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Size: 6-Quart|Change
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on September 25, 2007
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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on September 29, 2009
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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on June 14, 2005
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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on November 26, 2004
This is an excellent pressure cooker at an excellent price. I do feel they should have included a trivet and metal plate. All of the accessories are extra.

I ordered the canning rack which holds 4 pints. I don't believe it would be wise to try to can quarts in this one, but the directions were not clear. In fact, I would have given this a much higher rating if they were, but I had trouble figuring out how to use it...and one does want to follow directions where a pressure cooker is concerned. They kept referring to to pressures, hi and low. I finally realized the 6 qt model has both but not the 10 and the directions were applicable to each model. The 10 quart pressures at 15 lbs....FAST!

I once had Fagor 6 qt model and the metal was heavier than this one. However, the upside is that it is easier to lift up to pour things from it which is a plus if you're elderly as I am.

I really like they way this cooks; fast, easy to clean. It's beautifully designed pan.

There are numerous uses for non-pressure cooking too. Big enough for a stock pot, cooking spagetting for a crowd, etc etc.

I haven't canned with it. However, I plan on making a big pot of soup and canning what's left.

One reviewer mentioned that you can't fill it over 2/3 full. That is true of ANY pressure cooker. So if you are debating between a 6 quart or a 10 quart, go for the 10 quart.

There are additional accessories for this..canning rack, bucket insert (for spaghetti, etc.) I recommend getting the lid for non-pressured food and keep the pressure lid for pressure.

I don't think you will be disappointed with this product.

I've had this for 7 years after writing the above review. I've canned lots of pints of soup, tuna, etc. and none have ever spoiled.

If you can't afford a lot of pans, this one is a must have.
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on April 28, 2006
If you intend to use this cooker every Thanksgiving holiday or something it'll suffice, but it is not worthy of regular usage. It a has flaw that will eventually cause it to fail and don't expect satisfaction from the warranty.

The purple plastic piece, that locks the handle on, sits on the rim of the pot and is directly exposed to the high heat and pressure. Over several years of moderate usage--Once every week or two for about 15 minutes under pressure at the lowest possible heat to maintain pressure--this piece melted and deformed. Finally the unit, no longer able hold pressure, ceased to function.

Though the warranty says "This pressure cooker is guaranteed to free from defects in material" I was very frustrated in dealing with this company in seeking redress. I suppose they do not have a real warranty, it seems to be just a sales hook. The person I dealt with was idiotic. This company showed to me that they are not interested in taking care of their customers or standing behind their products.
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on June 14, 2005
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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on June 2, 2006
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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on June 30, 2005
I have wanted a pressure cooker for some time, and recently received this one as a gift. I have used it a number of times since getting it, and it is becoming my favorite cooking utensil. Since getting it, I have cooked:

- beans (less than 25 minutes to perfect texture with NO presoaking)

- chicken (25 minutes to fall-of-the bone tenderness)

- roast (the most tender, juicy and best tasting my family has eaten)

A 10-quart cooker may be somewhat larger than many people think they need. I love the large size because I can cook for family or for company and don't have to worry about not having enough room. This is a simple to use, easy to clean way to have delicious food for a family in a hurry. From taking a chiken out of the refrigerator to dinner on the table is often less than 40 minutes. While this is also true of other pressure cookers, the Fagor Splendid cooker has easy to use locking mechanisms, and it's simple design makes it reliable and easy to clean.

A couple of suggestions: Read the instructions. While this cooker is simple to use and clean, the instructions contain a number of very useful hints. Had I read the instructions beforehand, my first dish would have been less of a hassle than it was. Second, buy accessories. This pot is just a pot - no trivet, no basket, no spoons, nothing else. To do serious pressure cooking, you need some of these other utensils.

A final comment: you won't get better for this price. I recommend this for any serious cook who has limited time.
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on February 21, 2006
This is the first Fagor product I've purchased and am exceedingly pleased with the quality. I own a few pieces of Le Creuset cookware and have been spoiled by their super-high quality. This Fagor product definitely matches up. The construction is flawless, the design intelligent and easy to use, and the appearance beautiful.

I was debating whether to trust my instincts and buy the 4-qt. model, or to buy the 6- or 8-qt. model that seem much more popular. I intend to use the cooker primarily for quickly cooking whole grains, such as wild rice, for my girlfriend and I after work when we want to eat healthy, high fiber food but don't have the patience to wait an hour for normal cooking time. I was leaning toward the 4-qt. model because it costs less than the larger models and also cooks faster, because the smaller internal volume can be brought up to cooking pressure more quickly than a larger pot.

I purchased the 4-qt. model and it seems to be the perfect size for two person complete meals, and also large enough to cook a side dish like rice for 4 or 6 people. I couldn't be happier with my purchase!
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on January 30, 2003
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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