The Bottom Line: Although not good for target practice, this stockpot is an excellent investment for larger families who want to save time and money in the long run.
I remember when I was a kid being really excited when my mother brought out the old aluminum pressure cooker to make dinner. I would run into my room, don a backpack and play weapons and hide by the doorway (we had three in that kitchen) waiting with anticipation.
As I waited, my patience would wear thin, and just as I was ready to come out of my hiding place, it happened.
The shooting sound would start as the little shiny disc on top of the lid would emit its imaginary bullets all around the kitchen like an old gatling gun. With a shout of delight, I would hug the ground waiting for the enemy fire to pass me by. When all was safe, I would dodge in a zig zag pattern through the kitchen to avoid being dropped by a stray bullet. As I got near the next doorway, I would drop to the ground into a smooth body roll and ease away into another place of cover until the enemy fire would pass into the "safe zone" once again.
Now that I am a mother, I can only imagine the combined frustration and amusement that I must have caused my mother in those days. I never purchased a pressure cooker when I married, however, because as I got older, my mother drummed a fear into me of a pressure cooker bursting its lid into the ceiling. Funny part is that it never happened to her, she just had this great fear of it!
Finally several years ago, I purchased a small pressure cooker from T-Fal. This new cooker was supposed to have extra valve releases to avoid any explosions or mishaps if the cooker was accidentally overheated.
It loved that cooker. I did not use it a whole lot, because we eat most of our food raw, but when I did use it, I really enjoyed it for beans, especially.
One day last year, however, I was making a load of black beans and the cooker would not work correctly. I tried several times to wash it, start over and finally got to the conclusion that it was shot. That was disappointing, as I had come to depend on it for all of our bean cooking- especially in summertime when heat is usually a problem.
After a few weeks, my husband was frustrated, and we decided to save up for another pressure cooker. When we got our tax refund back this past winter one of the first things on our list was to purchase another pressure cooker.
HOW DID I END UP WITH THE KUHN RIKON?
For our Christmas present this past year, we received a new mixer from Electrolux that has been a delight to use. When I communicated with the company that I got this from, I learned that I could get a price special on a pressure cooker from the same company. I kept it in the back of my mind, vowing to look into it for future reference.
As I researched the different pressure cookers out there, I found that there were not too many to choose from, as we wanted only stainless steel to work with, knowing the dangers of aluminum cookware.
When I read reviews on the KUHN RIKON cookers, the response was extremely positive. Very few people did not like them.
When we talked about it, my husband and I decided that it would be a good idea to get a larger pressure cooker so that we could make large supplies of beans, or even our annual leg of lamb that we have at Pesach. When I looked at what the KUHN RIKON company offered, we found exactly what we were looking for- the KUHN RIKON 8 LITER STOCK POT. The KUHN RIKON is a swiss product, made with Europeans in mind, who use pressure cookers a lot more than we do in the US.
WHAT IS THIS STOCKPOT LIKE?
Although what most people rave about is the mirror shiny finish, that is not a priority with us. It is a really nice finish, but we use our appliances so much in our rural country home, that perfect finish is not a big issue with us. As long as the interior is good for food not to stick to, we are fine.
The DUROMATIC 8 LITER STOCKPOT by KUHN RIKON is about 8 5/8 inside diameter, and about 8 1/2 " tall from the disc on the bottom of the pot. Although it looks higher than most pots, it is not at all difficult to see into or work with. If you are a short person, however, that might be a consideration. I am about 5'7" tall.
There are two black rounded handles on the sides with spaces in the middle of them. They are cool to touch, however, on our gas stove, they do get somewhat hot. There are six rectangular jutting areas around the upper edge of the pot that hold on the lid. The lid can go on either way, which is a delight.
I have a tendency to put the lid on the wrong direction on our other pressure cooker, and canner.
The inside finish is a smooth lightly brushed finish- it is not mirror like the outside is. There are lines etched in the side of this pot which show you the 1/2 and 2/3 mark to fill up the pot. Some things can only be filled half way (beans for instance) and other things can be filled up 2/3 of the way (meats, for example).
There is a heavy disc at the base of this pot which allows for even heating. It has not burned on us yet, a real plus. Also, there is an even heating disc that some people recommend for KUHN RIKON pressure cookers, but this is a large enough base, that you do not need to use it for this size pot.
The lid has 5 release valve protection system. It is a pointed dome shaped lid. Comes with a special blue gasket made of a more durable polymer that is supposed to last a lot longer than the traditional rubber gaskets for pressure cookers. I will get back to you on that one.
There is anoterh little rubber ring that goes around part of the pressure valve and it is also blue polymer. It does not come with the gasket replacement package, but has to be obtained separately. It is about the size of a US nickel.
On top of the dome, is a little umbrella shaped metal dome that has a black capped post in the center of it. The dome deflects the steam that comes out and makes it so that you can touch the black retractable post if you opt for that method of depressuring the pot after cooking is complete.
You can also get a glass cover for this pot if you desire to cook normally in this pot without pressure.
HOW WELL DOES THIS STOCKPOT WORK AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
When you place your items in the pot up to the line or below, you turn on the stove (can work on any surface, including cooktop) on high and get the pressure up. The center post has two red markings on it. The first is lower pressure and the second is higher pressure.
Once the pressure is getting up , the line rises, and when you are near the mark, you turn down the stove to low -enough to keep the pressure stable. You have to find your own idiosyncrasies with your stove and this stockpot.
There are two books that come with this pot. One is the "how to use" book which is helpful, but then there is the KUHN RIKON QUICK CUISINE cookbook that also comes with it. I really love these books. They have marvelous charts in them for figuring out how long to cook items, great recipes, and good ideas. Lots of Q&A sections which are very helpful, and the recipes are well laid out and easy to use. Coming from a gourmet natural foods primarily vegetarian person who is fussy, that is a compliment! This is a step above most instruction/cookbook inclusions in appliances. One word of advice, the times given in these books have to be almost doubled for us. Experiment for yourself.
Once the pressure is up to where it is, any little children in your household who are used to the older style of pressure cooker, are going to be devastated at their loss of army training camp. This cooker is almost silent.
If you do hear any hissing sound while cooking with it (other than its getting up to pressure very quiet hiss), then you have to RUN to the pot and turn it down. It is way too high. I have learned THAT from experience.
No more listening for the pressure cooker to learn if the pressure is right on it. You HAVE to keep checking it physically in the kitchen.
When you want to bring the pressure down, you can put it under cold water, or press the release valve on top. Due to that plate of metal, the steam is beautifully deflected so that your hand is not burned.
WARRANTY AND OTHER INFO
This pot also comes with a 10 year warranty on all but for the plastic and rubbery parts.
Replacement gaskets are EXPENSIVE. I think ours was near $12 or so. Look around for prices, as they vary per distributor. Not the usual $5 replacement that we used to have to pay for our pressure canner gasket, however, so do not expect a bargain.
The lid fits on the pot very smoothly, it is apparent that they were designed very well. This pan is heavy duty- not lightweight, so if you are used to a lightweight aluminum cooker, this will be a bit heavier, but well worth the effort to get used to.
I like the taste of food from this pot far better than microwave. It is less dangerous too, as the molecules of the food are not altered into unabsorbable states like microwaves do to food.
The current price for this pot is $299 at the place where we got ours. I can not remember the special that we got ours on at the time. There is no cost for shipping or tax, so that should be taken into consideration if you can buy one locally.
WHERE CAN YOU BUY THIS STOCKPOT?
We got ours at Pleasant Hill Grain. Their web address is
You can find some excellent recipes and such on their site as well.
All in all, I have found this pressure cooker to be a delight to own and work with. Although the mirror finish is not polished, it stands up well to the use that we give it constantly. The size is perfect for our very hungry family of four, and the mechanisms have worked beautifully so far.
I was worried that the small side handles would be risky for burns having only used the long handled pressure cooker for food before, but there is nothing to worry about. The handles in the lid and the others on the pot stay nicely cool and with a simple hot pad, I feel more protected in case. So far, nothing has been difficult or risky at all.
I highly recommend this pressure cooker in the 8 liter size for its practicality, fabulous design, durability and marvelous cookbook and instruction books that are included. I am very glad for the money we have saved while using this cooker..........
......which should be just enough to cover adult psychiatric care for our poor children who will suffer by not having army practice to look forward to, damaging them for life.........
One more thing. If you are a vegetarian, or even if you are not, there is a great series of books out there for those of us who wonder what else you use a pressure cooker for except roasts.
LORNA SASS has an excellent series of books that are for all kinds of pressure cooker enthusiasts. I have the vegetarian one, and it is more gourmet than many of the other books I have seen on the topic.
THE ULTIMATE PRESSURE COOKER COOKBOOK by Tom Lacalamita is another winner. Many of the recipes are Meditteranean, and delicious to use. I also love the history of pressure cooking and the insight that Tom gives to Europeans and their love of pressure cooking. Highly recommended in addition to Lorna Sass's books.
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you- Come here. Really close. I have to say this quietly.... There. That's good.
.....I was going to throw away the TFAL cooker we had but decided to try it one more time. It worked perfectly (go figure).
Shhhhhhh. I have not told my husband yet. He might decide to load the old cooker with real bullets to test my army skills.......(yikes!)(chuckle)
Amount Paid (US$): 285 /-?
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