Pressure cookers

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by CaboWabo5150, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. CaboWabo5150

    CaboWabo5150 Hell's coming with me

    It's probably been discussed on here before, but I was wondering what insight you guys and gals have on pressure cookers... What to look for, what to stay away from... As growing season gets closer I'm really ramping up my canning operation this year...
  2. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    We have OLD National brand, heavy aluminum, inherited from her mom.....a lightweight Presto model.....both hold 7 quarts or 7 pints only......and an American 941 that holds about 19-20 quarts and 30some pints ( double and triple stack )

    The American is a great canner, but either of the others does fine.....I only pull out the American if we're doing large batches and running more than one canner. Also, the American is HEAVY, and tall...I have to use it on a turkey burner, because it's too tall to fit under our range hood AND load the jars.....but that's OK....the turkey cooker burner has a LOT more BTU output anyway.

    One of the advantages of the American is no rubber seal, but on the other hand, the seals in the others last about 15-20 it's not a big issue.

    The disadvantage of the big American is the weight, it won't fit in any standard sink to clean ( I use it in our auxiliary kitchen which has a 2 compartment commercial sink ), and take a long time to heat up/cool down, so unless we have a LOT to can, I use the old National....and can pop about about as much production as waiting on the cycle time of the American.
    CaboWabo5150 likes this.
  3. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

    You might also consider a 4 qt. or so for the "B" or "C" BOB if you prep on a budget,beans,rice, and such.Quick,fuel economy for on the go for meals.
    CaboWabo5150 and TnAndy like this.
  4. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member can cook hard pinto beans hours and hours on an open stove to get them eatable, but 15 minutes in a pressure cooker for the same results. Potatoes another quickie in a cooker.
    CaboWabo5150 likes this.
  5. gmt48

    gmt48 Monkey+

    We have the All American 921 21-1/2 Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner. It's an excellent, well constructed, heavy duty, made in America product that holds 7 quart jars or up to 19 pint jars if you stack them. Among several of it's salient features is that it makes a metal-to-metal seal; no rubber gasket to wear out or blow out. It's big and heavy weighing 17 lbs. Can't use it on glass cook tops. We use ours on a Camp Chef outdoor propane stove and love it. Definitely worth checking this unit out and comparing to others. Some places charge top dollar of up to $260. We found ours new for $135 so if your interested in one definitely shop around for the best price. All American makes smaller units if this one is too big for you.
  6. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    I cook just about everything that takes a long time in a pressure cooker:

    green beans + potatoes (~9 min)
    stew meat (~25 min)
    pre-soaked soup beans (~35 min)

    I have a Kuhn-Rikon...very expensive IMO, but, I put it in the "I only have to buy one of these suckers" category. Fagor is another good brand and a little cheaper. I think it's well worth the investment.

    I've seen those Presto ones and they are very thin compared to the ones above. They might do just as good and I've never heard of them blowing up.

    I have a canning pressure cooker with no seal and analog gauge. That's for a propane burner though.
  7. kjm

    kjm Monkey

    I inherited a 5 qt pressure cooker and a HUGE one from my grandmother. She would use them to tenderize tough old squirrels I'd shot. I haven't used either yet, and really don't know how to. I probably ought to learn.
  8. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Have several and two are the band type. I do not use them much. Our goal this year is 400 quarts. Tired of paying through the nose for food.
  9. CrufflerJJ

    CrufflerJJ Monkey++

    I regularly use a pressure cooker (made by Fagor) and a pressure canner. Fast, and they just plain work. For recipes, I like Lorna Sass's book Cooking Under Pressure.

    When you get a pressure cooker or canner, don't forget to make sure that repair parts (gaskets & such are available). This is mainly a concern if you buy an older unit off Craigslist or eBay. Then again, if you have an All American, no need to worry about gaskets!
    Dunerunner likes this.
  10. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

    Find someone who is adept at canning and ask them to inspect your canners.If the relief or pressure valves malfunction you are then in possession of a nuclear bomb.
    CaboWabo5150 likes this.
  11. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Well, Maybe not a Nuclear Bomb, but a lot of Pent Up Energy. should the Vessel fail in a catastrophic way. Steam certainly can be os serious danger. Most Pressure Cookers that I am familiar with have TWO Relief Valves, one set for the Cooking Temp & Pressure, and a FailSafe Relief Valve that vents at 120% of Cooking Pressure.
    Seepalaces and Dunerunner like this.
  12. CrufflerJJ

    CrufflerJJ Monkey++

    Another good thing about the newer pressure cookers/canners is that many have an extra safety interlock which makes it very difficult (I won't say "prevents", since there are always smart idiots out there) to open the lid when the vessel is pressurized.

    I used our pressure cooker on a Coleman camp stove when we were without power (other than backup generator power) for10 days during a Hurricane Ike-related outage. You don't need a fancy stove for them to work. They really cut the time/energy to prepare a meal. Very handy.
    Dunerunner likes this.
  13. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++


    6 FRESH apples (see notes), cored
    ¼ cup (30g) raisins
    1 cup (250ml) red wine
    ½ cup (100g) raw demerara sugar
    1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

    Add the apples to the base of the pressure cooker. Pour in wine, sprinkle raisins, sugar and cinnamon powder. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 10 minutes at high pressure.

    For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 10 minutes pressure cooking time. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Natural release method - move the cooker off the burner and wait for the pressure to come down on its own (about 10 minutes).

    For electric pressure cookers, disengage the “keep warm” mode or unplug the cooker and open when the pressure indicator has gone down (20 to 30 minutes). Scoop out of the pressure cooker and serve in a small bowl with lots of cooking liquid.

    Notes Today you can find "fresh" apples in the supermarket all year long. That's because after their fall harvest apples are store in a "protective atmosphere" that keeps them from ageing. Unfortunately, this storage changes the texture of the apple and will turn it into puree' when pressure cooked. Stores are not required to tell you if an apple has been stored in these conditions or when it was harvested (for you to know if it's really fresh). The only way to tell is to carefully look at the apple stem. If it's green and flexible, then the apple is REALLY fresh and they will be perfect for this recipe. If its brown and shriveled then the apple was likely stored for up to a year before being sold - those apples are great for making apple sauce.

    Read more: Pressure Cooker “Baked” Apples – really easy! Pressure Cooker "Baked" Apples - really easy! • hip pressure cooking
    Dunerunner, chelloveck and techsar like this.
  14. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I made a pressure cooker from a Stanley stainless steel cup .
    I used food grade silicone for the seal on the lid and stainless steel spring lid holder . Though the lid can act as a safety valve, I'm working on a secondary ,SOP .
    I can also distill water with it, using a coiled length of copper tubing and surgical tubing .
    What I need to find or develop is a pressure vacuum gage small enough to mount on there so that I know it is holding a seal.
    In the event I've cooked more than I can consume at one sitting I can basically can the contense , and store till I'm ready for it, with out refrigeration.
    The magic of pressure cooking, is the short amount of time it requires, and if resources are limited this is very important.
    I'll post pictures when I've successfully developed the secondary safety valve .
    Ganado likes this.
  15. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    A pressure cooker is also a spectacular way of re-decoratating a kitchen ceiling...



    A perfectly safe way to prepare meals....just follow instructions carefully, and maintain in good operational condition. [gone]
    Seepalaces likes this.
  16. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I know how serious it is, mom's cooker spent all the mashed potatoes all over the ceiling, when her sister took the weight off while still cooking.
    Seepalaces and chelloveck like this.
  17. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    Having been in the Navy, and worked on an Air Force base, I know for a fact, that nothing is enlisted-proof! Used to tell people, "You can take a solid block of stainless steel, walk into a classroom of military students, and declare 'THIS IS UNBREAKABLE!!', then walk out. Walk back in, 10 minutes later, and that solid block of stainless will be small pieces, scattered all over the room!" :LOL:
  18. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Oh like the sign ,WET PAINT do not touch.
    Seepalaces and chelloveck like this.
  19. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Oh like the signs, "only to be operated by authorised personnel". or "emergency use only"
    Seepalaces likes this.
  20. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Like a pressure cooker I found a lid that fits my fry pan perfectly almost air tight.
    It shortens cooking time and cooks more thoroughly .
    Camping it keeps the falling debris and bugs out of the food.
    Seepalaces likes this.
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