Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Love

Some people love German cars, but my love goes to German pressure cookers. My new tool arrived on my doorstep a couple of days ago, and the more I use it, the more I lurve it.

WMF pressure cookers kick my little old T-Fal's butt. Why?
  • No jiggle top. The T-Fal's jiggle top made a loud, annoying "psst-psst-psst" noise like a rotary water sprinkler on steriods. Subsequently, it also lost more liquid during cooking, something that was really annoying when cooking items, like stew meat, that needed longer than 30 minutes to cook because I'd have to drop the pressure and add more stock. My WMF pressure cooker is mostly silent and barely loses any liquid. A few hisses of stem burp out when the unit is almost up to pressure, but other than that, I don't have to worry about waking a sleeping boy up when I get the urge to make dinner at 7 AM on a Saturday morning.
  • Thick, even cooking surface. My T-Fal was so thin that simple tasks like sauteing onions and browning meat were dreadful due to sticking issues. Since my normal pots and pans are hearty All-Clads and cast iron skillets, I'd have to recalibrate my cooking style (lower the heat, more frequent stirring). No recalibration is necessary when I cook with the WMF.
  • Removeable lid handle. The WMF's removeable handle makes it really easy to clean the lid. The contact surfaces between the lid and the handle are all metal, too, so it is robust.
  • Quick pressure release. Instead of running the WMF pressure cooker under cold water (what a waste of water), all I have to do to quickly release the pressures is to slide a button back. For me, this is also a plus because I aim the steam that comes out at my backsplash tiles and wipe them up. Those backsplash tiles get covered in all sorts of greasy junk, and not having to use any elbow grease or abrasives to clean it up is a plus.
  • Pressure canning. I can use the WMF as a pressure canner!
I opted for an 8.5-quart (about 8-liter) model because it's bigger than my 6-liter T-Fal and I can still cook small amounts in it if I choose to do so. Sheepishly, I have to confess that I have the urge to add a 6.5-quart WMF to my set, though. What's stopping me is the big downfall of the WMF pressure cooker: its price. Quality like this doesn't come cheap. It was 5 times more expensive than a T-Fal.

So far this morning, I've made brown rice (25 minutes!) and a potato and cauliflower curry (4 minutes!) using my beloved WFM. Next up today are a dal soup with spinach and perhaps a batch of risotto. Upcoming experiments will be chicken broth, cheesecake, and pot roast.

The T-Fal (marketed under the brand name Mirro now) served me well. For soups and steamed vegetables, it was perfect. Artichokes in 7 minutes? You got it! Rather than retire it completely, I'm going to teach a few of my friends the basics of pressure cooking and let them borrow it for a spell. I'll be a traveling, one woman pressure cooker preacher. Hallelujah!


    1. Your cooking skill always amazes me. I have no interest in cooking. I'm tried to like it, but I just don't. In my book, a grilled cheese is cooking.

      Yes, I realize how sad this is. :)

    2. I've never used one except for canning and mine is monstrously huge and frightening. It looks like a tidy size, too. I can't wait to see more recipes coming out of yours. Maybe I'll have to look into this more. (can you control the temp?)

    3. so this just sits on the stove and is heated by the stove itself? I always thought pressure cookers were independant appliances like a crockpot or rice cooker..

      another reason for you to come visit - you can teach me the joys of pressure cooking...

    4. Rani, I can control the temperature to an extent. There are indicator rings that become visible depending on the internal pressure. I can determine if my pressure cooker is set on HI or LOW, but the feedback is me tweaking the flame on my range.

      Becky, there are electric pressure cookers, but mine is an old fashioned stove top model. I find them more versatile than an electric one.

    5. I love pressure cookers. So good for food in a hurry!

    6. A 4-minute anything that isn't a par-boiled egg or cup of tea is impressive, but a 4 minute curry...WOW!



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