The Quickie Review – Fissler Pressure Pan Set

DSCF9929Fissler Pressure Pan Review

I know, I am a day late with my post, but I somehow managed to give myself a stress fracture in my foot, and didn’t do much except rest yesterday. But better late than never, I say, so here you go!

After a couple years, I thought it might be time to do some quick reviews of my pressure cookers. These will be totally unscientific reviews, and are 100% my opinion.

Up this week, the Fissler Pressure Pan Set. If you are considering a second pressure cooker, this is a great choice. It would not be a good choice for your only pressure cooker, but as a second cooker it is excellent.

No, this isn’t great for making a big ol’ pot of chili or soup, but for recipes such as my Chicken Adobo, or Chipotle Orange Meatballs, or perhaps my Atlanta Brisket it really shines. The extra width and the “Novogrill” grilling surface that allows for excellent browning makes it perfect for wide flat cuts of meat or multiple items like meatballs because it allows you to keep them in one layer.

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A couple things to keep in mind when reading the description on the Fissler Website.

1. The description may lead you to believe that this has a nonstick surface. It is true that the surface sticks less than a normal flat surface, it is by no means nonstick, as in it does not have a nonstick coating. To me, this is a good thing. I try to avoid all nonstick cookware. The “Novogrill” surface does do a great job of browning meat, though. And the shallow depth prevents the meat from steaming rather than browning which seems to happen when trying to brown meat in a deeper pot.

2. The basket that comes with it is referred to on the website as a “frying basket”. Don’t let this lead you to believe that you can deep-fry under pressure in this! You can use this pan as a fryer, but not with the pressure lid. Doing so could be dangerous.

The basket also doubles as a steamer basket, which can be done under pressure. Since a conventional steamer doesn’t really fit in this pan, it can come in handy.

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It also comes with a glass lid, which lets you use it as a conventional skillet or steamer.

I occasionally use this as a skillet, since it is my widest and deepest fry pan. I use it for things such as home fries when my 10″ cast iron skillet isn’t quite deep enough.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the handle tends to get loose after using it for awhile. It can be easily tightened, it is just something to look out for since a loose handle can be dangerous.

All in all, I would say this is well worth the price. I use it at least as often as my 7 litre Kuhn Rikon, it’s just that each one excels at different things. And its usefulness as a non-pressure skillet, fryer and steamer is just a bonus.

So if you are considering a second pressure cooker, the Fissler would be well worth taking a look at.

This review is entirely my opinion and I am in no way compensated for this review.

Obligatory Lame Gift Ideas List

Wherein I bend to peer pressure and offer this handy holiday gift guide

Are you wondering what holiday gifts to give the pressure cooker fanatic in your life? Well, look no further. Here is my holiday gift guide that should satisfy any pressure cooker fan you may know.

1. A spare gasket (varies per pressure cooker)
Granted, it may not be the most romantic of gifts, but it beats seeing your loved one go through pressure cooker withdrawal while waiting for a new gasket to arrive. Many brands are available through Amazon, or you can try the manufacturer.

2. Thermapen

Not pressure cooker specific, but every cook needs a good reliable thermometer, and as far as I’m concerned there is none better than Super-fast Thermapen. Quick, accurate and durable. A bit spendy, but well worth it in my opinion. Sure, there are twenty-dollar thermometers, but in the long run, I would say Thermapen is a better deal. And besides all that it comes in a variety of colors, sometimes offering special editions such as a camo version. And it looks cool!

3. Pressure cooker cookbooks

I must admit that I don’t own any pressure cooker cookbooks, save for the small ones that came with my pressure cookers, but I am sure that most pressure cooker owners would appreciate a good cookbook. Not owning any myself, I can’t recommend any specific ones myself. Laura at hippressurecooking.com has some good book reviews to help with your decision.

And if you know someone who has been really, really good this year, there is always Modernist Cuisine at Home, not pressure cooker specific, but it contains many pressure cooker recipes and is beautiful to boot. The book that geeky cooks (such as myself) drool over. Mike at Dad Cooks Dinner has a thorough review (and yes, I am jealous that he has both this book and a Vitamix blender, both on my dream list).

4. Gift Box or Gift Card from Penzey’s Spices

As I always say, you can never have too many spices. I am fortunate enough to have a brick and mortar Penzey’s in my neighborhood, but if you don’t, they have an excellent mail-order service. I think that any pressure-cooker fan, or cook of any stripe would welcome a gift box or card from Penzey’s. I get a lot of my herbs and spices from them and feel their quality is top-notch.

5. A Second Pressure Cooker

Alright, this gift could be a bit pricey, but for anyone who loves their pressure cooker, what could be better than two pressure cookers? Besides my 7 liter Kuhn Rikon, I have since purchased a Fissler Vitaquick 4.2 quart pressure pan set. I wouldn’t want the Fissler as my only pressure cooker, but it does certain things better than the Kuhn Rikon, and is also probably my most versatile pan I own, period. It comes with not only the pressure lid, but a glass lid as well, making it also very useful as a large saute pan.

Disclaimer: I have no connection and get no compensation from any of the companies mentioned. I just think they are good quality products and would recommend them all (the ones that I own, at least. The ones that I don’t own are on my wish list, hint hint.)

Happy Holidays from Pressure Cooker Convert!

Oktoberfest, Pressure Cooker Style

‘Twas the last day of Oktoberfest and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even Klaus.
We were all nestled all snug in our beds, while spaetzle and bratwurst danced in our heads.
In the morning, well rested, we’ll head out of here, down to the ‘garten, for sausage and bier!

Ok, perhaps I’m no Longfellow, but that piece of poorly-executed prose was just meant as an introduction to my Oktoberfest dinner last weekend (using the pressure cooker, of course).

After reading that last Sunday was the last day of Oktoberfest in Germany (in Germany, Oktoberfest actually takes place in September), I had a sudden craving for sausage and sauerkraut. So I headed for Whole Foods, where I knew that while not exactly healthy, I could at least get sausages with no nitrates. I ended up with kielbasa, which I know is not German, but is quite tasty nonetheless.

I also picked up a jar of sauerkraut (I swear I’m going to try making my own some day) and some potatoes. This was going to be the inaugural voyage for my brand new Fissler Vitaquick 4.2-liter pressure pan.

I felt a sense of guilt as I drained the sauerkraut of its juice, but the feeling was soon quelled as I replaced it with beer.

Here’s the basic recipe:

1 package 12-16 oz.kielbasa (kielbasa is generally fully cooked, if you use a raw sausage, some adjustments would have to be made.)

1 jar sauerkraut
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 bottle beer (I used a dark German beer)
2 tsp. caraway seed
1tsp. dry mustard
fresh ground pepper

Drain the sauerkraut. You can rinse if you like, but I didn’t want to rinse the “sour” flavor off, I just wanted to get rid of the liquid since I would be adding more liquid.

Brown the sausage in the pressure cooker in a little butter or oil. Remove to a plate.

Add onion and saute until soft

Add sauerkraut to pressure cooker, then pour in the beer (about 12 ounces), the beer I used was 1/2 liter, so I only used around 3/4 of the bottle.

Add in mustard and caraway. I used 2 tsp caraway, but since the pressure cooker seems to intensify the flavor of the caraway, you may want to use less. I know some people find caraway quite strong (think rye bread).

Put on the lid and bring to full pressure for 7 minutes.

Let pressure neutralize naturally, open and serve!

Oddly enough, we ended up having this with some red wine rather than beer.
I also prepared some potatoes simultaneously utilizing the other pressure cooker, which I will cover in another post.