Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Power Pressure Cooker XL First Looks Review

Until a few weeks ago, I was using an old Presto pressure cooker, the type with the rocking weight on the vent. Then I decided to tighten the handle and broke the screw, leaving the unit without a handle. I almost bought another "ordinary" pressure cooker, but delayed, hoping for a sale. Meanwhile, the Power Pressure Cooker XL showed up in a couple of store ads (Kohl's and somewhere else), and it looked interesting.

Okay, so I got one at a good deal and tried it out. First impressions:

  1. The unit is well made, with a heavy pressure vessel, a high-quality non-stick coating on the inner pot, easy locking lid, and push-button controls.
  2. The cooker should really be called a multi-cooker, since it will work not only as a pressure cooker, but a rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer, and canner.
  3. The one-touch buttons, combined with the manual adjustment capabilities, make this cooker very flexible and easy to use.
  4. I made a batch of Swiss steak last night and it turned out very well.
  5. The six-quart capacity is large enough for good-sized roasts.
While the cooker itself is really great, the manual isn't quite as clear as it should be.
  1.  When the cooker starts, it warms up to cooking and pressure and then displays, for example, "P010" which means ten minutes of pressure cooking. The manual doesn't say this clearly.
  2. Owners of "traditional" pressure cookers should be told that there won't be any steam or hissing during pressure cooking with the Power Pressure Cooker XL, which apparently regulates the pressure so that no excess steam needs to be released. In other words, during pressure cooking, the  unit is almost completely silent. Put your ear next to it and you'll hear only a slight gurgling from the simmering boil inside.
  3. Turning the steam release valve to vent does indeed release the steam in quite a hiss, especially if you don't wait a few minutes for cool down.
  4. Cooking times should more clearly say that they don't include the up to 17 minute heating required to reach the necessary pressure and temperature.
This is a very nice unit. The control buttons give you good flexibility. When I first set the Swiss steak, the unit defaulted to a 10-minute cook, which I thought was too little, so I reset it to 30-minutes and got wonderfully tender meat.

I realize that a one-use test isn't very thorough, but I know some people are interested in a real owner's impression (those infomercials and box labels aren't always enough to know).

Bottom line: I am impressed with the quality and performance of the Power Pressure Cooker XL and based on early use, would recommend it. 

This is an unsolicited review based on a purchase at retail and with no money or goods given to me by anyone as an incentive.

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