Fissler Vitaquick -- PSI/KPA Confusion
After doing a decent amount of research (but apparently not enough), I purchased an 8.5qt Fissler Vitaquick pressure cooker a while back. This was primarily swayed by very positive review that America's Test Kitchen gave it in a pressure cooker round up.
ATK stated in its article that its top-rated cookers could reach 15 PSI, but per the Fissler manual, which I read last night, its top setting hits only 60 KPA (8.7 PSI). This seems to be a US-only limitation -- I found a UK manual on the Fissler web site and it states that the cooker can do 80 KPA (still only 11.6 PSI).
I'm not sure what the deal is here, but I am unfortunately stuck with this cooker. I bought it a few months ago, opened it, discarded the packaging, and didn't touch it until yesterday. And since it was fairly expensive I'm not going to be able to toss it and replace it anytime soon.
Potential good news? On further reading I noticed that the manual states that its pressure release valve opens at 100 KPA (14.5 PSI).
So my questions:
A) Does anyone know what the real high pressure limit is on this? Has the US model really been reduced from 40 to 30 KPA? Has ATK completely lost track of how to conduct a proper review?
B) Is it safe to run the thing in the red zone, with the release valve constantly active? The pressure recipes I'm interested in all call for working at 15 PSI, so the closer I can get the better.
Thank you both for the replies! I'll do some further investigation, including a call to Fissler, and will circle back on this thread in case anyone else has the same question later. I did do one recipe a couple of days ago running it constantly in release mode, and while it came out quite well I appreciate the warnings and agree that it's probably not a good idea.
I have two Kuhn Rikon and two WMF Perfect Plus pressure cookers. My WMF's are very similar to yours. They should be 12 PSI, not the US norm of 15 PSI which matches my KR.
Are you really sure you not at the 12PSI standard Germany uses? I think I saw the episode you mentioned and it was a 12PSI model too so, I'm betting something was "lost in translation".
In regards to running in a constant safety venting state: NO - DO NOT DO THIS. Safeties are there for good reason, they are not a "normal" safe operating state option.
Regarding 12 vs. 15PSI, I never saw the difference in what I cooked and how I cooked. Some people obsess about such things but, this is one I don't understand. Don't get me wrong, I could argue the microscopic differences in some Japanese knife discussions but, most of them are academic and not practical. 12 vs 15PSI falls into this category IMHO.
If you cooking is very specialized, then I could see that minor difference making a tangible difference but you would have purchased a 15PSI model in the first place if that was the case.
FWIW, if I buy another WMF Perfect Plus for ~$100 off Ebay (NIB or gently played with), you won't hear me whining about the 12PSI limit. Keep in mind I'm a Kuhn Rikon owner too.
re: Sid Post
davis_sq_pro, I'm not familiar with Fissler's latest model but I do know that previous models had a version made specifically for the US that operate at 15psi. The way you can check is to look carefully at the top of the lid, on the rim next to the handle and see if the letters "US" are engraved in the stainless steel.
The number that you want to pay attention to is "operating pressure" because that is the pressure at which a pressure cooker cooks.
If you have any doubts, contact Fissler and ask about your pressure cooker - it sounds like maybe your manual has type-o?
Sid Post, you are not noticing any difference between your two cookers because your Kuhn Rikon operates at 15 psi and WMF 14 psi - not 12.
Most European cookers actually operate at 14.5 psi (that's equivalent to 1 bar and 100kpa - European pressure measurements) but are rounded up to 15psi when translated into American measurements - only American made pressure cookers fully operate at a true 15psi.
WMF has an actual operating pressure is 13.8 psi - rounded up that would be 14psi.
The true difference between your two cookers is less than 1psi so, of course, you would not notice any difference in recipe timing between them.
P.S. It is not safe to run your pressure cooker in over-pressure. Not only do you risk the valves getting clogged (and relying on the secondary safety mechanisms) but you are evaporating liquid and the food inside will scorch.