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Apr 28, 2008 07:37 AM

Fagor Futuro Pressure Cooker


I am looking for opinions on the Futuro line of pressure cookers from Fagor. The primary difference is the shape of the pot (rounded European shape) and short handles on either side rather than one long one. The handles on this model are very nice looking. TIA

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  1. Personally, I have 3 cookers. Get one that has two settings for pressure.
    I like a long handle so my hands and arms are away from the loads of steam that come out when you open the lid.

    1. I have many pressure cookers and the one that I like best is the Futuro. It's sleek looking, has an automatic locking feature and it works great. The steam comes out the top when you want to quick-release it or if it needs to escape. I disagree about having 2 long handles. The 2 short handles work just fine.
      You haven't said what else you are comparing it to but it works just like all the other spring-valve (new style) cookers. I don't think that I could live or eat well without a pressure cooker (but I am a pressure cooker teacher). It's made my cookingl life quite enjoyable. Good luck.

      12 Replies
      1. re: The Veggie Queen

        Attracted by the short handles, I recently checked out the Futuro at Williams-Sonoma. Maybe I'm being overly technical, but it didn't appear to have a spring valve. As with the other Fagor models, it's more like what Lorna Sass, in her cookbooks, calls a "developed weight" valve: there's a fixed valve on top of the vent pipe, and you know when full pressure has been reached by watching the amount of steam coming out of the valve. Spring-valve cookers, like Kuhn-Rikon or WMF, don't emit any steam; they have a rod that rises gradually (on a spring) as the pressure builds, and the markings on the rod show when the various pressure levels have been reached. The Fagor cookers do have a little pin that rises to show that there's pressure in the unit, but all it means is that there's SOME pressure--it doesn't indicate FULL pressure. Anyway, I have a Fagor (Elite, I think) and a Kuhn-Rikon, and am quite happy with both of them.

        1. re: Miss Priss

          The Fagor futuro definitely does have a spring valve mechanism. It is outlined in the manul, on theior website and I addtionally confirmed with their customer service manager.

          1. re: JenP1099

            Yes, the website does say the Futuro has a "spring valve mechanism"; and it says virtually the same thing about the Elite, which is the model I have. (Actually it says the Elite has a "spring type mechanism".) However, I think the terminology on the website is somewhat misleading. As far as I can tell from the manual, the Futuro works just like the Elite, the Duo, and the other Fagor cookers: you determine when full pressure has been reached by watching the amount of steam coming out of the valve, and the valve continues to emit steam during cooking. If you take off the valve, you'll see that it's fixed to the top of the vent pipe. This is different from the way a true spring valve functions, as described in my earlier post.

            1. re: Miss Priss

              The Futuro has the same inner mechanism as the Elite, basically, although I think it releases steam straight up instead of out in a telescoping kind of way.

              From what I know, the difference between “spring valve” and “weighted valve” is that the weighted valve is literally a weight sitting on top of the steam release vent, and when the pressure inside the cooker is high enough, it will push the weight up momentarily, releasing short bursts of steam (hence the “jiggling” noise as the weight is lifted and lowered by the pressure several times per second).

              A spring valve, on the other hand, is one where the opening that releases the pressure can be made smaller or larger by a valve that is operated by a spring that keeps the opening closed normally. When pressure accumulates, it will push on the valve and eventually it will overcome the resistance of the spring, causing the valve to open and release steam. If there is more pressure, it will push even harder on the spring and the opening will be larger, releasing more steam. The benefits of a spring type valve is that it doesn’t make noise, and it’s better at maintaining a steady level of pressure.

              All Fagor prersure cookers have true spring mechanisms, in the sense that the pressure release mechanism is controlled by a spring, not a weight. Their constructions are a bit different, though, that’s why with a KR or a WMF unit you have to look for the "rings" to raise to know when full pressure has been reached, while with a Fagor unit you have to look for a steady stream of steam coming out.

              The functionality is the same: pressure pushing on a spring. But the outer “manifestation” of this is what is different.

              1. re: JenP1099

                It's good to know that there are other people who are up on the pressure cookers. I use my Fagor cookers all the time and do not have any steam coming out of the valve on either the Duo, Elite or Futuro models. As soon as the cooker is at pressure, I turn down the heat and keep it at pressure. And it works great.
                The Kuhn Rikon, WMF and Fissler are all much more expensive than brands such as Fagor or Magefesa. So, I say that if you must drive a Mercedes or BMW, then the Fagor might not be your best choice. For functionality, all these brands are about the same. Size, shape, style may help you determine which one(s) to buy. The sets are a very good deal.

                I prefer the Duo to the Elite. I like the 2 pressure settings, for the rare time that I might use 10 psi.

                1. re: JenP1099

                  I see what you're saying, and I think part of the problem is the lack of standardization in manufacturers' terminology. The way I understand it, there are basically three types of valves--though maybe now there are really four types. First, there's the jiggling-weight valve (like the classic Presto design), which operates as you describe: dancing around and emitting short bursts of steam. Second, there's what Lorna Sass has called a "developed-weight" valve, which is similar to the jiggling valve except that it doesn't move. It sits on top of the vent pipe and emits steam steadily, rather than in bursts. Finally, the Kuhn Rikons, etc. have what I've been calling a "true" spring valve, where there isn't a vent pipe per se; pressure inside the pot pushes up a marked rod (whose resistance is controlled by a spring) that shows the pressure levels as it rises. The current Fagor valve design may indeed use a spring to control steam release, and in that sense it's a "spring mechanism" or "spring valve." However, it does seem to me to operate differently from the marked-rod spring valves on the Kuhn Rikon or WMF, and I'm not sure this is just a matter of external manifestation. The Fagor valve, like a developed-weight valve, sits directly on top of the vent pipe. The indication that full pressure has been reached is that the valve starts emitting steam. According to the manual, you then adjust the heat "to maintain a gentle, steady stream of steam" (which incidentally makes me wonder why TVQ doesn't see any steam coming out of the valve--it appears that there should be some, if not much, coming out all the time during cooking). I once had a Fagor cooker with a classic fixed-weight valve, and it operated very much like the current "spring-type mechanism" on my Elite, except that it didn't have a quick-release feature. By contrast, the KR-WMF-Fissler type valve doesn't emit any steam while building pressure or during cooking. In any case, the Fagor cookers work very well, whatever you call the valve.

                  1. re: JenP1099

                    On a Futuro pressure cooker, the sign that pressure has been reached is that the little yellow plastic indicator rises to the level of the lid from its unpressured sunken position -- not whether or not steam is coming from the pressure regulator. If anything, such steam is a sign that the heat is higher than necessary to maintain pressure (borne out by the Veggie Queen's post above).

                    1. re: ellabee

                      Ellabee, not to belabor this point too much (!), but a Fagor customer service representative once explained to me that the yellow rod just indicates whether or not any pressure has built up in the cooker, not that full pressure has been reached. In fact, when the rod first pops up, you can easily push it back down, which shows that there's not much pressure in the pot. When the valve starts emitting steam, full pressure has been reached. Another sign of full pressure is that the yellow rod resists strongly when pressed. At that point, it's time to turn down the heat and start the timer. The Fagor rep acknowledged that some of their instructional material is misleading in this respect.

                      1. re: Miss Priss

                        That's what I've deduced from using a Fagor. The yellow button is linked to a loose gasket on the underside of the lid. Once a bit of pressure builds that gasket is pushed up, and with it the pin. It also triggers the lid lock.

                        My old Presto has a lid lock that behaves the same way, though it is larger and not connect to the handle.

                        One thing I don't like about my Fagor is that there is a fine line between full pressure and over pressure (indicated by steam coming out the side). That may have something to do with the fit of the main gasket. or fine details about the shape of the rim. This is a replacement cooker, since I had to return the original due to a broken handle.

                        Anyways I have gotten into the practice of tapping the yellow pin to judge the pressure.

                        1. re: paulj

                          Thanks, paul and MP. I will bear that in mind for recipes that have a more precise cooking time, and turn down/start timing at the 'resistance' stage. The Fagor instructional material is even weaker than I first thought!

                          The Kuhn-Rikon pressure indicator system seems much more straightforward and precise -- but I couldn't get past the combination of high price and tall, narrow pot design. Thanks for the help!

                          Paulj, I haven't experienced steam coming out the side vent. The cooker seemed to maintain high pressure at the lowest burner setting on my gas stove -- but now I'm wondering if it was not actually at high pressure, or if there was some give in the yellow indicator... Will report back from my next foray.

                          1. re: ellabee

                            Where as Presto cookers have a rubber plug that pops out as a safety measure, Fagors have a gap in the rim of the lid. In over pressure cases the gasket is supposed to bulge out at this gap, an release steam in a more controlled manner.

                            At least once I kept the heat too high, and let this release mechanism work. Since I don't see any damage to the gasket I haven't changed it (as I would a blown Presto plug). Maybe I should get a new gasket.

                            1. re: paulj

                              Good idea, if only to see if it makes a difference.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. Macy's has a sale on Fagor PCs. The Elite 5 piece set is down from 150 to 130. But others sell the Duo 5 piece set of 150. Anyways, as best I can tell Duo has 2 pressure settings, Elite just the one (15psi, 1bar). The 8L pot in that set is bigger than any pot I currently have. The 4L in this set has the same diameter (interchangable lids) but is much shallower. I think the 4L that sells by itself is a better shape, being deeper.

              Macy's also had a 4L Casa brand, also made in Spain, with a lid that seemed to fit the 4L Fagor. Also I couldn't feel much difference in the weight. At $40 I almost bought it, but then realized that it was rated at 0.7bar (10 psi).

              Having a steel PC that would work on my induction burner would be nice. Quiet operation might also be nice. And for some things, a 5 or 6L size would be better. But for now I'll stick with my old 4 qt Presto. I also have 1.5L Hawkins for camping and smaller quantities.

              1 Reply
              1. re: paulj

                Does anyone own or have experience with the Fissler Blue Point? I know it is expensive. I know of the company, but have never seen any of their products in person. is selling it - can't find any local store in San Francisco to see it.

              2. Hi, I know this thread is old, but kind of try to hear on the feedback. Replay, did you buy the fagor Futuro? If so, could you kindly share your experience with me? If anyone else could do so, very much appreciated. Considering to buy it but there are so few reviews available and do not know how to proceed:)

                6 Replies
                1. re: hobbybaker

                  Did you buy the fagor Futuro, I am also interested to know how it goes.

                  1. re: hobbybaker

                    I recently bought the Futuro set, which is a straight-sided 6-qt cooker (not the bulbous design of the regular 6-qt Futuro) that nests into a 4-qt cooker, with a pressure and a glass lid that fit both pots. The 4-qt has soup pot proportions (roughly 9" x 4"). It's become the go-to pot for pasta, potatoes, etc. as a regular (non-pressure) pot in our two-person household. The 6-qt is what I use most of the time when doing actual pressure cooking; so far, chicken stock, beef stew, and a batch of chickpeas. Excellent for all. I hope to use the 4-qt in its pressure role soon for risotto (per Lorna Sass' Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure).

                    A nice bonus is that the glass lid fits perfectly on the 2.6 qt Demeyere saucier I just bought sans lid, hoping something already here would work. It dawned on me that both were products from Europe, where 22 cm is one of the standard cookware diameters.

                    The Futuro set is a good choice for those of us with small stovetops, as it's a nine-inch pot with two stubby handles that doesn't crowd other burners. I haven't found that there's any issue with keeping steam away as I open it, but all the recipes I've done so far involve letting the pressure release naturally, and by the time I opened them up there was very little (and I have and use a vent fan above the stovetop). If I were to need to make frequent use of the stream-of-cool-water method, I might wish for a longer handle, but I anticipate most of what I use the cooker for involving the natural pressure release or the "instant" release possible right on the stovetop (which makes me glad for the fan).

                    The Fagor manual could be a lot better, but the web has several excellent resources that tell you (and, as important, _show_ you) what you need to know. It would have been helpful to see a photo or video of the yellow pressure indicator in its 'up'/full pressure position before my inaugural chicken stock: Tthinking it would rise above the level of the lid, I didn't realize it had come to full pressure and thus lower the heat as quickly as I could have, but I did so well before there was any emergency release of steam.

                    The Futuro set takes up a minimum amount of storage because of its nesting feature and the short handles. I'm happy as can be, and would recommend it to anyone with a modest household. Those who cook for a big group, and/or like to make big batches of stock and soup, might be happier with an 8-qt, or even a 10-qt, which also allows you to pressure can. I'm just trying to lower the carbon footprint of things I cook regularly, so the set is perfect for my needs. Good weight, quality, and 'finish' on the pots. It was when I realized that they can be used as regular cookpots too that I got interested in a pressure cooker. I'm reluctant to acquire uni-tasking equipment. The base on the Fagor is thick enough that I don't expect to have problems with burning or sticking. Strawberries are coming in; preserves might be a good test...

                    1. re: ellabee

                      Where did you buy the Futuro set? After reading all the comments I decide to order a set too.

                      1. re: smjneo

                        I've been in a cookware-buying storm the last month, so I'm not 100% sure, but I think it was at Amazon (free shipping). It was I think the same price as it is now at Macy's, per hobbybaker's link above.

                        1. re: ellabee

                          :( .... and Macy's wouldn't work for me. I am in the Greater Toronto Area (Canada). I want to try but their payment method is not safe ( in my opinion, because it is same as paying cash to someone youdo not know and not sure when they will ship you the item).

                          1. re: smjneo

                            I bought mine from fastcooking and would recommend them.I had no trouble with payment-just followed their directions -and it arrived at my door three days later.