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Help me decide between these two pressure cookers please!

Kuhn Rikon 6qt Ecomatic

Fagor Duo 8qt

I will be frequently using it to cook 4 - 5 lb bone-in beef chuck roasts (by themselves) as well as one pot meals like pot roast and stews. This will be my primary cooking vessel and I will almost always be cooking multiple days worth of meals and freezing portions for later use. I do not eat grains or legumes.

I am concerned about being able to fit a bone-in roast into the pressure cooker without having to divide the roast into multiple pieces. I don't know the interior dimensions of the Fagor Duo, but the Kuhn Rikon Ecomatic is 8.66in diameter inside.

I prefer the valve on the Kuhn Rikon, but I'm not sure if the cooker is large enough for my use; this is the only reason I'm looking at the Fagor. I really want the 8qt braiser/family style Kuhn Rikon but simply can't afford a $300 piece of cookware right now.

Advice?

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  1. I cannot comment on the Fagor, but we do have a rather large Kuhn Rikon and love it. You are correct,, it is expensive. But it works so well. Somewhere on this site, there have been posts where some users raved about the Hawkins pressure cookers from India.

    http://www.hawkinscookers.com/

    You might want to look that up, sorry I do not have a link to those earlier posts. The Fagor is very popular and I cannot recall reading anything negative. Good luck!

    1. I want to know too. :) Since I am also undecided about my pressure cooker.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Chem,
        I've just searched several old postings and only found a couple of references to the Hawkins. I know I read some glowing remarks but cannot find them now. Plenty of Indian recipes. Some bad comments regarding Kuhn Rikon (I could add my own but it had a happy ending) and lots of good things about Fagor.

        The Hawkins site is interesting and the lid configuration is different. Maybe someone who owns several will chime in.

        1. re: dcrb

          Thanks dcrb. I will look into them. I am not looking for some ultra awesome pressure cooker, just a easy to use, slightly above average pressure cooker.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            http://www.cookingissues.com/
            The CookingIssues guys have done some serious experimentation with pressure cookers.

            http://www.hippressurecooking.com/
            HipPressureCooking is starting to do equipment reviews.

            1. re: paulj

              Paulj, you link lead me to this topic. Thank you!

              Ciao,

              L

            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Chem,
              Sorry for being late. We started decades ago with a Mirromatic, I think it was a 6 qt, then bought a monster 12 or 16 qt for really large cuts. I'm thinking it was 16. Aside from replacing the gaskets never had a problem until both became fairly pitted. We had fallen victim to the aluminum/Alzheimer's scare and bought a Ultrex pc from HSN and it worked well. When it needed a gasket, the company was gone. We have had a Duromatic now for some time and it works wonderful. I think it was called the Hotel model, whatever that means. Anyway, it is fairly large, 11 or so litres. I am not dismissing the pathology evidence of more aluminum in the brains of Alzheimer's patients than others, but we did make the switch and we are happy with the KR Duromatic. However, looking back, we could have/should have kept the Mirromatic. I am sure that they had many more years of service left and the pitting was relatively harmless as was the leaching of the aluminum, if there was any.

        2. I have the Fagor Elite Set which has a 4 quart and 8 quart pan with one pressure lid. I was surprised to find that the 8 quart is almost always bigger than I need and I use the 4 quart far more often. I suggest looking at the cookers in a store to get a better idea of their size. The diameter of the Fagors is 10".

          1. Can anyone comment on whether a 4 - 5 lb bone-in chuck roast should fit in a 6qt pressure cooker? I haven't been able to find much information about the Ecomatic, it is the value product that Kuhn Rikon makes (Swiss valve but the rest of it is manufactured in India) and sells for about $100

            1 Reply
            1. re: girevikmoto

              girevikmoto,

              I would say it should fit, although it might be tight against the sides. Like anything, some cookware of equal size i.e. 3 quart saucepan, may be different with one being taller and the other wider but less tall. So you might have to compress the roast. Then again, you may not have to. Try to get the diameter of the various cookers off the web and then, trying to be inconspicuous in the meat department, measure the roasts with a small tape. That is about all I can suggest. Hope it helps.

            2. I've had a Fagor U Cook set (now discontinued) for nearly four years and love it. I find I use the 4 qt pot more than the 6 qt pot. I also just got a T-Fal 8 qt PC from Amazon Vine to test and review. Haven't used this Chinese-made pot yet, so I can't comment on it.

              There are only 4 useful reviews for the Indian-made KR on Amazon, and even one of the good ones is mixed. It seems there are quality issues with this pc. One reviewer says, "I've learned how to give the cooker a little shake and twist to get the gasket to seal and thus pressurise the cooker." One other had problems bringing it up to pressure (echoed by a commenter to that review).

              On another site a blogger noted, "Need to press on the pressure indicator for quick release." Not something I would like.

              Given the choice, I would go with the Fagor. Fagor is made in Spain.

              3 Replies
              1. re: al b. darned

                Al, only Fagor's Futuro and Chef lines--the two high-priced ones--are made in Spain. The others are now made in China.

                1. re: Miss Priss

                  What's the big deal with Spain? My F Elite was made in Spain, so was its predecessor with broken handle welds.

                  1. re: paulj

                    I wasn't making any value judgment, just correcting the record. (Or was your reply intended for al b. darned?)

              2. Love my Kuhn Rikon. Although you may have problems fitting the entire roast into the pot depending on how big the bone is.

                1. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Presto-01370-...

                  http://www.gopresto.com/downloads/ins...

                  New Model 01370 8 quart Presto pressure cooker stainless steel is about $90 on ebay. Also pdf instruction manual above which has 800 number you can phone for dimensions etc. I have used Presto 4qt and 6qt stainless steel pressure cookers for 30 years. Never had a problem. They are thick steel and bulletproof. Too bad that people are enticed into buying over priced European models.

                  Oh, Fagor seems to be from Basque Spain. How cute. And Kuhn Rikon is Swiss so gets more expensive by the day because the Swiss currency has been skyrocketing the past 2 years due to the European debt crisis

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: zzDan

                    The 8-quart Presto 01370 seems like a perfectly reasonable choice; but to be fair, please note that an 8-quart Fagor is available on Amazon for a comparable price.

                    1. re: Miss Priss

                      Fair enough :)
                      6 gt stainless steel Prestos can be bought on eBay for about $55. New. 6qt should be large enough but the OP will have to think it over

                      Kuhn Rikon Ecomatic 6 Liter Pressure Cooker for $97 on ebay. When you jump to 8 liter/quart you start paying a lot more. 6 quart/liter is the sweet spot in my opinion. Personally, I use my Presto 4 qt the most. My 6qt Presto takes longer to heat up and get to pressure. So is only used for large jobs.

                      Few months ago I bought another Presto 4qt at the flea market but only because it was going for $10. I could not leave without it. Any time I say Presto I mean stainless steel models. I don't mess with aluminum

                      1. re: zzDan

                        zzDan, my very first pressure cooker (early or mid-1990's) was a 6-quart stainless-steel Presto. This was before they added the aluminum disc, so it had a thin stainless-steel bottom with some ridges on it, and I managed to scorch whatever I put into it. I also had a hard time getting the hang of the valve: Was it rocking fast enough? Too fast? Not rocking at all? Help!! After a week or so of frustration, I took it back to the vendor, who (upon my payment of the modest price differential) exchanged it for a 6-liter Fagor Multirapid with an impressively thick disc bottom, a spring-loaded valve, and three pressure settings. In short, the Europeans "enticed" me by giving me a high-quality, versatile, easy-to-use cooker for not much more money than the baffling Presto. Today, with Presto offering an improved product and European goods commanding steep prices, it might be a different story.

                        1. re: Miss Priss

                          MissPriss-
                          Presto has thick bottom plus buying a flame tamer also guards against scorching foods. I can easily tell by the regulator's rocking whether it is high or low pressure. Seems the Fagor does this more accurately. Maybe the Fagor is better in some ways for some people. I know that for my uses it would not be any better than my Presto stainless steel pressure cookers. I will admit I have not used a Fagor or Kuhn Rikon.

                          Seems to me that using a Presto is an art you have to learn while the Fagor lays it out for the cook

                          flame tamer - http://lighthousefortheblind-duluth.o...

                  2. I own an older Splendid 4qt (made in Spain) which isn't that much different than the Fagor Duo series that has two pressure settings. But production has moved to China long ago.

                    Fagor has a very simple valve design. The valve and handles are mostly plastic. The reset is thick SS which is pretty much bullet proof. Fagor replacement parts are readily available online. It's nice to be able to replace a broken part instead if throwing it out. They now use a silicone gasket which will last forever.

                    Since I have the 4 qt, the handle and helper handles are closer to the flame. My handle bottoms are slightly warped from the flame probably by the person that gave me the Fagor. The helper handle gets hot after 30-40 minutes. I noticed the Kuhn Rikon has aluminum or metal spacers on the handles, which probably keeps them a bit cooler. And I wish Fagor used a wider and thinker aluminum disk for more heat capacity. For the money, Fagor is still a solid investment.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: unprofessional_chef

                      Everyone's handles are plastic - except for Hawkins

                    2. Sounds like the diameter of the pot is an important consideration.

                      Because pressure cookers use a sealing ring that needs to be replaced every so often, manufacturers tend to make their pots in 1 or 2 diameters, with inter changeable rings, and vary the capacity by varying the height.

                      Fagor for example has 2 diameters, with rings about 8 and 10" in diameter. Their 'duo' set has 4 and 8 qt pots, with interchangeable lids, i.e. same diameter pots, just different heights.

                      You can also see this pattern in Hawkins cookers - the larger capacity ones look quite tall.

                      For what it's worth, my 6 qt Fagor holds a 5lb chicken nicely.

                      1. What's the advantage to cooking the chuck roast whole, as opposed to smaller chunks, or even stew pieces?

                        Lorna Sass has a recipe for pot roast, cooking a 3lb chuck roast in 60 minutes, plus time for natural pressure release. This is after browning, and using a trivet.

                        Her Daube recipe calls for cutting chuck into 1 1/2" cubes (total 2.5lb), and pressuring that for 16-20 minutes.

                        1. girevikmoto, I'm a little puzzled by your reference to the "8 qt braiser/family style Kuhn Rikon," as Kuhn Rikon only makes the braiser style in 5-qt and 2.5-qt sizes. But if you're thinking of the 8 quart "family stockpot," and you like it because of its wide diameter (28 cm, about 11"), then maybe the better choice would be the Fagor 8-quart, which is about 10" wide. I have a Fagor Elite (same as the Duo, but only one pressure setting) and a Kuhn Rikon Duromatic, and while I do prefer the KR valve, I use the Fagor quite often and don't feel that there's a significant difference in overall performance. I also like Jeri L's suggestion of the Elite 8- and 4-quart set (which is what I have). You get two useful sizes for a reasonable price, and the lack of a "low" setting has never been an issue for me. If this is going to be your primary cooking equipment, it might be nice to have that versatility.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Miss Priss

                            I've had a 5.6 litre KR duromatic and love it. It is high quality stainless steel. What is the material used for the Ecomatic, didn't see it listed? My daughter has a Fagor and it seems to expel more steam while cooking and the lid gets jammed sometimes, causing frustration dealing with a hot pot. I've had one problem with the KR in 6 years. A plastic part on the lid broke, but the KR service center sent a replacement, no charge. If it's a choice between an unknown material on the Ecomatic or a good stainless Fagor, I'd go with the Fagor. I use mine for everything. Hardboiled eggs, quick pasta sauce, roasts, stew, whole chickens with veggies, (cooks in 10 min.) Paula Deen has a great short rib recipe, throw a few Yukon Golds on top - Wow! The pressure cooker is great for the uses you describe. You will really enjoy it. Get the larger one!

                            1. re: Cam14

                              Cam14, I think you were replying to the OP rather than to me; but in any case, it's strange that the descriptions of the Ecomatic on Amazon.com and KR's own website only say that is has an aluminum disc base, and don't specify the other materials. According to this review, the pot is stainless steel:

                              http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/produ...

                              And this online vendor says the same:

                              http://www.fykitchen.com/Details.cfm?...

                              Also: Yes, due to the different valve designs, the Fagor expels more steam than the KR does, so it needs more liquid to reach and maintain pressure, and it loses more liquid during cooking, though probably not as much as rocker-valve models like the classic Presto.

                              1. re: Miss Priss

                                But the liquid loss is only an issue if trying to cook vegetables with a minimum of water. Most meats exude enough juice to more than make up for any steam loss.

                                1. re: paulj

                                  Yes, exactly. That's why I think valve design shouldn't be the sole basis for choosing the Kuhn Rikon over the Fagor cooker. I've successfully used my Fagor with much less liquid than the manufacturer's recommended minimum, especially for meat dishes or dishes with a lot of water-releasing vegetables.

                                2. re: Miss Priss

                                  You're right, my "reply" was ill placed. The KR manufacturer does tout less nutrient loss with less steam expelled. There is also less heat, humidity and odors released during cooking. I have no way to measure nutrients :)

                            2. I had an 8-quart Fagor for years before the glued-on handle broke. Switched to an 8-quart Presto with bolt-on handles and am very satisfied. I would opt for the highest capacity you can afford; the extra space is essential for building up the pressure necessary to cook properly.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                It probably wasn't glue. On the one of mine that broke, the handle bracket was spot welded to the pot. That kind of welding is fine, but in this case they may have been undersized, or there was some fault in the settings of the welder.

                                Longer handles, while cooler, also put more stress on their mounts.

                              2. I have two Kuhn Rikon Duromatics, bought in different epics -- one is more than 10 years old, and 2 Fagor Elites. Never seen the Ecomatic in person. All get very heavy use (abuse) by myself and extended family. We cook high fat content meats like beef ribs, pork tails, oxtail, etc. It also probably gets filled higher than recommended by the manufacturer sometimes and not everyone turns the pot down when pressure is reached. With the Fagor I have real issues with the yellow pin on the valve getting soiled and sticking, so that it has trouble getting pressure. I seem to be the only one who cleans that part of the cooker, so along with the heavy meat cooking it sticks regularly. I basically hold the pot upside down, clean that pin directly spinning it around and then clean well everything underneath the lid. I don't see a good way to take that part of it apart (the pressure release valve does look like it can be serviced). When I have a pot on the stove, I sometimes grab a match and press down or twirl the pin until it lifts up and gets pressure.

                                The Duromatic is completely serviceable and I am sure its going to last a lifetime, with the Fagor Elite I am not certain. I like the actual material of the Fagor pot, so for the pricepoint its definitely a better value, but given my issues with the valve, plus preferring the overall solidness and non-venting at proper temp of the Duromatic valve I don't think I threw my money away. If you are the only one cooking with a Fagor and it doesn't get the abuse of mine, its probably fine. I would check if the Ecomatic allows you to replace parts like the Duromatic, as I think that is one of the big advantages. I used to think that I needed a smaller pot, which was one of several motivations for getting a Fagor (I have a 4qt), but honestly a larger pot lets me do stocks, large portions, beans (which swell) so I am with you on the 8qt size being useful.

                                There are also some advantages of the spinner pressure pots maintenance wise and I have larger one also used for canning, but its aluminum and I have heard the pressure mechanisms are less accurate on them.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: itaunas

                                  I too have had problems with the yellow pin rising. It seems to move freely, but for some reason there are times when it does not move even with a full boil inside. I have to remove the lid and put it back on a time or two.

                                  Since I grew up listing to the sound of Prestos, I don't have problems identifying a reasonable rocking rate. As long as it is rocking a bit there's enough pressure. If it is rocking fast it is still at the correct pressure, just loosing more steam than needed. I'm actually less sure about the status of the Fagor pressure.

                                2. Have you considered the Fagor Futuro? It's pear-shaped with an opening of 8.8" and 9.25" at it's widest point. I have one and love it. I also reviewed it in detail on my website.

                                  Otherwise, look into any 10L Fagor, which are the wider ones!

                                  Ciao!

                                  L

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: pazzaglia

                                    The Duo Combi set has 2 wider pressure cookers: one 4 quart and one 8 quart that might work. You might also want to check out the new Fagor Chef (pictured below, which I review on my website) which is made in Spain and is very beautiful.

                                    I find that the 10 quart is too large a pot for most people to use.

                                    I like the Fagor over the Kuhn Rikon for many reasons, cost certainly being one of them. I have a 4 quart Fagor that has gotten lots of use for at least 10 years and it still works very well.

                                    I also love my 6 quart Futuro because it is self-locking and it's got that sleek Euro styling.

                                     
                                  2. I have both. Not sure of the models, but the Kuhn unit came with a pot and also a less-deep frypan size that also fits the lids. They are my constants. The Fagor I bought because I was going to try "broasted fried chicken" ala KFC. it has extra strong lock-downs. I have never used it in 10 years

                                    For what it's worth

                                    1. http://www.amazon.com/Kuhn-Rikon-Duro...

                                      This 5 qt KR braiser with an 11" diameter looks like it would be good cooking chuck roast steaks, and other meats where you a large browning surface. And being shallow it should be easier to turn the meat while browning. It wouldn't be as good for tall roasts, but I'm not sure those should be done in a PC in the first place.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: paulj

                                        Presto used to make wide and low models like that KR but in aluminum. Useful shape for some purposes. http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-PREST...

                                        One on eBay called a chicken fryer. $30 and it's delivered to your door....the OP should buy this. Just don't use acidy stuff like tomatoes

                                      2. I hope somebody better at these intertubes thing can help me out. I bought a Fagor 6L Multirapid Pressure Cooker second hand. I have used the old pressure cookers with the rocker valve but not one of these newer pressure cookers. I have tried finding a PDF of the instruction manual. I have e-mailed the request to Fagor, but I am impatient. Anyway, if anyone can help me out I would appreciate it.

                                        1. I've had a Fagor 6 qt for well over a decade and it has performed well. You might check to see if the Fagor is made in Spain or China. I'd want one made in Spain, frankly. But the one made in China is working well for the family member I bought it for about 2 years ago.

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                            The 6L model I bought was made in Spain. I did not get instructions with it so tonight I just went ahead and tried it out. After a few minutes I realized I needed to push a button forward on the handle. After a while I guessed the dots on the handle represented PSI when the cooker is under pressure. I don't yet know what those dots mean, but I may figure it out by trial and error.

                                            1. re: John E.

                                              http://kitchen.manualsonline.com/manu...

                                              The rotating knob on top probably has 3 or 4 positions:
                                              full counterclockwise - remove
                                              release pressure
                                              pressure1
                                              pressure2 (if dual);

                                              Mine only has one pressure level. If there are 2 settings, my guess is that the one furthest from release is higher.

                                              1. re: paulj

                                                The problem I am having is that there is no rotating knob. There is a slide to push forward on the handle. The slide 'covers/reveals' those three dots. If there were two positions I would know they represent 8psi and 15psi. However, there are 3 positions. I guess I'll keep looking.

                                                1. re: John E.

                                                  ok, i am probably very ignorant about these things, not having been in the presence of a pressure cooker since my mom's hissing monster of one, but i was wondering if the electric ones are a decent option for the OP, or me or anyone... I know on QVC they carry a lot of Kuhn Rikon products but not their pressure cooker. Their Cooks Essential Pressure Cookers are huge sellers, millions of them, probably due to the guy Bob Warden who has mad devotion and selling skills for these as well as the $70 to $100 prices. They come in all sizes includling oval to fit large meats and chickens. and the meats, chickens, lasagnas, etc he makes in them come out looking really tasty and i dont even eat meat! Maybe i will end up being an embarrased ignoramus on this post but i was just curious...I have never actually bought anything from QVC but have been tempted by this product, the Ninja and some Kuhn Rikon items..

                                                  1. re: chompie

                                                    My only experience with an electric pressure cooker is what I have seen on TV and the internet. However, if I were to ever spend some real money on a pressure cooker I would get an electric model. That way it doesn't take up space on the stovetop.

                                                  2. re: John E.

                                                    John E., sounds like you have the original Multirapid with 3 pressure levels--not to be confused with the later Multirapid Plus, which only had 2 levels. (The original Multirapid was also marketed by Farberware under the name Nutrimaster, if that helps in your search for a manual.) This was my first pressure cooker and I found it very easy to use. The 3 levels are 5, 10, and 15 lbs. You choose low, medium, or high pressure by pulling the slider on the handle back until one, two, or three dots are exposed. This also locks the lid. As pressure builds up in the cooker, a rod with three colored bands rises to indicate the level. There's no automatic pressure release feature; you have to run cold water over it or let the pressure drop naturally. If you try to speed up the process by pushing the slider forward, the cooker's contents may be forced out through the vent. (How do I know? Don't ask.) It takes the same replacement gasket as current Fagor 6-quart models. This is a really nice cooker. Enjoy!

                                                    1. re: Miss Priss

                                                      Thanks for the information. I used it yesterday for the first time. Now that I have it figured out, (and your point about not forcing it open under pressure) I don't really need the manual.