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3359 posts

Uber Geek

# 180549 13-Sep-2015 16:16
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Ive never owned one of these things. I just want it for making broths and stews. The Mrs hates the smell of the slow cooker on for 36 hours lol.

I saw this youtube clip that recommends the fagor 8 quart one, but cant seem to find them in NZ and they are well over $200 in NZ according to an old post I dug up. Think they about $120USD.

Was thinking about that fast slow cooker from Breville, some say its great others seem to have a problem with it breaking down.

Any tips appreciated. Cheers.

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897 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 1386700 13-Sep-2015 16:53
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My mother has had two pressure cookers for years, she uses them for soups and corned silver side.

I dont know that brand you mention, but Kmart have them and they are quite cheap.
The other option is to try the indian shops, Apna Bazaar in Mt Roskill, Auckland also have them.


I know enough to be dangerous

8895 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1386704 13-Sep-2015 16:59
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I have a prestige 6l SS pressure cooker.  Pretty basic - just one pressure setting/weight. Have had it for 5 years or so - use it quite often.  The silicone rubber seal seems to be fine - I think replacements are reasonably easily available if needed - seals are a main problem area.
A tip with them is to never thicken a sauce, then run them under pressure.  The flour/tapioca starch or whatever you use tends to settle out on the bottom and stick/burn.  I don't use recipes, but expect that a standard thing might be to not add potato/starchy ingredients and cook under pressure, as they'll disintegrate.  Carrots are fine.  Celery isn't - turns into nasty leathery green things, mushrooms into little rubbery bits etc.  I tend to cook meat / onions / garlic and seasonings, then add most veges at the end and slow simmer cook them for 15 minutes or so.  You can of course use a pressure-cooker to cook dried pulses, beans, chick-peas etc.  I'd be damned careful though adding them to a stew, as they'll absorb water - and if too much and it goes dry, then you'll be in all kinds of strife.
You've got to be damned careful to not over-over cook. If you've over-done it, by the time you notice that it might have "caught" on the bottom from some hint of burning smell, by the time you've cooled it down and opened it, there'll probably be an inch thick of something which looks very much like road tar on the bottom of the pan - apart from having to turf out the food, you've got a very nasty cleaning job to do.
However, I can cook a beef bourguignon for 6 in about 45 minutes, with meat so tender and flavours locked in - brilliant things and well worth the hassle/learning curve.  Did some lamb shanks with a red wine sauce a few weeks ago, about 20 minutes under pressure, then out and in a tray, glazed, hot oven for 20 mins, they tasted like they'd been carefully slow roasted for 1/2 day - beautiful, and done in 3/4 hour.

SWMBO never uses it - I think it scares her, memories of her grandma using one and having some major disasters.
I suppose the Breville electronic gizmo version might solve some of the potential issues.  I'm happier though with the old style, I try to keep electronic gizmos in the kitchen to the bare minimum.


2051 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  # 1386726 13-Sep-2015 17:37
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We have an old Breville pressure cooker which works well. It has the minimum requirements: a timer and a pressure setting so you don't overcook and a locking mechanism so the lid can't open until the pressure has dropped. It would be even better if it was larger and oval instead of round to do longer cuts of meat, had a backup/second pressure release/regulator valve and electronic controls. The fast slow Breville you are looking at is a lot better because it has the electronic controls, the program options and the flexibility to sear and then slow cook as well.

Before moving from slow cooking to pressure cooking you should be aware that most cooks don't produce tender meat in a pressure cooker because they overheat it, overcook it or release the pressure too quickly. That mainly happens because of the assumption that pressure cooking is like normal cooking so longer braising usually gets better results  In a pressure cooker that is not usually the case. What usually happens is that the muscle fibres in the meat are toughened quite early. Many people assume that the meat is tender because the connective tissue and fat has broken down so the meat falls apart. But what you end up with is many small tough and stringy muscle fibres which is not the same thing as tender meat.

There are lots of good articles on cooking meats but most don't discuss pressure cooking e.g. amazing

2408 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1386751 13-Sep-2015 18:00
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I've got that same Breville one you've mentioned above, works very well but as mentioned could be a little bigger. 

The order you place the ingredients in them is very important, just like cooking with a Potjie Pot

2213 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1386755 13-Sep-2015 18:04
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Saw one at k mart today for $89, at that price it's probably worth the gamble

2408 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1386759 13-Sep-2015 18:07
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Steven's in Albany have a sale on atm, they have a branded on for $160 I think. Maybe have been a Sunbeam, normally just over $200 

3359 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1386761 13-Sep-2015 18:10
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Im a bit wary of the breville one as it used non stick and when your pressuring bones and water to make broth, is any of that non stick toxix and possible of leaching over time? or has that whole non stick cancer buzz been shot down?

ill check out the kmart one, sounds good.

if i can get one cheaper the better, im making bone broth essentially and the occasional veggie and chick steak stews. i also like to marinade cheap chuck steak in smokey bbq sauce (not the cheap watties kind) after rubbing the meat down with a good quality chipotle spice mix. i usually do that without a stew by itself. the meat falls apart and is kind of like a soft beef version of authenticate pork ribs from the american resteraunts.


3359 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1386764 13-Sep-2015 18:17
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insane: Steven's in Albany have a sale on atm, they have a branded on for $160 I think. Maybe have been a Sunbeam, normally just over $200 

good tip. no mention of specs but ill go check it out.

1773 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1387106 14-Sep-2015 12:02
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I use a 5l Aluminium pressure cooker on a fairly frequent basis - was on one of those special email deals that plague inboxes :-)

$40-$50? I think ...

Works a treat for most things that would be slow cooked, but in a fraction of the time.

Dont crank the heat too much, not too much liquid.

My thoughts are no longer my own and is probably representative of our media-controlled government


111 posts

Master Geek

  # 1387131 14-Sep-2015 12:41
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Most people I know who use pressure cookers regularly (mostly Indians) use Hawkins or Prestige. You'll find them in Indian shops here (~$50). We've always used Hawkins at home (20+ years), they are safe and reliable.

8895 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1387147 14-Sep-2015 13:33
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TeaLeaf: Im a bit wary of the breville one as it used non stick and when your pressuring bones and water to make broth, is any of that non stick toxix and possible of leaching over time? or has that whole non stick cancer buzz been shot down?

The concern remains, but the temperatures required to break down the PTFE and release those toxins are high, 350 C and above.
At the pressure most operate at, then cooking is only at about 120 C.

3359 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1387160 14-Sep-2015 13:48
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cheers fred, might sound paranoid but its usually decades later with such things the truth comes out.

$50 sounds good. Mmmmmm curry, my fav of all foods. I wish I could eat gluten still, my Mrs always gets a Naan, I sniff it when she isnt looking just so devine.

any indian brothers out there know where to buy one of these cheap hawkins. they look good !

3359 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1387163 14-Sep-2015 13:54
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i found a hawkins 8l online for $100. same price as the stevens one. still much cheaper than fagor, but id have to import that one as well.

3309 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1387180 14-Sep-2015 14:08
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TeaLeaf: i found a hawkins 8l online for $100. same price as the stevens one. still much cheaper than fagor, but id have to import that one as well.

5 Litre, $53. Free shipping within Auckland.

Edit: the 8L is $95 but out of stock anyway.

3359 posts

Uber Geek

  # 1387282 14-Sep-2015 15:52
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yep thats the one i saw. only issue i have is both those brans are ally not stainless steel. but supposedly a stainless steel on is best with an ally pancake bottom for thermal production.

if I want to cut up a beef knuckle bone, the marrow section into 2 and the knuckles as close to the ends as possible. would 6.5L suffice? Id say about 2L of water max.

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