This stovetop pressure cooker is one of the best that I’ve used. The Kuhn Rikon pressure cookers are made under the Duromatic brand, so if you see that name pop up, it’s still a Kuhn Rikon. The cooker is made in Switzerland, which is known for its extremely high-quality designs, and it is exceptionally safe for a stovetop cooker. I’ve compiled all my thoughts on the product below, including what I love best about the cooker, and what could be improved.
What are the basics of the Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker?
The Kuhn Rikon 6-quart is a 7-pound pressure cooker made from both stainless steel and aluminum. The grade quality is 18/10, which means it’s extremely high-quality and less than .75% nickel. Less nickel is good, resulting in less chipping or fading. For future reference, 18/10 is also sometimes labeled as Type 430.
You monitor the pressure using the valve, which rises to the first red ring when it hits 8 PSI, and then when it hits the second, you know the cooker has reached 15 PSI. This is a very convenient, easy way to tell what pressure the cooker is at, and you just make adjustments to the burner to make sure it stays where you want it.
In addition to the 6-quart version, the Kuhn Rikon comes in a 5-quart, 7-quart, and 8-quart size. A lot of cooker brands don’t offer so many options, so whether you’re cooking regularly for two or six, you have choices.
What do I really love about the Kuhn Rikon?
1) The construction
The best thing about the Kuhn Rikon is its awesome construction. I mentioned above that this cooker is made from both stainless steel and aluminum, but there’s definitely more to the story. The cooker has a “sandwich” design, which means the inside of the pot itself and the bottom are made from stainless steel, with a layer of ¼-inch thick aluminum in between. Food only comes in contact with stainless steel, not the aluminum, so you don’t have to worry about contamination. This sandwich design results in exceptionally quick, even heating on every type of stovetop, including ceramic and magnetic induction. Everything from sautéing to getting to pressure is faster, so compared to other cooking methods like baking or steaming, the cooking time on recipes can be up to 70% faster!
2) The safety features
The second feature that makes the Kuhn Rikon such a good stovetop pressure cooker is its attention to safety. Stovetop cookers are inherently more dangerous than electric pressure cookers, so safety is especially important. This cooker has a spring-loaded, quiet safety valve with a pin that lets you know how much pressure is inside the cooker at all times, so you always know when the cooker is at pressure or getting there. The other great safety feature is the automatic locking lid, which prevents the lid from opening when the cooker is pressurized. If you have kids with curious hands who want to check on how their dinner is coming along, they won’t be able to open the cooker and hurt themselves. It also protects you from accidentally opening the lid too soon when you’re doing a quick-release.
Another little detail I really like is the interior fill line in the cooker. With pressure cookers, it’s best to only fill the pot ⅔ of the way, or even ½ of the way for extra-foamy foods like pasta, rice, and oatmeal. The fact that you don’t have to guess about how full the cooker is prevents you from overfilling the pot and risking overflow or clogs. Like I said, it’s a small thing, but it really comes in handy.
What am I not so crazy about?
1) The handles
For all its safety features, one of the weaknesses on the Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker has to do with just that. The handles on the lid of the cooker are pretty small, so when you’re opening the cooker, it’s easy to accidentally burn yourself. You definitely need to wear oven mitts. However, this isn’t unusual for pressure cookers, and I personally believe you should just always wear oven mitts when working around extremely-hot surfaces and appliances.
2) The price
The main drawback to the Kuhn Rikon is the price. For a stovetop pressure cooker, it isn’t cheap. It’s around $200, give or take where you’re buying it from. With that kind of price tag, you could get an electric pressure cooker, which many people prefer over all stove top cookers. I like stove top cookers, because they’re faster than electric cookers thanks to that 15 PSI, but I can definitely see that the price could scare a lot of people away.
How easy is the Kuhn Rikon to clean?
Cleaning the Kuhn Rikon Duromatic is reasonably simple. As with all stovetop cookers, you need to take out the gasket and clean the lid thoroughly. The gasket, which tends to absorb most of the cooking smells, should also be cleaned and dried well. The gasket will eventually need to be replaced, but taking the time to clean it well each time extends its life. The bottom of the stovetop cooker is actually dishwasher-safe, but thanks to the stainless-steel construction, it wipes down easily and doesn’t absorb oils or smells like an aluminum base would. I’ve found it’s quicker to just wash the whole thing by hand.
Also, be sure to use a soft sponge or cloth, and not one with an abrasive surface, which will scratch the steel. If there’s a really bad stain or scratch on it, you can use a cleaner or polisher especially designed for stainless steel. There are a lot on the market with varying results – I like to go with a natural product if I have to buy one from a store. For DIY cleansers, you can brighten dull and water-stained stainless steel with vinegar and oil, and remove scratches with a whitening toothpaste or fine-grit sandpaper. Just be sure to rub with the metal grain, or you’ll just scratch up your pressure cooker even more.
My final thoughts
I see the Kuhn Rikon as a really good pressure cooker if you’ve been using a stove top cooker for a while, and want an upgrade. Because of the price, those unfamiliar or not confident with a pressure cooker might be better off spending that money on a more hands-off electric cooker, or cheaper stove top cooker to get the hang of things. Because I love speed and high pressure, the Kuhn Rikon’s superior stainless-steel + aluminum sandwich design and 15 PSI are perfect because of the super even heating and fast cooking.
A cooker this powerful needs to be safe, so I’m also appreciative of safety features like the automatic locking lid and easy-to-identify spring-loaded valve that lets me know when the cooker is at pressure. Duromatic pressure cookers actually have at least five safety features installed in every pressure cooker, but those two were worth highlighting. I do wish that the handles were a big larger – they’re small compared to other stovetop cookers – but with oven mitts, it’s not a big enough problem for me to dissuade you from the Kuhn Rikon. Whether you want the Kuhn Rikon cooker in a 5, 6, 7, or 8-quart size, you’re sure to be pleased!