Kuhn-Rikon pressure cooker: two different tops -- trying to decide
I am looking to buy a 5 quart Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker. There are two models available with two slightly different mechanisms on the lid. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with either or both of these or have any other input they could share about this. Just for background:
1) Here in the hip pressure cooker blog she is reviewing the "regular" duromatic:
2) here on this retail site is a fairly extensive explanation of the "turn top" model [the two different models seem to be called different things on different sites]:
Thanks for any info you can provide.
I have two Kuhn Rikon Duromatics and, while they are fine pressure cookers I prefer the WMF Perfect Plus I own. The Kuhn Rikon look really impressive but, I find the lid takes some maintenance over time. The spring that tensions the valve looses its strength over time and the gaskets around the safety releases get hard and need to be replaced. There are also a lot of nooks and crannies to clean too!
The WMF Perfect Plus have a heavy base and thinner sides which aesthetically isn't as nice but, it works very well. The real difference is in the lid. The handle comes completely off which is much nicer then I thought before I owned one. The pressure system is easier to clean and, if you need them (which I haven't so far) the parts are cheaper and easier to find. Also, you can completely take it apart for cleaning or maintenance without tools so there is no fear of loose a nut or threaded post in the kitchen sink.
I've owned a "regular" Duromatic for about 8 years, use it at least once a week, and haven't encountered the problems Sid Post mentions. (However, I'm not trying to steer you away from the WMF cookers; they have a great reputation also.) Every once in a long while, it doesn't come up to pressure, and I have to spend a few seconds tightening the valve screw, after which it works fine. The valve spring itself seems as springy as ever. The only issue I've had with the unit involved the removable (and merely decorative) housing around the valve. It's attached by three small plastic clips, and one of them eventually broke off. I contacted the company, they replaced it free of charge, and the clips on the replacement part are designed slightly differently and look more durable. I've been using it for a few years with no breakage.
I have no experience with the "Top" model; the regular Duromatic's hold-down pressure-release system works well for me, and I don't feel the need for anything fancier or more "automatic." I also prefer the sleek, minimalist appearance of the regular Duromatic to the somewhat clunky look of the "Top" model. But to each his/her/its/their own. Whether you go for the regular Duromatic, the "Top"model, or the WMF Perfect Plus, you'll be getting a great cooker.
I recently bought my husband the Duromatic, and I had the same difficulty trying to decide which one to bu y for him. I finally called pleasantgrain and had a conversation with someone there who confirmed what I had been feeling -- the Duromatic was the one to get since it didn't have that big plastic part and was therefore more durable. We are very happy with our Duromatic.