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Old 01-22-2011, 01:34 AM   #31
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And did I mention they are non-stick and the pot part can be put in the dishwasher? Awesome appliance...
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:36 AM   #32
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Kur, mine came with a different lid and can also be used as a slow cooker. Truly multi funtional.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:24 AM   #33
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I love my electric pressure cooker. So easy to use and clean.

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Old 01-22-2011, 09:30 AM   #34
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I have had my pressure cookers for 35 years, and they are as safe as the one I bought last year. They are Presto cookers. I cannot take the top off before the pressure is released--maybe a very strong person could, but it would take a great deal of effort. (I know the new ones have an interlock thingie that drops to release the lid when the pressure falls, but the amount of strength it would take to turn the lid on mine when the pressure is high is incredible.)

Read the manual, follow the directions. If it is old, check the gasket--it should be flexible. If it is not, or if it shows any cracking, buy a new one. The other thing that might need to be replaced is the safety release--it is a small bolt on the underside of the lid, with either rubber or metal showing thru on the top of the cooker. If pressure/temperature gets too high, that plug will melt and you will have stuff sprayed allllllll over the ceiling. But the cooker itself will not explode!! I am very careful not to put my face over the cooker while it is cooking, just in case that safety plug goes!

I had one blow once--before it happened, I noticed that a tiny amount of water was bubbling out of the plug. Now I replace them every 5 years or so, just to make sure. I do a lot of canning, so you might never have to replace yours.
Mine have the weight that goes on top and jiggles, and I have had no problem putting it in the sink and running water over it to cool it down. I put some water in the sink, and run cold water over the top. I have never accidentally knocked the weight off.
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:43 PM   #35
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Another source for the user's manual is used book stores. The old Presto booklet is very small (so you know what it looks like), maybe 3x5, just a pamphlet. The biggest safety hint is never open the pot until that rocker is totally still. You can quicken the process by putting it in the sink and running cold water over it. But whether you let it cool naturally or not, you tap the rocker with a utensil. If steam still comes out with pfist type noise, then you cool it further until tapping the rocker releases no steam. Only then do you twist and release your lid, otherwise ... well, not pretty picture if you're leaning over it.

Now, know that I haven't used one in 6 or so years. Also, Mom used to oil the gasket regularly. When it dries out too much, you won't get a good seal so will miss some of the benefits.

This is for older models, specifically old Prestos from a number of years back. Since you don't have the manual/recipe book, I'm assuming yours is old.
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:13 PM   #36
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Oh, also some gaskets can get stretched out. When they get too big to fit in the pot properly they have to be replaced. To replace them check with a hardware store. Most of them carry parts for pressure cookers. I know that Ace hardware stores in this area carry them. You have to know the model number. And if yours is really old like my big pressurer canner was you might have to google the model number to see if you can find a replacement. Worked for me.
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