Kuhn Rikon 3916 5-Quart Pressure Cooker Review

kuhn-rikon-3916-pressure-cooker

kuhn-rikon-3916-pressure-cooker

Introduction

When you drag your feet home late at night from work and feel too exhausted to even think about cooking a dinner, this Kuhn Rikon 3916 Duromatic Top 5-Quart Pressure Cooker could be a savior for you and your family.

Designed and made by Kuhn Rikon in Switzerland, this pressure cooker is a saucepan style cooker that’s versatile for cooking anything from lamb shanks, dry beans to vegetables. A 3lbs of pot roast will be folk tender in 55 minutes even if it is taken out of the freezer.

This works to the advantage of those folks who don’t want to or don’t have time to plan ahead. The last time when we ordered pizzas from the neighborhood Papa John’s, we had to wait for 45 minutes or even longer on the weekend.

Not only it saves you up to 70% of the cooking time as opposed to conventional cooking methods, it also preserves the vital nutrients in foods instead of being boiled away from the evaporation. The saving in energy cost is equally important as we all feel the pinch in the rising food and energy costs.

Table of Contents (Click a title to jump ahead)

IntroductionSize, Capacity and Material | Safety Features | Easy to Use and Clean | Consumer Ratings | Pros | Cons | Warranty and Replacement Parts | Price |

Size, Capacity and Material

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The 5-quart is the liquid capacity which equates to 20 cups. Unlike a regular pot or pan, you can’t use the 100% capacity in a pressure cooker. At best, 2/3 can be used and often times only 1/2 is usable in the case of foaming foods such as rice and legumes.

This size is the most popular one for small to medium-sized families. For singles and small families, you can cook once and store the left-over in small containers in the freezer for those tiring nights when you can’t bring yourself to do anything. For medium-sized families, you will have a freshly made dinner for the night and maybe some extra to take to work the next day.

The dimensions are: 8-5/8 inches for the pot insider diameter. 8-3/4 the overall height with lid and 6″ for the height without the lid.

This pressure cooker is made of 18/10 stainless steel (18% of chromium and 10% nickel) with a heavy-gauge aluminum in the core of the bottom for quick heating and even heat distribution. The aluminum is encapsulated by two layers of stainless steel with resistance to corrosion, rust and staining. The durability, luster and easy cleaning of stainless steel make it a very popular material for cookware.

Safety Features

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The 3916 is one of the Kuhn Rikon’s Duromatic Top series. This collection is designed with a large knob covering the vent steam of the pressure regulator. This knob also serves as a mechanism to automatically release the pressure after the cooking is done.

The pressure is sealed with a gasket or sealing ring to form a hermetic environment in the cooking pot.

The most remarkable design element in Kuhn Rikon’s pressure cookers, including this one, is the 5 pressure release feature. Just to give you some perspectives, typically a pressure cooker would have one, two, even three ways to allow excess pressure to escape. The Kuhn Rikon’s design is a total of 5 elements that all work in lock steps with each other.

Five Ways to Regulate the Pressure

To start off is the integrated locking lid ensures the cover will stay locked under pressure whether you are cooking or release the pressure after cooking.

The primary pressure regulator is a spring-load valve with a vent steam. When pressure starts to build in the cooker, the lid is locked into place and the bands on the vent steam underneath the big knob begin to rise. When the first red band is shown, it indicates the pressure level at 8 psi (pounds per square inch) and the second for 15 psi. The red bands are marked on multiple sides of the vent steam so you can monitor the pressure level from a distance.

If the primary valve is obstructed with food particles or is multifunctional, the safety holes in the lid act as the second line of safety measure to get rid of the excess pressure.

A secondary spring-loaded valve is the third redundancy measure should the primary and the safety holes don’t fulfill their functions.

The last feature in the gasket will be bowed outward through the six flanges in the lid to release the excess pressure downwardly and gently.

This cooker comes with two handles: One long/primary one and a short helper handle on the opposite side. They make it easy for you to carry the pot, especially when it’s full of foods and liquid.

Pressure Level

As I mentioned earlier, the pressure indicators are built into the vent stem. The 8 and 15 psi pressure levels are suitable for most of the pressure cooking recipes. Of course, if you live in an area that is above the sea level, you’d have to adjust the cooking time accordingly to compensate for the lower temperature and pressure. As a general rule of thumb, for each 1000 feet above the sea level, you need to add 5% more cooking time and an additional 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

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kuhn-rikon-duromatic-top-image credit to Kuhn Rikon’s website

4 Pressure Release Methods

On that knob on top of the vent stem, there are three dials: two small “steam puff” along each side of a big steam puff. If you rotate the dial toward one of the small buffs, the pressure will be released slowly. If pointed towards the big steam puff, the cooker will be depressurized quickly.

In addition to using the knob, you may also release the pressure either via the “cold water” method where you place the pressure cooker under cold running water in the sink or remove it to let it cool off at its own accord. The natural release method definitely takes a little bit longer depending on the types of foods and the quantity you are cooking.

Easy to Use and Clean

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Reading the Instructions is always the first step in using a pressure cooker whether you are a complete newbie or a veteran in pressure cooking. Every brand and even every model of the same brand may be designed with different features.

Then I’d recommend you do a “test” with just water in the pot. Once you are familiar with the process and the mechanics, then it’s a matter of adding all the ingredients, liquid and seasoning to the pot. Closing the lid is done by aligning the arrows in the top and the bottom handles and twist to close the lid. Place the pot on the hob and turn it on high heat first. As soon as you see the second pressure indicator shown, it’s time to turn down the heat to “low” and start timing the cooking. When people say they cook racks of ribs in 17 minutes, it is counted from this point forward.

Cleaning involves a little bit more work than a pot as there are several parts to clean such as the gasket, the lid, etc. The cooking pot is dishwasher safe. But personally I’d find it hard to stick such a high profile pot in the dishwasher.

Accessories

The 3916 cooker comes with an instruction/recipe booklet and a trivet.

Consumer Ratings

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4.7 out of 5

At the time of this review, the pressure cooker was rated as 4.7 out of 5 stars by 31 online reviewer on Amazon. I did check out a few other online retailers and the rating was consistent with Amazon’s.

The overall feedback is that this pressure cooker is the best on the market to buy if you can afford it. Many customers can’t believe that they have lived and cooked this long without it. Some of them have owned this cooker for many years and use it several times a week. By the time you add up the time and money saved from reduced energy cost, from eating out and from eating healthier, you’d recoup the initial cost from buying this pressure cooker in a few short months.

One online reviewer talked about their experience with this pressure cooker after being to the actual manufacturing facility in Switzerland. They owned several KR pressure cookers, but this one is quieter than the previous models…Read More
Another customer shared the terrifying experience of witnessing an actual explosion from a pressure cooker. This pressure cooker definitely changed the perception and the reality with the multiple safety features and the delicious dishes it makes….Read More

Pros

  • Safe and Easy to Use: This is the pressure cooker with the most effective safety features that will take the fear out of pressure cooking. It’s easy to use.
  • Precision Engineering: The design is well-thought out like a Swiss watch.
  • Well-Made: The stainless steel and the aluminum in the core make it a very durable cookware that will be passed on to the next generation.
  • Versatile Use: You can use it to cook all kinds of meals from breakfast, lunch, dinner to dessert.
  • Helpful Tool for Vegans: Vegans find it very useful to cook beans, legumes and rice at a fraction of the time.
  • Helpful Customer Service: The U.S.- based customer service center provides great help when customers call in with questions.
  • Save Time and Energy Cost: For example, 2 cups of dry beans is cooked in 12 minutes instead of several hours on a stove top.

Cons

  • No Low Pressure Level: 5 psi is not available in all Kuhn Rikon’s pressure cookers.
  • More Expensive: The Kuhn Rikon pressure cookers are more expensive than most of the brands on the market. But you will reap your return from the time saved and the energy cost. Plus you and your family will eat better and healthier foods.

Warranty and Replacement Parts

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Kuhn Rikon offers a 10-year limited warranty but it doesn’t include the replaceable parts such as the gasket. You can easily find these parts on Amazon or other authorized retailers.

Price

The price on Amazon was $80 cheaper than the manufacturer’s list price and about $30 less than many other online stores.

Summary

If eating home-made and healthy meals is a priority for you and your family, this pressure cooker is a must-have. The 5-quart is an ideal size for small to medium-sized families to cook tougher cuts of meat, seafood, rice, beans and vegetables while saving 70% of the time and energy cost.

If you are always scared by someone even mentioning pressure cooking, this one is going to put your fear to rest. The five-safety feature is unprecedented in any other brands of pressure cookers and will provide you with the peace of mind. Many people came before you and took the plunge to try it out. Their positive reviews are the proof in the cooking. Now it’s your turn to check it out by clicking on the button below.

 

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