Originally Posted by MABell
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.'
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
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.
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.