Electric pressure Cooker Recomendations?
I have an 8 qt Cook's Essentials EPC that I purchased from QVC about a year and a half ago. I love it. Despite some bad reviews that I found on QVC after I bought it, I have had no problems with it. I particularly like the oval shape -- much like an oval crock pot -- because it holds larger, longer roasts (like a pork loin) more conveniently. It has a browning feature, a steam feature & high & low settings. Unfortunately, it did not come with a steamer basket or a trivet for the bottom, items that I now wish I had.
I am now searching for an EPC to give to my daughter and to my DIL for Christmas, but cannot find the oval Cook's Essentials model (I think it was actually made by Farberware). They may have pulled it off the market because of the problems described by QVC users, specifically that they had difficulty getting pressure after several uses. I had a problem with that too until I made sure the gasket was clean and properly aligned; once I did that I had no further problems.
Can anyone give me some recommendations? I have seen a few that have a programable feature (delay start), which would be particularly useful. I am thinking that 8 qt is the size best suited for them. So far I haven't turned up any oval ones -- just ones that are round and tall. Deni has one that they call "oval", but the picture on the website doesn't look very oval to me (more like a squished round?) . If there is a nice one with a delay start, I may even get one for myself.
Thanks in advance for any input.
I love my electric PC. But I looked for quite a while to find one that is 15 psi equivalent
to the old presto I first learned to PC cook in eons ago.
I found 3 electric pressure cookers that have a high setting of 15 psi. They are:
1) Nesco, 6qt, model PC-6-25-30-TPR Hi = 15 psi
2) Wolfgang Puck 5.5 qt Hi = Meat setting = 15 psi, rest = 12 psi
3) Cooks Essentials, their oval 8 qt. has 15 psi.
The higher the pressure, the higher the temperature of the liquid, the faster the cooking. To give you an idea of the differences in cooking temperatures for the different pressures I found this info helpful: Normal boiling temp of water is 212º F (100º C). So at 5 psi = 220º F (104º C), 10 psi = 235º F (113º C) & 15 psi = 250º F (121º C).
Over a year ago, I had to write to a lot manufacturers and wait to hear back from their customer service or their technical people to find out the psi of their pots. There may be more 15 psi PC's available now, but many of the electronic cookers don't go that high. I don't understand why. But for me it was the deciding factor in choosing which electronic version to get.
The manufacturers just make this too hard to upgrade. They should plainly label the PSI, just like the old ones did, so you can tell right away if the pressure is the same for all old recipes.
There is a yahoo group that is all about pressure cooking. Many of the people on it have electric cookers. They went crazy over the Wolfgang Puck cooker that was on the Home Shopping Network.
Personally, I prefer the stove top models as the pressure gets higher and cooks faster, even though it does require some watching.
The delayed start is not suitable for meat, though. For food safety reasons you cannot leave meat dishes at room temperature (actually between 40 and 140 F.) for more than 2 hours.
Although the Cuisinart is round, I know a number of people who really like it.
Good luck in your search.
If you are interested in truly fast pressure cooking, check the steam specifications before buying. I thought about electric, but went with Dagor Duo, because it offered 7 litres, basket, and 16 p.s.i. steam pressure, at the $100 level. None of the electrics can offer all of this, but they do have programming.