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Thread: Pressure Cooker, Chamber Vac, Sous Vide Unit....

  1. #1

    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    Pressure Cooker, Chamber Vac, Sous Vide Unit....

    Gentlepersons,

    Since MuchoBocho has given me the bug, I've been eyeing these pieces of equipment...wanted to see what you all think of them functionally, price-wise, etc. for a home user.

    http://www.amazon.com/Instant-Pot-IP...ressure+cooker

    http://www.amazon.com/VacMaster-Port...vacuum+chamber

    http://www.amazon.com/PolyScience-Pr...ords=sous+vide

    with the possible exception of the pressure cooker, these would be "later in the year" items...

    Also, wanted to see what you all think of the "Modernist Cuisine At Home" vs "Modernist Cuisine." I'm guessing the science is explained in much greater detail in the full set....?
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Justin0505's Avatar
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    Call me old fashioned, but I don't like electric pressure cookers... seem gimicky. You can do everything and more with a good burner top model. I don't know if you can do the rapid release method with the electric ones.

    Everyone I talked to / read about said that, if you can afford it go as large as you think you could possibly want b/c you will wish you had if you start off too small.

    I have this:
    http://www.amazon.com/Kuhn-Rikon-Dur...pd_sim_sbs_k_6
    and love it.
    "I gotta tell ya, this is pretty terrific. Ha hahaha, YEAH!" - Moe (w/ 2 knives). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVt4U...layer_embedded

  3. #3
    I'd second a larger Kuhn Rikon over an electric version, love mine Most don't get up to the 15.5 psi that is critical to good pressure cooking. If you you want a bit more control over normal stove top consider a separate induction hotplate that has better stability/reactivity.

    I've only skimmed modernist @ home but do have the full version and it really comes down to complexity, tools + if you have a cooking brigade/highly committed (read insane) home cook. That being said it is a thing of beauty and pretty useful even to an amateur. In the full version there are recipes that require rotary stator homogenisers, autoclaves, rotovaps and centrifuges. The home version you need a pressure cooker +sous vide rig.

    Starting out with Sous Vide I'd suggest the Pro model which is a real workhorse (make sure you get a surge protector) rather than the creative series and make do with zip bags for a few months while saving/hunting down a large reconditioned vac unit. It will teach you a lot about the method with a 2 variables; time and temperature. There are other issues with chamber sealers (vac burn, adverse compression effects) that can really complicate things for an new user - seen a lot of pro kitchens have problems when starting out.

  4. #4
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    I have a Fagor, purchased as a compromise. Not a good one. Get the Kuhn Rikon. The electrics are said to be unreliable, though I have no personal experience. I do have Modernist Cuisine at Home, which is whelming enough, but if you are a real convert you may eventually find it lacking. A good start, though, and much cheaper than Modernist Cuisine.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    Danny, Glad to hear you're going to start messing with some Modern cooking techniques.

    I agree with everybody's advise that the Kuhn Rikon is the way to go. As you know, I have the 5QT hotel style braiser but you can't go wrong with the 8 QT either. Justinís bang on about an electric PC. A impractically cumbered designed by somebody with good intentions Iím sure. cough cough

    I know you're gung ho to get cracking with Sous Vide, just remember that in everyday cooking, most of your VS cooking with be with proteins. Other than fish, meat-proteins need hours not minutes to cook, thus you don't need a fast or ultra-tenth-of-a-degree accurate SV cooker. I have both a PID controlled crock pot and the Poly Pro. Unquestionably the Poly has advantages, but for $700--$800, when Iím cooking pork, chicken, beef, lamb, duck, goat, jowls, bellyís.... I use the crock pot ($99 PID, $20 Crock). The Crock is quiet, well insulated, efficient and for long cooking times (>12hrs ), performs indistinguishably from the Poly.

    http://www.amazon.com/DorkFood-DSV-T...ords=sous+vide

    IMHO, your first purchase should be Chamber Vac. Remember, one of the best ways to cook vegetables is to put them in a vac bag with aromatics, salt and butter and then 3 min or so in the microwave-- perfect every time. Sure you could float them in a super hot water bath for 10 min. too, but why waste all that time and energy? You could get a clamp style, but then you won't be able to seal liquids... Youíll regret not getting the Chamber.

    Other than cooking, you'll use the Chamber for packaging cooked and uncooked foods. In some cases cooked foods can go back into the SV to re thermolize. You can make infusions with fruit. Wait till you try watermelon compressions with dark coconut rum--very dramatic results. More so than the Rosemary infused vodka we did. Make Pickles in 60 sec. Remember oxygen is the enemy and you just can't evacuate a bag using Archimedes principle and a zip lock. Aging meat. Sealing mason jars, creating marinades under pressure. Sealing water, then freezing for customized ice packs. Packaging stocks, soups and graves for freezer storage. Making meat moulds, professionally packaging sausages, fish... Facilitate marinading of chicken and pork.

    When I think of some others Iíll chime back in. ;-)

    http://www.qualitymatters.com/VacMas...qmar-vp112.htm

  6. #6
    Senior Member DSChief's Avatar
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    For home use, the "ALL AMERICAN" preassure canner/cooker is a good choice. I have the model 921


    It's pretty heavy, but good construction

  7. #7

    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin0505 View Post
    Call me old fashioned, but I don't like electric pressure cookers... seem gimicky. You can do everything and more with a good burner top model. I don't know if you can do the rapid release method with the electric ones.

    Everyone I talked to / read about said that, if you can afford it go as large as you think you could possibly want b/c you will wish you had if you start off too small.

    I have this:
    http://www.amazon.com/Kuhn-Rikon-Dur...pd_sim_sbs_k_6
    and love it.
    Well, I was thinking mainly about how nice it would be to use electric for this purpose, esp considering the RV. but throwing in an induction burner would address that in several ways. this looks like a keeper.

    Quote Originally Posted by 77kath View Post
    I have a Fagor, purchased as a compromise. Not a good one. Get the Kuhn Rikon. The electrics are said to be unreliable, though I have no personal experience. I do have Modernist Cuisine at Home, which is whelming enough, but if you are a real convert you may eventually find it lacking. A good start, though, and much cheaper than Modernist Cuisine.
    Good to know....thanks for letting me learn from your pain

    Quote Originally Posted by Mucho Bocho View Post
    Danny, Glad to hear you're going to start messing with some Modern cooking techniques.

    I agree with everybody's advise that the Kuhn Rikon is the way to go. As you know, I have the 5QT hotel style braiser but you can't go wrong with the 8 QT either. Justinís bang on about an electric PC. A impractically cumbered designed by somebody with good intentions Iím sure. cough cough

    I know you're gung ho to get cracking with Sous Vide, just remember that in everyday cooking, most of your VS cooking with be with proteins. Other than fish, meat-proteins need hours not minutes to cook, thus you don't need a fast or ultra-tenth-of-a-degree accurate SV cooker. I have both a PID controlled crock pot and the Poly Pro. Unquestionably the Poly has advantages, but for $700--$800, when Iím cooking pork, chicken, beef, lamb, duck, goat, jowls, bellyís.... I use the crock pot ($99 PID, $20 Crock). The Crock is quiet, well insulated, efficient and for long cooking times (>12hrs ), performs indistinguishably from the Poly.

    http://www.amazon.com/DorkFood-DSV-T...ords=sous+vide

    IMHO, your first purchase should be Chamber Vac. Remember, one of the best ways to cook vegetables is to put them in a vac bag with aromatics, salt and butter and then 3 min or so in the microwave-- perfect every time. Sure you could float them in a super hot water bath for 10 min. too, but why waste all that time and energy? You could get a clamp style, but then you won't be able to seal liquids... Youíll regret not getting the Chamber.

    Other than cooking, you'll use the Chamber for packaging cooked and uncooked foods. In some cases cooked foods can go back into the SV to re thermolize. You can make infusions with fruit. Wait till you try watermelon compressions with dark coconut rum--very dramatic results. More so than the Rosemary infused vodka we did. Make Pickles in 60 sec. Remember oxygen is the enemy and you just can't evacuate a bag using Archimedes principle and a zip lock. Aging meat. Sealing mason jars, creating marinades under pressure. Sealing water, then freezing for customized ice packs. Packaging stocks, soups and graves for freezer storage. Making meat moulds, professionally packaging sausages, fish... Facilitate marinading of chicken and pork.

    When I think of some others Iíll chime back in. ;-)

    http://www.qualitymatters.com/VacMas...qmar-vp112.htm
    I'm liking that DorkFood gizmo...and already have a crock pot. and zip-lock bags....that might get me by long enough to get my ends together....

    I found the vp-112 for 550...I'll have to wait a bit on that...just got a single-bevel a couple of weeks ago

    Can you substitute a vac chamber for some parts of canning? The Mrs. has recently expressed an interest in canning...this might lubricate the wallet....

    Quote Originally Posted by DSChief View Post
    For home use, the "ALL AMERICAN" preassure canner/cooker is a good choice. I have the model 921


    It's pretty heavy, but good construction
    Is the Kuhn-Rikon above not suitable for canning? Why would you consider this better than the KR?

    Thanks to everyone for the responses...exactly the kind of content I was looking for.
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mucho Bocho's Avatar
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    Danny, Yes you can use the Vac 112 for canning. Its not the same as room temperature preservation canning. But why would you want to do that to your food anyway. I use mine to seal jars up all the time. Ball wide mouth canning jars

  9. #9
    Senior Member DSChief's Avatar
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    "Is the Kuhn-Rikon above not suitable for canning? Why would you consider this better than the KR?"

    I said " a good choice" not better. Have no first hand experience W/ the KR.
    that being said, The 921 is, cheaper, higher capacity,heavier construction ie; thicker walls

  10. #10

    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSChief View Post
    "Is the Kuhn-Rikon above not suitable for canning? Why would you consider this better than the KR?"

    I said " a good choice" not better. Have no first hand experience W/ the KR.
    that being said, The 921 is, cheaper, higher capacity,heavier construction ie; thicker walls
    That's what I was looking for, thanks!
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

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