Fagor and Kuhn Rikon are the two heavy champions on the stage of pressure cookers. Their stellar reputations precede both brands and they have won over thousands of customers with their world-class pressure cookers. But for someone who is new to the pressure cooker market, the question remains on what the major differences are between the two brands besides the obvious resemblance.
I hope this comparison will help you get to know each brand a little bit better so when it comes to the time to choose, you will be armed with insightful facts.
As one of the hundreds of subsidiaries within the Mondragon Corporation, Fagor is headquartered in Basque region in Spain. It manufactures and distributes appliances and cookware with 13 subsidiaries and 80 sales networks in 80 countries.
Fagor prides itself in product innovation, exceptional design, quality construction and multi-leveled safety features. Fagor is also recognized by its environmental consciousness and energy-efficient design.
Kuhn Rikon is a family-owned business based in Rikon, Switzerland. With subsidiaries in the U.S., Spain and China, Kuhn Rikon’s kitchen appliance and cookware products are marketed and distributed in 40 countries around the world. It serves the demands of both consumers and culinary professionals.
Fagor’s pressure cookers sport simplistic elegance with smart safety features.
The Rapid, the Express and the Splendid lines are designed in Spain but manufactured in China while the Duo, Futuro and the Chef’s Lines are made in Spain. Some of the cookers are single units while others are in a set with multiple pieces.
All of Fagor’s pressure cookers are made of 18/10 stainless steel, some of the models also have the so-called “impact bounded diffuser base” where three layers of materials are built into the base of the cooking pot, i.e. aluminum in the center and two layers of stainless steel on the inside and outside to combine the heat conductive nature of aluminum and the durability and exterior finish of stainless steel.
The cookers are sized in 4, 6, 8 and 10 quarts. You might be able to do some minor canning in the 10-quart pressure cooker. The rest of them are made for pressure cooking only.
Fagor’s pressure cookers have gone through a long journey like many other brands from a single spring-loaded pressure valve to the triple-safety system. The triple-system consists of the primary pressure regulator and two overpressure release valves. The lid is equipped with a locking mechanism where pressure can only rise when the lid is closed securely to prevent accidents from happening.
Easy-to-read pressure indicators help you gauge when the desireable pressure level is reached and when to time your cooking. The automatic pressure release function makes it a snap to release the pressure in the cooker when pressed for time.
Kuhn’s design mantra is “Forms follows function”. This design philosophy is reflected in the pressure cookers and all the other cookware and utensils. It has been awarded with many prestigious design awards such as ” IF” and “RedDot” awards. The pressure cookers are clean, modern and functional at the same time.
There are multiple lines of pressure cookers all under the trademark name of “Duromatic”. Only a selective few models are available in the U.S. market such as the Duromatic Inox (or Classic) and the Duromatic Top.
In each line, there are different capacity sizes from 2.5 quart to 12 quart stockpot. Aside from capacities, there are different types of pressure cookers such as braisers, stockpots, pressure cookers and pressure cooker sets. The braisers are shallower and wider for braising meats and vegetables. The stockpots are taller for making soups, stews and stocks. The pressure cookers are for every day pressure cooking of anything and everything. The pressure cooker sets typically consists of two cooking pots of different styles and two interchangeable lids for pressure or conventional cooking.
Kuhn’s pressure cookers are not known for their capacities for canning, maybe with one or two exceptions. You might be able to do a small batch of canning in one of the larger sized pressure cookers, but not for serious canning.
The cooking pots are made of high quality stainless steel with a tri-clad base. An aluminum disk is inserted in the center and encapsulated by two layers of stainless steel. This technology, often found in many high-end cookware is to fully leverage the strengths by aluminum and stainless steel (good conductivity vs. aesthetic appeal, durability and easy cleaning).
The Duromatic Inox line offers a class design and it is easy to use and to clean. The primary pressure regulator sits on top of the lid powered by a spring-loaded valve backed up by an overpressure plug and two emergency valves. The pressure indicators let you know what level of pressure the cooker reaches at (10 or 15 psi – pounds per square inch) for you to start timing the cooking duration. The lid is locked during pressurizing, cooking and depressurizing to ensure not a chance for explosion.
The Duromatic Top is an upgrade from the classic design and characterized by the concealed pressure regulator via a knob on top of the lid.. This feature offers an easy way to set the pressure level as well as to release the pressure in the cooker upon cooking. To do it, simply turn the knob to the right position. Another improvement is the automatic lid-locking system when the pressure starts to rise in the cooking pot. There is also a safety latch on the top handle to securely lock the lid down.
One competitive edge the Kuhn Rikon pressure cookers has is it uses very little liquid due to the perfect seal between the cooking pot and the lid. More nutrients and and moisture are retained due to the same reason.
These pressure cookers are environmentally friendly as they require very low heat level to maintain the optimal pressure level during cooking and it also saves time and energy cost.
On an average, the Fagor pressure cookers are rated at 4.0 or better.
Kuhn Rikon pressure cookers are often rated as 4.5 or better by online consumers. This is also a brand that has received many media accolades such as being called the “Mercedes-Benz of Pressure Cookers” by the New York Times.
Fagor’s pressure cookers are all priced under $200 with higher prices for those lines made in Spain vs. the lines made in China. Fagor’s products are praised for quality and better affordability.
Given the quality and durability, the Kuhn Rikon pressure cookers are priced from just under $100 to over $300. It is one of the most expensive lines in the market. To get the maximum value for your money, you may want to consider buying a set with multiple pieces.
One major contributing factor to the higher pricing is that all the pressure cookers are designed and manufactured in Switzerland as opposed to be made in other parts of the world with less labor and material costs.
Both brands are top-notched, well designed and constructed cookers with multiple safety features to ensure its easy use and easy cleaning. Neither one of them shine in the area of pressure canning due to the limited size.
Fagor and Kuhn Rikon all have physical presence in the U.S. as their respective subsidiaries. So ordering replacement parts or inquiring product issues shouldn’t be an issue. Both brands offer a 10-year limited warranty. Different models of products are available on Amazon and so are the replacement parts with more favorable pricing.
It’s hard to go wrong with choosing either Fagor or Kuhn Rikon‘s pressure cookers. It really boils down to your personal preference for style and budget consideration. Customers who are more budget conscious tend to opt for Fagor and others who take great pride in owning the best in kitchen appliances and wouldn’t mind spending a little bit more on Kuhn Rikons.
If you are interested in the detailed product reviews, here are a few links: