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Thread: need advice on pressure cookers!

  1. #1

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    I have just moved to the mountains above Albuquerque, NM, elevation 7000+ feet. Think I will be needing a pressure cooker for beans, etc. I have never used a pressure cooker. Which brand would you recommend? Thanks for any advice offered.

  2. #2
    Super Member amazon's Avatar
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    I love the Presto brand, stainless steel. I have two and use them daily for everthing.Mine are 6 quart size. Parts are easily found and inexpensive. Never had a problem with mine. I like the design of the handle and that it is plain & simple. Hope this helps :D Added** I follow the recommedations in the booklet that comes with it and my food comes out perfect everytime!

  3. #3
    Senior Member jcrilley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amazon
    I love the Presto brand, stainless steel. I have two and use them daily for everthing.Mine are 6 quart size. Parts are easily found and inexpensive. Never had a problem with mine. I like the design of the handle and that it is plain & simple. Hope this helps :D Added** I follow the recommedations in the booklet that comes with it and my food comes out perfect everytime!
    Definitely Presto!

  4. #4
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    I would think you should still soak dry beans before cooking. I have cooked beand in PC, tasted good.

  5. #5
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    I have had the older ones (thicker metal, don't know what kind of metal...) and the newer thinner metal one. Mine are Mirro's. I like the thicker ones. The first time I cooked beans in the thinner one they burned and I can still see the outline in the bottom. I was using a glass top electric stove and that may be what caused this. Both work just fine as far as the 'pressure' cooking part goes. My thinner one came from Wal-mart.

    Good luck on your search.

  6. #6
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    what ever brand you choose just be SURE you have let off ALL the pressure before you open it! I don't think the newer ones will open too soon but I had an old one that would, I THOUGHT it had bled down enough, when I slid the handle sideways to unlock it, WHAM!!! I had chicken on the ceiling!! Thankfully I could "duck and cover" fast enough not to get burned but wow what a mess. and we had to have sandwiches for supper, the dogs were happy though!

  7. #7
    Super Member julia58's Avatar
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    If you go on QVC, they have some excellent ones, and you might get lucky enough to find them on easy pay. Anything cook essentials make is excellent. But if you want one today, this won't work.

  8. #8
    Senior Member winter012's Avatar
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    I was raised using Mirro brand pressure cookers. I like them because the pressure is pre-set, so you don't have to keep an eye on the pressure gauge. You'll find a 4-1/2 qt to a 6 qt is the best size depending on the size of your family. They also make a tall one used for canning meat & vegetables, although fruits can be canned in it, just don't use the pressure. I LOVE my Mirro pressure cooker! They are so versatile & just downright useful!! Don't be afraid of it, just enjoy it!!!!

    Under pressure in El Paso

  9. #9
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    That depends, are you wanting a pressure cooker for canning or for cooking?

    For canning, there is nothing better than an All American.

    For cooking, you can't beat Kuhn Rikon. They are FABULOUS!

  10. #10
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    In regards to the flying chicken...

    that happened to me once too. Now I don't feel so bad ;-)

  11. #11
    Super Member bjnicholson's Avatar
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    Funny story about pressure cookers. My mom used to can tomatoes every fall. (I was only 5 or 6 at the time.) We were in the living room and heard a huge crash. We ran out the kitchen and found tomatoes all over the walls, the ceiling, the floor. It was everywhere! Apparently, the gasket(?) blew. What a mess!

  12. #12
    cosyquilter's Avatar
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    I have a presto and a mirro, prefer the heavier presto. I use it for a lot of other coking as well. I never cook beans any other way.

  13. #13
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    As with most things you expect to use for many years, get the very best you can afford of any brand. Then use it till it falls apart, and I'll suspect it will last far longer than you think it will.

    Just keep an eye on the heat UNDER it, if you use wood then that will be your main concern. I used to live in Albuquerque (a heck of a long time ago) and spent weekends in Taos, where we used wood for heat and cooking. Without the pressure cooker beans were a no-no, so we took cooked ones with us. Heard horror stories about exploding pressure cookers and am still nervous around them. Tried to cook rice in one some time ago, it gummed up the vent, so I gave it away and now don't have one.

  14. #14
    Super Member Kooklabell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteQuilts
    I have had the older ones (thicker metal, don't know what kind of metal...) and the newer thinner metal one. Mine are Mirro's. I like the thicker ones. The first time I cooked beans in the thinner one they burned and I can still see the outline in the bottom. I was using a glass top electric stove and that may be what caused this. Both work just fine as far as the 'pressure' cooking part goes. My thinner one came from Wal-mart.

    Good luck on your search.
    I love my Mirro! It was my mom's!!!! 1954! I still use it and its still perfect. I wonder if you can still find this brand.

  15. #15
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    After my sister exploded her Gulash all over the kitchen, I decided that pressure cookers are not for me.

  16. #16
    cosyquilter's Avatar
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    I have used various pressure cookers for 40+ years. I have never had an explosion, even when I taught my children to use it. Follow directions, pay attention, no problems. Use enough liquid, don't use it for thick things that might clog ( I have cooked rice successfully, though), watch the temperature, follow directions for releasing pressure. it really isn't rocket science.

  17. #17
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    My incident happened when I was child. I had no idea what a pressure cooker was. I just wanted to surprise my mom by making dinner. I surprised her alright ;-)

  18. #18
    Super Member KatFish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebraK
    In regards to the flying chicken...

    that happened to me once too. Now I don't feel so bad ;-)
    Happened to me too, only it was greenbeans and sausage. What a mess to clean up. :shock:

  19. #19
    Junior Member Auntie M's Avatar
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    Have both a Mirror and Presto, like them both for different purposes. I lived on the mesas outside of Abq. and pintos did fine in the heavier weighted one. Like 'em cooked with a little onion and green chile, and some more green chile at the table of course!

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramona Byrd
    As with most things you expect to use for many years, get the very best you can afford of any brand. Then use it till it falls apart, and I'll suspect it will last far longer than you think it will.

    Just keep an eye on the heat UNDER it, if you use wood then that will be your main concern. I used to live in Albuquerque (a heck of a long time ago) and spent weekends in Taos, where we used wood for heat and cooking. Without the pressure cooker beans were a no-no, so we took cooked ones with us. Heard horror stories about exploding pressure cookers and am still nervous around them. Tried to cook rice in one some time ago, it gummed up the vent, so I gave it away and now don't have one.
    I can relate to Taos. My sis lived there (she passed Feb 14 this year just before I moved here) and she always used a pressure cooker for her beans, potatoes, and lots of other things. I looked forward to picking her mind about how to cook at this altitude. Guess that's why I am asking here!
    Thanks for your response. Merced is nice!

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjtinkle
    That depends, are you wanting a pressure cooker for canning or for cooking?

    For canning, there is nothing better than an All American.

    For cooking, you can't beat Kuhn Rikon. They are FABULOUS!
    at this point, just for cooking. Maybe I will have to learn to can with one too. I have always used the water bath canning system. Guess that won't work here! Thanks for your response.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kooklabell
    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteQuilts
    I have had the older ones (thicker metal, don't know what kind of metal...) and the newer thinner metal one. Mine are Mirro's. I like the thicker ones. The first time I cooked beans in the thinner one they burned and I can still see the outline in the bottom. I was using a glass top electric stove and that may be what caused this. Both work just fine as far as the 'pressure' cooking part goes. My thinner one came from Wal-mart.

    Good luck on your search.
    I love my Mirro! It was my mom's!!!! 1954! I still use it and its still perfect. I wonder if you can still find this brand.
    wOW! 50 plus years. Can't beat that! Search is going great thanks to all here on QB!

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Auntie M
    Have both a Mirror and Presto, like them both for different purposes. I lived on the mesas outside of Abq. and pintos did fine in the heavier weighted one. Like 'em cooked with a little onion and green chile, and some more green chile at the table of course!
    Will remember the onion and green chile! Thanks!

  24. #24

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    Sure appreciate the many responses! Think I will be shopping for one very soon. Seems as if it is important to have a heavier steel one for beans. AND follow the directions! Wonder if they have pictures!

  25. #25
    Senior Member quiltbuddy's Avatar
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    The newer style pressure cookers are excellent. I have a FAGOR that I bought at Penny's about 5 years ago. They might sell them at Target. It's so much easier then the ones with the pressure gauge you set on top. I use mine at least three times a week and no problems.

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