54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2007
Buy a pressure cooker if you think you'll use it at least once a week.
Buy this Fagor Elite pressure cooker set and you'll use it a lot more often. At home on ANY kind of range (smooth-top or coil electric, gas, induction), the two pots and their interchangeable lids add versatility to speed, and that equals more bang for your cookware buck (pardon the bad pun). The glass lid turns the 8-quart pot into a handy stockpot or pasta boiler. Put the lid on the 4-quart pan and, voila, it becomes that extra saucepan you never seem to have when you really, really need one. When dinner's ready but you're not (pressure cookers are rocket-fast, you know), replace the pressure lid with the glass lid to keep it warm without overcooking or drying out.
The stainless steel basket isn't big enough to hold a pound of long dry pasta, despite the photo, but it's the vessel of choice for shorter cuts like penne and rotelle, and for blanching filled pastas like ravioli and pirogies. Set it atop the trivet and it becomes the perfect steamer, whether you use the glass or pressure lid. And if it happens to fit a pot you already own, consider it a bonus.
Fagor pressure cookers are among the easiest to use and care for. Instead of a wobbling weight or a ringed post pressure indicator, Fagor uses a spring-loaded pressure regulator. Heat the cooker on high heat until steam begins to flow from the regulator, start your timer and then back off the heat to maintain a steady gentle hiss. Once you've found your stove's sweet spot, you're not chained to the cooktop. As long as you can see steam or hear the hiss, you can go about your other cooking tasks. Wobbling weight regulators can be thrown off if the pot is jostled, and sealed-system pressure cookers require a constant eye on the number of visible rings. The regulator is also the pressure release valve, engineered so that the steam dissipates and cools quickly. At six inches from the vent, the steam is warm but not hot enough to burn your skin. Remember, this is steam that's 250 degrees Fahrenheit when it's under pressure!
To keep the cook safe, Fagor pressure cookers have three locking mechanisms. The manual latch engages a pressure-activated locking pin that rises as pressure builds, keeping the cooker locked as long as pressure is present. The pressure itself pushes the flanges on the lid and pot together, creating a natural locking action. You'd have to be built like Mister Universe to force open a pressurized cooker. A small cutout in the lid exposes a portion of the gasket. If the pressure has no other way out, the gasket will stretch or snap, but will stay in place while the pressure escapes through the rim of the lid, not into the cook's face.
Odds are, whatever you pressure cook in one pot will be served with something you can prepare in the other as well. We use the 4-quart pot to pressure cook spaghetti sauce with quarter-pound meatballs in just 10 minutes under pressure, while the 8-quart pot and glass lid take care of the spaghetti. Every piece in the set, except the pressure lid and gasket, can go in the dishwasher. Your humble author uses Bar Keeper's Friend to take care of any really tough discoloration. Keeping the gasket clean is easy because it's so easy to remove and replace. With weekly use and proper care, a gasket lasts about 12 to 18 months. The money you save on energy will more than pay for a new gasket.
If you've never heard of Fagor or you're wondering if it's a brand a pro would use, Lola Bistro owner and head chef Michael Symon used a Fagor pressure cooker while competing to become Food Network's newest Iron Chef. He then went on to win his first Iron Chef America challenge, preparing one of his winning dishes in his Fagor. Although he's not officially connected to Fagor in any way, I can't think of a better endorsement.
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2005
I own this set, and have used it a lot. I like the flexibility of having a large and small pressure cooker, so I can cook big amounts, such as soups or stews, or small amounts, such as risotto, just using the appropriate size base. It works well, heats up quickly, and releases steam quickly. Only complaint is that I would like to have some sort of raised basket and flat trivet rather than the pasta insert and wire trivet.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2006
I bought this one as a gift for someone, I'm not sure whether or not they've used it yet, but I have 2 of these (different sizes) and I think they're great. They're easy to use although I'm sure that all pressure cookers are a little bit scary at first. I get great results every time I cook with them, and they're easy to clean.
Overall, I'd say that this item is great for people who are adventurous cooks who don't always have lots of time.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2008
Fagor is the most under-rated pressure cooker around, and one of the best. I have bought the set about a month ago, and now most of my old pots have become obsolete, you can do anything and everything with this. Pasta, Pot roast, (non greasy and cooked well)chicken wing fry, Beef-Pork-Chicken you name it. I used to take about close to 3 hours to make any type of roast or crockpot style dish but now it is done in half the time.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2010
I am 63 and as a dad have cooked for my kids with my wife and just wore out my old Presto top wobbling pressure cooker and could not get the new gasket to fit into it after many many tries.
So I purchased this new Fagor set and was a little wary because of the price, being from the dark ages but I bought it on sale at Macy's and all I can say is WOW!!!!!
This set has so many uses other than a pressure cooker it pays for itself and on a flat top stove really keeps an even temp. If you have never used a pressure you need this cooker for the time
savings and most of all for the safety factor. Great quality for the price, great multifunction set and most of all you will never get blue fingers trying to replace a gasket and have many years
of service. My wife introduced me to the use of a pressure cooker and Fagor has done the rest. Great kitchen item. Would buy again.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2010
I love this pressure cooker set. It is easy to use and the pans are great quality. Pressure cooking has opened up a whole new world in cooking for me. My family thinks I may be a little crazy because I get so excited to cook in the pressure cooker. I think I might be a little bit addicted.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2010
It does the job solid, cleans up smoothly and with the occasional oops... the burns clean out with only about 15% "elbow grease" on some of the big burns the kid's have experienced so far. I've got one small beef with the design why couldn't the vent direct the pressurized heated/steamed air straight up? All the time I'll have to adjust the pot so it vents to a cloth, paper towel, or rag. That's it... other then that I'd buy another one. May end up Mcgyvering a 90 degree duct for the vent/switch thingy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2011
After doing research on which brand of pressure cooker I should buy, fagor had been on my lists to buy. After searching online, and reading the reviews, I purchased this set since it was a perfect size and the price was just right. I am so glad that I got these, and have used it almost everyday! Cooking brown rice in the 4qt comes out perfectly, in 20mins, and I'm also experimenting with more recipes! Just recently I cooked frozen chicken thighs, for my soy sauce chicken, and it took 16 mins for the dish to be ready!