1. The Topic of the Month for October is "Make this the Perfect Bugout Location". Please join the discussion in the TOTM forum.

Pressure cookers

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

  1. CaboWabo5150

    CaboWabo5150 Lost in the woods

    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 3.....an 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 years.....so 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

    Agree....you 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!
  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 Old Fart 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.
  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.
survivalmonkey SSL seal        survivalmonkey.com warrant canary