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Jan 30, 2013 04:50 AM

Pressure cooker: Chicken: what did I do wrong?

I cooked 2 large chicken breasts (bone in), along with 4 small drumsticks. Total weight: 2.8 pounds.

I set the dial to #2 (high) (15 PSI)

I added 2 cups of water, brought up to pressure (the yellow rod pops up on my Fagor Duo), I kept the heat up until lots of steam came out the top of the handle/valve area, then I dialed the head down to medium on my gas stove.

Wisps of steam continues to come out during the 18 minutes, and the rod stayed up (indicating it was still at pressure).

When I turned the dial to release the steam, no steam came out. My instant-read thermometer read only 138 degrees in the chicken breast.

This is the 2nd time I've used the new pressure cooker. Last night, steam did release from the butter-nut squash when I turned the dial to release. So, it sounds like my chicken lost pressure, and perhaps it was just boiling on medium? There was no leakage from around the gasket. There was still plenty of water in the pot so it didn't run dry.

Any thoughts or tips would be very much appreciated,


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  1. it sounds like you did lose pressure. My pressure cooker emits no steam while cooking because it's tightly sealed. I have no clue about newer models but is that supposed to happen?

    And... 18 minutes sounds like a long time for chicken breasts...

    1. I have a Fagor Duo also. The yellow rod doesn't indicate the cooker is at the desired pressure, merely that the pressure is above atmospheric (perhaps only very slightly above atmospheric). Perhaps the valve was not seated properly or damaged or dirty?

      1. I added another cup of water, turned burner on high, and though steam came out from the top, the rod never went up.

        After about 15 MORE minutes, I pressed release (no steam came out). I opened the cooker to find it ran out of steam and some of the chicken burned.

        So, it went through 3 cups of water in the 18+15 minutes (the second phase never achieving pressure).

        Yes, something is definitely wrong.

        I will do some test runs with just water and see how much is left after maybe 15 minutes.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mike2401

          Check the valve. The manual explains how. If you're like me and have misplaced the manual, you can find it online --
          (see pages 12, 13)

          1. re: drongo

            will do, and very kind of you for the link.

            wow! everyone here at chowhound is really friendly and helpful, especially since I peppered the board today with a gazillion pressure cooker & chicken feet questions :-)


        2. Mike, Fagor pressure cookers tend to give a "false positive" when indicating pressure with the yellow button. It will rise and "stick" up even when the cooker has not fully reached pressure.

          Next time, and you can do this now with a water test, touch the yellow indicator lightly. Does it feel "springy" or does it fall back down? The cooker has not reached full pressure.

          Does it feel solid as a rock? Perfect. You can turn down the heat now.