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Size: 5-qt|Change
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Showing 1-10 of 210 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 250 reviews
on May 27, 2012
OK - maybe not "life altering," but "diet altering," for sure. I purchased a Kuhn Rikon 3916 Duromatic Top Pressure Cooker, 5-Quart, on December 31, 2011, and have intended to write a review of the thing since the 2nd week that I owned it; the additional experience I've had with this pressure cooker (PC) since then has only reinforced the positive nature of my initial impressions.

Prior to my purchase, I'd developed a fairly long-standing taste for rice and bean dishes of different sorts, and always seemed to be opening [BPA-lined, it turns out] cans of heavily salted, precooked beans. As for the rice, I always seemed to be tearing open boxes of the rapid-cooking stove-top variety (seasoning packet included). I'd also depend on frozen meals for ready-made suppers after a particularly long day. Sure, I tried to pick the healthier brands, but have you seen how much salt those things contain? Eventually, I decided to look into a rice cooker, or slow-cooker for one-pot meals, and accidentally came upon a pressure cooker website. Turns out they're not used solely for canning jams and jellies!

After enthusiastically researching the subject, I ordered this item, and was pleased with the speed and condition it was delivered in - very well and securely packaged. I immediately rinsed it off/out, and dove into the instruction manual in preparation for cooking a small roast with the usual vegetable suspects, to be cooked in two stages (roast first, then the vegetables). Please note that PCs hiss, spit, and whistle a little bit as small amounts of steam are released in order to maintain the correct pressure, but I didn't know that and thought something was wrong with the unit. I immediately called the manufacturer using the US-based "help" number provided in the manual, and had a very pleasant and humorous conversation with a Kuhn Rikon representative, who patiently answered all my questions. Thirty minutes or-so later, I was having a relatively decent meal.

I overcooked the roast; the vegetables were perfect.

Approximately 6 months later, and I can report that I've neither purchased nor consumed a frozen meal, or opened more than a few cans since I began using the KR Duromatic Top PC; on average, I probably cook with it at least 3 times/week, if not more so. It takes me longer to chop up a cabbage than it does to cook it - same w/ various types of squash and root vegetables. I do still get carryout Thai food from time to time - don't get me wrong - but for quick meals/meal components comprised of various vegetables and/or legumes, this pot cannot be beat in terms of ease-of-use, speed, and convenience, and I'm probably eating healthier. More often than not, I'll cook-up enough of everything for several meals; I will say that folks at work have been impressed with the quality of my leftovers.

I have a ceramic-topped electric range, and though it takes a little experimentation to find the proper temperature settings and control response times, I can comfortably walk away from the kitchen once I've reached pressure, though I do set a loud timer and am always within hearing of the stove-top. So far, the seals and everything else are holding up fine, and about the only maintenance I've had to perform to date has been regular washing, the occasional oiling of the main gasket, and a light scrubbing on the inside of the pot with a steel-safe cleaner to remove mineral deposits. The item itself seems just as solidly constructed as the day I received it, and I view it as one of my better purchases; in fact, I'm sometimes a little embarrassed at how enthusiastically I recommend this product and method of cooking to my friends, family, and colleagues.

A couple of quick words of advice to any first-time PC users, if I might humbly offer them: since you're usually dealing w/ short cooking times, especially for vegetables, it's far better to err on the side of cooking something for too short a time rather than too long, and it helps to take notes once you've discovered the right times/settings. Also, there are lots of helpful websites out there offering preparation guidelines - just execute a search for "pressure cooker timing" and you'll be led to some quality resources. I'll sometime cross-check the food I'm preparing from one site to another, then start with the shortest cooking time listed, if there's any variation. Finally, I find that the 5-quart size is perfectly fine for a good meal for 2-3 people, or for several meals for one person. It seems that it's far easier (and safer) to cook a small amount in a large pressure cooker than to cook a large amount in a small one, so it's best to "size up" rather than to purchase one that's too small.

Alright - enough. I apologize for the interminable blathering on my part, but as I mention above, my enthusiasm for this PC and the method of cooking in general sometimes makes me carry on a bit.

Bottom line: for what it's worth coming from me, I wholeheartedly recommend the Kuhn Rikon 3916 Duromatic Top Pressure Cooker, 5-Quart size.

12/24/2014 Update: Still haven't purchased a frozen meal since acquiring this item several years ago. I continue to use it 1-3 times/week, and everything's holding up fine, including the gasket (knock wood). HIGHLY recommended, durable, extremely useful product.
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on June 24, 2008
WOW! have been using our Kuhn Rikon for about 5 years & can't imagine life without being able to make bean dishes anytime I want after work. Goodbye soaking, goodbye planning ahead. Hello spontaneous & speedy black-eyed peas, split pea soup & hummous from scratch.

Had been scared of pressure cookers. Lived in France in high school & remember ours exploding every couple of months - spewing soup everywhere. Heard they'd "modernized" the cookers & then researched the heck out of all the ones on the market. Took the leap w/ this one because of the redundant safety features. Was terrified to try it the first time, but have never ever ever had it explode - even when I've forgotten to turn it down after it got up to pressure (thanks to the automatic safety pressure-release).

And when you first taste how deeply spices penetrate curry dishes, soups and beans -- you'll be hooked. Not one ounce of regret for spending the extra $$ for this ultra-safe "BMW-quality" cooker.
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on December 1, 2010
So, I've never used a pressure cooker (PC) and was a bit afraid. I read about the electric PC's and decided the stovetop model was better because 1) gas is cheaper than electricity 2) no circuit board to break one week out of warranty and 3) I can brown meats in this monster before sealing the top. This is the Rolls Royce of pressure cookers from everything I read so I splurged and spent the money. Over 10+ years, what does $80 mean in all honesty?

Regarding the electric PC's. I read all the reviews and continually found people complaining about sealing problems, faulty buttons, the machine switching from pressure to warming mode, etc. Kuhn Ricon (KR) models have consistently received the most positive reviews, which sealed my decision. I've got enough electric appliances anyway.

As for safety, there is no way this thing is going to blow up unless you are clueless and don't follow simple instructions. If the pressure builds up too much, it automatically releases some steam through the spring-valve, the top of the line technology for PC's. Further, if it gets REALLY high, the rubber gasket is designed to bow outward and allow steam to escape through the side of the lid. In all, KR has five (5) safety features to protect you. Plus, you can't open it when even the slightest pressure remains. I tried to open it early, and no matter how hard I turned the lid, it wouldn't budge. This made me feel safe.

I prepared my first meal last night, lamb, and it turned out perfectly in just 12 minutes. Of course, you have to include 1) prep time (which is true no matter what method you use to cook a meal); 2) time to get to 15psi (about 5 minutes with 1/2 cup of water) and 3) natural depressurization (take it off the heat and let the pressure fall naturally) (this recipe warned against quick or even slow release) which took about 10 minutes. Still, given all this, it still was quicker than a slow cooker, range top, or regular oven (which I don't think would have worked for this recipe anyway).

Once I had the ingredients prepared, I browned the veal on the bottom with a little oil, dumped in the rest of the ingredients, added 1/2 cup of water (mandatory to build up the steam) and sealed it. Sealing is EASY, just line up the arrows, twist, and you're done. Now, I know KR makes models without the long handle and replaces it with two smaller grab handles at either side (model 3403 for example), but the long handle (it has a small grab handle on the other side) provides leverage to help in closing the top. This long handle also helps lift the cooker, as it is quite heavy (this is one solid sucker to be sure) and lifting it takes some effort, especially when full of food. It takes a little extra space to store, but believe me, it's well worth it. I've got plenty of pots with small grab handles, and they always get very hot and provide no leverage for lifting or closing.

This model (3916) has the Duromatic twist top vs. the pop-up type (model 3342 for example). I chose the 3916 because it is designed for people like me, who know nothing and want a little more flexibility in pressure release and pressure monitoring. It is super easy to see when one, then two, lines appear, even from across the kitchen. One line is 8 psi, two lines 15 psi, and if it goes over that, you can easily see that, too, and you know it's time to turn down the heat or remove it altogether until the two lines are exactly even with the top of the lid. Then, place it back. I'm sure with experience I'll learn exactly how low to turn my flame so I don't have to fuss with it. Until then, it's fun experimenting.

It is not Teflon, which is not a big deal to me because 1) Teflon always wears off and 2) it seems to flake when suffering at the higher pressure/temps a PC thrives on. So, it's probably better that it NOT be present. Read reviews of the electric PC's and you'll read a lot of "...the Teflon flakes and is worthless..." comments. Well, as stated, that's because at the temp/pressures achieved, Teflon seems not to hold up very well.

I just soaked mine overnight with soapy water and it cleaned up with a plain sponge.

The instruction manual is very good, with cooking times (general), how to use, and contact information. It has a cookbook with limited recipes, so if you're in this for the long haul, I would suggest Lorna Sass' books, or Miss Vickie's, although something about her irritates me (personal opinion obviously). But strangely, MV did recommend the KR or Fagor brands, so maybe I'll learn to love her.

In summary, this is a quality PC that is easy to use, that you can start cooking/browning/sautéing in (can't do that with an electric model, no matter which brand you get), and that is so safe NASA could take a lesson from KR.

Is it more expensive? Yes, it is. Is my health and safety worth the extra cost? Yes, they are. When you get right down to it, KR makes the best PC in the world (not me speaking, that's the NY Times, Miss Vickie, two independent websites, and even cookware stores I called to discuss different brands). If you want a quality piece of cookware, this is it. If you want to worry about buttons breaking, plugs to trip on, warming cycles when you should be in cooking mode, then spend $100 less and get the Cuisinart 600 series (lousy customer service from personal experience). The choice is yours.

Tonight it's lentil soup. Why not join me?
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on March 31, 2016
I had to return this as the lid did not fit correctly. the lid was slightly large for the pot. I own a Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker that I purchased over 10 years ago and this one was lighter and not the same durable quality. I was getting this as a gift for a relative and did not want to give a lower quality item than the one I have.
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on February 5, 2014
I bought this to serve as a rice and risotto cooker. Tonight I finally used it and was astounded to make rice in under 10 minutes (after washing the pot and gasket). Previously I had used an electric Aroma rice cooker to make rice. I only used 1 cup rice for this test. I dutifully boiled 1 1/2 cups water in the cooker before adding 1 cup parboiled white rice. Because of the cooker's small size it only took a minute or 2 to come up to pressure after the boiling point and introduction of rice. Six minutes later, it was done!

What astounded me even more was that none of the rice burned...That performance is hard to beat!

My stovetop's "simmer" still led to "high" pressure, so I used the steam valve to release steam to maintain 1 bar of pressure. So worth the effort of monitoring!

Since half of our rice is to supplement our dog's diet, it is well worth it to make this small amount of rice so effortlessly!

I am very happy with Kuhn Rikon, their quality is evident. So much for "tests" (ATK) that only test a new unit and don't factor in long-term reliability! K-R has a proven track record.

P.S. I was actually amazed by the interior size of this "small" pressure cooker. It could have handled much more than 1 cup of rice plus water. I am so happy with my "small" p.c. purchases. They come up to pressure so fast, that I only need be concerned with cooking time.
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on March 7, 2017
I bought this under the recommendation of a popular foodie personality and website. When I pressure cook, I am often searing foods first. Hence, a thick, solid and well conductive bottom is very important to me. Turns out this pot's thick plate on the bottom does not extend to the edges, which creates some big problems when searing. Even if my food is not touching the edges, the little bits of meat and oil will quickly burn to the edges. I have attached some pictures. You will see that the plate misses about .25-.5 inches to the edge. I have a standard gas range with a typical burner size. For pot of this size, it does have odd dimensions, very tall and narrow base. One might conclude I am using too big a burner, however, it should be noted that I have pots which have a much smaller base and they do not get this scorching issue when I sear food.

With regards to the pressure features, this pot is a great upgrade from my older indian pot. The steam release is consistent and relativity silent... a benefit of a spring loaded pressure cooker over the old school bobble top ones.

Since the edges easily burn on this pot due to the thin edge and wall, I am knocking off 3 stars. Super disappointed and baffled that after spending this kind of money that they cheaped out on this. I am going to return this product and look for another cooker with a fully covered base.
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on November 1, 2016
Love my pressure cooker! It has changed my life nd the way my family eats. BUT it just stopped working this month. One month shy of its year anniversary and it was EXPENSIVE. I will report back after I get in touch with the company and see how they reply. Hopefully it will be up and running again soon. I am a mess without it. Dinners have been lacking.
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on April 20, 2013
Previously I never considered owning a pressure cooker, based on the horror stories I had always heard with respect to the safety concerns. However, a co-worker shared the wonderful benefits of the pressure cooker that he and his wife purchased at Christmas. So, I researched pressure cookers and pressure cooking, and was willing to make the investment, as my safety concerns were completely mitigated. Now, for the product itself. It is highly impressive. I expected it to be more complicated to use. It turns out it is very easy to use and the finished products, in far less time with the quality that I require were easily produced. I am learning to love it.
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on December 12, 2013
I was skeptical because it was expensive and there was a 15% restocking fee if I had to return it. But it's worked great out great so far and I've used it about five times since I got it last month. It's very quiet and well-built and easy to clean. I might have to get another one in a different size ;) This size is good for a two person home. I can make about three quarts of chicken stock, about four or five of beef -- and that was my primary reason for buying it was to make bone broth without cooking it for 24 hours. I made one beef stew dish and the meat pieces came out dry but that's more the recipe than a fault of the cooker. Definitely takes less time and energy than a slow cooker for soup.
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on May 28, 2013
Wonderful pressure cooker. Great looking, easy to clean, great design / engineering. We have both 7 and 5 Q models - it you only get one, 7 Q is more versatile. Cooking in this pressure cooker is great - food comes out delicious and very fast (get a digital timer). Kuhn even has a free app (apple store) that has a built-in timer and cooking times for most basic foods.
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