‘needed’ to know which was the first electric pressure cooker with programmed presets, (ie ‘Instant Pot’ style pressure cooker), to reach the market.

    Despite trying various search combinations on Google, I have been unable to find the answer – so now it has become an obsession.

    Anyone able to put me out of my misery?

    #587422
    Laura Pazzaglia
    Keymaster

    I don’t know what happened to google, lately. I used to get good search results from them but in the last month or so they just suggest what they think I might want to see from the “most popular” websites instead of giving me results with the actual words I want to be used from trustworthy sources. I’ve been BINGing my searches, lately TBH.

    I did some preliminary poking around and it COULD be Farberware… there is actually a customer review from 2002 on the amazon site for it…
    http://amzn.to/2CLSNPw

    Here is the manual if you’re curious:

    Farberware Millenium Electric Pressure Cooker Manual

    However, I’ve only been able to confirm the earliest instance of this listing since August 2009 from the Web Archive (could have existed sooner under a different address):
    https://web.archive.org/web/20090815115311/https://www.amazon.com/Farberware-FPC400-Programmable-Electric-Pressure/dp/B00004R94H/

    If you spend more time poking around, would love to hear what you come up with more careful searching. At some point, I will make a pressure cooker timeline, and this would be a nice addition to mark the evolution of electrics from a stovetop with a heating element attached, to a rice-cooker body with fuzzy logic.

    BTW, there are several patents in China and Japan in the 1990’s for the very first electric rice cooker with pressure program, but they didn’t begin to be marketed United States ’til the 2000’s.

    Ciao,

    L

    #588023
    4Eyes
    Participant

    Thanks Laura, that’s excellent… Just what I was looking for.

    I found an older Salton model, the Maxim NT5, which seems to date from at least 2001… But that model appears to be ‘programable’ rather than having presets.. can’t say for sure as I couldn’t find a manual for it.

    #588027
    4Eyes
    Participant

    Just read the manual for the Farberware model, and that too seems to be programable rather than having presets, so kind of a halfway house.

    Can’t seem to find much between then and the Instant Pot CSG60.. with reviews on Amazon mentioning a purchase in 2010.

    Will keep digging.. it’s an obsession now.

    #588195
    Laura Pazzaglia
    Keymaster

    What do you mean by “programmable”?

    The early models all operate similarly to the Instant Pot in that there is a thermostat that checks the temperature and a “brain” (microprocessor) that decides whether to turn on the heating element on and off.

    The pre-set programs are just a pre-set time and temperature setting. Buttons like chicken, rice, etc, are really an evolution of marketing, not really a technical achievement.

    I guess I don’t understand what you mean by programmable?

    Ciao,

    L

    #588257
    4Eyes
    Participant

    By ‘Programable’ I mean having the ability to set some, or all, of the cooking parameters – eg time, pressure etc.

    By ‘Preset’ I mean having a buttons with programs already set.

    I agree that presets are not really much of a technological advance, but they were (imo) a major marketing angle.

    I guess, I was looking for the first example of what Wikipedia refers to as ‘3rd generation’… ie. with presets and enhanced safety features.

    In retrospect, a lot of PC development seems to have been by relatively small steps in evolution – from a modified stovetop with a built in hotplate to the Instant Pot Ultra with all the bells and whistles.

    I found some really neat looking early models – the Maxim NT5, and the Manttra Chef Xpress both look pretty retro-cool – not too sure I would want to cook with them though :)

    #588261
    4Eyes
    Participant

    .. also, I found a review of the Farberware model you mentioned that had a date of 2001 (that mentioned the programable features) and another from 2000 that didn’t (perhaps less trustworthy).

    Archive.org has a record of Amazons image of the model (ie http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00004R94H.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg) from 2001. I reckon that is pretty authoritative.

    … further also, this page: http://timtyler.org/pressure_cooker/ – is in the archive for 2003 and references both a ‘Breville Electric Express Pressure Cooker’ and the Farberware range.

    Can’t seem to find much else, as the internet is a bit flaky when you go back that far – far less webpages indexed, and far less pages in existence.

    When I get a bit more time I will dig around the patent records and see what made it to market.

    #588275
    Laura Pazzaglia
    Keymaster

    What a good find! How neat to see the base from Tim’s blog, I see it uses an exposed heating element as opposed to the ceramic-encapsulated one that all the cookers are using nowadays.

    Ciao,

    L

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