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Dilemma with choice for Pressure Cooker: Which is better "Instant Pot IP Duo" or "Cuisinart CPC-600" or something else?

All true, but one generally uses a lot less water inside a pressure cooker than in a pot even when making sauces. I'm finding lately my IP is having more sticking issues, and even a little scorching, be it with rice, or dishes with tomatoes in them, and I've been trying to figure out what's causing the problem, or more importantly, how to fix it.

Giving the bottom a good scrubbing with Barkeepers Friend as Lorna Sass recommended for cleaning didn't do it, not even after the second or third time I tried, layering food so the tomatoes were on top didn't do it, not entirely, a few dropped down into the bottom of the pot, so now I'm trying to resolve the problem in other ways. Won't be any worse off than I am now, not that its that much of an issue, but still, would like to nip it in the bud before it gets worse.

about 16 hours ago
ePressureCooker in Cookware

Dilemma with choice for Pressure Cooker: Which is better "Instant Pot IP Duo" or "Cuisinart CPC-600" or something else?

If it makes you feel any better, pressure cookers do really nice ribs, though! You can crust them up and everything, as long as you keep them on top of a vegetable steamer to keep them out of the liquid, and then pop them into a high oven for a few minutes at the end to crisp up the coating (so far, the coating has never come off, just gotten a little moist, but high heat in the oven takes care of that).

Can't beat how quickly pressure cookers will turn baby backs, beef ribs, short ribs, etc. tender. I'm making my Easter leg of lamb (boneless) in my electric pressure cooker this year!

about 17 hours ago
ePressureCooker in Cookware
1

Dilemma with choice for Pressure Cooker: Which is better "Instant Pot IP Duo" or "Cuisinart CPC-600" or something else?

I'll just add for clarity, for anyone else who happens to stumble upon this, I wasn't suggesting heating the oil under pressure to season the inner pot. That would be extremely dangerous. I'll be heating it on saute or browning, just to before the smoking point, with the lid off, then pulling the inner pot out so the oil won't get overheated.

1 day ago
ePressureCooker in Cookware

Dilemma with choice for Pressure Cooker: Which is better "Instant Pot IP Duo" or "Cuisinart CPC-600" or something else?

OK, in that case, what I would recommend is, assuming you are using white rice, is using long grain white rice, ratio of 1.5 parts water for every 1 part of rice. (With that ratio of water, gelatinization of the grains will be reduced, and there'll be less chance of the amylopectin becoming sticky.) Rinse the rice thoroughly before adding it to the pot, if you want to add a little wine or something acidic in place of an equal volume of water that would help keep the rice grains intact, along with as you mentioned, toasting the rice just a tad pilaf style before adding the water.

Then you can either cook it for 3 minutes on high pressure and be sure and use quick release and get it out of the inner pot as quickly as possible, or pressure cook it for 3 minutes on low pressure, at which point it will still be slightly undercooked, and you allow the machine to depressurize naturally so the rice finishes cooking slowly, and this method its much less likely to stick.

Mar 28, 2015
ePressureCooker in Cookware

Dilemma with choice for Pressure Cooker: Which is better "Instant Pot IP Duo" or "Cuisinart CPC-600" or something else?

Instant Pot used to have a nonstick pot available? I did not know that.

But actually, I may have some advice for you on the rice issue as well (I'm assuming here you're having sticking problems, correct?)

One of my relatives recently received a preliminary diagnosis of auto immune disorder, and as a result, they had to change all their nonstick pots and pans to stainless steel. Needless to say, they had a lot of sticking problems. Then they found this video on Youtube for how to make stainless steel pans nonstick. What you basically do is put some oil in the pan and heat it up really hot, almost to the smoking point, and then turn the heat off and remove the pan from the burner. It really helped them on the "stickiness" issue.

I decided that I should try the same thing with my Instant Pot, only removing the inner pot after getting the oil hot so it doesn't overheat. It didn't quite work the way I had hoped, so I did some research, including how cast iron skillets are seasoned. From my research, my mistake was using coconut oil, it would be much better to use an oil which has more unsaturated fat, which means avoid animal fats and coconut oil, and use something like regular vegetable oil or peanut oil.

Now I haven't actually tried this with a different oil yet, but it should help. The heated unsaturated oil actually form polymers which form a permanent bond with the surface of the pot, which helps prevent the food from sticking to the bottom. The video said this was only good as long as you don't use soap on the pot, but my research indicates that's wrong, the polymer bond is permanent, and can't be washed off. (Unsaturated oils apparently form more polymers or better bonded polymers, I'm not sure what the difference is, I'll have to ask my friend who's a chemist).

Mar 28, 2015
ePressureCooker in Cookware

Dilemma with choice for Pressure Cooker: Which is better "Instant Pot IP Duo" or "Cuisinart CPC-600" or something else?

Paul, I haven't tried carrots per se, but I have done some research and experimentation re the Modernist Cuisine use of baking soda to facilitate the caramelization process (the Maillard reaction) with other things, including making mashed potatoes and gravy in the pot together at the same time, as well as sprinkling a little bit on the surface of pan seared steaks and hamburgers to make them more tasty, and I have some advice for you.

First, be sure and add some salt to the pot when you do this. Salt helps keeps the base water soluble, and that really helps the reaction.

Second, I've found the Instant Pot doesn't quite reach the same temperatures as my Cuisinart does, so sometimes the reaction needs a little "help". If you notice just a faint bitter taste, or want to avoid it altogether, you can either add some protein, either a little butter, or some meat, or for vegans, there are vegetable based gelatin powders (I haven't nailed down the exact amount, I've been adding 1 teaspoon of gelatin powder to the gravy.) That changes the chemical reactions to eliminate any potential bitterness.

Mar 27, 2015
ePressureCooker in Cookware

Dilemma with choice for Pressure Cooker: Which is better "Instant Pot IP Duo" or "Cuisinart CPC-600" or something else?

Duffy, you ought to see how many really "old" threads - some a decade old - get routinely resurrected on Chowhound. This is fairly recent.

From my experience, the amount of water you would want to add depends on how long you will be cooking under pressure and what you are cooking. If you're cooking something quicker like chicken or turkey or diced pork or beef, you could get away with as little as 1/2 cup of liquid, because meat will release a lot of juices during the cooking process. I specify a cup of liquid just to be on the safe side. You'll always end up with more liquid than you started with. For something longer cooking like a pot roast or a pork shoulder, I'd add the full cup of water, just to be safe, even knowing that the meat will give off even more liquid.

The only time I've ever had a problem with small quantities of food and water was with rice. Tried a can of condensed soup, one cup of water and a half cup of rice and the rice ended up sticking like crazy to the bottom. If you're making rice in it, I'd say no less than a cup of dried rice, with a cup and a half of liquid.

Mar 27, 2015
ePressureCooker in Cookware

Salmon in a pressure cooker?

My sister does not like salmon at all, and she made some in the pressure cooker for her family (who do like salmon) and she said it was the first salmon she's ever liked, and that she'd make it again.

Jan 19, 2015
ePressureCooker in Home Cooking

Emson Pressure Smoker.

Apple wood chips are fairly mild, and my understanding is the lighter colored the wood, which apple wood is, the less likely that tannins should be an issue, so that's good. Plus it doesn't generate as much heat as mesquite or hickory would. Freezing the cheese overnight should help keep the cheese the right temperature through the end of smoking so it won't get overwarm and get oily / greasy.

Emson Pressure Smoker.

That's true - most of the standard cold cheese smoking guides I've read recommend tightly wrapping the cheese in plastic wrap, refrigerating it, and if possible, not even attempting to eat it for at least a week after smoking. (I'm assuming this allows the smoke taste to mellow and/or that the smoke taste diffuses more evenly through the cheese, or possibly both.)

Emson Pressure Smoker.

What kind of wood chips did you use? It could be tannins you're tasting. Also, was the cheese in any way greasy or oily? Personally, I would have frozen the cheese before smoking it, with just refrigeration it probably was heated more than you want.

Can a whole chicken be prepared in a 6L pressure cooker?

Interesting. I would imagine a good wet brine of the pork roast the next time would really improve the texture and moistness of the outer chops. I've never done a pork rib roast in the pressure cooker, but I find wet brines do wonders for pork loin and pork chops.

Jan 04, 2015
ePressureCooker in Home Cooking

Can a whole chicken be prepared in a 6L pressure cooker?

Thanks. My sister also cooks beef ribs most of the way in the pressure cooker and then finishes them off on the grill. Makes it much quicker and easier.

I should also add, another way to go is to do pressure cook the chicken a day or more in advance, pat the skin dry, then instead of putting in the oven, store the chicken, uncovered, in the refrigerator overnight to allow the refrigerator to help dehydrate the skin (which will help it to crisp up in the oven).

Jan 04, 2015
ePressureCooker in Home Cooking

Can a whole chicken be prepared in a 6L pressure cooker?

I've basically done what you've done dozens and dozens of times, and I would advise against cooking breast side down - it will actually overcook the breasts because of their proximity to the heat source (when heating up and depressurizing).

Instead, I would recommend brining the chicken as you usually do. The salt will not only soften the breast meat, and improve its flavor, but help it retain moisture. Don't bother browning the chicken beforehand, there's little point to my mind, the pressure cooking makes the skin flabby so you lose any crispness you got, it causes enough of the moisture and fat to render so you can crisp it up in the oven in a few minutes. I would also recommend peeling a potato and stuffing it inside the chicken cavity to keep the breasts from also being cooked from the inside, as well as the outside. Lastly, if you really want to make absolutely sure the breast meat is moist, once the machine has depressurized, you can remove the chicken, flip it over in a bowl or other large container, and pour the broth over the chicken and allow the meat to cool in the broth. As the meat cools, it will reabsorb some of the broth. Then when its cooled enough you can handle it, flip it breast side up, and pat the skin dry before putting it in the oven.

Dilemma with choice for Pressure Cooker: Which is better "Instant Pot IP Duo" or "Cuisinart CPC-600" or something else?

The IP claims a range of 10.2 - 11.6 PSI, and in my personal experience, its probably at the low end of the range. Cuisinart claims 10 PSI, but the temperature measured by America's Test Kitchen in Pressure Cooking Perfection (somewhere in the 240s) corresponds to a higher PSI, and in my personal experience, is higher than the Instantpot. (There also seems to be a difference for the low pressure settings as well, in Cuisinart's favor.) I live at 1,003 feet above sea level.

Where this is going to make a difference is for example when pressure cooking hardboiled eggs, I have to add a minute or two onto the time for the IP. I add a minute for potato chunks as well. And I do this combined recipe for mashed potatoes in gravy made in the pressure cooker at the same time where its obvious to me from the browning of the chicken broth in the two that the Cuisinart definitely reaches a higher temperature each and every time than the InstantPot. But I don't make any corrections for longer cooking items like stews and pork and beef roasts, and even if you have to, it isn't going to amount to that much of a difference.

If I were in your shoes, I'd give preference to the stainless steel aspect and not sweat the couple of degrees difference. Especially since last time I looked at the Cuisinart website, they had significantly raised the price of a replacement pot to around $50, whereas the IP pots are around $30, which makes a big difference if you want multiple inserts to do back to back dishes or if you scratch one of those nonstick pots and need to replace it.

Don't use a pressure cooker for....

I would say the "weak uses" for a pressure cooker are when people use cuts of meat that aren't best suited for it. Any cut of beef you would normally cook "medium rare" like a steak isn't best suited for the pressure cooker. Pork loin and pork chops aren't the best choice, either - they're too lean, very little connective tissue. Even with chicken and turkey, the white meat pieces are far easier to overcook if you aren't careful - I always brine them if I'm going to pressure cook them.

Contrarily, where the pressure cooker shines is with tougher cuts of meat with plenty of connective tissues, cuts that come from the muscles involved in movement and weight bearing. Pork butt, pork shoulder, ham, and sausage (because its made from shoulder cuts) all are really good in the pressure cooker. Brisket, corned beef, any beef cut with the word "chuck" in it, and bottom round work well. Chicken and turkey thighs and legs work better than white meat. Heck, whether you're talking lamb, beef, anything from the neck and shoulder, shanks, they're all excellent in the pressure cooker.

Nov 16, 2014
ePressureCooker in Cookware

Dilemma with choice for Pressure Cooker: Which is better "Instant Pot IP Duo" or "Cuisinart CPC-600" or something else?

OK, there's a lot to answer here so I'll take it one by one.

1. Yes, you use a lot less (at least a third less) liquid and you use less wine for stews made in the pressure cooker. Personally, I'd add just a cup of beef broth (there'll be plenty more at the end) and maybe 1/4 cup of red wine (depending on how much meat there is). You most assuredly DO NOT need to cover the meat. 1 cup of broth is more than enough to keep the machine under pressure for the entire duration, and not only that, there will be more liquid when you finish than when you start.

2. Your InstantPot is actually 10 PSI at High Pressure, but lest you think that's a huge difference, the difference is actually between 238 and 250 degrees, so not as much as you think at first blush. (America's Test Kitchen tested a number of stovetop pressure cookers that didn't even reach 250 degrees, so its less than that.)

3. Quick Pressure release means you manually release all the pressure and as soon as you hear the click, you can unlock and remove the lid. Natural pressure release means you don't do that, the machine depressurizes on its own (after ten minutes of depressurization, you could cheat and release whatever pressure remains, since there's not much left).

3. How long you would cook the meat depends on the size of the chunks. 2" chunks I'd probably go 18 minutes, 1" chunks I'd probably go 15 minutes (total).

4. I've got to warn you about this Miss Vickie 2 step method. I've tried it both ways, and I've got to agree with Lorna Sass that you should never quick release on most meats - it can cause the protein fibers to suddenly contract and toughen up. So I recommend instead you do one of the following (your choice)

A. You place any veggies you are concerned about going mushy inside a foil packet (sealed by folding it over several times) in the pressure cooker, on top of the meat. The foil allows them to cook, but more slowly, so they are less likely to go mushy. In this case, you would put everything in the pot and pressure cook just the once, and you use NATURAL PRESSURE RELEASE, not quick.

B. If you really want to go with the 2 step method, you pressure cook the meat and potatoes for say, 10 minutes, using NATURAL PRESSURE RELEASE, then add the remaining vegetables for say, another 2 or 3 minutes under pressure, and use NATURAL PRESSURE RELEASE again. This obviously will take longer. Personally, if it were me, I'd try (A) - it'll be quicker and less hassle.

Oct 11, 2014
ePressureCooker in Cookware

Dilemma with choice for Pressure Cooker: Which is better "Instant Pot IP Duo" or "Cuisinart CPC-600" or something else?

I was making some gumbo tonight, and wanted some plain white rice to go along with it, so I used the exact technique I recommended to you (although perhaps I didn't "polish" it quite as long as someone familiar with the technique would).

Undoubtedly, I didn't use the same rice as you did, but I did use a long grain rice, so its an approximate result. There was some shine, and the grains weren't particularly sticky at all. I'd be interested to know what you think once you try it.

Oct 10, 2014
ePressureCooker in Cookware
1

Dilemma with choice for Pressure Cooker: Which is better "Instant Pot IP Duo" or "Cuisinart CPC-600" or something else?

Well, I did say you didn't have to add the butter or vinegar, I wasn't sure exactly what you were going for, whether you intended to make a refried rice, etc.

OK, I've read the article you linked to, and here's my advice (minus the mention of butter and vinegar, since that's not what you're going for).

1. Polish the rice at the last minute, before cooking it. There's no need to soften it, or for any waiting period, the pressure cooker will do that very well for you. The polishing as described in that article should remove a lot of the surface starch.

2. If you want to try it and have some, you might want to try 1.5 cups of bottled water or filtered tap water instead of plain tap water for the rice (in certain parts of America, water is naturally slightly alkaline, and in many urban areas, it is made slightly alkaline for the sake of your plumbing, using bottled or treated water should give you a more neutral pH.

3. Try one cup rice, 1.5 cups water, 3 minutes on high pressure. Do the natural release for 10 minutes, then quick pressure release after that. Once pressure is released, remove the lid, then remove the inner pot from the outer pot (to reduce the amount of residual heat).

At that point, take a look at the appearance, texture, taste, etc. and see if its a lot closer to what you want, and if it isn't, let me know what you want to change, and we can try to figure out something that'll do it for you.

Oct 08, 2014
ePressureCooker in Cookware
1

Dilemma with choice for Pressure Cooker: Which is better "Instant Pot IP Duo" or "Cuisinart CPC-600" or something else?

My guess is you just need to adjust your cooking technique. (Don't be disappointed yet, in other words.)

As a preliminary matter, do you happen to know your rough elevation? Are you at 3,000 feet or more?

I can probably help you figure this out, but I'm not entirely clear on what you did, so I can't make recommendations (yet) on how you should change it. OK, if I understand correctly, you used long grain white rice, you didn't pre-soak the rice, but you did rinse it at least 30 minutes in advance and put it in a strainer before cooking, then you cooked 3 cups of rice with 4 1/2 cups of water using the rice setting (which determined that the food should cook for 12 minutes on its own), then you allowed the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then released the remainder of the pressure. If I understand correctly, you wanted shiny, fluffy, presumably separate (not sticky) grains of rice and what you got as mushy, wet and not shiny. Is that correct?

I found the section in the instruction manual I think you relied on, and my suspicion is, whomever wrote that and came up with the formulas doesn't understand how pressure cookers work. The volume of the food in the pressure cooker doesn't affect how long it takes for the food to cook under pressure, it only affects how long it takes for the machine to come up to pressure and depressurize. I suspect that their method resulted in seriously overcooked rice, the starch grains were just blown out.

May I suggest you try an alternate method with a smaller amount of rice, let me know how you like the results, then I can suggest additional changes depending on how you feel it came out.

Take a cup of rice and only rinse it off immediately before cooking. (Rinsing in advance would have allowed the rice to absorb surface water before cooking and might have contributed to "mushy".) Now, there are several additional things you can do to help reduce "foaming" or the possibility of stickiness, but you don't have to do them if you don't want to. If you want, you can melt a tablespoon of butter in the bottom of the pressure cooker pot and then coat the rice in the butter and let cook (without water, stirring constantly) for 1 minute. This helps keep the rice from releasing as much starch from the surface - which creates stickiness, and it will help on the shiny front, too. As soon as the minute is up, add 1 1/2 cups of water.

Alternatively, or additionally, you can also use a small amount of acid in the cooking liquid, which helps prevent stickiness and helps keep the grains intact. I would use a tablespoon of white wine or sake, or you could use a tablespoon of white vinegar or I might try seasoned rice wine vinegar if you like Asian food. Again, you don't have to do this if you don't want to, but I have a very sensitive palate towards vinegars, and I don't taste the added vinegar.

Use the steam button, set it on high pressure for 3 minutes, let it depressurize naturally for ten minutes (the timer will show its switched to "keep warm" and count down how many minutes its been since it stopped cooking under pressure. Once ten minutes have elapsed, release the remaining pressure manually, remove the lid, and remove the inner pot from the outer pot. After a couple more minutes, fluff the rice with a fork.

Then tell me how you like those results and we can adjust based on what you get, and what you're still looking for.

Oct 08, 2014
ePressureCooker in Cookware

Can you smoke a corned beef?

Njchicaa, I believe MGZ is right, the brand of corned beef you use can make a big difference as far as salinity.

You said you soaked it overnight (presumably in plain water), but ironically, that may have actually been either too long or too brief. Most people start talking about osmosis at this point, but a chemistry friend of mine reminds me that its actually diffusion, osmosis only occurs when the salt migrates in and out of a membrane. She's also explained to me that salt migrates through the meat very, very slowly, so it partially depends on how the corned beef was processed, if the processor originally soaked the meat in a salt water brine for days, the salt would have had time to penetrate to the interior, whereas if it was a quicker brine time, salt would have largely concentrated in the surface layers of the meat.

If I were to soak in plain water to remove excess salt, it might be worth trying it for a few hours, cutting off a small piece, cooking and tasting, to see what the saltiness at the surface is, where it would be greatest (at that point, diffusion would have pulled some salt out of the meat, but there wouldn't have been time for it to equalize) or conversely, to soak for several days, changing the water every 12 hours, to attempt to remove salt from the meat interior (or perhaps it might be more accurate to say to remove salt from the exterior layers, and the salt in the interior to replace some of the salt that used to be in the exterior layers).

Dilemma with choice for Pressure Cooker: Which is better "Instant Pot IP Duo" or "Cuisinart CPC-600" or something else?

They both have their good and bad points, it depends on what you're looking for. Now to address what you want:

1. Instant Pot (IP) has a stainless steel pot; Cuisinart (C) has a nonstick pot.

2. IP has a slow cooker function, C does not.

3. Both have two pressure cooker settings, low and high, roughly equivalent, though personally I think the Cuisinart reaches a slightly higher pressure (and therefore temperature) based on my hardboiled egg test.

4. You can get a glass lid for the IP, but not for the C, which doesn't have a slow cooker function. The C comes with a trivet, the IP with a trivet with handles (like the IP one with the handles better).

5. They're both pretty quiet when cooking, I don't really notice a difference in the amount of noise created, and neither of them is going to create a lot of noise - neither of them are jiggle top pressure cookers, there's none of that rattling and hissing, there's no need for that, the machine takes care of pressure all on its own.

6. You can't adjust the volume of the alarm. As to whether it would wake you up or not, that would depend on the proximity of the bedroom to the kitchen, but I would think a closed door would take care of that problem. However, I should say the Instant Pot has a delay timer, the Cuisinart does not. But that being said, were you planning on using the slow cooker to make rice, or the pressure cooker? If the PC, white rice takes 3 minutes under pressure, brown rice 10, and if its soaking in water part of the night, even less, and it might even get (1) mushy; or (2) absorb all the water before cooking. You may not need to program rice in advance, its only going to take about 15 minutes anyway, slightly longer for brown rice, its hardly worth setting up in advance, and with the "Keep Warm" function it might even get overcooked if you do it in advance.

7. The only third party warranty I've personally tried is Square Trade. What they do is if the machine breaks under warranty, you go through the manufacturer. If the manufacturer can't or won't replace the machine, or if it breaks outside of the warranty, then you go through SquareTrade. What I do is select the longest possible warranty period, then check the price. Under a $100, I think the warranty costs $10. If it costs $20 or $30 for the extra coverage, then I just pay for the $100 policy, and I'll pay the difference in the price of a machine if and when I ever make a claim. (By then, maybe the price will have dropped anyway.)

I believe Square Trade provides links so you can read all the fine print of their coverage, but there are several other third party insurers on Amazon alone who offer coverage, too, so check them out as well.

8. I doubt you'll find any manufactured in the states, unfortunately. I'd say the quality is roughly comparable. I think the pot is a bit better constructed on the Instant Pot, seems like the bottom is thicker, and I like the control panel better on the Cuisinart, but other than that, things seem roughly equivalent.

But from what you've said, its pretty clear to me that you want the Instant Pot, not the Cuisinart. But feel free to ask any follow up questions you want. ;D

Dilemma with choice for Pressure Cooker: Which is better "Instant Pot IP Duo" or "Cuisinart CPC-600" or something else?

Ymaz, oddly enough, I happen to own both the Cuisinart CPC-600 and an InstantPot IPDUO60, and I'd be happy to help you make up your mind which of the two you'd rather have. But the answer isn't clear cut. Each has strengths compared to the other, it all depends on what's most important to you. Do you have a preference for stainless steel or non-stick pot? Do you want a combination unit (with a slow cooker) or not? Is cost a factor? What are your preferences, priorities, questions?

BTW, as far as the warranties go, the Cuisinart is 3 year, the InstantPot is 1 year, but if I were you, I would purchase a third party warranty for a nominal fee, and that can get either machine up to 4 years under warranty.

Sep 26, 2014
ePressureCooker in Cookware
1

Electric pressure cooker with slow cooker, rice cooker, etc functions...

I'm very glad to hear that. I'm getting ready to post my preliminary review of that machine, and was wondering whether to wait.

Sep 22, 2014
ePressureCooker in Cookware

Electric pressure cooker with slow cooker, rice cooker, etc functions...

Ah I see, that makes more sense.

Amazon probably requires Instant Pot to give them the new stock first, before they fill their own orders, given their seemingly chronic stock issues. That's probably why Amazon had "stock" before the manufacturer shipped out their own backorders.

Sep 22, 2014
ePressureCooker in Cookware

Electric pressure cooker with slow cooker, rice cooker, etc functions...

Did they give you anything other than the slow cooker lid as part of that special deal?

If that's the case, I wouldn't buying one from their website, because you can buy the machine for $30 less through Amazon, and pay just $17 for the lid, if you want it, and then get free shipping.

Unfortunately, Amazon is out of stock as well. Instant Pot really needs to get their stock issues resolved. I've seen this happen multiple times this year. If they don't have it in stock, they're going to lose sales to other brands that ARE in stock.

Sep 22, 2014
ePressureCooker in Cookware

Electric pressure cooker with slow cooker, rice cooker, etc functions...

I actually bought the latest Instant Pot model since I added to this thread (the one with the slow cooker and the yogurt maker). I haven't tried out the slow cooker or the yogurt maker functions yet, only the pressure cooking related ones, but I can give you some idea.

I'll compare it with the Cuisinart CPC-600 I also own. I'd say it performs at a slightly lower pressure than the Cuisinart, I'd need to add an additional minute under pressure for hardboiled eggs, for example. In most instances, this wouldn't make much of a difference, it'd only be a factor for items that need precise cooking, like eggs. Its a little more complicated to use because of all the functions and buttons, but you get used to that fairly quickly. It does have a stainless steel pot, not a nonstick one, so I do think that will last longer in the long run. I do like the protection of the pressure release valve on the Cuisinart better, it has a false bottom that you attach the gasket to, which both makes removing and cleaning the gasket easier on the Cuisinart, it prevents foods with a lot of starch from getting up into the pressure release valve as much - with quick pressure release, I find much more starchy water coming out on the Instant Pot than on the Cuisinart. But there are ways of working around that, too, and the Instant Pot does have a small cover over the release to keep pieces of food from being sucked in.

Basically, I like the machine quite a bit, even though I think the Cuisinart may be slightly more powerful and I like the design slightly better. The Instant Pot has other advantages, the built in slow cooker, I'm planning on playing around with the temperature ranges that are available and potatoes, I think the pot will last longer, etc.

If you have any specific questions, fire away, I'll do my best to answer.

Emson Pressure Smoker.

Wow. Thanks. I went back and checked my source and apparently they must have read the numbers in that study wrong and changed 170 degrees C into 170 degrees F. Last time I trust WiseGeek.

You're right boiling wouldn't reach the applicable temperatures, a pressure cooker maxes out at 250 degrees, the highest temperatures reached in cooking would be on a grill or by frying, most likely, and then it obviously would have much higher temperatures on the exterior surface and most likely nothing near that in the interior. But if the eggplant is anything like potatoes, On Food and Cooking says the majority of the solanine is concentrated in the top 1/16th of an inch under the potato skins.

So maybe with the right cooking method, and assuming that solanine is the cause of the bitterness, and that its concentrated under the skin's surface as it is with the potatoes, there could be some impact.

Emson Pressure Smoker.

Hmmm...you don't happen to remember where you read that, did you? I got the 170 degree info from Wise Geek and I may have to revise a page on my blog...Thanks, if you happen to remember.

Emson Pressure Smoker.

No, that's true, I was thinking more in terms of whether the change in pH or the smoke flavoring would "mask" the tongue's ability to detect the bitter flavor - much like salt does - rather than actually removing the bitter flavor.

http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2...

But now that I think of it, if solanine is indeed the cause of the bitterness in eggplant, it breaks down at high temperatures (170 degrees) and since you hot smoked the eggplant, the temperatures would have easily exceeded those temperatures.