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Mar 24, 2007 01:03 PM

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 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.