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262 of 277 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Quicker Cooker, only bigger
1. Cooking with a pressure cooker

Think of a pressure cooker as a crock pot on steroids. The increased pressure inside the sealed vessel results in an elevated boiling point, producing a higher cooking temperature for faster cooking. The standard pressure for these cookers is 15 psi, raising the boiling point from 212f to 250f. Current design features...
Published on June 14, 2005 by R. Kreis

versus
215 of 225 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Warranty is useless
We bought this pressure cooker from Macy's. The body and handles are still in very good condition after about 1 year of moderate use. However, the red/purple-ish lock on the upper handle began to deform by the heat from the cooker (it is shielded from the stove burner by the lower handle), making the open and lock operation harder and harder, until finally the plastic...
Published on September 25, 2007 by L. L.


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215 of 225 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Warranty is useless, September 25, 2007
By 
This review is from: Fagor Splendid 6-Quart Pressure Cooker (Kitchen)
We bought this pressure cooker from Macy's. The body and handles are still in very good condition after about 1 year of moderate use. However, the red/purple-ish lock on the upper handle began to deform by the heat from the cooker (it is shielded from the stove burner by the lower handle), making the open and lock operation harder and harder, until finally the plastic piece is stuck to the open position rendering the pot thing useless. Fagor's warranty does not cover this. I was instructed to place an order for the upper handle assembly which costs over 1/3 of the price of the entire thing. I can't see how the problem is not caused by a defect in the material, or why one should continue spend money on the company's product.
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262 of 277 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Quicker Cooker, only bigger, June 14, 2005
This review is from: Fagor Splendid 6-Quart Pressure Cooker (Kitchen)
1. Cooking with a pressure cooker

Think of a pressure cooker as a crock pot on steroids. The increased pressure inside the sealed vessel results in an elevated boiling point, producing a higher cooking temperature for faster cooking. The standard pressure for these cookers is 15 psi, raising the boiling point from 212f to 250f. Current design features considerably improve the safety of these pots over WWII vintage kitchen bombs.

Pressure cookers are perfect for pot roasts, stews, soups, stocks and long-simmering sauces, reducing cooking times by as much as seventy percent. Beans cook faster in a pressure cooker, although their soaking time is unaffected. Rice will cook faster, too, although the convenience of a dedicated rice cooker is beyond dispute.

Some pressure cookers let users select a second, lower pressure setting (8 psi, bp @ 215f), which yields considerably less accelerated cooking. Why slow down a high-speed cooker? Because some foods, like veggies and fish, cook quickly, and when cooked at 15 psi it is difficult to control doneness. (Recipes for these foods call for running cold water over the pot lid to quickly reduce the pressure and lower the temperature to stop the cooking. For more usual dishes, one would merely turn off the heat and let the cooking coast to a stop.) Pot-count or hubris may move some chefs to use their pressure cookers to prepare delicate foods regardless of the risk of under/over-cooking. The low pressure setting is intended to help these people. For most cooks, foods that cook quickly are better prepared using conventional methods. Arguably, a clever chef could use a pressure cooker as their only pot for all purposes, a desirable feature when living out of a knapsack on a desert isle where time is money or fuel is precious.

For most cooks, a pressure cooker will not be an essential kitchen utensil, but it is desirable for its ability to shorten long simmer times. An eight-quart pot is probably the most versatile size for most users, because the pot can only be filled to half or at most two-thirds capacity. If veggies are to be steamed rather than boiled, you will need a steamer insert. Expect a learning curve as you discover how to operate the pot and adjust cooking times. A pressure cooker should be stored unassembled, and the gasket (about $10) may need to be replaced occasionally. All parts should be hand washed. The the pot and lid are ruined if dinged where the gasket seats.

2. The Fagor Pressure Cooker

Fagor in Spain is like General Dynamics in the US - a huge industrial conglomerate. Their "Commercial" (and similar "Splendid") model pressure cooker has a substantial heft to it and seems ready to withstand the rigors of the kitchen. An aluminum heat dispersion disc, completely encapsulated in stainless steel, is bonded to the bottom of the thick-walled stainless steel pot. The stainless steel lid is similarly substantial, and is polished to a mirror finish. The handles seen sturdy enough, although they are plastic and subject to damage. An order form for replacement parts is provided in the box and parts are available over the Internet ([...] An instruction booklet is incluye, imperfectly translated from the Spanish. An 80-page recipe book is also included, with full color photographs of fabulous dishes, several of which cannot be prepared in the cooker(!).

The regulator control dial on this unit has three positions: Pressurized (15 psi), open, and remove valve. The lid has a safety interlock that prevents it from being opened while the pot is pressurized, and a small plastic rod pops up to indicate the interlock is active. (One reviewer suggested this rod indicates the pot has reached 15 psi, but this is not so; you know the pot has reached 15 psi when steam starts to escape from the regulator valve.) Another safety feature is a slot in the lid that allows part of the gasket to blow out if the pot has been over-filled.

I was attracted to this model pressure cooker because it seemed to represent an attractive price-performance point. My experience has confirmed that. The value of a second, low pressure setting is arguable for all but the most dedicated pressure cooker users, and fancy features like a pressure gauge seem minimally useful. If I were to buy another pressure cooker, I would likely select this model again, albeit in an 8-qt version to compliment the 4-qt size that seemed the best size for this bachelor cook.
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78 of 81 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry company, September 29, 2009
This review is from: Fagor Splendid 6-Quart Pressure Cooker (Kitchen)
Cannot give any kudos to Fagor for sturdiness or support for this product and would rate a zero if it were possible. Had a 'Splendid' model cooker that gave performance problems with the upper handle not performing well and after warranty period had expired, discovered that the pressure sensing button was defective. Could find no way to get just the button, which should have been a 50 cent item, and had to order a complete upper handle assembly to get the button ($26 including shipping and their 800 number never responds). After receiving the new handle with all it's parts, when taking the shipping tape off of the handle, the locking slider fell off. It was broken before being packed and taped to the handle to keep it there until delivered. Called the Fagor 800 number and got a message to leave a name and number and they would call me back within 48 Hrs. After 4 days with no call back, sent them an email through their web site explaining the problem and requesting a new part. Now 1 week later and no call back, no email answer and no replacement part.

I had seen reviews describing Fagor's lack of support over things like this and didn't believe that a company this big could be so lacking in support of their customer base. I've had enough of this company and am switching to Magafesa or an American manufacturer to see if their support is any better. It certainly can't be any worse!!!
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69 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Risotto in 6 minutes? No way!, June 2, 2006
By 
This review is from: Fagor Splendid 6-Quart Pressure Cooker (Kitchen)
My mom uses a pressure cooker. It's an old, beat-up thing made out of who-knows-what in an ugly brown color and the jiggly thing on top. It must be older than me. But the stew that comes out of it is amazing. So I think I want my own pressure cooker and added this one to our wedding registry. One of our guests (no doubt a pressure cooker fan) bought it for us. In fact, it was the very first gift snatched off our Amazon.com registry! Then it went into the closet. That was last year and I am embarrassed to admit it. We just bought a new house, and inspired by all the extra cabinet space I dug out the Fagor. Risotto in 6 minutes? No way! I have to try it. They aren't kidding. You can make a butternut squash risotto in 6 minutes. That's right...a hard-as-a-rock winter squash that comes out as if you'd been roasting it for an hour. It was the best risotto we ever had. The prep time took twice as long as the cook time and consists mainly of cutting up your veggies and/or meats into chunks. My husband couldn't believe the carrots in it were as soft as if they had been slow-cooked all day. I am now a fan and am on the quest for a good pressure-cooker cookbook. The Fagor is easy to use. I read the instruction manual first because the thought of a pressurized pot sitting on my stove scared me a little bit... You can brown meats and veggies in the pot with some oil before adding in everything else + liquid and snapping on the lid to bring it up to pressure. Never fill up the pot! It should only be 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full, depending on what you are cooking and how much it will expand. That might mean I have to get a bigger pot if I want to cook for more than 4 people. There is a little yellow indicator that pops up to tell you when the pot is properly pressurized. Problem is, once I saw the yellow indicator, I couldn't remember where its original "down" position was. The best indicators are your ears. Just wait for the loud "SHHHH" noise and then turn down the heat (or move the pot over to a burner set on "low" if you have an electric stove). I admit the "SHHHH" scared me a little. OK, a lot...enough to make me move out of the kitchen and peer at the pot from a distance. The amount of steam that comes out is barely visible, so the sound is the best indicator. After 6 minutes of "SHHHH" I took the pot off the stove, set it in the sink, and gently ran cold water over the lid with the sprayer hose. In probably 30 seconds there was a loud, brief "HISSS" and then the yellow indicator retreated, indicating that the pot was de-pressurized. OK, I admit the "HISSS" really made me jump. Just to be sure, I turned the valve to the "release steam" position and nothing came out (Note: I don't think I would ever use the "release steam" position while anything was cooking. It would make me too nervous. I will always leave the valve on the "high pressure" position and only use the "release steam" position after the cold-water depressurization to double-check). I felt a lot better now that all the "SHHHH" and "HISSSS" was done and took the pot out of the sink and opened the lid. I peered doubtfully inside the pot. No way. This risotto looks perfect and I didn't even stir it! I tossed in some raw shrimp and frozen peas to cook in the remaining heat (which worked very well as the remaining heat is quite high), then added my cheese and dinner was ready. In my opinion all the veggies tasted and looked a lot brighter than they would have if cooked in a slow-cooker. This might mean retiring our slow-cooker. Clean-up was easy. Just wash out with warm water and mild detergent. Take out the gasket and the valve (you have to turn it to the release position first) to rinse thoroughly, then let everything dry separately before re-assembling. Apparently you should oil the gasket lightly to prolong its life but I was too lazy. I will probably oil it every few times I use it. I have got to try indian curries in this thing.
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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars expensive not always best, January 30, 2003
By 
Chris Gant "Clear sail" (Carson City, NV United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fagor Splendid 6-Quart Pressure Cooker (Kitchen)
I have owned different brands and have used many more in my lifes cooking. If you have ever let a pressure cooker go dry you will know the joy of soaking and scraping. My inexpensive fagor spendid has given me no greif over the years. I buy them for the perfect wedding gift because we are all in a hurry these days and you can still produce a healthy and hearty meal in a short time. Enjoy!
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63 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So happy to have found it, July 3, 2006
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fagor Splendid 6-Quart Pressure Cooker (Kitchen)
I lost 100 pounds while living in Madrid last year. They use this brand and size, even the 4 quart, alot. I'll explain one recipe quickly as so many Americans are leery of using it. It is so quick and easy to use. My husband is a very happy man with these meals too. It is like a wonderful multi layer flavored stew in just 20 minutes. Briefly: put in 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs & a little olive oil, and brown. Then just leave heat on high or med. and start tossing in your cut up veggies!!! Whatever you like! For chicken, I'll usually clean and chop 2 carrots, 1 small onion, 1/4 to 1/3 cabbage, 2 celery stalks, little less than a teaspoon of garlic from those jars that have the garlic already mushed up, salt (not to much cuz can add more at end), dash of pepper, 1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes (just to be even quicker), 1/2 to 1 cup of chick stock depending on how "soupy" I want it - which of course can be cooked down (but you MUST have the liquid THIS IS THE KEY); then stir to mix well. THEN put the lid on correctly (easy to do), put dail to "closed lid" sign, put back up on high and wait for little yellow indicator to "pop up" - THEN turn heat to low and set your timer for 20 minutes. (I have an electric stove). It will hiss some but that is normal - remember, healthy, nutritious meal all while using minimal electricity and with these HOT California days it is the best. It is an absolute delight. It is quicker to cook than go out for a meal not to mention how money is to be saved. You could use lower grades of beef too because the pressure is so fabulous. When the timer goes off, turn off stove, and let set to meld flavors even more and when yellow indicator goes down then you can open lid (I like this method cuz it is so tasty). For even better presentation of your dish, when timer goes off just turn dail to the "steam releasing" picture, wait for yellow indicator to go back down and then open. You will see the difference when you try it both methods. This is not the pressure cooker that we in the USA have heard about around WWII; this is the most famous, widely used modern pressure cooker of Spain. Slender healthy women AND definately men too use it on a daily basis in Spain!!!! This pressure cooker has become a staple in my home. Less electricty which is great for my pocket book and the environment, and healthy nutritious meals that retain all the vitamins...well,it's a good thing. (Although, I don't think I have ever seen Martha use a pressure cooker!) Gotta go! Dinner is ready!!!!! Tonight is beef precut into cute little cubes! Yum! :)
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars never be afraid of pressure cooking again!, January 23, 2005
By 
This review is from: Fagor Splendid 6-Quart Pressure Cooker (Kitchen)
I love my Fagor pressure cooker. All the controls are contained within the handle - no more jiggling, noisy regulators! It is so safe and easy - all the fears I had of traditional pressure cookers are gone. Best of all, I can cook roasts, chicken, stews - generally my crock pot items - after coming home from work instead of worrying about leaving a crock pot on all day. The food comes out as tender as if I cooked it overnight. If you're serious about buying a good pressure cooker, make this one your investment. With it's heavy-duty stainless steel construction and triple safety system (any excess steam is allowed to escape instead of building up and redecorating your kitchen), it's a smart and safe decision.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confusing instructions, but overall a great product. Worth the money., March 1, 2006
By 
Derek Hofmann (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fagor Splendid 6-Quart Pressure Cooker (Kitchen)
The book isn't very clear on how to tell when the cooker is at full pressure. It basically says when you see steam, then it's at pressure, but that isn't the case. You have to wait until the steam shoots out (not just wisps out) and makes a loud "shh" noise.

My error resulted in my first recipe burning. But now I know how to use it, and so my second attempt succeeded beyond my expectations. The refried beans I tried were tastier than any I had ever had before! Because you aren't cooking the ingredients as long, they retain more of their flavor and vitamins than if you cook them in a crock pot or a regular pan.

For the less-than-perfect documentation, I'm deducting one star. Overall, I'm very pleased with this purchase.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I should have bought this long ago, August 20, 2003
By 
"zybermaniac" (San Diego, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fagor Splendid 6-Quart Pressure Cooker (Kitchen)
I bought this cooker last year. My wife and I cooked Thai curry many times and each time took us over an hour. Because we have to simmer with med heat until the coconut milk starts to break out with oil. This baby saves us time and energy. A pot of curry (for 4-5 serving) now took us only 15 mins. Great with stew also. We experimented with beef and ribs for BBQ (before grilling) on the 4th and it was very satisfying. Only hassle is that I hate to hand wash it afterward. But I guess same goes for any pressure cookers. Highly recommend it.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice pressure cooker, October 15, 2003
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fagor Splendid 6-Quart Pressure Cooker (Kitchen)
This cooker is a good buy for the cost and is well made. I like that it is stainless steel with the aluminum bottom to evenly heat. I like the safety features and it was easy to use. My first beef roast, carrots and potatoes that I made was great. And in much less time than other methods.
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