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Electric Pressure Cooker?

Has anyone heard about (or used) an electric pressure cooker? I am an avid home cook and am thinking of registering for one for my upcoming wedding. I am a little afraid of the stovetop versions and read a good review recently of the Cuisenart brand electric version. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. Jen,

    We have two pressure cookers (a very nice traditional Kuhn Rikon and an electric), and I always go to the electric. Why? It's absolutely easy: load it up, set it (i.e. 5 min at Hi pressure) and it takes care of the rest. It beeps when it's done. No need to check pressure, no need to hover.

    Besides, it frees up one more burner on the stove.

    1. I recently got an electric pressure cooker. The brand name is Bravetti, but I have seen several other brand names on cookers that appear identical. It is made in China. I have used it only once, which isn't much to go on, but it worked brilliantly. 3 large lamb shanks with dried white beans were cooked perfectly in about 25 minutes.

      I spent some time afterward browning the meat and reducing the sauce, but this would be necessary with ANY pressure cooker.

      The cooker was almost silent in operation. Put the stuff in, close cover, push button, walk away. There is a timer for delayed startup and a slow cook setting, neither of which I have tried.

      The major downside (I suspect with any electric model) is that you can't immediately release pressure by putting it under cold water. You can open the steam valve, but I don't consider doing this very safe for the surroundings or for the user.

      The controls on this model could use improvement. There are buttons labeled for different types of food, but these seem to cook for uncertain amounts of time. I suspect they react to a temperature rise (as in a rice cooker) to stop the cooking. The most obvious control - cook for (n) minutes - is not provided.

      1. I have one - Maxim brand. I love it. It does let you set the time. Also works as a rice cooker and has a delay function. You can "quick release" the pressure with a button, and that is a nice feature. Highly recommended! I have two conventional ones as well but only use the electric one now. Several years back I was burned badly over both arms when I had an explosion with an older conventional model that was handed down from Mom. Made me into an electric P.C. convert.

        1 Reply
        1. re: 2m8ohed

          Thanks everyone. This is really helpful. I am convinced that I can no longer live without one of these, and will promptly add it to my registry! How exciting!!

        2. I don’t agree an electric is safer than a modern stove-top (I have an electric Farberware and a stove-top Fagor).

          So, the type I’d get (as a first one) would be based only on the recipes I expected to be cooking.

          As stated by previous posters, the electric is great for “set-and-forget” cooking, but is bad if quick-steam-release is required, while the stove-top is great for quick-steam-release, but does require that you pay attention.

          If I could only have one, I’d pick the stove-top because I’d rather mind the pot for 20 minutes than shoot steam (and sometimes boiling liquid) across the kitchen. But the recipes I cook often call for adding ingredients at different times, or quick release at the end.

          If that wasn’t the case, I’d go with the electric. You can’t beat its convenience, it’s like a crockpot that takes minutes instead of hours.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JackTheLurker

            Electric pressure cookers do have a quick release. Each, like the stove top models, is designed a little different. But there is usually a button to push on the lid or handle for quick release. You must take care, and follow the instructions that come with your cooker. I think it is safer, no moving the hot pressure cooker to the sink (to pour cool water over) or into a pan (of cool water) to reduce the pressure.

          2. Yes, I've used a 6 quart presto stainless steel stove top for a number of years, with indifferent success. Before Christmas, I bought a NESCO 6 quart electric combination slow cooker, steamer and pressure cooker. I am 100% thrilled with it. It produces the results I could only hope for with the stove top cooker. And, it is completely automatic.

            I used it for lamb, beef, pork. Perfect results.

            3 Replies
            1. re: rwhissen

              I noticed you have the same kind of pressure cooker that I have? There are hardly any recipes in the book it comes with.. Could you please let me know how to make just plain ole pork chops. How much water to use and how many minutes it takes.. My e-mail address is n.binkley@yahoo.com Thanks so much

              1. re: nannygoat315

                A pressure cooker is not a good tool for pork chops.

                1. re: paulj

                  I should qualify that comment. If you have a recipe that calls for braising chops for a hour, then the pressure cooker could get the job done in 10-15 minutes. Lorna Sass has a recipe for chops with sausage and sauerkraut. It is a variation on the typical pork and kraut braise. My parents like to use smoked pork chops in this. I prefer pork shoulder, or better yet a ham hock.

                  But if I have time a dutch oven in a slow oven does even better, especially since I like my cabbage well browned.

            2. I also have a bravetti pressure cooker. I have not used it yet, however there is a slow cook button on it.. does this mean I can use it as a slow cooker or is it just a fast slow cook option for the pressure cooker?

              1. I have had an electric PC for just over a year now. Wolfgang Puck Bistro. It is the absolute best!!!!!!! I am now trying to locate an additional one for relatives. I would never use the old fashion stovetop model as my Mom had to have many roof repairs from hers! Scary stuff. Once I started cooking with the PC (adjust liquid volumes) it did not take long forthis to become a fav of mine. Roast and potatoes in an hour (you bet I love it!).

                3 Replies
                1. re: Cajun Cook

                  Cuisinart makes an electric pressure cooker as well. I use a stove top model and find that it works great as I have not gotten used to an electric one. Either way you cannot lose.


                  1. re: Cajun Cook

                    What did your mother do to have so many accidents with her pressure cookers. Mine regularly used 2, since we lived at high altitude. I don't recall any accidents. Since the 1980s all Prestos have an interlock that keeps you from opening the lid while there is still pressure.

                    1. re: paulj

                      Like paulj my mom has used pressure cookers at least as far back as the early 60's, probably longer (the old aluminum mirro-matic) and never had a problem with them. It was impossible to take the lid off when there was even the least bit of pressure.

                      As I use mine as much for artichokes as anything else, I would definitely keep the stovetop, although I can see the advantages of an electric if you are not going to be cooking things that need quick release.

                  2. Register for the new Fagor electric. It is programmable to be a presssure cooker, slow cooker or rice cooker. I have 2 Fagor stove tops. I love them and they get weekly workouts. The new models, compared to the earlier pressure cookers are safe and simple.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Candy

                      I have not used the Cuisinart cooker but hope to. The Fagor is just OK. And once you get so many appliances, none of them are the BEST. I have Fagor stove tops and use them almost daily. I agree they are wonderful.

                      1. re: The Veggie Queen

                        Seems you have not had enough time with the new programmable Fagor. It is a great appliance. It works well and takes the place of three appliances. I'd buy one but I don't have time for a slow cooker and rice has never been an issue to me. My Niece is definitely getting one of these for Christmas.

                    2. With the electric pressure cooker how are the aromatic effects in the house? I know it's an odd question but I live in a loft that is attached to my business and I can't cook things with an odor that extends past 9 hours.

                      I would use a crock pot for most soups but the all day stewing would make my store smell. I'm hoping that a pressure cooker is more ideal for the containment of odor as well as restricting the cooking time. Am I correct in this assumption?

                      Oh, and anybody play around with a pressure fryer yet?

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: BallPtPenTheif

                        The pressure cooker is fast and it does contain the aroma of foods. I would NOT though recommend cooking the food and letting it sit in the pressure cooker as it's a food safety hazard.

                        You can make great soups in less than 30 minutes from start to finish in the pressure cooker, and they taste like you cooked them all day.

                        No pressure fryer for me.

                        1. re: The Veggie Queen

                          Good to hear. I should probably put one on my christmas wish list then.

                        2. re: BallPtPenTheif

                          Oh thank GOD i thought I was the only one with this issue. I got a pressure cooker as a gift and used it to make indian food... the chicken was absolutely delightful, but my appartment just STANK for days. I had to take apart the hooded vent and wash down the walls behind the stove .... and wash the rug ... and the CURTAINS! before we got some relief.

                          Arg. Even my DOG smelled like curry.

                          Does anyone else have this issue? I've given up on using my pressure cooker for indian food and everyone just RAVES about it.

                          1. re: Marianne13

                            I love curries too, and I have a heavy duty ionizer/ozonator. Some stove hoods also have charcoal filters. Does that info help?

                            1. re: Gnoisette

                              I don't have a clue what i have in there... I cleaned the fan, which made me soo wish i had a husband, but i didn't realize that there might be a filter up in there that would need to be replaced. I suppose I'll borrow someone else's husband :)

                              And best of luck with your raw food diet Gnoisette - if you feel fabulous you KNOW you're on the right track!

                              1. re: Marianne13

                                Ha! My husband gets "borrowed" by women all the time -- he is a Handyman by profession, LOL! I saw that Home Depot sells hoods with charcoal filters and I do not know if one can be post-purchase installed on the other models. I wrapped up some fish aquarium charcoal and made my own fan filter and it was workable to the degree of my skill level. Don't ever marry a handyman if you want a husband who wants to spend his spare time fixing things, lol! well, I'll sign off as I am becoming more and more off-topic for this thread.

                        3. Hello, this is my first post and I am similar to yourself. In addition, because my husband refuses to eat from cookware that has a non-stick coating, I need to find an electric pressure cooker that has a stainless steel, non-coated pot insert. My only bright idea is to get the dimensions of the pot I wish to replace and find a replacement stainless steel stock pot. Remove the handles, etc., eh voila!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Gnoisette

                            Oh, my! I wrote that article!!! I am amazed at how life in the kitchen was for me then compared to now. You see, somewhere in all my exposure to the varied ideas and lifestyles expressed on the internet websites, my husband and I made the decision to transition to raw foods. The electric pressure cooker is now in storage and we "eat" , if eat is the right word -- well, I always did love those chocolate milkshakes we used to get at the McDonald's. Only now they are made with heirloom arribba nacionale cocoa and coconut milk and stevia....I'm sure you get the picture. What a switcheroo. Feel lighter and healthier though, and 15 pounds lighter. I guess I will be posting and reading posts over in the "Blender" threads, haha. It WAS a lot of fun reading all of your posts and being a part of the the pressure cooker culture.

                          2. How are these electric PCs for cooking lentils? I was thinking to buying Fagor for mostly cooking different kinds of pulses, lentils (for Indian cooking) and for slow cooking.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Siddy

                              The electrics are great. I haven't done Lentils, but I've done a variety of dried beans and they come out absolutely perfect! Lorna Sass provides excellent guidance if you bare a first timer.

                            2. I am taking a second look at the Vita-Clay which is a micro pressure cooker, if such a thing exists. It does replace the slow cooker and the rice cooker and claims it's designed micro-pressure relieves cooking time. I am liking it more and more because the price is coming down, there is free shipping available, even some refurbished units. Most of all I like the Zisha clay the pot is made of in spite of its more fragile nature. It adds more flavor to the stews and beans.