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Eat Well: New pressure cooker can make healthy meals fast in the microwave oven |

Eat Well: New pressure cooker can make healthy meals fast in the microwave oven

These were the thoughts that went through my mind when a Kuhn Rikon catalog of new gadgets arrived featuring the Duromatic Micro pressure cooker. Kuhn Rikon is well-known for its line of high-quality, safe pressure cookers for traditional use on stovetops, as well as for its electric digital models. So I took a second look at this new entry. I just couldn’t get my head around the idea, so I ordered one for a test drive.

When it arrived, I was still skeptical. As I lifted it out of the box, I was struck by how light it was. It reminded me of accessories for a Barbie doll kitchen. For it to be used in a microwave oven, it had to be made of microwave-safe materials, such as plastic that can withstand high heat. The gasket, which seals the lid, is made of silicone, which also can withstand extreme heat. As with all modern pressure cookers, this one has two safety valves. One will pop out if too much pressure accumulates in the sealed pot, and the other has a pressure gauge that shows the pot is under pressure and working properly.


After reading the instruction book and safety instructions, I prepared to make potato salad with bacon, a recipe from the cookbook included with the product. It went together quickly and cooked in the microwave with remarkably little attention required. At the end of 15 minutes of microwave cooking on high, I removed the lightweight pot using oven mitts. The red pressure valve indicator had popped up as expected, meaning the pressure was up too.

It took about five minutes for the pressure valve indicator to go down, which is the sign that it’s safe to remove the locked lid. The potatoes were perfectly cooked.

How was this different from my go-to stovetop Kuhn Rikon stainless-steel pressure cooker? Not much. I liked the weight of the microwave cooker’s base and lid. It was much easier to handle. And the natural release of pressure in the microwave cooker was much faster.

Cook time was a little longer – 15 minutes under pressure in the microwave compared with five minutes on the stove. But with the stovetop cooker, I have to keep a keen eye on the pressure gauge, adjusting the stove so it doesn’t get too hot. And once the pressure cooking time has ended, it takes longer for the gauge to drop, which lengthens the overall cook time.

The cookbook that came with the microwave pressure cooker is very basic, with some delicious-sounding recipes. The Moroccan Chicken and Caponata Siciliana (an eggplant dish) are marked for future experiments. All of the recipes make four servings and are based on a 900-watt power level. The microwave cooker, which isn’t pricier than the stovetop version, costs $60 at amazon.com.

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