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Old 12-01-2009, 17:42   #1
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Stainless Pressure Cooker


Seems that I recall a conversation about stainless steel pressure cookers somewhere (my search turned up 500 hits that had nothing to do with cookers). Would like advice on a quality (small) stainless pressure cooker. Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-01-2009, 17:53   #2
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We have a Lagostina pressure cooker on the boat, about 7 litre size. It is one of the most useful items we have. It makes awesome ribs, among other things, fall off the bone tender in about 30 mins then 10 mins on the BBQ to grill up some more flavour. Great for quick one pot meals of rib stickin' groceries on cold damp days. Very good unit, has two fail safes built into it as well as the standard over-pressure poppet valve.
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Old 12-01-2009, 18:03   #3
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The St. Pete boat show had a booth with some guys that had a VERY nice line, but I can't remember the name. Ours is very heavy, but I can't remember the name. Armour something? Here's one:

Pressure Cooker
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Old 12-01-2009, 18:31   #4
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Fagor

After reading and researching, I settled on this model: Amazon.com: Fagor Duo Combi 5-Piece Pressure Cooker Set: Home & Garden

That is not the exact same configuration, but it is close enough. I have two pressure cookers with that set up and I found that unlike alot of other folks on this board, I did not need 8+ quart cooker.

Fagor is very well made. And I found the claims on their site as to how the manner in which the steel is constructed atthe bottom of the cooker to be accurate.

I also found I like alonger handle on a boat; I don't like the models with the two grip handles on either side. Fagor's handle is a bit shorter than other cookers with longer handles, and that makes it perfect on my stove.

This set became just about my entire galley. I got rid of three other pots once I bought this unit.


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Old 12-01-2009, 18:33   #5
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SS PC

MABell,

Take a look at our web pages, under the "Position Reports". No direct links, but we talk about the use of ours in a few places and relate why we got it.

Greg
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Old 12-01-2009, 19:06   #6
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I recently purchased a WMF 6.5 qt. and its great. I did my home work and it had the best overall ratings. I was able to buy it locally for $219.00. The first time I used it I was amazed how quick you can cook things that normally take awhile.

Pressure cookers are definately gas savers.
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Old 12-01-2009, 19:23   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quidam View Post
I recently purchased a WMF 6.5 qt. and its great. I did my home work and it had the best overall ratings. I was able to buy it locally for $219.00. The first time I used it I was amazed how quick you can cook things that normally take awhile.

Pressure cookers are definately gas savers.
You are so right: They save gas and time. Pressure cookers are utterly amazing. Potatoes in minutes. Stews in minutes. Carnitas. Lamb. Other than my electric tea pot, it is the singular most useful tool in the galley.
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Old 12-01-2009, 20:44   #8
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Thanks everyone

I appreciate the input - and ideas from others are still welcome.
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Old 19-01-2009, 23:46   #9
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Two hints on cooking the whole meal at once.
1. Presto makes an accessory basket that is 7 1/2" wide and 1 1/2" tall that lets you separate the food. Potatoes & carrots in the basket and the meat above on the tray that generally comes with the cooker.
2. If you are using a meat (chicken) that takes a shorter time to cook than the vegetables, use frozen meat and then it doesn't overcook.
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Old 20-01-2009, 00:14   #10
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I just started using a 10qt Fagor pressure cooker - I bought the larger size because my research showed the larger size was easier for canning... I haven't tried canning with it yet, but it is pretty large - perhaps a bit too large for regular meals as we are only two. I am looking forward to canning and will let you know if the size matters!

Sarah
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Old 20-01-2009, 08:53   #11
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Be aware that all stainless steel pressure cookers are not created equal.
Before setting out on our first cruise, friends gave my mate a ss pressure cooker. It had a dial type of pressure regulation, on the lid.
In less than 1 year of cruising, the pot metal parts in the pressure regulator totally crumbled.
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Old 20-01-2009, 09:29   #12
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We bought ours at the Annapolis boat show 6 years ago before we left off on our extended cruise. It is a stainless steel, 8 liter unit that has held up well to the rigors of life afloat. It is by far our favorite piece of galley-ware. The company we bought it from is at Pro-Selections

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Old 20-01-2009, 16:42   #13
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Originally Posted by MABell View Post
I appreciate the input - and ideas from others are still welcome.
We use this type of pressure cooker (10 qt version), which is extremely expensive, but it is bullet proof and it's a once a lifetime 'investment.'

http://www.burgees.com/Cooker/Why.htm

This is the same as the Pro-Selections referenced above.

In the 1990s we had one of the more standard twist lid types (Fagor), but after leaving it on the boat over winter we found that the pressure release valve had corroded shut--a most dangerous development. I'm not sure what corroded, but it might have been the pressure release spring. Most springs are not made out of SS.

I suspect that with regular use the corrosion would not have happened. It was the lack of use over the 6-month Alaskan winter that did it in. I would think, however, that cooking with saltwater might increase the risk of valve closure from corrosion.

This pressure cooker is the only one I know of that is also a pressure fryer if you are into that kind of thing. Most of the pressure cookers are not beefy enough or safe enough to pressure fry (think Kentury Fried Chicken). I have never used the pressure fry option. I only use it for normal pressure cooking.

It has three ways to release pressure, so it's real safe. One of the release mechanisms is not a valve at all (so it cannot under any circumstances get clogged) but instead relies on the ductile nature of the SS lid which upon temporarily bending allows the steam to vent down, away from the cook. The twist lid types rely on the gasket blowing out if the valves clog, which functionally works fine and ensures that it can't blow up, but it may put the cook in the path of the fast exiting steam--not good if you are on a long passage. I can verify the safe nature of this lid pressure release, as I have loosened the lid while under partial pressure (intentionally--it was difficult) and saw how the exiting steam was directed downward onto the stove and not at the cook.

To be fair, the danger from blowing a gasket on the twist lid types can be avoided simply by being mindful where the hole is located for the gasket to blow through and be sure to point it away from the cook, each and every time the pressure cooker is placed on the stove. But not many cooks pay this much attention.

The downsides to my pressure cooker are 1) its interior pressure is not quite as high as some of the other pressure cookers, 2) it can be somewhat loud as it does not rely on a spring operated release valve but instead uses a spinning jiggler on top--but the noise can be greatly reduced by being careful to not overheat so the jiggler is not madly spinning about, 3) its footprint on the stove might be a bit larger than other makes which may limit your ability to cook with other pans on the typical marine stove, and 4) it's very expensive.

But the corrosion issue is a thing of the past. There are no springs on this make to corrode.

It is possible to lose the jiggler, so I have purchased two extras ($10 each IIRC) and a couple of gaskets. I'm told that certain automotive gaskets will work fine too, as the gasket is a simple round bead and not form fitting as in the case of the twist lid types. As stated above, the gasket is not part of the safety release system.

We eat lots of brown rice and beans, and a pressure cooker is definitely the way to go with either. The nice thing about this pressure cooker is that I can tell when the brown rice is done, as the hissing from the release valve changes its character. Turns out that different types of brown rice take different amounts of time to cook, and we have since learned to just pay attention to the hissing as opposed to reading directions (hey, I'm a guy) or trial and error.

This pressure cooker is not known very well, which is why I post. It apparently can also be used in an emergency to distill fresh water from salt water but I've never tried that.

One thing you might want to focus on is the actual pressure. Not all pressure cookers actually go up to 15 psi, even the expensive ones.

The Rikons are designed to be used at 11.6 psi, which conflicts with their advertising.

http://p076.ezboard.com/Kuhn-Rikon-not-15psi/fpressurecookerrecipes22484frm3.showMessage?topicI D=138.topic

and http://homepage.mac.com/ratwell/Misc/KuhnRikon-Pressure-DUROMATIC.PDF

The Fagor pressure fryer goes to 10 psi.

Someday I will pressure fry some chicken at anchor just to see how that works. Bet my kids will love that.

Our pressure cooker is now over ten years old and has been used a lot. It shows no age whatsoever.

* * *

Incidently, the edges of our Henkel knives litterally fell off the blade the first time I sharpened them after that Alaska winter on board. No exageration. Fell off. Flecks of metal all over the galley. Got our money back on those and switched to cheaper Chicago cultery and nary a problem since.
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Old 20-01-2009, 18:58   #14
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Again...

...thank you everyone. Great deal of quality info. Thinking my trip this summer would benefit from a pressure cooker (to save on fuel), as we have only an alcohol stovetop to cook on now. We sold the Columbia 36 we owned and are back to using the Hunter 26. Comfortable, but missing some accommodations. Anything that goes on the boat has to pass severe scrutiny of weight and multiple functionality. Planning to come up with a makeshift “dutch-oven” for biscuits that the pressure cooker make well take part in.
Happy cruising!
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Old 20-01-2009, 19:50   #15
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Lagostina is one of the best. I found the pressure a bit lower than I like, so I changed the rocker for a presto rocker with some 1/8th brass pipe fittings and the rubber presto blowout plug in an appropriately sized hole . Now brown rice cooks in 7 minutes , like the presto.
Like Pea soup , squirting a bit of cooking oil on top of the rice stops the rice from foaming out the rocker hole ,and keeps the lid clean.
Brent
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