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Pressure Cooker Sale

  • dcrb Sep 2, 2012 08:01 AM

For anyone thinking about getting a pressure cooker, here is an 8 quart on sale. Not sure of the brand but maybe someone has this and can shed some useful light on it.

http://www.cutleryandmore.com/product...

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  1. The design look similar to that of a Fagor. It is, however, a MIU France pressure cooker. MIU France, despite its name, is a Hong Kong brand.

    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product....

    Nope, I have not used it, but looking good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      Chem,

      I knew someone out there would have some knowledge. I recently bought an MIU pineapple corer and cutter. A: fairly heavy; B: Not made in France; C: Works very well; Priced as if it was Made in France.

    2. That's a good deal for what is almost certainly a product made by the same factory that makes the Fagor China-made models.

      The description at the site says 'dishwasher safe', but that applies only to the base, not the pressure lid.

      1. This is a nice-looking unit at an appealing price, but the lack of information about it on the internet would give me pause. The product doesn't appear on the MIU France website, no instruction manual seems to be posted online, I can't find any mention of the psi levels associated with its high and low settings, and I'd be concerned about where to obtain spare parts (especially gaskets). With due respect to ellabee, I don't see any reason to think it comes from the same Chinese factory as Fagor's products; and even if it did, it wouldn't necessarily be manufactured to the same specifications. Between BB&B's sales and their coupons, someone looking for an inexpensive cooker might do better to wait and buy a Fagor there.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Miss Priss

          Good points about the lack of specs and support, and thanks for checking at the MIU site. Not reassuring.

          1. re: ellabee

            Thanks. And thanks, too, for not pointing out how nutty I must be to have spent so much time researching this! ;-)

            1. re: ellabee

              I was about to point out the same things as you, ellabee. There is no mention of a warranty, either.

              It's probably an ok unit, but for something like a PC I would like to know the brand and the other missing details.

              I would keep looking if I were you.

              1. re: al b. darned

                I don't think any of us are really looking--just kibitzing. Speaking for myself, I have too many pressure cookers already.

                1. re: Miss Priss

                  There are likely only a few of us who have "too many" pressure cookers. But surely they serve a purpose, other than to take up cabinet space. Different cookers for different uses although I must admit that I have turned down pressure cookers lately, I feel like I truly have "too many" just like you.

          2. Talk about vague:

            "Ends September 8th @ Midnight CST or Until Sold Out"

            6 Replies
            1. re: John E.

              Yes, they should have added "whichever comes first" at the end of that statement. (Unless what they really meant is that the sale will continue until all units are sold at the special price, even if it takes forever.) It's also notable that the sale price is just under the threshold for free shipping, which seems sort of ... petty.

              1. re: Miss Priss

                I was actually referring to the time listed as CST. Daylight Saving Time lasts until October. Besides that, people always get the midnight thing screwed up. For instance, as I write this, midnight Wednesday, September 5th will arrive in just over a half-hour. Many people would erroneously think of it as midnight Tuesday.

                1. re: John E.

                  >>>
                  I was actually referring to the time listed as CST. Daylight Saving Time lasts until October
                  <<<

                  CST stands for Central Standard Time.

                  1. re: al b. darned

                    Yep, I live in the central time zone. We're under daylight saving time until October when we switch back to standard time. That's why the website for this sale is confusing.

                    1. re: John E.

                      It might have been even more confusing (to some of us) if the website had specified Daylight Saving Time, since DST applies in almost every US time zone. If absolute accuracy was the goal, the end of the sale should have been specified in relation to Greenwich Mean Time. That being said, I didn't feel at all confused by the reference to CST. I just assumed--perhaps wrongly--that it referred to whatever a properly-set clock would show in any geographic location within the Central time zone.

                      1. re: Miss Priss

                        If it were a "proplerly set clock" within the central time zone in September it would be set to DST. If it were set to CST it would be an hour behind.

            2. Okay, here's a report from a sap, a pressure-cooker newbie, that actually bought this on impulse. I'm on the Cutlery and More email list since I've purchased from them before. I'm a regular chowhound poster, but found this thread while googling info on the Miu pressure cooker and coming up blank. Wish I had done my homework first! So many good points on this short thread.

              Anyway, it's a nice heavy pan with a solid three-ply bottom. it says that the pressure is 80 pKa, which converts to a mere 11.6 psi. It's definitely not a powerhouse and probably not a great purchase.

              The manual really doesn't give much info, and there don't appear to be spare parts available anywhere.

              I cooked a pound of unsoaked black beans for 35 minutes after it came up to pressure, and then left them in the cooker without releasing the pressure so they continued to cook. They were fairly well cooked when we ate them for dinner, but next time I'll soak them and I think the texture will improve.

              I'll continue to experiment and will put it to good use, but do wish I had waited and bought a better, higher pressure model.

              7 Replies
              1. re: bear

                Is the pressure indicator a little pop-up plastic doodad like the one on Fagor pc's (which is yellow, but might be a different color of plastic in this case)?

                If you make stocks regularly, for which your new machine sounds perfectly adequate, the time saved in making stock alone might make it well worth the $. And with a regular non-pressure lid, it's a solid piece of equipment for blanching, corn on the cob, water bath canning, and other 'big pot' jobs.

                I'm guessing that a 24cm lid will fit it.

                1. re: ellabee

                  Thanks so much, ellabee. The pop-up thing is sort of metallic red, and the manual says that it is 22 cm wide, so I can probably find a regular lid at my local kitchen place.

                  I am excited about being able to make stock so quickly, and even with the lack of turbo-pressure it sure will be simmering for an entire day. Also, I'm more likely to cook beans and braises rather than getting takeout or using canned products, so that's a plus. It's not ideal, but the price was right and it is a nice product. At least I've gotten over my fear of pressure cookers!

                  1. re: bear

                    Thanks for the report, bear. Despite your misgivings, it sounds like the cooker is sturdy and functional. I hope it'll give you years of good service. Many European pressure cookers have a "high" setting of 80 kPa, so while that's not the US standard, it's perfectly respectable. You just have to add a few minutes to the cooking times given in American recipes. The lack of spare parts is more of an issue. If the valve or handles break, you may be out of luck; but if the gasket goes, it might be worth trying a Fagor 22 cm gasket. At worst, you'll be out $10 or so.

                    1. re: bear

                      Because the design appears to be the same across the board as the Fagor, which also has a number of models that are 22 cm, I think you can be pretty confident that if you ever need to replace the gasket, you can get one from Fagor sellers.

                      The gasket is the most common item to need replacement on this style of pressure cooker. But these new silicone ones last a long time if you use the pressure cooker regularly, clean the gasket well after use, and store it loose rather than fitted into place in the lid groove. If it's going to be unused for more than a month or so, a _thin_ film of oil helps keep it fit.

                      The pressure release assembly is a replaceable part in this design, but that'd be a lot dicier. My guess is you'll get waaay more than $50. value from this machine before any problem develops in the pressure release. Happy stock making!

                      1. re: bear

                        Bear,

                        I think your pressure cooker is better than you think. While 80 KPa (11.6 psi) is not as high as (15 psi), it is respectable. 15 psi pressure cooker elevates the water boiling point from 100oC to 121oC (+21oC), while a 11.6 psi pressure cooker elevates to 118oC (+18oC). As you can see the difference is not dramatic.

                        I would write MIU France an email. My gut feeling is that this uses the same gasket for Fagor pressure cookers too. Here I have attached a photo of the lid of my Fagor. Does your lid and your gasket look similar enough?

                         
                    2. re: bear

                      I stumbled upon this thread with a little help from Google - I am contemplating buying the MIU SS 8 Qt PC - it has been over a year since you posted this - how have things with this model worked out for you? I can pick one up for $38 right now... Will it last me the year? Your opinion of the value?

                      1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

                        CA Joe, I'd say go for it. That's a good deal. I've used mine probably 15 - 20 times so far, and it's been reliable and easy to use. It might not be as powerful as some other models (which doesn't matter to me), but it's a solid model and I would purchase it again. Good luck!

                    3. You guys are the best. Thanks so much for your generous advice and info, ChemicalKinetics, ellabee and Miss Priss. Now I feel like I have a legit cooker.

                      There is a part number on the gasket so that may help, and it does look similar to yours, CK. I will send an email to MIU and see what they have to say about parts. Cutlery and More does carry lots of other MIU, so maybe it is the real deal, although there is no listing of pressure cookers on their website and very little mention on the web.

                      Here are a couple of photos my husband took.

                       
                       
                       
                      10 Replies
                      1. re: bear

                        For a while there I was feeling remorse for posting the sale. Glad it is looking good.

                        1. re: bear

                          It looks very similar to the Fagor gasket. The only catch is that: Is the diameter is exactly the same. If so, you are good. The gasket is soft, so it was difficult for me to get the exact diameter. Instead I measured the diameter of the pot. I hope it may give you some insight. It is 10-1/4 inch in outer diameter (maybe slightly more). This does not including the extended lip, just the basic geometry. I hope the photos show how I measured the dimension.

                          I think you have a good pressure cooker at a very good reasonable price. The question is that: can you find a gasket to replace when the time comes which can be as early as 1 year but can be much longer like 4-5 years.

                           
                           
                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            Thanks again, CK. The pictures are very helpful. My lid measures just shy of 9 1/2", so I doubt the Fagor ring will work. I'm just about to send an email asking MIU about parts, and if they respond I'll post here in case anyone else comes across this thread.

                            If there are parts available, I think I'll pick up a couple of gaskets and release valves in case they become unavailable.

                            1. re: bear

                              Don't give up on the Fagor gasket possibility if MIU is no help on parts. Virtually all Fagor pressure cookers are either of two sizes: ones that take a 22cm lid ("9 inch") or those that take a 24 cm lid ("10 inch").

                              See video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8D3Cj....

                              If a 22cm lid fits on your cooker, then it almost certainly takes the "9 inch" gasket.

                              1. re: bear

                                Hi Bear,

                                I see. Actually, just to be clear that Fagor have several pressure cookers and that they require different sizes of gasket. As far as I know, there are the so called 10" gasket and the 9" gasket.

                                http://www.amazon.com/Fagor-998010441...

                                http://www.amazon.com/Fagor-998010432...

                                Mine uses the 10 inch gasket. So while your pot cannot use my gasket, the so called 9-inch one may work for you. Of course, you won't know for sure.

                                The best is to have MIU to answer your question. I think the second best option is to find a friend who has a Fagor pressure cooker which uses the 9" gasket and check if it fits yours (most of the Fagor pressure cookers actually use the 9", so it may not be that difficult to find one). Third, if you can find a store which sells Fagor gasket, then you can bring your pot there to check -- actually you can just check to see if the gasket in the display Fagor pressure cooker fits inside your pressure cooker. You don't even have to bring your entire pressure cooker. I think bringing the lid alone will tell.

                                *Edited* I see ellabee and I are making the same point.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  Good news! I emailed Kitchen Basics. The MIU site said that they handle the retail portion of the business. They have gaskets and pressure relief valves for $10 each. I think I'll get a couple just in case since it doesn't seem like MIU sells them anymore.

                                  I guess that means it's not a knock-off.

                                  Thanks again for all your help.

                                  1. re: bear

                                    You know that gaskets still age even if they're not being use, right?

                                    I don't know if there are ways to protect a gasket to help it weather extended time in storage better, I assume there probably are. What method to use would vary depending on what the gasket is made of - rubber, silicon, or some modern space-age hybrid gasket.

                                    Just FYI, in case.

                                    1. re: KitchenBarbarian

                                      I know that rubber ages without use, but I figured that silicone is more stable. I guess I need to check it out. Thanks.

                                    2. re: bear

                                      <They have gaskets and pressure relief valves for $10 each>

                                      Ha ha ha. This is slightly cheaper than the Fagor price. So even if they are interexchangedable, then there is little reason to buy the Fagor ones now.

                                      I think the chance of your breaking a pressure relieft valve is less than that of a silicone gasket aging. If you like your pressure cooker, and do not see the point of replacement if anytime soon, then you can buy 2-3 gaskets.

                                      Silicone does age, but I think that they last for a long time, as long as you keep them seal in the package.

                              2. re: bear

                                Looks nice. Use it and enjoy it!

                              3. Does anyone know of a good cooking rack to use with this? I imagine it would be preferable to cook certain foods with a rack?

                                1. For dinner tonight, meltingly tender beef short ribs in 40 min. cooking time. 12 freezer bags (1-cup each) of chicken stock that took 1 hr. as opposed to 5 or 6. I'm loving my pressure cooker so far.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: bear

                                    Nice sounds great. Where did you get the recipe? Any quirks you have found using this pressure cooker by following standard pressure cooker recipe instructions (timing)?

                                    1. re: coolade1

                                      I haven't really used it enough to know. I just got Pressure Perfect by Lorna Sass in the mail today, so that should give me an opportunity to check out the conventional suggestions. I've gone 5 or 10 minutes over suggested times so far with good results.

                                      I tend not to be great at following recipes for things like soups and stews and usually use a bit from several, as well as my own tastes. Here's pretty much what I did (the reduced sauce is really intense and a little goes a long way. I think lots of people would prefer a gravy from the non-reduced juices, or less wine and more stock to start):

                                      Pressure-cooked beef short ribs

                                      Finely chop 3 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 1 medium onion and one leek, white part only, in food processor to make a mirepoix. Saute in olive oil with a bit of salt until lightly browned. Add 4 chopped cloves of garlic and cook for a few minutes longer. While vegetables are cooking, season 4 to 5 lbs. of bone-in beef short ribs and brown well on all sides in olive oil. Pour off excess fat and deglaze pan with 3 cups red wine. Reduce wine by half. Place vegetables, ribs, reduced wine, 2 bay leaves, 2 large sprigs of rosemary, several sprigs of thyme and a handful of parsley in a large bowl or large freezer ziploc bags. (I usually deglaze the vegetable pan with a bit of wine or beef stock to get all the flavor). Add unsalted beef stock, 2 to 3 cups, to bring the liquid level about 2/3 up the ribs. Add a generous amount of black pepper and a bit of salt (not too much since the will reduce quite a bit after the short ribs are done.) Marinate in refrigerator for several hours or overnight and remove congealed fat (reserve if desired for gravy). Cook ribs for about 40 minutes after pressure comes up. Let pressure reduce naturally for about 15-20 minutes and remove ribs.

                                      Reduce the sauce over medium-high heat until it thickens slightly (it will be really intensely flavored), or alternately make a gravy by taking a couple of tablespoons of the reserved fat, adding an equal amount of flour and cook for a couple of minutes to remove raw taste from flour. Add cooking juices slowly, about 2 cups, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil over medium heat.

                                      1. re: bear

                                        That sounds wonderful!