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Old 09-05-2011, 12:52 PM   #1
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What is the advantage of a Pressure Cooker

I am thinking of getting a pressure cooker and ad it to my arsenal. I have never cooked with one but remember my mother using one several times when I was growing up for beans, turkey breast, and pot roasts. What are the advantages of using a pressure cooker? I use my crock pot for the fore mentioned items and let them cook all day. Just looking for some advice.

I have already read some stories on here about the exploding pigs feet. Are pressure cookers that dangerous? Is a canning PC the same as a everyday PC?

Thanks.

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Old 09-05-2011, 01:05 PM   #2
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Modern pressure cookers are safe and easy to use. They generally cook foods in 1/3 of the stove top cooking time.

They are the polar opposite of the slow cooker, they are the fast cooker.

I don't know if there is a difference between a pressure canner and a pressure cooker.
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:36 PM   #3
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I don't have one now, but my mom wouldn't dream of not having a couple on hand. The exploding? I've heard tales, but not known it to happen. Certainly not with modern ones. If you follow instructions,make sure to cook the pot down appropriately, it shouldn't happen. And there are some things that shouldn't be pressure cooked, and believe your instructions when they say no. For two of us it doesn't seem worth it, but Mom uses hers most days.
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:55 PM   #4
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I love my pressure cooker. I've had 3 in my cooking life of over 50 years. I've simply worn them out I used them so much.

Currently I have a Kuhn Rikon two-piece model that includes a small pot/vessel and a larger one. I really like the versatility these two sizes give me because it's just my husband and myself and I don't always want/need the larger pot. However, when I wish to cook a whole chicken or a large piece of meat, the large pot is what I reach for.

There really is no difference between a pressure cooker and a pressure canner, except that the canner is much larger so it can accommodate the canning jars for processing.

If it's just the two of you and you don't plan on doing any canning, then a regular pressure cooker is all you should need. Once you determine that, all that's left to do is to find out which one would suit you best.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:07 PM   #5
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Just as a note of interest, you can also buy pressure cookers that have as many as three pressure release safety features.

The usual pressure valve, an additional pressure valve in another area and a gasket that will blow out if needed. This is the type I own.

I imagine it's not impossible to blow one up like that, but I also figure that it's not probable.
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:20 PM   #6
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I have found one on the local craigslist posting here for a fagor 6qt for $25. Does that seem reasonable. Is a PC something that you should not buy used? It looks like new.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:01 PM   #7
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You have to be careful when buying a used pressure cooker. One thing I would recommend is to determine if the brand and model you are considering is currently available. That is, are parts available for it should you need replacement gaskets, valves, etc.? That's one thing that caused me to have to buy a new one several years ago. My trusty old workhorse was discontinued by the manufacturer and I could no longer get a new gasket, which it needed, and there was a crack in the handle. So, no handle was available either.

I would hesitate buying a used one just on general principles.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haroldathampton View Post
I have found one on the local craigslist posting here for a fagor 6qt for $25. Does that seem reasonable. Is a PC something that you should not buy used? It looks like new.

Harold, Before you buy a used pressure cooker, Check online and make sure you can get a manual for it . Check the gasket and make sure it has no damage. Fagor is a great pressure cooker and $25.00 is a awesome price.I have several used cookers and some new ones also.I also love my electric one. But don't try using one if you don't have a manual. If I can help let me know.

Josie
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:32 PM   #9
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:01 PM   #10
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HUGE fan of pressure cookers! I have a Fagor 8 qt. and love it. It cooks in 1/3 of the time, which reduces energy costs, and the food is delicious. Pork chops are a particular favorite. So juicy.

Get Miss Vickie's Big Book of Pressure Cooking as a primer, and The Pressure Cooker Gourmet and anything by Lorna Sass.

The new ones are/were Euro made, and don't blow up. Very safe.

Go for it.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:14 PM   #11
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Pressure canners are large--they hold at least 4 quart jars. Pressure canning recipes are tested using large canners--small cookers won't take as long to reach pressure, and won't take as long to cool down, and that time is important for safe canning.

Pressure canners also have either a gauge or dial that lets you know exactly what pressure you are using--some things are canned at 5, 10, or 15 pounds. I think a lot of small cookers only have one or two settings.

A big canner can be used as a cooker--I make stock in mine all the time. And then I can it!!
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:49 PM   #12
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7 minute Saffron Mushroom Risotto

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Old 09-06-2011, 07:00 AM   #13
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I don't think my mother ever bought a new pressure cooker. Hmmm. Now that I'm typing, it occurs to me she might like a new, modern one (I can never think of what to get her for presents). The main thing she always looked for was the rubber gasket. If it was dry and she didn't think some mineral oil would do it, she'd note the brand and order a new one. The seal needs to be complete. She'd also inspect the rocker. I don't think the newer models are built the same. But I honestly don't think Mom ever bought a new pressure cooker. She uses hers at least weekly.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:46 AM   #14
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I have an electric pressure cooker. I like it, even though I don't use it that much.
The electric ones are nice because they multi-task. Most of them now you can also use as a slow cooker (with a different lid). And they can turn themselves off. My most used setting is "stew", which starts a timer for twenty minutes after it comes up to pressure, then turns itself off and goes into a warming feature. That seems to work well for most of the items I've cooked, including whole chickens.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
I have an electric pressure cooker. I like it, even though I don't use it that much.
The electric ones are nice because they multi-task. Most of them now you can also use as a slow cooker (with a different lid). And they can turn themselves off. My most used setting is "stew", which starts a timer for twenty minutes after it comes up to pressure, then turns itself off and goes into a warming feature. That seems to work well for most of the items I've cooked, including whole chickens.
Fred, what brand/model do you own? Sounds like something we might be interested in.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:36 PM   #16
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I have one of the QVC, models, Katie. I know they don't make the smaller size that I have anymore, but you would probably want something bigger anyway. Along with coming with another lid and the slow cooker feature, you can also brown in it, much like starting a dish out in a stove top model. I don't think there were that many electric ones out at the time I got mine, but there are many models available from the big manufacturers now.
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