Kuhn Rikon Duromatic 3918 Pressure Cooker Review

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Introduction

Heralded by the New York Times as “Mercedes-Benz of pressure cookers“, the Kuhn Rikon 3918 Duromatic Pressure Cooker has lived up to the expectations with its superior construction for safety, smart design, durable materials, world-class craftsmanship and easy usability.

If you think cooking with a pressure cooker is so passé like in your grandma’s generation, think again. Swiss-made by one of the best brands, this  pressure cooker cuts down your cooking time by two-thirds. It also helps you save on electricity or gas bill and leaves a smaller carbon footprint on the earth. It’s versatile to cook rice/grains, tough and cheaper cuts of meats (bones, shanks), vegetables and dry beans. Pressure cooking retains vital nutrients in foods and helps you eat healthy and maintain a healthy body weight.

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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7.4 quart in capacity and 8.75 inches in diameter, this cooker is an ideal size for singles to large families. If you don’t know yet, you can never fill the pot in 100% capacity. For some types of foods, you can fill up to two-thirds (2/3) of the capacity or half for other types of foods. The pressure cooker comes with interior fill lines in the cooking pot to take any guesswork out for you.

You can cook less in a larger pot, but won’t be able to cook more in a smaller one. So when in doubt, always size up. Trust me on this one!

Kuhn Rikon’s manufacturing process is nothing short of being impressive and pains-taking. The cooking pot combines the best of aluminum and stainless steel. A 1/4 inch thick disk of aluminum is at the core of the base and is sandwiched by two layers of 18/10 stainless steel through a cladding process. By doing so, it accentuates the excellent heat conductivity of aluminum while bringing out the more aesthetically appealing appearance, durability, non-reactive nature of stainless steel.

The cooker is suitable for all cooking ranges, including induction heating hobs. The flat bottom is definitely an added bonus for many household cooktops.

Safety Features

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5-Safety Protection System

Like all Kuhn Rikon pressure cookers, this 3918 model is also equipped with 5 safety release systems: 1) The primary spring-loaded valve on the top of the lid is the first line of defense if the internal pressure exceeds 15 psi (pounds per square inch). 2) The safety holes in the rim of the lid will step in if the primary valve is clogged with food particles. 3) A secondary spring-loaded valve is designed to release excess pressure should the primary one fails. 4) The gasket will be forced out through the 6 surrounding flanges in the lid and the excess pressure will be released downwardly. 5) The automatic lid-locking mechanism ensures that no pressure will be built up in the pressure cooker until the lid is put on correctly and securely. The lid remains locked during cooking and pressure release. This prevents explosions from happening.

The Kuhn Rikon 3918 is an upgrade version of the previous Duromatic pressure cookers. The 3918 is called the Duromatic Top which represents a significant design feature comparing to the previous Duromatic models such as Kuhn Rikon 3344.

The added word “top” is not just playing on words. The pressure regulator or the primary pressure release valve is now covered with a top. The top has a large knob with 3 dial settings on it. The top will rise as the pressure is built inside of the cooker. When it reaches at 8 psi, the first red band will be shown on the stem of the knob and the second red band will be revealed when it reaches to 15 psi. When either pressure level is reached per the recipe, it’s time for you to start timing the cooking duration and also adjust the heat level as needed to maintain the optimal pressure level.

The dial settings are symbolized by three “steam puff” icons, two small puffs on each side of the large one. If you turn the knob to one of the small steam puff icons clockwise by 75 degrees, the pressure will be released as “slow release”. By turning the dial by 90 degrees towards the large steam puff, the “fast release” method will be deployed.

Of course, you can use the tried-and-true “cold water method” where cold water is running over the lid of the pressure cooker to fast release the pressure. Another way is called the “natural release method” whereby the cooker is removed from the heat source and will be cooled off naturally.

Pressure Level Indicators

As mentioned above, two pressure levels of 8 and 15 psi are available for the 3918 model which are sufficient for most of the pressure cooking recipes. Generally speaking, more delicate foods such as fish and certain vegetables call for a lower pressure level while meats, beans and tougher vegetables for a higher pressure. The Operational Manual provides a chart for your quick reference.

Easy to Use and Clean

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It is highly recommended that you read the User Manual very carefully before the first use. If you’ve used a pressure cooker before, the mechanism will be similar. But every manufacturer may be different in the product design and features, it’s always beneficial to take the time to familiarize yourself with the cooker.

pressure-cooker-recipes-by-vickie-smith

pressure-cooker-recipes-by-vickie-smith

If you are a complete newbie with pressure cookers, there are a couple of cookbooks recommended by some customers. The first book is Miss Vickie’s Big Book of Pressure Cooker Recipes by Vickie Smith and the second is Pressure Perfect: Two Hour in Twenty Minutes Using Your Pressure Cooker by Lorna J. Sass. Both are great resources to help you ramp up your learning curve with pressure cooking.

Since the cooking pot is made of stainless steel, cleaning is a snap with hot soapy water. While it is stated dishwasher-safe in the Amazon product description, it is not recommended.

It is no need to clean the primary valve unless there are food particles passed through the valve, then you’d need to take the valve apart to clean it. Detailed instructions are provided in the User Manual. The secondary safety valve never needs to be removed for cleaning purpose.

It is a bit more involving in cleaning a pressure cooker as you’ll have to take the gasket from the lid and clean both the gasket and the lid. Also clean the area surrounding the flanges. Once in a while, you may need to apply a little bit cooking oil to the rubber gasket to maintain the optimal fit to the lid.

A stainless steel steaming trivet is included for you to place on the bottom of pot so foods won’t stick to the bottom to be burnt.

Consumer Ratings

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4.5 out of 5 This Kuhn Rikon 3918 pressure cooker is a bestseller and well-liked by many. Consumers give it a 4.5 out 5 star ratings. Below are two examples of what the customers said:

Ahusband lamented that he wasn’t aware of the advancements in pressure cookers over the years. Now they bought one and it was the best thing since the microwave. In fact it produced better tasting foods than… Read More
One working mom with two children commented that she couldn’t imagine anyone would survive without a pressure cooker like this one… Read More

Pros

  • Cook foods faster by 2/3 of the time than conventional cooking methods; healthy meals in minutes instead of in hours
  • Preserve more nutrients and intensify flavors in foods
  • Versatile for cooking soups, stews, stocks and all kinds of grains and vegetables
  • Easy to use with the pressure gauge indicators to let you know when an appropriate pressure level is reached and when to remove the cooker from the heat source
  • Multiple safety features such as safety valves, safety vents, interlocking lid to ensure the cooker won’t open under pressure
  • Automatic pressure release dials make it easy to release the pressure fast or slowly per the recipe
  • Made of 18/10 stainless steel with heavy aluminum base disk for optimal heat transfer, retention, durability and easy cleaning
  • Work like a charm in high altitudes
  • Made in Switzerland with more than 60 years of solid reputation in the world

Cons

  • The spring-loaded mechanism may need manual intervention (occasionally) as reported by a couple of customers.
  • It’s more expensive than a cheaper brand. But you get what you pay for, especially when it comes to a pressure cooker as it is inherently more complicated than a simple pot or a pan.
  • The pressure cooker is taller so you may want to factor it in your consideration if you are short like me.
  • The size is not made for canning. You may want to look into a model that’s 10 quarts or bigger.

Warranty and Replacement Parts

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10-year manufacturer warranty is available against material defects and workmanship. Kuhn Rikon guarantees that parts will be available for 15 years. The warranty excludes replaceable parts such as fittings, valve housing, and gasket. Replacement parts can be ordered through Kuhn Rikon’s authorized resellers in the country where you live.

For any warranty related issues or questions, here is the contact information in the U.S.

USA:

Kuhn Rikon Corporation
46 Digital Drive, Suite 5
Novato, CA 94949
USA
Tel: 1-800-662-5882
Fax: 415-883-5985
kuhnrikon@kuhnrikon.com

Price

This pressure cooker starts from under $200 and Amazon usually has the lowest price.

 

For the best price listing, please click on the button below.

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