March 15, 2017 at 7:33 am #41373
Hi Laura, I’ve noticed the website is focusing on electric pressure cookers now and there’s hardly a mention of stovetops any more.
Do you still use your stovetop PC’s?March 17, 2017 at 4:14 am #41760Laura PazzagliaKeymaster
Hi Dave, until VERY recently I occasionally still used stovetop pressure cookers to do some quick sauces, & etc.
That is, until Fagor stuck their spring valve on an electric. OMG, I’ in love with their new electrics because I can use little or no liquid for a more concentrated flavor (just like I used to with my stove top pressure cookers) and it will still reach pressure.
I will continue to support and include cooking times for stove top pressure cookers in the recipes, but I am no longer reviewing them or using them for photos or videos anymore (or as you noticed, the pressure cooking school).
Stove top pressure cookers still have their merits (durability and speed) but the gap between them and electrics is narrowing. The multi cooker technology that electrics provide is simply not possible in stove top pressure cookers – where you can only cook with our without the lid – and the consistency of the results is much more reliable than the hit-and-miss combinations you get with stove top pressure cookers (all electrics use the same heat source).
I can’t wait for Fagor to bring their electrics to Europe – I’m convinced that you’d really like it, too.
Now that Greg, the big Kuhn Rikon fan, is back from his kitchen remodel during which he almost exclusively used the Breville Fast Slow Pro I can’t wait to hear about how often he’s still pulling out the Kuhns, now. ; )
LMarch 17, 2017 at 8:38 am #41809
I’m pleased to see the Fagor electric pc works so well for you.
I see that electrics involve less guesswork and offer more functionality, but stovetops are still very durable and cook at a higher pressure. 15 psi on stovetops vs 12 psi electrics, the higher pressure saves time – saving time is the main benefit of pressure cooking.
There is no electric pc made in Europe, USA etc and none which COOK at 15 psi (121.1C or 250F). Why can’t they make an electric pc COOK at 15 psi? It’s not impossible.
Also, electrics appear to use a massive chunk of worktop space, include in that the mains lead to the plug socket (mains outlet) and not operating the electric pc underneath wall cupboards.
Until electrics cook at 15 psi, are made more durable and made in Europe or the US (like many stovetops are today), I will remain doubtful.
I think electrics are probably great for newbies though, less worrying about adjusting the stove. But please don’t give up your stovetops, I know you own several different brands of stovetop pcs.March 17, 2017 at 5:34 pm #66609GregParticipant
Greg? I think you mean “Anonymous”
I have gone back to my KRs now my kitchen is mostly functional again.
Yes the Electric was very convenient. And Pam wasn’t so scared of it.
But it semi-died (will no longer hold high pressure) and I was unable to get it to the repair shop before the warranty ran out. And I don’t love it enough to replace it or pay to get it repaired.
I am not too worried about “Not made in EU/US”. China has lifted its manufacturing game enormously in recent years. It reminds me very much of Japan. When I was younger, “Made in Japan” was synonymous with “Shonky”. Now it is a byword for “”Top notch”. China is not quite there yet, but it is getting closer.
Nor am I too worried about the psi difference. It is only roughly the same as the price I pay for my altitude. They remain quicker than traditional cooking.
However, they are VERY bulky for their capacity. The 6l Breville is bigger than the 12l KR. And doesn’t fit in any of my new cupboards (it wasn’t on the horizon during the design process) The 12l OTOH happily takes the 8l traditional stockpot inside it so it effectively takes up almost no space.
My biggest concern with the electrics is durability. There is a lot to go wrong. And any fault basically means you throw out the whole thing. A new electric PC every couple of years will get very expensive quite quickly.
Also they use…Electricity*. Not the most reliable energy source for us. Two blackouts in the last week. One during dinner prep time. I am working towards battery storage, but that is a way off yet. The KRs happily work on gas which is much more reliable.
The biggest downside of the Stovetops is that they need babysitting. But that is not a big deal, as I am usually in the kitchen anyway cleaning up my (messy) prep during the short cook. Long cooks like stocks, I just read a book or surf the web.
*Oddly this is less of an issue with Sous Vide. The cook time is longer, but the waterbath acts as a heat sink, and short outages can be simply ignored. Especially as my main cooking appliance is a beer cooler. But I did do a big one in the kitchen sink the other day.March 20, 2017 at 6:46 am #96953
I would never trust a pressure cooker made in China, boiling liquid under pressure and when corners have been cut in manufacturing, it’s too risky! The way I see it, China does not have decades’ of engineering experience, China just assembles products. There are many cases of made in China products using toxic materials. Exploding batteries. Screws that rust. You see the point. Sadly, new products are not as good quality as the older ones – even products made outside of China.
Look at the quality of older stovetops, the thickness of the handles and the quality of stainless steel that seems to be indestructible! An older stovetop pressure cooker can last literally decades of heavy use and all parts are replaceable. Yes the parts are harder to find on older pressure cookers, but you can order the replacements from any country on the internet.April 15, 2017 at 7:43 am #102453crbcookParticipant
I have both – started with a Fissler (incredible) but just got an Instant Pot and it’s become indispensable. The main drawback of stovetop for me was the variability of the flame on my gas stove – I had to watch it and adjust constantly during every cook with my Fissler. I love the “fill it and forget it” aspect of electric PCs. Also the yogurt function, which I now make every week. Would I like 15psi? Sure, but 11 will do. i used to have a manual espresso machine, ground my beans, and carefully calibrated each shot I pulled. Now I have an automatic espresso maker that does everything. Hallelujah.April 15, 2017 at 10:11 am #102469SuzanneParticipant
@crbcook, you make a good point that having an unsteady heat source for stove top PCs makes owning an electric PC more desirable. As is, my PC and electric coil burners are a good match, so PCing is already a low- to no-maintenance experience without digital help. So there’s less incentive to overlook the downside of electrics.April 23, 2017 at 11:34 am #103907Laura PazzagliaKeymaster
I was in Switzerland visiting Kuhn Rikon two years ago begging them to make the first European-made electric pressure cooker OR work with their neighbor EveryCook (their site is down but you can see it here https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/everycook-the-device-that-cooks-for-you#/).
I hope after Instant Pot’s success in the U.S. they see the light because at the time they were connecting their stovetops to an app with BlueTooth and that really didn’t go anywhere because it just had a “glitz” factor but didn’t actually make pressure cooking any easier.
However, while at their factory store I discovered Kuhn Rikon actually have some of their kitchen gadgets made in China. They swore up and down that they controlled the quality there as strictly as they do in their Swiss factory.
I was really surprised. Maybe the manufacturing is improving there or it just depends on the factory.
LApril 24, 2017 at 12:40 pm #104102
I still don’t trust things made in China, given the problems of the past. Toxic materials in contact with food. No thanks!
If Kuhn Rikon made all of their products in Switzerland (and boasted “Swiss made” or “Made in Switzerland” on their products), I believe consumers would be happy to pay the premium.
Can you persuade Khun Rikon to make an electric pressure cooker entirely in Switzerland AND one that COOKS at 15 psi (121.1C/250F)? This would be a good earner for the company.
Said this before, but consider that a good stainless steel stovetop pressure cooker will last a very long time (much longer than electrics), basically until you can no longer get the gaskets or other parts, but if you search the internet for long enough, you can buy these parts from another country. ;)
Talking of quality, the newer stainless steel pcs don’t seem to use as good stainless steel anymore compared to the older ones, the newer metal seems to corrode a lot easier and doesn’t feel as heavy. Therefore I’m keeping my older Fagor made-in-Spain stovetop pc until I die!April 27, 2017 at 6:50 pm #104776HelenAdamsParticipant
@Dave I have a Made in Spain Fagor and you are right about the steel. SO easy to keep shiny.
But I use the Instant Pot almost exclusively despite bitching and whining online incessantly about the crappy quality of the inner pot. Absolutely the worst stainless pot I own.
Not because of ease of use which it has in spades, but because it is on my counter.April 27, 2017 at 6:52 pm #104778
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