Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Feb 10, 2008 10:00 AM

Help me decide between 2 brands of PC's

After much research, thought and consideration I have narrowed it down to 2 choices. Now these are not the "top of the line" but I don't want to spend a lot of money until I'm sure this will be something I use a lot. If I find that is the fact, then I will invest in the expensive ones.

So here are my choices:


I can't find a lot of detailed information on these, so if you own one or the other can you tell me if they do reach 15 psi? And what kind of pressure regulators do they have?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: wolfe

      Thanks Wolfe! I made a mistake and just went with the cheapest from Sam's Club, the Tramontina. It has no trivet, so steam insert, and only reaches 13 psi. So I am going to try it tonight and if I don't like it. I'll take it back. I should have followed my gut instinct and gone with the Presto, but it was an impulse buy! Drat!

      1. re: danhole

        I haven't been able, at least since the 60's, to convert grams/cm2 to pounds per square inch or I could have warned you.

        1. re: danhole

          You know the Tramontina mechanism looks very much like the Fagor. I wonder why if it has a high and low setting the high setting would be less than the standard 15 psi. Once you are up to full pressure and you have just a little steam venting off why would one brand be 13 psi and the another brand be 15 psi? I say give it a shot, I can't believe it would be that it would cook that different from any of the other ones.

          1. re: scubadoo97

            Is the 13 psi given in the Tramontina manual? I wonder if it is significantly different from the nominal 15 psi of other PCs. Do their recommended cooking times appear to be different from other sources (like L Sass books or MissVickies website).

            1. re: paulj

              I don't make much use of the trivet that came with my 4qt Presto. It would be most useful for a small roast, not for meat cutup into stew size pieces. A conventional leaf steamer fits in my pot, and works for vegetables that I want to keep well out of the water.

              Another use for a trivet would be for steamed deserts, but it wouldn't be hard to improvise.


              1. re: paulj

                Yes, it says in the manual that the high setting is 13 psi and low is 7 psi. I bought Pressure perfect by L Sass and the cooking times look to be the same, but the Tram. manual is pretty vague, and doesn't give much information, so it's a little hard to tell. I tried it last night and was not very happy. I think it should have cooked longer, or maybe it just takes getting used to.

                Now what is a "conventional leaf steamer"? As far as the trivet goes, L Sass suggest using a thick ring of foil in the inside edge of the bottom of the pan. So I can do that. I really want to use it for roasts.

                1. re: danhole

                  Leaf steamer (or rather, steaming basket) on Amazon. One with a removable center handle would be good. It is easier to lift out when full of vegetables, but still lets you use it with a pudding mold.


                  There's always a trial and error aspect to PC timings. The time it takes to bring the pot to pressure is variable, and the cooling time also varies. If texture is critical, one option is to uncook slightly at pressure, and then finish cooking at room pressure. You can also adjust water content, and seasonings, after the pressure step.

                  1. re: paulj

                    Oh! That is what L Sass recommends. Now I know what it looks like. Thanks paul.