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Electric Pressure Cooker, anyone?

chowser Sep 25, 2011 08:52 AM

Is this worth getting? It's under $100, you can brown in it so it's one pot cooking and I can leave it if I need to run out.

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

Has anyone used one? How does it work compared to the regular pot? Thanks.

  1. d
    DPGood Sep 25, 2011 12:58 PM

    We have that one and love it. Bought it had Costco (Arlington, VA) for $30.00 less. Very easy to program/use with a countdown timer that turns it off automatically and keeps contents warm. It is really quiet! (Didn't think it was working at first.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: DPGood
      chowser Sep 25, 2011 01:59 PM

      I go to Costco all the time--I don't know I missed it! I've had these gift cards for WS for years and want to use them. Thanks for the rec!

    2. t
      The Veggie Queen Sep 26, 2011 01:45 PM

      An electric pressure cooker is a super hot pot that will cook food very quickly. You can cooked soaked beans such as black, pinto or kidney in less than 10 minutes at pressure.

      I teach pressure cooking but much prefer the stove top cooker to the electric models because I cook a lot of vegetables and they require more precision cooking. If you want to do more soup, stew and chili, the electric cooker is probably just fine. Many people love them.

      9 Replies
      1. re: The Veggie Queen
        chowser Sep 26, 2011 04:41 PM

        That's a good comparison of the two--thanks. Do the vegetables end up overcooked in them? What about vegetables in stews and soups? I want them soft but not mushy. I think I'll do more stews and braise type dishes but was on the fence on whether to get a stove top one or electric. I like the idea of being able to leave the house.

        1. re: chowser
          t
          The Veggie Queen Sep 27, 2011 09:42 AM

          The vegetable results depend upon what you are cooking and for how long. The issue with leaving your house, your pressure cooker and your food is the food safety and what temperature your cooker maintains.

          Also the electric cookers generally only get to 8 or 10 PSI (pounds per square inch), when the stove top models get to 15 at high pressure. I have not yet converted and see why it might work out to have an electric but most dishes cook so quickly, that I like to get the entire meal together in less than 1 hour at most.

          You cannot let your meat dishes sit in the pressure cooker all day due to food safety reasons anyway so...

          1. re: The Veggie Queen
            chowser Sep 27, 2011 12:31 PM

            So, it takes longer for the electric than stove top because of the pressure difference?

            I wouldn't leave the pressure cooker on all day (in which case I'd use the crock pot) but if I had to run a child to an activity, I could leave it for 10-15 minutes while I'd never leave something on the stove.

          2. re: chowser
            paulj Sep 27, 2011 10:02 AM

            A pressure cooker can cook vegetables till they are very tender, but curiously intact. That is, diced onion that still looks diced - until you stir it. In effect you get the high heat needed to cook vegetables quickly, but without all the jostling of a rolling boil.

            But cooking vegetables to a specific point of tenderness is tricky, since you can't just open the lid and test a piece. So timing is critical. The lower pressure of an electric cooked can be an advantage, since the vegetables don't cook quite as fast. I wonder if these owner's manual for this cooker is available on line, or sample recipes. I'd suggest a search on the manufacturers web site.

            http://www.cookingissues.com/2011/08/12/voiding-your-warranty-hacking-electric-pressure-cookers/
            is a blog entry about hacking this cooker. Turns out the pressure/temperature is controlled by a thermostat. Stovetop PCs regulate the pressure (e.g. with a 15psi weight or spring). Electric ones like this regulate the temperature. While I don't recommend you hack this cooker, the article might give you insight on how it works.

            ATK did are review of electric PCs. The only one they liked was a Fagor, and even there they preferred the stove top version. They did not think the lids of other brands (including Cuisinart) were as secure. However, the hackers did not have problems with the lid, even with higher pressure.

            http://www.hippressurecooking.com/
            is taking a look at electric pressure cookers.

            1. re: paulj
              chowser Sep 27, 2011 12:33 PM

              Thanks. I was leaning towards the electric but now I'm not sure. The reason I considered the Cuisinart is that WS carries it and I've had close to $200 in gift cards there for a few years and was looking for something to buy. I was looking at regular pressure cookers and came across the Cuisinart on sale. I'll have to look into this more.

              1. re: chowser
                d
                DPGood Sep 27, 2011 12:49 PM

                Go to a nearby WS and have a look. Read the manual. Talk to someone familiar with it and with their other products. That will help you decide, or confuse you more. Good luck, and report back.

                1. re: DPGood
                  chowser Sep 27, 2011 01:27 PM

                  I was hoping I'd find CH who have experience in it to talk about it. I've done searches online but never know who to trust. It's been helpful asking here, even if it didn't help me make up my mind.

                2. re: chowser
                  m
                  Miss Priss Sep 27, 2011 01:58 PM

                  Williams Sonoma also carries the Fagor Futuro stovetop pressure cooker, which looks like a solid, well-made, easy-to-use item that will certainly use up a good portion of your $200 in gift cards!

                  1. re: Miss Priss
                    chowser Sep 27, 2011 02:12 PM

                    I'll go check it out--thanks. I've only been looking online.

          3. paulj Sep 27, 2011 07:03 PM

            The Fagor electric PC is selling for about the same price (sale below $100). Descriptions talk of a low and high pressure, but I can't find actual values for either.

            1 Reply
            1. re: paulj
              chowser Sep 28, 2011 04:43 AM

              Thanks--this has been really helpful. I'm going to the store to compare the Fagor to the stove top ones.

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