home Forums Pressure Cookers WMF / Kuhn Rikon / Fissler — help me decide [some technical questions]

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  • #882367

    fallenguru
    Participant

    Hello,

    I’m looking to buy a PC in/from Austria and have been researching them extensively over the last few weeks — and I’m still full of questions ;)

    First off, I’m not looking to use the PC to speed up recipes that could just as well be done conventionally, but for recipes that require cooking at pressure to work, think Heston Blumenthal, Modernist Cuisine, &c., or can at least be significantly improved by it. To that end I’d like a PC that can maintain a high operating pressure (15 psi minimum); and has continuously adjustable operating pressure (i. e., one that can be stabilised at any point between no pressure and maximum pressure).
    The capacity should be at least 8 L, for one thing because stocks will play an important role, but also because I’d like it to double as a regular big pot for spaghetti, asparagus and blanching vegetables. There’s limited space, so versatility is good.

    The hob is an Italian gas one (Ilve), with two 55 mm burners, one 70 mm one and a 120 mm dual flame one. Obviously that’s not the diameter of the flame at full blast, but just the dia. of the burners themselves — what diameter (and shape) PC should I be looking at, if I want to use it on the dual flame burner (which has both the highest and lowest possible output)? Generally, low heat is a problem, even the minuscule inner burner of the dual affair doesn’t really do “gentle simmer”.

    The brands & models under consideration are:

    – WMF Perfect Plus 8.5 L: I’m worried about the small diameter, even smaller base and conical design — will it fit my burner(s) without scorching? Reportedly only reaches ~13.8 psi — is this (still) true, or can it be used “beyond the second ring”, like the KR?

    – Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Inox 8 L, 22 cm,
    – Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Inox 8 L, 24 cm,
    – Kuhn Rikon Hotel 8 L / 28 cm,
    – Kuhn Rikon Hotel 10 L / 28 cm: What’s the internal height of all these, respectively? I like the idea of a bigger base, but am afraid that the broader pots won’t be high enough, internally, to be used for spaghetti/asparagus. Some people complain about the KRs’ small base, what’s that about? In case someone has both a KR and a Fissler/WMF — how do they clean, in comparison, considering that they’re not dishwasher-safe? The manual says they are titanium anti-stick, is that true, i.e., do they have a coating? I really do not like anti-stick.

    – Fissler: The current offerings (Vitavit line) seem to have ridiculously low max. pressure, though there was some confusion about that a few years back, apparently — was that ever cleared up? Same conical design as the WMF but the bigger models come in 26 cm.

    Am thankful for any and all comments, also congrats on a great site!

    #882642

    Greg
    Participant

    I have both myhrvold’s boat anchor as well as [email protected] I also have several of Heston’s works. In addition to that, I have three Kuhn Rikon pressure cookers. Though none of the models you are looking at. Specifically in have the 12 and 5 litre in the hotel series. And the 2.5 litre in the same format , but smaller, as the 5l Hotel.

    I question your assumptions.
    Nathan specifically states in the boat anchor that it is NOT a recipe book. And he doubts that few if any kitchens in the world are equipped to make more than a few. Rather it is an exploration of the science behind cooking with a few, mostly impractical recipes along the way.

    Heston’s books are likewise an exploration of science and theatre in the context of a commercial kitchen.

    Other than the @ Home books of both they are not practical cooking books. And even then they are more for the ideas than for everyday recipes.

    I question your statement that you need at least an 8 litre pot because you want to make stock. Nearly every time I make stock I reach for the 2.5 litre KR. I end up with about 1 litre of stock which is more than enough for my day to needs. If I am making Laura’s excellent take on Julia Child’s French Onion Soup, then I may grab the 5 litre. The one time I used the 12 litre, I had so much stock, I filled the freezer and still ended up having to throw some out. The stock tends to be better out of the smaller pots anyway because the meat/veggies caramelise better. Note that I rarely make “big bone” stocks. No one has noticed the difference yet.

    I also question your need for a tall pot so you can cook asparagus. 1. It cooks perfectly well lying flat. But I understand that a commercial kitchen might want to cook it vertically as it it will take up less space that way. And 2. Except in risotto, I would not pressure cook asparagus anyway. A quick blanch, then sear in butter with some nutmeg grated over is all it needs. The blanching is optional IMO. It is much too delicate to be a good candidate for pressure cooking.

    The people who complain about the base of the KRs not going edge to edge measure them. They do not cook with them. In practice, with a gas cooktop, you adjust the flame so it just reaches the edge of the aluminium disk. It doesn’t cook better or worse for it. On an electric cooktop, you select the the nearest smaller hob. Again. No problem.

    Continuously adjustable pressure. Yes you can theoretically adjust the pressure on any cook top PC from barely there to Boston Bomber potential. But you are not going to do it:
    1. The difference between low and high on my KR is about 5mm on the indicator. And there are no intermediate graduations. You are taking pot luck.
    2. Adjusting the heat output on your burner with sufficient precision to maintain that pressure from cook to cook is well nigh impossible. Unless you have a highly modified cooktop that allows digital control with 1024 increments from low to high. The sort of thing Nathan Myhrvold gets custom built. And while you are at it, modify the pressure cooker so it has a calibrated direct dIgital read out of pressure to overcome #1.
    3. Good luck finding recipes for all those intermediate pressures. If you REALLY need this feature, get a Breville Fast Slow Pro. But say goodbye to 15psi.

    Interior finish. I cannot comment on the Fisslers, but all my KRs have a stainless steel interior. They clean up fine. I believe KR do make some models with a non stick finish. I wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole. I share your concerns about non stick health “benefits”.

    Maintaining pressure. Yes this is a real concern. To maintain pressure on my smaller KRs, I need to have the flame within a whisker of off. But I do manage it. The big 12l is less of a problem as it needs more heat (and costs more!) to maintain pressure. It is also less of a problem in winter than summer – no central heating here. Sadly, it is something you will need to test with your particular cooktop and PC. I have found that lesser PCs do better in this regard as they are far less efficient.

    #882930

    Suzanne
    Participant

    @fallenguru, if you have not done so already, best read Laura’s reviews on this website of the three brands you are considering. Her reviews are comprehensive and spot-on.

    I personally have the 22 centimeter 6 liter Khun Rikon stockpot. The 8 liter version you mention has the same base, just taller sides. I’ve seen a few comments that it is awkward to stir and work with the bottom surface of the 8 liter pan because of the tall sides. Cooks Illustrated rated it down for this. But taller cooks might find it ergonomic enough. I would find it more awkward to upend and pour heavy contents out of a big oblong pot using the handles, but I’m petite and not robust. Might be easy for you.

    The rationale for getting a tall PC instead of a wide one is (1) more flexibility for double-decker cooking and (2) better price, because it’s cheaper for the manufacturer to increase a pot’s volume by making it taller than it is to make a bigger laminated base (according to Cooks Illustrated). If these don’t matter to you, a wider base with more area for browning and sautéing might prove more useful.

    Your concern about the pots having internal height enough to accommodate spaghetti puzzle me. Assuming you mean uncooked pasta, wouldn’t you lay it in the pot diagonally and press the pasta above the water down as the submerged pasta becomes flexible? I can’t see a problem doing this in any of the large pots you are looking at. Kuhn Rikon Customer Service can tell you the pots’ inside dimensions.

    As Greg said, the aluminum base plate in KR cookers is not the same diameter as the rest of the pot. In the 22 cm pots, the disc itself is 18.5 to 18.75 cm in diameter — about 3.5 cm smaller than the diameter of the pot above it. You can see this illustrated in the cross-sectioned PC in the Myhrvold books. The curved stainless steel area that transitions into the base is not as resistant to scorching food as the laminated base plate is, so as Greg said, you have to limit the flame to the base plate.

    I use electric coil burners these days, not gas. The numbers on the burner dial, going from low to high heat, are “Lo, Sim, 2, 3, 4” and more higher numbers. To maintain High pressure, I never dial a number lower than halfway between 3 and 2. Curious about how much heat that comes to, I dumped 4 cups of water in my cooker with the lid on top but not screwed on — not pressurizing — with the dial halfway between 3 and 2. The water comes to a full boil at 212 degrees F and would start rattling the lid if left to continue. So the lowest heat needed to maintain High pressure on my burner in a heated apartment is more heat than it takes for the “gentle simmer” your burner won’t do. I’d put the dial between Sim and Low to maintain a gentle simmer in a covered pot. I’m about 600 feet above sea level.

    On stock: I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere else, but the KR user manual says never to cook soup above the halfway mark. A KR rep assured me this applies to stocks as well, not just soups containing grains and/or beans. Nevertheless, once I overfilled the pot midway between the half and two-thirds marks with chicken carcasses and water. The main valve sputtered during the cook, indicating foam was getting into it — not good. Later I had to clean it out carefully — not a quick process — to get it working smoothly again. If the valve indicator is sticking, it’s not giving you accurate info about how high your pressure is, which is bad news. So I stick with the half-full rule for stocks. If you do as well, the 8-liter pots may not yield as much stock as you are expecting. (Just food for thought.) The 6-liter size is adequate for me, but I don’t use much stock.

    I have not used brands other than the KR one, but what I love about my PC is it has been a trouble-free workhorse for almost 5 years. Its all-metal parts and simple design make it an unfussy, reliable tool. It seems other brands develop problems over time. I’ve had no problems.

    Good luck with whatever PC you choose. Pressure cooking is the best thing since butter.

    #882971

    fallenguru
    Participant

    Thank you for all your comments!

    Yes, the <i>Fat Duck</i> and <i>Modernist cuisine at home</i> are on my wish list, but to read for pleasure and knowledge; being able to cook a thing or two from them would be a bonus, nothing more. I only meant to say that I’m interested in pressure cookers for their applications in modern scientific cooking techniques, not because of convenience and speed. Of the books mentioned I only actually have <i>Heston at Home</i> yet, which I find very cookable.

    In fact, his simple vegetable stock, cooked in a borrowed 4.5 l PC from the 1970s has changed my culinary life. Only, a) my mother would like her PC back; b) I have to overfill it to make just one batch; c) a single one of my risotti requires more than one batch — and that’s before soups & sauces. I haven’t even gotten around to trying other PC recipes, because I’m always making stock in it … So yes, I would like to have enough capacity to make a double quantity of the <i>Heston at Home</i> veg. stocks without having to overfill.

    I don’t think “the people who complain about the base of the KRs” are complaining about the Hotel models. The Hotels are a lot broader to begin with, so the slightly smaller base is still a good diameter.

    Some European cookers don’t have variable pressure (rod with markings going up) but two fixed pressure settings. These don’t vent for safety only but immediately once the (ridiculously low) target pressure for the setting is reached. According to random reports, the newest Fisslers appear to be of that breed, the manual is ambiguous.

    KR’s Swiss product pages don’t mention a non-stick coating, only the manual does — and that’s the same for all Duromatic models, with parts of it possibly shared by all pots & pans … no wiser there.

    As for cooking asparagus lying down … I prefer to keep the tips above the water, so they just steam. Spaghetti should, in my book, be submerged immediately and all the time (diagonal is fine, of course). Both without pressure of course, just using the PC as a regular big stainless steel pot.

    #883008

    Suzanne
    Participant

    @fallenguru, the one practical thing I translated into my own kitchen from [email protected] was using a pressure cooker. I was quite excited about various aspects for about a year — even acquired a kit of the more commonly used culinary chemicals. But as time passed I regretfully accepted how incompatible most of it was with my time limitations, approach to cooking and budget. Sous vide and sprinkling veg with baking soda to accelerate carmelization are the only techniques I hear about having commonly moved into foodies’ kitchens after the initial fervor over the Modernist Cuisine books. The books are a fun trip for the culinary imagination, though.

    Your experience with Bloomenthal’s veg stock does have me curious. I’ve not made a veg stock that has the transformative effect and versatility of poultry stock, so I may look up that recipe to try.

    Your questions had me browsing through my KR user manual a few days ago. It does refer to a “hard titanium base non-stick coating.” I believe they are just referring to the smooth metal finish inside the pan, not the plastic-y type that flakes off. Again, KR Customer Service can help you get the facts about this promptly.

    I wasn’t able to easily find the dimensions of the 24 cm 8 liter pot you mentioned to see if it is more tall and narrow like the 22 cm one or more square, like my 6 liter. That 24-cm might be a nice compromise for getting the height you want without the possible inconveniences of a tall narrow pot. The virtues for pots with wider bases like the hotel line strike me as (1) searing big hunks of meat (2) big sautes (3) with gas burners, pumping a lot of heat rapidly into the broad base to achieve pressure faster. Greg can fill in the rest if I’ve missed something.

    When selecting pricey kitchen tools, it’s tough to predict where your culinary wanderings will take you. During my Italian cooking phase, I was convinced a big, flat saute pan was essential and over-researched it and invested in a nice one. These days, it gets used for ratatouille in late summer/fall and takes up space the rest of the year. Then a friend GAVE ME the perfect KR stockpot pressure cooker that had been sitting in her cupboard over 10 years unused, and I use that 3-4 times a week. I could just as well use my PC pan for the ratatouille. So annoying. I confess my mostly unused pricey saute pan prejudiced me against the utility of large flat pans.

    Also, would a large flat pan be more tippy if it is full of stock when you are carrying it? Just my (prejudiced) thoughts.

    Whatever you choose, I predict you’ll find many other great uses for your PC after you’ve had it a while.

    #883013

    Suzanne
    Participant

    Oh, and one other thing

    You’ve touched on the idea of continuously adjustable pressure more than once, and I’m not sure I understand what you are trying to achieve by looking for this in your new cooker.

    Are you concerned that you will be unable to achieve high enough pressure without it?

    #883049

    fallenguru
    Participant

    > Are you concerned that you will be unable to achieve high enough pressure without it?

    Yes. Some European models list ridiculously low “high pressure”, notably Fissler and Tefal, and AFAICT these values are accurate. On the other hand the KRs don’t reach 15 psi on paper either, but will reportedly do 17(!) quite comfortably in practice. The WMF, from the way it’s constructed, should behave like the KRs, then again, it might not. These aren’t small differences, and I don’t believe increasing the cooking time does produce quite the same result.

    Maybe it’ll all boil down to capacity anyway — WMF tops out at 8.5 l, Fissler at 10 l, after all. Sadly, as a volumetrically challenged European, who weighs everything, I’ve no idea how much volume one batch of Heston stock ingredients actually is, after the initial couple minutes of (conventional) cooking.

    #883050

    Suzanne
    Participant

    Is this the recipe you are using? It says it is “adapted” from H. Blumenthal.

    Vegetable Stock

    If so, it appears from the link below that the above recipe producing 2 kilograms of stock is making 2 liters of stock.
    http://convert-to.com/conversion/water-weight-volume/convert-kilogram-kg-of-water-weight-to-liter-l-of-water-volume.html

    Revisiting my comment on Kuhn Rikon’s rule about filling the pot only half full for soups/stocks, I should add KR’s guidelines for pressure cooking are the most conservative I have seen. Conservative is not a bad thing when we are dealing with a device that can explode. However, it seems to me that the few vegetable stocks I have made did not produce much foam that could clog the PC’s valves, unlike chicken carcasses which create a lot of surface scum, and the above recipe includes fat (butter) which will reduce any foaming.

    So I am questioning whether the half-full rule would apply to this veg stock recipe. Maybe a topic for a separate thread.

    #883311

    Greg
    Participant

    Sorry about the delay in returning to this thread. Other things going on in my life that take precedence.

    Suzanne has given some good tips. Like her, I went mad with Modernist Cuisine stuff when I first discovered it, though I did have my first pressure cooker before that. Like Suzanne, most of it sits in the cupboard unused. One day. Maybe.

    I do use my pressure cookers. I also use my Sous Vide gear. Both several times a week. And often for the same meal. I wouldn’t want to live without either these days.

    As an example, the other day I made a “roast” lamb dinner. I sous vided (?) a rolled lamb loin (enough for two!) at 58ºC for about 15 hours. I intended 12 hours but I woke in the night so I put it on and Sous Vide is VERY forgiving on timing. I prefer 54º, but my wife complains it is too bloody at that temp. I pressure cooked some potatoes then put them in the oven to crisp up. This basically follows the method given by Heston in [email protected] except he boils the spuds for some reason. I also made a gravy using the bag juices as well as some lamb stock I had made in the PC a few days earlier. That was supposed to be Chicken stock, but I had mislabeled the scraps in the freezer. Sigh. I added raw Sweet potato and Pumpkin to the roasting pan with the spuds, and put the lamb roll in to brown for the last 20 minutes or so. All in all a very delicious dinner.

    To re-iterate:
    Unless they have changed in the last few years, most of the KR pressure cookers are stainless steel inside and out. A couple of models have a nonstick coating. One is model number 3076. This is otherwise identical to the stainless steel model 3346. This is almost identical to my 2.5l braiser except mine has short handles and doesn’t appear to be made anymore. The Titanium model 3076 is around 25% more expensive than the Stainless steel model 3346. I wouldn’t buy it if it was 25% cheaper.

    The braiser (frypan style) models come with a waffle base which works surprisingly well as a non stick surface. The stockpot models come with a smooth base, but include a very low trivet. This is more useful than it seems given that you only need 50-100ml of water to reach and maintain pressure. Those potatoes above were pressure steamed for 5 minutes with about 70ml of water under that trivet. A lot better than Heston’s boiling in 2 litres for 30 minutes. And they come out dryer so they don’t need any further prep work before putting them in the oven to crisp up. From memory Heston puts his boiled potatoes in the freezer for an hour to dry them out. Though I may be thinking of his chips.

    Asparagus.
    Unless I am just blanching, I steam my vegetables, so the concept of keeping the tips out of the water did not occur to me. Sorry.

    Stock.
    I never noticed that bit about only half full for soups. I always fill my stock to the 3/4 mark. Never had any problems. But I am making stock, usually chicken, not soup so no beans, pasta or similar danger ingredients. If I am making soup from the stock, I am making for two so it won’t be a problem.
    Suzanne, yes the recipe is pretty much identical. Except Heston has his slave chopping everything by hand and he strains though muslin. MC use a food processor and strain through cheesecloth. Big deal.
    Personally I would just roughly chop. But I may just give it a go. Certainly his Salmon with Boudrain sauce is to die for!

    AND FYI 1kg water by weight = 1 litre by volume. This is by definition. 1 gram is defined as the weight of water contained in a cube 1cm on a side*. 1kg = 1000 grams and 1litre = 1000cm^3. Metric works!
    Stock is pretty much just water, so it holds true for stock too

    Diameters:
    Hotel Series: Nominal 28 cm Measured internal: 28cm at top. Heat disk: 21cm
    My 2.5l braiser. Nominal 24cm Measured internal: 24cm at top. Heat disk: 19cm

    *This was the original definition. They have played with the definitions over the last few centuries and it is probably now defined as the the weight of 320003000440.1 atoms of hydrogen or some such nonsense. There is also some bumph in the original about standard temperature, gravity and pressure. Personally, I will stick with the original without the caveats. Until I relocate to the moon anyway.

    #883566

    Suzanne
    Participant

    On Kuhn Rikon half-full for stock: Fallenguru, the recent chat I had with a U.S. KR rep may be of interest. It resolved my thinking further up the thread about filling more than half-full for veg stocks. I personally wouldn’t do it. But I’m doubtless in the minority.

    Fill only half full when making stock?

    On Kuhn Rikon titanium nonstick: Greg was correct further up the thread — the KR rep told me that the nonstick PCs aren’t being made anymore. But the odd pan might still be on offer somewhere.

    On pressure cooker sizes: Those measurements Greg provided on KR bases and diameters shot down one of my assumptions. I thought that with widening diameters, the aluminum base plates would grow proportionately. But apparently not. The base plate for my 22 cm is about 3.5 cm smaller than its diameter, but for Greg’s 28 cm, it is 7 cm smaller and not that much bigger than my 18.5 cm base plate. So the flame he can use to bring the wider pots up to pressure is not much bigger than it would be for the pots with smaller diameters. I’d assumed you could put a massive flame under those wide pots, shortening time to High pressure in a big way.

    Fallenguru, can’t say if anything cooked at 15 psi would taste different/better than something at 13 psi. But I suspect that a pot that made a fuss whenever it reached a hair over a preset pressure would annoy me, because a bit over or under pressure doesn’t make a significant difference to the cooking of the food. But the fussing pot might be a good thing if you must frequently adjust your gas burners to maintain the target pressure or if your kitchen is noisy — the sound KR cookers make when pressure changes is not loud, at least not until you are severely over pressure, and maybe some automatic venting from these other brands of cookers would be a useful prompt for you. Feel free to share which PC you decide to buy and why. It’s always fun to find out. :-)

    Greg, my explorations these days are more focused on streamlining my cooking process than on new recipes. But a highly recommended salmon recipe does tempt me to put that book in my library queue. And if you are moving to the moon, best start learning Mandarin so you can swap tips on wok hei with your neighbors.

    #883705

    fallenguru
    Participant

    > Is this the recipe you are using? It says it is “adapted” from H. Blumenthal.

    Yes. The book’s version says to wet the muslin and doesn’t mention an ice bath, otherwise it looks identical.

    > A couple of models have a nonstick coating.

    Hm, yes, the question is, which?

    > 1kg water by weight = 1 litre by volume.

    Certainly, but the relevant volume is that of the PC’s contents at the time the lid goes on, liquids and solids. So, 2 litres for the water, obviously, plus ??? for the vegetables, which, by that point, have been cooked down considerably …

    > I thought that with widening diameters, the aluminum base plates would grow proportionately

    So did I. A diagram with all the measurements would really be helpful. Interestingly, KR has no presence in Austria, even though Switzerland is right over the border. Otherwise I could just go and look at a couple in person.

    > Feel free to share which PC you decide to buy and why.

    Will do!

    #883808

    Suzanne
    Participant

    “the question is, which?”

    Online, I do find the titanium non-stick pan Greg mentioned clearly labeled “titanium.” If you want certainty the PC you choose is not nonstick, ask the vendor you choose or KR Customer Service in the Swiss office at 41523960101 or email them at [email protected]

    “2 litres for the water, obviously, plus ??? for the vegetables”

    You can measure the volume of the veg using water displacement. Here’s how:

    (1) Fill a pot with 2 liters of water (2) Mark the water level on the inside of the pot (lipstick would work) (3) Submerge the recipe’s veg + frozen butter without chopping them (upsidedown petal steamer or tieing them in a bundle would help keep them together) (4) Again, mark the water level while holding the solids under the water. (5) Remove the solids and top up your water level back to the 2 liters mark. (6) Measure the amount of water you must add to bring the water level back up to the second lipstick mark. That number is the volume of your solids.

    Also, note Laura’s reply to the question about filling PCs half full for stocks in the separate thread linked further up this thread.

    #883908

    fallenguru
    Participant

    FWIW, I measured the latest batch: it’s between 3.3 and 3.5 l, which means it should — assuming 2/3 full is fine, after all — just barely work in a 5 l PC and is probably meant for a 6 l one.

    [I inserted a long wooden skewer straight down into the cooked (heated?) veg-in-water right before the lid went on, removed it and measured the length of the wet part. Assuming the pot to be cylindrical, an estimation for the volume is easily calculated using that and the inner diameter of the pot.]

    So if I really want to double that up, I’m down to the KR Hotel/Family series anyway as their other ranges, never mind other brands, top out at ~8 l.

    #883914

    Greg
    Participant

    How many are you cooking for?
    Assuming 250ml per person, and 3.5l including veg equates to 2l stock, that’s already enough for 8. Even if you use the stock straight. If you add extra ingredients for soup, you are talking quite a few more.

    Mind you, last night I took 250ml of that lamb stock and reduced it to a demi-glace last night. It was barely enough as a jus for 2.

    #884023

    fallenguru
    Participant

    > How many are you cooking for?

    Just two. 250 ml/portion of soup sounds about right, but that’s still only 4 courses/batch. And only soup, no risotto (2.5 l/recipe), no sauces, no insane experiments (like cooking chickpeas in it) … As it is, one batch doesn’t get us through the week. There’ve been discussions along the lines of “This recipe looks delicious, but it requires quite a lot of stock, d’you think it’s worth it?”. I’ve been known to be more liberal with the saffron …
    It’s not that it’s that much effort, the straining is a faff, but the Magimix does the slicing just fine, but it does take ages: leave “to cool completely” means “overnight” in summer, then another night in the fridge so the fat solidifies and can be separated. It just can’t be made on demand.
    Thirdly, I always find myself with a lot of left-over ingredients after a batch. Everything is packaged nowadays and if you can find small packages (and that’s a big if) they’re ludicrously expensive.

    Anyway, the plan is to get a KR 10/12 l as soon as one of them comes down a bit on Amazon.de. If I find that’s too large for most anything but stock, I can always get a smaller one as well.

    BTW, Modernist Cuisine at Home arrived the day before yesterday. It’s glorious.

    #884090

    Suzanne
    Participant

    Yes, Fallenguru, [email protected] is a gorgeous, engaging book. Hard to stop looking at it even after you’ve absorbed the theory and recipes.

    Here’s something I’ve wondered about. If you decrease the amount of water in your recipe’s water-to-solids ratio while cooking stock, of course you will produce a more concentrated stock. If you then dilute the concentrated stock with the amount of water you left out, will the stock taste the same as it would have if you hadn’t decreased the water? In other words, do you extract as much flavor from the solids when you use less water? Assuming, of course, the solids are completely submerged either way.

    If the answer is yes, then one could pay for, store, and heft about a smaller pot. Does anyone know the answer?

    #884523

    Greg
    Participant

    I’m jealous of both of you. I only have the e-Book of [email protected] Still I have to say the interface is pretty slick.

    I mostly cook for two too.
    For risotto, I use 500ml of stock and 1 cup of Arborio (or Canarolli -spelling??? – if I can get it). Are you using the pressure cooker for your risotto? Laura has a brilliant recipe.

    I regularly cook chickpeas in my 2.5L KR, usually for hommus. I add the soaked chick peas then fill to the half mark. It is less water than Laura recommends, but it works well. And the cooking liquid is brilliant in the risotto. So much so that there is always a risotto on the go within a day or so of making hommus.

    I have a Magimix too. Never use it for slicing or grating any more. I find the extra effort in cleaning the #$^%$&er far outweighs any convenience during use. I use either a knife, or if I want nice even slices, a Benriner (Japanese mandoline). Grating always happens on one of my Microplanes.

    @suzanne, I don’t know how it compares with a watered down stock – I always use it full strength, but I just barely cover my solid ingredients. I end up with a super gelled stock (assuming a meat stock) and flavourless solids left, so I assume I am achieving maximum extraction.

    @fallenguru,
    I bought the 12L KR as my first PC too. I rapidly discovered it was way too big cooking for just two. Then I bought the 5L Hotel. Then the 2.5L. I almost NEVER use the 12L. Only when I am cooking something big, or for a crowd. OTOH the 2.5L rarely makes it back to the cupboard. Consider buying a 6L. Get used to making stocks, chickpeas, risottos etc. in that. If you still feel the need, then get the 12L as your second PC.

    As it happens, I used the big beast today. But that was for a corned silverside for a crowd tomorrow. It just didn’t fit in the little ones. And we (and visitors!) will be eating corned beef for at least a week. For tonight’s dinner, I will be making Beef Xacutti in the 5l. I expect leftovers from that too, but it is the first time for this dish. And I always follow a recipe exactly first time. If I can. Sometimes ingredient availability makes it impossible.

    #887763

    markF
    Participant

    Just purchased a Fissler 8L vitavit premium (USA version) and have read all the questions on what the pressure gets to internally (including the favorable America’s test kitchen video on the vitaquick from several years ago). Clearly the manual only says the unit reaches 60 kpa on high which everyone says is some kind of misprint.

    Decided to do a bit of an experiment and bought some no reversible temperature indicating strips that change from white to black permanently when they reach certain temperatures. The one I got has indicatiors that change at 171, 180, 190, 199, 210, 219, 230, 241, 250 and 261 degrees F so I thought that would be a good range to test. I would note that the stated accuracy on the temp change is +/- 1.5 degrees

    Put one liter of water in the pan with the steamer insert and set the indicator strip on the steamer insert, brought to high pressure and held for 5 minutes followed by a quick release.

    The strip darkened up to the 241 degree F indicator but NOT the 250 degree indicator. This means that the steam temperature was somewhere between 241 and 250 degrees (or 75-100 Kpa gauge pressure equivalent to someplace between 11 and 15 psig). This seems to corroborate the comments that the units for the USA run at a higher pressure.

    I also did the same experiment with a new strip at the lower pressure setting and it reached a temperature of between 230 and 241 degrees F.

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