Friday, November 7, 2008

The Veggie Queen Reviews the Fissler Pressure Cooker

I have been so excited about trying my new Fissler 4 1/2 quart pressure cooker but have not had the time. I have been busy teaching. But I have some time now that I can do it.

I have run a few tests on it but have to compare it to the others that I have. I wouldn't really make it as a scientist as I am a bit more creative than most of them. Instead of starting with the water test, I started by cooking in it.

First, let me say that if heft is a positive criteria, then the Fissler cooker wins in that department. It feels like the heaviest, most durable cooker of any that I own. But for some people, that's not such a great thing. It does get extra points for good looks and design -- very pleasing.

The special waffled interior surface is interesting. It might work very well for searing meat or browning chicken breasts but as a vegetarian or vegan, the dimples don't seem to serve much purpose, at least not to me.

So, I cooked my braised tofu, potato and vegetable dish, same as I always do. And I did have different results. When I opened the pot after 2 minutes of cooking the potatoes and tofu, the tofu looked good. I added the greens and green beans and cooked another minute at pressure. When I opened the pot, the resulting dish was a bit more overcooked than usual, with the potatoes turning mushy, and the green beans just a bit overcooked. I ate the dish anyway.

After cleaning the pot, which was a breeze, I did the water test in it. It took more than 3 minutes to reach pressure which is about 1 minute longer than most of the other cookers. This really is not a big deal. More important is that the pressure release takes a bit longer than with the other cookers. And most important is that after coming to pressure and doing a quick release, 2 of the 8 ounces of water was lost. As I usually use very little liquid in my vegetable recipes, this could be important.

I am going to ponder what else to make in this beautifully designed heavy cooker to see how it performs on a regular basis. Watch for Part 2 of this post.

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