Fissler Vitaquick 8.5-Quart Pressure Cooker is an updated version of the Fissler Blue Point pressure cooker marketed and sold in the United States with 4 capacity sizes in a saucepan style. In addition, there is also a pressure skillet perfect for searing and braising tough cuts of meat to produce scrumptious and tender feast.
If cutting down cooking time by 70% while saving time and money on energy cost sounds like a winner, read on to see how the German engineering and craftsmanship are reflected in the design and quality of these pressure cookers.
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The Vitaquick collection comes in 4.8, 6.4, 8.5 and 10.6 quart sizes. A skillet style is available in 2.7 quart. For singles, you may choose the smaller sizes and for large families, the 8.5 or 10.6 quart would be ideal. When uncertain about which size, always air on the larger one as you can always cook more to freeze the food for leftover.
As you might be aware, pressure cookers can’t be filled to the fullest capacity due to the need for head space in the cooking pot to allow pressure build-up. To translate the actual usable capacity, it’s safe to assume that ½ to 2/3. Half of the capacity size is used for cooking rice and beans which expand in volume quite substantially.
The cooker is designed with three measure lines inside of the pot as “minimum”, “half” and “maximum” to take the guesswork out for you. For each capacity size, there are slightly different requirements of liquid. For example, if you cook at minimal amount, a cup of cooking liquid is needed; 1.05 and 1.26 cups for med to maximum capacity.
The inner cooking pot is shaped in “conical” that has a narrower base and flares up gradually towards the top like a cone. The design rationale of such shape is to make it possible to stack with other pots with the same diameter to save storage space. The flip side of this shape is that the base is smaller with less contact surface from the heat source.
The pressure cooker is made of tri-clad patented CookStar all-stove base with extra-thick aluminum of 6mm sandwiched by two layers of stainless steel. The three layers of metals were heated and bonded over a 1, 500 ton impact to ensure it will never separate and warp.
The merit of doing so is to take advantage of the best properties in terms of functions and aesthetics. Aluminum is known for high conductivity and even heat distribution. The base is also slightly concave to allow the aluminum to expand when heated.
Stainless steel is a much sought-after metal due to its non-reactive/corrosive nature, durability and ease for care and cleaning in addition to the beautiful shine.
It’s suitable for all cooktops, including induction heating besides gas, electric, ceramic.
Fissler’s pressure cookers are one of the quietest pressure cookers on the market. When at pressure, you could hardly hear any hissing or see any steam coming out of the cooker.
The pressure is regulated by a primary control valve on top of the lid handle to release excess pressure. A secondary control valve functions as a redundancy measure if the primary valve is obstructed.
The automatic-locking lid ensures the lid remains in a “locked” position for pressure buildup and release after cooking is complete. This prevents potential explosion that many of us have experienced or heard from the horror stories.
One long/operating handle and a short helper handle are available with this model.
Like all Fissler pressure cookers, the Vitaquick also has two pressure settings of “low” and “high”. The low setting reaches 5.8 psi (pounds per square inch) and high at 11.6 psi. The low setting is for cooking foods that require lower temperature such as vegetables and seafood. Higher setting is ideal for anything else such as meats, bones, stocks, etc.
The pressure is released via one of the two methods. The first is the “quick release” by turning the dial on top of the lid to the “steam” icon. As much as it saves time using this method, there is also a design flaw that the vapor emits in multiple directions horizontally and vertically. Care and caution need to be exercised when releasing in this method. Releasing it “slowly” and “gently” and using a kitchen mitt to protect your hand from being burnt.
“Cold water” is the other method by running cold water on top of the cooker for a few minutes. One clear indication for you to safely open the lid is when pressure indicator sinks down.
To cook under pressure, add dry ingredients, seasoning if used and minimal cooking liquid such as water, broth, wine, beer and so on, close the lid. The fine design touch is when the lid is closed properly, the locking indicator will change from “red” to “green”.
Select the appropriate pressure setting in either “low” or “high”. Place the cooker on the stove over high heat. When the pressure indicator rod rises to seal the cooker, wait to see the rise of the cooking indicators. When the first marker is shown, it means the “low” pressure level is reached and the second for the “high” pressure setting. With the protrusion of the marker/s, it’s time for you to start counting down the cooking time called for by the recipe. Upon finishing cooking, follow one of the pressure release methods.
There are so many ways to use the pressure cooker such as searing, browning, braising, stewing from breakfast, lunch, dinner to dessert. Don’t forget you can use it for canning and sterilizing as well.
The pot and the lid are dishwasher-safe after removing the gasket, control valve, and lid handle. The lid handle can be easily removed without any tool. Re-tightening may be needed before the next use.
A User Manual and a steaming basket are included with the purchase.
The 5.0 ratings speak volume about the design and functionality of the pressure cooker.
3-year limited warranty is provided by Fissler against defective materials and workmanship, excluding wearable parts such as the gasket, the sealing ring, etc. 10-year guarantee of replacement parts is also offered.
Fissler does have a subsidiary in the United States based in Los Angeles, California. You may reach them at 1-888-fissler or 1-323-731-1111 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The price points of Fissler’s pressure cookers are on par with Kuhn Rikon, another leading brand of pressure cookers based in Switzerland. Buying a good quality pressure cooker is like a small long-term investment. You might be spending a bit more than a cheaper brand, but the Return-on-Investment over many years will prove to be a positive one.
When I compared prices between Amazon and Fissler’s own website, Amazon is cheaper. Head over to Amazon to get today’s best price.
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