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Tips on buying the best
What to Look for in a Pressure Cooker

Is it a fast pressure cooker?

Does it cook at 15 pounds (psi) pressure?

Made from stainless steel?

This page explains what to look for when comparing pressure cookers in order to determine if the pressure cooker is a good one.  Learn why buying a quality pressure cooker is the best deal.

eating pressure cooker food in kitchen

A quick and easy pressure-cooked meal using a Fagor Duo, click for pricing.

Here’s what we cover on this page:

Always Check the Pressure of the Pressure Cooker.  Is it 15 pounds (psi)?

Fagor Duo Pressure Cooker
There is no faster
pressure cooker
than this one.

Click for pricing

As you may have guessed from the name “pressure cooker,” the amount of pressure is important for the quick cooking of food in a pressure cooker.  The higher the pressure, the shorter the cooking time.  The Fagor Duo pressure cooker operates at 15 pounds (psi) pressure on its High pressure setting (it also has a low pressure setting for cooking certain foods such as spinach).

Pressure cookers that cook at less than 15 pounds (psi) pressure do the following:

Fagor Duo pressure cooker steamer basket

The 6 liter Fagor Duo's steamer basket and trivet, used for pressure steaming vegetables,  click for pricing.

The Fagor Duo and Fagor Futuro, along with Kuhn Rikon and Magefesa's Super Fast models which we also sell, are the highest-pressure pressure cookers available.  There are no faster cooking pressure cookers on the market.

When shopping for a pressure cooker, be aware that many pressure cookers (such as T-Fal and WMF) operate at lower pressures such as 12 psi, 11 psi, 10 psi or even lower.  The pressure of Lagostina's single-pressure pressure cookers is only 8 psi!  This is done to decrease the cost of those pressure cookers as thinner metal is used in their construction.  These lower pressures will significantly increase cooking time.  Many low cost pressure cookers do not list their operating pressure so are likely to be very low.

The table below shows how cooking temperature increases with pressure.

pressure gauge pressure cooker

What’s the pressure?
Look for 15 pounds (psi).

Pressure Inside
The Pressure Cooker
Cooking Temperature
0 pounds (psi)100ºC (212ºF)
5 pounds (psi)104ºC (220ºF)
10 pounds (psi)113ºC (235ºF)
15 pounds (psi)121ºC (250ºF)

Cooking temperatures at different pressures:
the higher the pressure, the shorter the cooking time.

    learn more about how pressure affects cooking speed

Is the Pressure Cooker Made From Stainless Steel or Cheap Aluminum?

The Fagor Duo is constructed with a ferromagnetic bottom

Fagor Duo Stainless Steel Construction

A layer of aluminium is sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel forming a tri-ply encapsulated base.  This ensures excellent heat conductivity for rapid, even cooking.  The bottom stainless steel layer is magnetic stainless steel so the Fagor Duo can be used with all stove types including new induction stoves.

The European-designed Fagor Duo new generation pressure cooker is constructed of heavy gauge, polished 18/10 stainless steel.  Stainless steel is considered the best and safest material for cookware.  It is neutral and easy to clean.

Unlike low cost all aluminum pressure cookers, stainless steel pressure cookers will not stain, will not leach aluminum into your food while cooking acidic foods such as tomatoes, and are considerably stronger than aluminum types.

Pressure cookers constructed from all aluminum do not heat foods evenly, which can result in burned spaghetti sauces, chilli, soups and stews.  The Fagor Duo has a tri-ply base for even heat distribution and energy efficiency (see the diagram).  The even heating that results from the tri-ply base minimizes burning or scorching of foods during cooking.

The Fagor Duo will work with electric, gas, halogen, ceramic and even induction element stoves.  Low cost pressure cookers typically have one-year warranties compared to Fagor's 10-year warranty.

    the Fagor Duo compared to mom's old pressure cooker

Is the Pressure Cooker Easy to Use?

The Fagor Duo has an easy closing cover—just line up the mark on the lid and the mark on the handle and turn the lid—simple.  Unlike competing models such as Lagostina or BRA, you don't have to have a PhD in physics or read 20 pages of the instruction manual in order to close the lid.  Other pressure cookers use complicated lid clamping mechanisms.

Due to the lid design on some competing models, a lip is bent into the top of the pot body which makes pouring the contents difficult.  The Fagor Duo has a smooth pot body that allows easy emptying of the pressure cooker and makes it easy to clean.

Fagor Duo pressure cooker lid

Fagor Duo's easy locking lid.

Fagor Duo pressure selector

Just turn the dial to set the pressure.  No noisy “jigger valve.”

Selecting and releasing the pressure is also simple with the Fagor Duo pressure cooker.  Just turn the pressure selector dial to choose the pressure level or to release the pressure.  There is no complicated or noisy old fashion “jiggler valve” system like on other models such as the Presto.

Is the Pressure Cooker Dual Pressure?

Having dual pressure (both a high and a low pressure setting) allows you to cook at maximum speed on the high pressure setting but still allows the cooking of delicate foods, such as some types of fish and seafood and some fruits and vegetables such as spinach, on the low setting.  The Fagor Duo's high pressure setting is 15 psi, and its low pressure setting is 8 psi.

Fagor Duo DUAL Pressure Selector

DUAL Pressure:  Just Turn the Dial
on the Fagor Duo

Going Clockwise:  Pressure Release Setting,
Low Pressure Setting, High Pressure Setting

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Fagor Duo Pressure Cooker

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Don’t Forget the Handles.  Allow Easy Handling?

Fagor Duo pressure cooker handle

Long ergonomic handles stay cool.

Ergonomically designed handles (including a helper handle) allow for easy handling.

A long handle on one side and a short helper handle on the other side make it easier to place and remove the lid on the pressure cooker.  The helper handle makes it easier and safer to move the pressure cooker when it is full.

Long handles tend to be cooler than shorter handles as the longer handle isn’t directly over the heat source.

Is the Pressure Cooker Easy to Clean?

Fagor Duo pressure regulator

Easy-to-use and clean pressure regulator.

The Fagor Duo pot is dishwasher safe.  The pressure selector dial is easily removed for cleaning:  just twist and lift.  Compare this with Magefesa pressure cookers, for example, where their pressure regulator contains a gasket that is easily lost down the sink drain.  The Fagor Duo's pressure regulator does not use a gasket.

Safety of Pressure Cookers

We've dedicated a whole page to this important topic:

    safety of pressure cookers

What About Electric Pressure Cookers?

In comparison to an electric pressure cooker, the Fagor Duo pressure cooker is very durable.  The Fagor Duo also cooks much faster than an electric pressure cooker as the Fagor Duo cooks at a higher pressure.  There are no heating elements to burn out, negative health effects from non-stick coatings to worry about or electronics to fail as with electric pressure cookers.  For additional information about the disadvantages of electric (or electronic) programmable pressure cookers, follow the link:

    electronic programmable pressure cookers:  disadvantages

Learn More About Pressure Cookers

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More Time for You

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New Generation
Stainless Steel Pressure Cookers

Quiet, easy-to-use, European-designed

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Home Pressure Cooker Cooking Times Pressure Cooker Recipes Pressure Cooker Recipe Books Pressure Cooker Energy Savings Pressure Cookers:  How They Work Pressure Cooker Safety Pressure Cooker Pricing