​​Kuhn Rikon Pressure Cooker Review
The design is sleek and immediately recognizable. Styled like a futuristic Moroccan Tajine this pressure cooker is solid and it feels and cooks with quality – this is the most efficient pressure cooker I’ve tested so far – and it’s easy to use but its Swiss precision does not account for human imprecision.

Pressure Cooker Review: Kuhn Rikon Duromatic

Features: (5 out of 5 stars)

  • Attractive Design – The Kuhn Rikon Duromatic does not look like any other pressure cooker on the market today.  Its coned top is beautifully minimalist with just a few concentric circles to the peak and a little nub in the middle- the pressure signal. The base is a simple cylinder and in contrast to all of this roundness the handles feature sharp angles and undulating lines at the same time.
  • Easy to Use – Put on the lid and go.  No other buttons, levers or settings to choose. The pressure valve is easy to remove, clean and remount.
  • Fill Lines – Capacity marks inside the pot indicate 3/4 full (for regular pressure cooking) and 1/2 full (for cooking grains, beans and other foamy foods).
  • All-metal Valve – The pressure regulator, and its housing, are all metal (save the small heat-safe plastic button on top) making this valve extremely durable compared to its peers.

Safety: (4.75 out of 5 stars)

The Kuhn Rikon has more safety systems than most other pressure cookers, but gets a small ding in this category.  This “ding” does not render it unsafe but is a minor design flaw – see Safety Vents, below.

  1. Primary over-pressure release valve – Integrated in the pressure signal, activates to release pressure if the pressure cooker reaches 17.4 PSI.
  2. Secondary safety valve – Located a small distance from the primary pressure valve, a small spring fixed silicone stopper will pop out and release pressure (in case the primary should be obstructed or not working properly to release pressure).
  3.  Correct Placement Nub – A little nub within the lid’s rim retracts when the pressure cooker is closed correctly. Should the lid be placed on the cooker incorrectly, this nub will prevent the pressure cooker from reaching pressure.
  4.  Self-locking Gasket –  Once the pressure cooker has reached pressure, the silicone gasket will expand to lock the lid of the pressure cooker closed. I have not tried, but the Kuhn Rikon product manager assures me, that even a strong man cannot forcefully open the pressure cooker while the gasket has expanded to maintain pressure and block the lid from twisting open.
  5.  Safety Vents – The Kuhn Rikon boasts two safety vents that come into action in case any of the previous safety measures were to fail. At that point, the gasket will buckle and allow pressure (and some of the contents of the pressure cooker) through the metal cut-outs in the lid.  The cook should always point these windows in the rim away from him while operating the pressure cooker. On this model, the vents are on each side of the lid, making it difficult to understand how to position the cooker with both vents pointing away without having the handle stick straight out from the cook-top.

Performance and Durability: (4.75 of 5 stars)

This is where Swiss precision locks horns with human imprecision, and its unparalleled efficiency shines.  Durability of the materials is also a winner – though a decorative piece is unnecessarily flimsy (removing a quarter star from the rating – see last paragraph in this section).
The Kuhn Rikon pressure regulator consists of a bar, a spring and a little top.  The simplicity and materials make this valve easy to clean and incredibly durable.
The pressure indicator is the small black  point in the middle of the cone-shaped lid.  When the pressure cooker reaches pressure the indicator begins to rise out of the housing to display the metal bar.  When the first red ring on the bar is seen, it means that it has reached “Low Pressure” when the second red ring displays it means that it has reached “High Pressure”.

The advantage of an indicator bar vs. a pressure selector, is that the cook can turn down the heat while the bar is in any position to maintain that pressure. For example, anywhere between the first or second ring for “Medium Pressure” or just before the first ring  for “Extra Low” pressure.

Figuring out the correct heat to maintain pressure point has taken me a lot longer with this pressure cooker than any other so far.  The Kuhn Rikon will maintain pressure only when a precise amount of heat is applied – since the knobs on many cook-tops do not have any numbers or marks the cook really need to learn to feel where this precise spot is. This takes a few initial recipes to discover. However, once you find the “sweet spot” for how much heat is needed to maintain pressure you will be pleasantly surprised at how low you can go.

The Kuhnn Rikon Duromatic is the most energy efficient pressure cooker I’ve tested so far (knob position 1.6 vs  2.75 for Fagor Futuro).

kuhn_rikon_duromatic

Releasing pressure by pushing the indicator, as instructed in the instruction manual,  for the normal release requires the cook to stand there and push the indicator for approximately 2 minutes.  The vapor is diffused by the decorative valve cover and wafts around the lid (not shooting in any particularly  inconvenient direction as with the Magefesa Ideal or Fissler Vitavit).

The Kuhn Rikon product manager told me of a faster, undocumented, way to release pressure by pulling up the indicator – I tried it released all of the pressure in less than 30 seconds!

Kuhn Rikon has another model with a pressure valve that allows the cook to release pressure automatically by twisting the indicator.  They call it a two-stage pressure release (seen here) – I will update this review with information about how this “automatic” release works, should I have the opportunity to try it.

This brings us to the only weak spot in Kuhn Rikon’s durability: The decorative housing cover. It is held by three heat resistant plastic clips.  They are subjected to the cooker’s high heat, super-heated vapor and constant movement when it’s removed and replaced to clean and dry the valve – eventually breaking. In two years of using this pressure cooker often I have gone through two of these covers (illustration 3, below). This cover is not essential to the function of the pressure cooker, but not having it suddenly turns the beautiful cooker into something to hide from guests.

Clean-up: (4.75 out of 5 stars)

  • Valve removes with a tool (butter knife or coin are ok)
  • Lid and Base Hand Washing Only

Although the valve is one of the easiest to clean, it is made of small pieces (1st illustration, above) so the cook will want to ensure that there is a screen over the sink drain  so as not to loose any of the small essential pieces of the valve.

The manual states that all parts must be hand-washed.  The thick metal base prevents most foods from scorching – but if they do  (due to the cook not adding enough liquid or keeping the heat to high during cooking) the high-quality stainless steel  will let most food comes off with the swipe of a sponge or a short soak of soapy water

Accessories:


All of the Kuhn Rikon pressure cookers come standard with a rack.  It is useful when making jams, or wanting to keep delicate things off the bottom of the pressure cooker, but a bit of a disappointment when I might want to do advanced pressure cooking techniques that require a trivet or steamer basket.  It is too low to be used as a trivet and, if flipped over, the edges are too thin to use it as a steamer basket.

However, this is not a major ding since it is easy to purchase suitable substitutes.

Also included is a brief and easy-to-understand user manual with an extensive ingredient cooking time tables.

Other Details:

  • 18/10 Stainless Steel with aluminum sandwich base
  • Available Sizes: 2.5, 3.5, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 12qt
  • Spring Valve with indicator Bar (0 to 17.4 PSI)
  • Maximum Cooking Temperature measured at high pressure: 119.4°C (247°F)
  • Universal Base – safe to use on gas, electric, ceramic and induction cook-tops
  • Width: (opening) 8.6″ or 22 cm, cylindrical; Height (internal) 5.6″ or 14.25 cm; Weight:  (Base) 4.45lbs or 2.02k , (Base and Top) 6.34lbs or 2.87k
  • 10 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty (excluding wearing parts)
  • Made in Switzerland
  • Kuhn Rikon Instruction Manual
  • Manufacturer Website: Kuhn Rikon Switzerland , Kuhn Rikon USA
  • Recipes on this website using Kuhn Rikon Duromatic

Conclusion and Score:

The Kuhn Rikon Duromatic is lauded by Modernist Cuisine as their favorite brand.  Quality is commensurate with price for this pressure cooker and gets top marks from me, too,  for consistency, quality, functionality.  It is easy to use, and clean. The all-metal pressure valve has survived kitchen experiments other pressure cookers have not.  Getting the hang of the right heat setting to maintain pressure takes a little longer with this precision instrument and a decorative piece could be reinforced to last as long as the rest of the cooker.

The Kuhn Rikon Duromatic is the most energy efficient pressure cooker tested – needing less heat to maintain pressure than all other cookers in the Hip Pressure Cooking test kitchen.

NOTE: This review was fact-checked by the Head of Marketing and Product Management at Kuhn Rikon (Switzerland) prior to publication.

To Purchase:

From USA:

From Canada:

From U.K.

Have you used this pressure cooker?

Add to this review by leaving your comments, below!

In the interest of full disclosure, we would like to note that: The pressure cooker was sent to Hip Pressure Cooking by the manufacturer at no cost.  Our relationship with the manufacturer, or lack thereof, does not affect the outcome of the review.

 

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122 Comments

  1. Hi Laura – wonderful reviews (I’ve read them all); thank you! I’ve decided on the Kuhn Rikon brand, but would appreciate your recommendation on what to purchaser. We are a family of 4, cook predominantly from scratch, and would occasionally enjoy canning left overs (2-3 jars max, e.g. Meat sauce).

    Cost is not an issue & I’m curious as to the best initial purchase (single pot vs. set, if single pot which model / size, etc.).

    PC is new to us, but we are excited to learn the process and increase our skills in this are; my husband & I are both good cooks & always looking to expand our repertoire.

    Thank you in advance for any direction you can offer.

    Best Regards

    1. MDS,

      Have you already read my article on pressure cooker sizes and shapes?
      http://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooker-sizes-and-types/

      I do not have any personal expertise in canning – so I can only go with what I know and share the USDA guidelines say and what other manufacturers have done. All pressure cooker/canners that are for sale are 10L or more, to accommodate the USDA’s minimum requirement.

      Personally, I think a 10L would be too large for everyday use for a family of four. As I recommend in the article, I would start with a 6 or 8L pressure cooker (or set) – then as you get the hang of pressure cooking and are ready to purchase a third cooker you might want to consider going with a pressure canner instead of a braiser.

      Ciao,

      L

      1. Thank you for responding Laura. I did find your article after leaving my note and found it to be as informative as your reviews. Once we’ve ordered & started our PC journey, I’ll be sure to drop back with a note on our experiences.

        I am finding it a challenge to locate retailers in Edmonton, AB who carry KR; while I can order through Amazon.ca, I much prefer to see/feel the cookware I purchase – it feels a bit of a blind purchase otherwise (even when armed with the detailed information you’ve provided).

        Cheers

        M

        1. Be sure to contact Kuhn Rikon directly to find out if there are any retailers in your area they can recommend. The added benefit of going into a store is the chance to see other cookers and compare. It’s also great to talk to the staff – as they often have great recipes to share.

          Wherever I am, I always stop at retail stores and ask about their pressure cookers (without initially revealing who I am). I’ve always found the staff very knowledgeable and most of all enthusiastic. One store even recommended a great website for pressure cooker recipes – it was hip pressure cooking!

          Have fun,

          L

          1. Purchased KR 8L; 3 years in & loving it!

  2. Hi Laura, excellent site!

    I am new to cooking PC, and have just got the 8L KR Hotel with an induction hob, which works excellent! As you mention on other pages, it takes a bit of practice to get right on induction!

    For smaller / quicker dishes, I want to get the 2.5L KR Frying Pan PC. I see (on Amazon UK) there are two versions – a Titanium non-stick and a standard stainless steel. Some sites state not to go for non-stick versions of PCs, but without detailed information. Have you tried this pan, and if so, would you recommend the non-stick?

    Thanks,
    Henk

    1. Henk, I found mixed information online and NO information from Kuhn Rikon. I contacted them on your behalf to find out more. Now, I’m curious too!

      Ciao,

      L

  3. Thank you Laura! The only information that I have found of any relevance is that the non-stick is guaranteed for 3 years, as opposed to the PC having a 10 year guarantee. Maybe not something to worry about since other top brand PCs have 3 year guarantees.

    I think my main concern with the non-stick coating is that if it wears off over time, the pan becomes more “difficult” to use, as is the case with regular non-stick frying pans where the coating have deteriorated over time. With the normal stainless pan, this will not be an issue. Since I see this purchase as a longer term investment, it would be good to know it would last!

    Unfortunately where I stay, having it re-coated will be difficult, so that is not an option.

    Cheers,
    Henk

  4. I love my Kuhn Rikons, but a couple of updates.

    1. they are now sayiing:
    The cookware is basically dishwashersafe but washing by hand affords better protection.
    If washed regularly in the dishwasher, synthetic fittings may lose their shine and aluminium may oxidise or corrode.” (quote from the website – it is in the use and care section of all their models.)

    But strangely, they are now claiming that their PCs cook at 5.8psi on low and 11.6 psi on high.
    Refer to the pdf file at the bottom of the following web page:
    http://co-uk.kuhnrikon.com/co-uk/en/products/pressure_cookers.html

    I have found I need to add a minute or so to most of your longer timings. I put this down to the fact that I live at 1000m (3000ft) altitude, but perhaps the Kuhn Rikons actually cook at lower pressure than previously believed.

    1. Greg,

      The pressures you see are referring to are the MARKS on the pressure bar – but in actuality the bar raises until it reaches 17psi. So, as long as you’re turning down the heat before the cooker goes into over-pressure you are cooking at 15psi.

      I have not seen the recommendation to wash Kuhn Rikon pressure cookers in the dishwasher. I would not go as far as to say they are dish-washer safe – especially the lid. My “helpful” and forgetful husband put my KR lid in the dishwasher several times. The spring on the safety mechanism oxidized and needed replacement and the silicone parts darkened and became hard.

      So, if just be aware that if you run the KR lid through the dishwasher. the time you save by not hand-washing will be spent ordering and waiting for replacement parts.

      Ciao,

      L

      1. Except that KR say to cook at 1st/2nd MARK. So it seems they are recommending to cook at 5.8/11.6 psi NOT 15psi. Yes it can get to 15psi before the over pressure valve cuts in, but it is really guesswork as to where that point is. You might be at 15psi. Or you might be at 16.5. Or 12.

        As for the dishwasher comments they were just a heads up that KR seem to be changing their stance on this issue, claiming that it just affects aesthetics. Though your experience seems to indicate otherwise. For myself. I don’t even own a dishwasher. That’s what sinks are for. Washing up is a great time to stop and chat over the day’s events without the idiot box competing for attention.

        1. Hi Greg, there seems to be numerous theories out there on the actual pressure of the KR PCs. Might be worth having a look at the following link: “http://pressurecookerrecipes22484.yuku.com/topic/1591/Kuhn-Rikon-NOT-15psi#.Uv2oqvmSyCk” which had some guys testing actual temp and PSI. Seems the second mark is actually 15psi as per Laura’s comment.
          Cheers, Henk

  5. I wanted to let everyone know that I have measured the internal temperature of the Kuhn Rikon Duromatic and have posted a chart with the results in the review.

    “Maximum Temperature measured at high pressure” under the “Other Details” section of the review.

    Ciao,

    L

  6. Ok, I love my KR. Abt 7l in size and 10+ years old. Oh, how I love to cook beans and soups in it!! Hate bought beans now. As for soups, a dream to do ones with hominy as the hominy will get a bit softer and better texture to our liking. I always add a tbsp to beans, rice, soups, etc.
    I have had to change the gasket, spring valve release, and plastic thingy that hold up the silver safety guard in just this last year. Nothing before that. If you treat it carefully, things last and last on it.
    Once I get up to near pressure I immediately go to the absolute lowest heat setting on my stove (induction) or it goes until it steam releases for over temp :-) I actually have an IP LUX60, but I haven’t even used it yet because I love my CR.Your cooking/review description is right on the money. I haven’t done desserts in it, but rice — what a eureka moment when I did that and it was beyond lovely!! I am at 5000 ft so found that I need a bit more water. It was even sticky rice that is usually more challenging in regular pots. I shared how to do beans with a friend and got her a basic pressure cooker — her kids won’t eat purchased canned beans anymore!! LOVE this thing. Trying to decide if I should get another :-) I love the safety parts. The part where you can’t turn it when it is super hot and the blue gasket is bulging — right on. It is truly locked. Only once did I screw up — had manual released and then let it sit a bit and went for opening it. Just enough pressure from the steaming food that some did come out, hits the fold on it and goes down it. I’ve learned to open with manual release while holding the stem down and in the sink :-) Silly me.

  7. I tried to access the KR manual from the link on this page, but it is broken. It to me to a “Page not found” at fantes.com

  8. Greg–you can download the K-R manual at the K-R website:

    http://us.kuhnrikon.com/us/en/products/energy-efficient-cookware/duromatic.html

    Leslie

    1. Thank you Leslie.
      It was more of an FYI. I have three paper copies and one electronic. But I decided to have a go at the plum pudding over on the forum in the conversions section. I was on a train at the time so looked for the salient info ([email protected] pressure) on the review. When I couldn’t see it I tried to download the manual from the link and failed. I simply went over to the manual library and downloaded it from there. Then planned my recipe and put it into action when I got home.

      BTW the plum pudding is really worth trying. I WILL be making it again.

  9. Thank you Greg and Leslie, I updated the link to the copy of the manual we have in the pressure cooker manual library:
    http://www.hippressurecooking.com/kuhn-rikon-pressure-cooker-manual/

    Ciao!

    L

  10. The other day I had a moments inattention while using the big PC. OK I admit it. It was more than a moment. Anyway, pressure built up to the point where the lid vents did their thing. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the steam vented safely downwards and not straight out as I had always assumed it would. This makes Laura’s safety ding above much less of an issue.

  11. Oops. Forgot the photo

    1. Thanks for sharing the photo, Greg!

  12. yes, adds to peace of mind!

  13. I finally got the Duromatic Top model, and I couldn’t be happier. It arrived ahead of time, and I immediately tested it by bringing water up to pressure. The red rings are very tactile, and the indicator stays cool due to the heat-resistant plastic. Releasing pressure is simple, and the long handle paired with the helper handle makes lifting and transporting the cooker very easy.

    1. That’s fantastic, Grace! Just be aware that the stem that raises under the plastic cap is metal and as you pressure cook longer it will get hotter. So you may want to use a toothpick or some other small implement to determine how many rings are “showing”. What a great addition to your collection!! Thanks for letting us know your impression.

      Ciao,

      L

  14. Any thoughts out there on the functionality of the waffle bottom of the KR pressure frypan? I’m thinking of buying it, but I’ve spent so much time scrubbing hardened food out of crevices in my life that I worry it will be hard to scrub hardened food out of those dimples. Also, If one normally moves food around the pan with a flat spatula type tool, would minced garlic/ginger at the bottom of a dimple escape the stirring, and scorch? I would mostly cook small quantities of vegetables and grains in this. Would the dimples allow me to use less oil for sauteing vegetables? And when a fond from the vegetables forms, would deglazing the pan be more complicated because the fond wouldn’t get stirred/scraped up from the bottom of the dimples? Someone who uses this pan, please reassure me!

    1. The waffle bottom doesn’t impede my cooking or cleaning. Personally, I haven’t noticed any particular benefits to browning in the waffle vs. non-waffle base. I think the idea behind it is to increase the cooking surface, but the indentations are so shallow I don’t think they make a noticeable enough difference to influence your purchasing decision.

      Ciao,

      L

  15. @Suzanne,
    I took some photos of my 5litre waffle base today. That PC has had several years use so it will give you a good idea of how it scrubs up. It will be a few days before I get a chance to put them up here though. Sorry.

  16. Thank you for taking the pix, Greg. Really above and beyond. I’ll watch for them.

    I suspect the dimples must not be a problem, because I didn’t see anyone complaining about them in Amazon reviews. I like the idea that this pan would be agile with quick release/repressurize cycles.

    On the thumbs down side, it would overhang my largest burner by over 3 centimeters. Modernist Cooking at Home did say that pans heat best when they fit their burners, so the overhang bit doesn’t thrill me. Neither does having another long handled skillet to store, when my All-Clad skillet and saute pan perform well, except the saute pan overhangs the burner by several centimeters more than the KR skillet would, and I have to keep herding the sauteing onions from the sides of the pan, where they cook more slowly, to the surface area directly over the burner. My 6 liter KR is 22 cm. The bottom aluminum plate overhangs by about a cm, a negligible amount, and things saute evenly in it. I have a bias toward a new pan that is the same diameter, which would also allow, as you said, for interchangeability of gaskets.

    So I’ll admit to some reservations about going for the skillet. The capacity would also limit it.

    The next size up would be a KR 3.5 saucepan cooker, which fits the bill for capacity, but is 7 and 7/8ths in diameter. KR headquarters in the U.S. is willing to special order a 22 cm 4 liter stockpot from the mother ship in Europe for almost $100 more, (includes shipping to my home) than I would pay for the 3.5 liter. Seems like a lot for an extra 1/2 liter capacity and stockpot handles, which are my preference. It’s also almost $100 more than a 4 liter BRK cooker.

    Maybe I’m going about this the wrong way. Maybe I should just get an induction burner and not worry about pan diameter. It would simplify things. Might also get me more speed on the release/repressurize cycles.

    It’s partly my fault the cycles are as slow as they are. I don’t like to turn up my electric coils higher than between medium and medium-high. They get all fiery orange, and that’s too much kitchen drama for me. Send me to the PC users detention room.

  17. Photo1: before use. Not perfectly clean but as clean as I usually get it.

  18. And this is what it looks like while braising:

  19. And during the deglaze step:
    Sorry about this photo. The lens was fogging up.

  20. I saw in the other thread you mostly cook for one. Go for the smallest PC you can find. I usually use the 2.5L (2.6Qt) for a family of 2. Today I used the 5L to cook pasta for 6 people. There were leftovers.

  21. Thanks for the pix, Greg. Made me want to come over to your house for dinner. (I’m happily pescatarian, but I DO miss red meat when I see pictures of it.)

    Your pictures do address my worries. Looks like no problems with deglazing, pot looks nice and clean, and makes a nice fond. One sometimes wants a nice carmelized layer at the bottom when cooking veg. What do you use this pan for besides cooking meat?

  22. I often make ratatouille, stock if I need a larger quantity, mince for lasagne, tamales, pulled pork, pasta. I tried some milk poached fennel last year. Laura has a recipe somewhere. Cottage pie. Spuds, etc etc.

  23. One thing I don’t cook is fish. Since I got my sous vide setup, that is the only way I will cook it.

  24. I love my Kuhn Rikon pressure cookers (I have 4 – see my reviews on Amazon) but I HATE the fact that the decorative housing covers have broken on all of them more than once. Especially the anniversary edition that contained useful information! Truly a major design flaw considering the premium price paid.

  25. I’ve used my KR PC for two years, the first year about once and week, and the second, 3-4 times a week. I don’t remove the valve housing often, as I have only needed to clean the valve a handful of times. It’s still in good shape, but because of all the complaints I read about it breaking, I’ve removed and stored it. It’s convenient to be able to do an instant release without grabbing some tool to keep your hand/arm out of the undiffused steam, but no big deal–I seldom do instant releases anyway. I’ll put the housing back on if I ever feel the need to impress a dinner guest with what a gorgeous pressure cooker I have. Seems a small price to pay for the reliability, ease and longevity of this cooker.

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