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Pressure Cooker Suggestions Around $200?

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I am looking to purchase a pressure cooker as a gift and I really do not know much about them.

I would like to spend about $200 and I think that a 5qt would be the size i am looking for.

Any suggestions around this price range?

Thanks for any help!

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  1. I only have one pressure cooker, and I am happy with it thus far, but it is only $100. It is a 8 quarts Fagor Duo Pressure Cooker, which has been very helpful for making stocks. I find 8 quarts actually a bit bigger than what I really need, so I think your ~5 quarts is a good size. Williams Sonoma has a line of Fagor Futuro pressure cookers which are more expensive. The 6 quarts one is about $150:

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

    Of course, the 5 piece combo set is a very attractive option too which come with a regular (non-pressure) cooking lid::

    http://www.amazon.com/Fagor-Futuro-5-...

    I know kuhn rikon pressure cooker pressure cookers are in the range of $200-220. I sure they are great, but I have no personal experience, so I cannot say much.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      If memory serves, the Fagors still made in Spain run a little higher than the Fagors made in China. Fagor offers some nice combos. Check Amazon for what is available, and what price point the various cookers are. I've used a plain Fagor for over a decade. If someone gave me one of the nice Fagor 3 piece sets, I'd be delighted. The cookers with 2 pressure settings will run more expensive, and perhaps would be in your price range. The simpler ones will be less expensive.

      1. re: sueatmo

        < I've used a plain Fagor for over a decade>

        I have a question. About how many times have you changed the gasket over the decade? I bought my Fagor mostly for making stock, and it is great. I have also use it for other things, but for other things, I use it like a normal pot (without pressurizing).

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          I use the Fagor several times a month. I've had it about 10 years, or maybe longer now. I've worn off the markings on the dial. I've never changed the gasket. A couple of times before I packed it away before the move, I did think that perhaps the gasket was not sealing as well as I thought it should.

    2. I own and use Kuhn Rikon and WMF Perfect Plus pressure cookers.

      The KR have a slight edge in looks over the WMF but, this is very subjective. Some people knock the WMF because it is 12PSI versus the 15PSI KR pressure cooker however, I have found this is a non-issue for ME. If someone only owns one brand, a small PSI difference is really more of a discussion point for people who don't own them. The WMF is easier to maintain with fewer little bits and parts to wear and age (springs that loose tension and gaskets that dry out) and is easier to clean.

      What I find is that I use my WMF Perfect Plus almost exclusively now. Intentional or subliminal, I clearly favor the WMF Perfect Plus because they are the ones I reach for at home or pack for a trip.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Sid Post

        Don't take it the wrong way (this is a friendly forum and all), but you pack a pressure cooker for trips? Somehow getting one through security at the airport seems a hassle.

        1. re: MikeB3542

          Camping at high altitude, traveling by road not air. ;-)

          Ocasionally on extended business trips, generally by car but freight cost isn't a concern either. Eating at a resturant for weeks on end is. ;-D

          1. re: Sid Post

            No prob...if you're a road warrior, nice to have something home cooked. Personally a HUGE fan of camp-style Dutch ovens (flanged lid, legs on bottom)...really opens up the possibilities when camping. Obviously, they are heavy, so not well-suited for backpacking.

            1. re: MikeB3542

              I totally agree on the Dutch Ovens if you have the time to use one. I generally need something faster so, a nice pressure cooker does double duty there too.

              Eating out while traveling is nice every once in a while but, it gets old fast. It's also hard to find something healthy when eating out at most places due to the way things are cooked to make them appealing to the masses at large.

              1. re: MikeB3542

                For high altitude (above 5000') a pressure cooker makes a big difference, especially vegetables like potatoes that cook much faster above 200F. REI, an outdoor supplier, has always carried one pressure cooker or other. Their current model is a 3.5L one marketed by GSI Outdoors (and made in China). Several years ago I bought a Hawkins 1.5L cooker from them. It's an Indian model, that fits my camping stove well, and has enough volume for 2 serving items.

          2. re: Sid Post

            I finally used a WMF pressure cooker while recently teaching a class. I did not care for the WMF cookers at all and I used a couple of different ones.

            I have had very few things go wrong with any of my cookers and prefer the ones with automatic locking lids.

            Packing them to go places is good if you plan to cook. I find that my little (3 liter )B/R/K is perfect in a suitcase.

            1. re: The Veggie Queen

              What was the issue with the WMF Perfect Plus?

              Your experience and mine are obviously different.

          3. I've had a Kuhn Rikon 6 L. Duromatic for about 6 years. It's very simple to use, has two pressure
            levels and I've enjoyed it immensely. Most recipes are written for the higher 15psi and there are clear markings on the pressure indicator to show you are at proper pressure. They sell right around $199, purchased mine at Pleasant Hill Grain. It's the only brand I have ever owned, but I have two family members with Fagors. They don't use them all that much and have a little difficulty with gauging correct pressure and lids jamming. I've had one lid part break in the six years and KR customer service replaced it at no charge. The KR loses very little liquid during cooking, so spews less steam, heat and odors than the Fagors I've seen. It's been a great product.

            1. If I were only going to get one pressure cooker and wanted to spend around $200, I would buy a B/R/K set with a 3 liter and 5 liter cooker. It comes with 2 glass lids and 1 pressure lid. They also make a larger set.

              Or I would get a 6 qt (liter) Fagor Futuro or Fagor Chef model. They are both a step up from the Duo models but the Duo models are just fine, too.

              Here is what I tell people about the modern pressure cooker: (and I have instructed thousands of people in the past 16 years) as long as they don't have a jiggler and have a spring valve, they all do the same thing. The difference between them is the difference between driving a Honda and a BMW. They will both get you to where you want to go but in different style.

              Paying more does not insure a better cooker. Size, weight, style, shape all matter. Good luck.

              1. If the giftee is a fairly new and/or "hesitant" cook then I'd urge you to consider giving an electric pressure cooker. While only a few electrics will do 15psi, electrics generally have more convenience features (timer, slow cooker, etc) that make them more "approachable".

                I love my 6-liter Kuhn Rikon but there are many times where the electrics (I have both QVC Technique and Instant Pot) is more convenient because it requires less attention.

                Hip Pressure Cooking website has good comparison information.

                1. In your price range, I strongly recommend a Kuhn Rikon 5- or 6-liter cooker. Very well made, very easy to use, very energy-efficient, needs less liquid than many others, and in my opinion, very attractive.

                  1. We have the Fagor 3-in-1 electric 6 quart one and we really like it. It's our first pressure cooker and the non-stick liner has the benefit that it won't crack (which is what happened to the slow cooker with ceramic lining we bought right before the Fagor and had to return within a week). The browning feature is a huge plus for less dirtying of pots. Even though it automatically reduces the heat if the pot gets too hot, that's actually a feature because I can put a bunch of onions in there to brown and walk away for 20 minutes at a time.

                    The only real downside for us is that if you set it to one of the cook modes and then forget to hit "start", the indication that you forgot a step is very subtle. In this case, the cooker just shuts off after a while. That means you might leave the meat or rice in the slow cooker and have it not cook.