How is this different/better than the $20 stovetop version that’s just a pot with a lid that seals? I assume this thing doesn’t have an air pump and you still have to make the pressure by boiling water to make steam?
Yes, you can cook meat quickly in it, but it always comes out like stew meat. Vegetables always come out mushy, etc… Fine if you are making stews, but kind of useless for anything else.
Beyond the pressure cooker stuff, it is just and oversized toaster oven. Useful I guess if you don’t already have an oven, but otherwise it’s just a smaller counterspace-eating version of that thing you already have.
@jandrese I suppose it’s for people with infinite counter space. I know those people are out there… somebody must buy all those countertop pizza ovens, waffle cone makers, standalone ice cream machines, maragarita machines, etc.
@jandrese The difference is one is an oven and the other is a pot. You don’t cook the same things in each of those products. Try baking frozen french fries in your stove top unit and tell me how those come out.
@Hanky@jandrese the pressure part increases the boiling point of the water in your food, causing the inside of the food to cook faster because it’s cooking at a higher temperature. This has a heating element for roasting and holds your food on a rack where it’s not necessarily sitting in its own juices so it can cook like an oven. Your stove top or instant pot pressure cooker only has the boiling liquid as its heat source, so there’s no “dry” radiant heat involved.
It probably would make very tender insides on the French friea, but they’d be crispy on the outside. If you tried to put French fries on a rack in your stovetop or electric pressure cooker, you’d wind up with steamed fries with very little crispiness, but they’d be done quickly.
A lot of times when you’re cooking large meats in a pressure cooker, you sear them first to get some tasty browned bits on the outside. That shouldn’t be necessary with this oven.
I won’t be finding out for myself, because my wife reminds me we don’t have unlimited kitchen space.
@jandrese I bought it from Kohl’s for a lot more money. I was a cook for years. This thing is horrible. The timing is way off, the pressure speeds up cooking, but changes consistency of the dishes. The textures are all wrong. It’s in a bag in my basement now.
@jandrese I have one of these (bought it at full price some time ago…) and also own SEVERAL (like four) pressure cookers (two stove top and two electric). Now that I have expressed my credentials for this, let me tell you what I think:
Yes, it DOES roast meat under pressure, BUT:
(a) uses A LOT of electricity to do so.
(b) it does french-fries. They taste like oven french fries (yuck!). contrary to what several people have said, it does not “boil” food like a stove top. Rather the trapped air inside forces the meat to cook in its own juices, as sort of an ersatz steaming process. For this reason, it is also a very good “proofer” for small batches of bread or rolls when you set it for very low temps and add a tray of water at the bottom.
(d) although I have never tried it, you COULD probably broil seafood in it (like salmon, trout, etc) or oven-fry (like fish cakes, Maryland Chicken, etc) BUT, it IS NOT a pressure cooker like a stovetop unit. There is not enough liquid to steam crab legs or lobsters without adding liquid to the bottom tray, and even then, I think they might burn before the water reaches 212℉ (unless you only use very little water, at which point it might all boil out too fast, defeating the purpose…).
(e) Due to the racks, heating elements, etc. It is VERY small inside. You can get a chicken in there, a very small turkey (MAYBE 10-12 lbs MAX) but it will be right up against the heating element (unless you cut it up - the European way - or “spatchcock” it), pork loin, rack of ribs, a fish with head and tail removed, etc. Nothing big like a large turkey, Standing rib roast, etc.
(e) essentially it is a big toaster oven with pressure function, and I think that if you have never used a pressure cooker before, it might even be a little dangerous. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t buy it.
I got a similar kind of thing off Amazon Vine onetime, have to find the name of it, it has a lid like a slow-cooker instead of a door like this has but can also be used to sear and bake. It’s the 2nd best kitchen appliance I ever got. Apart from the slow-cooker aspect you can bake dry in it, only with like 1/8 the volume of the oven so it heats up faster with less energy and makes an amount more suited to OUR consumption, plus does it in a removeable pot so you can take things to the potluck or wherever.
If you ever watched TV chefs then you would have probably noticed that whatever they make comes out perfect (that’s what re-takes are created for) try one of their recipes and see how many takes you’ll have to do in order to get it right. TV chefs are there for entertainment, not to offer good advice otherwise they would have much more competition in the real world.
@unkabob Maybe yah maybe nah depends on the chef in my experience. Any Rick Bayless recipe short of burying a pig in the back yard I’ve found straightforward and de-licious. Same with Emeril and (RIP) Paul Prudhomme. Martha Stewart recipes on the other hand, oy. Difficult and confoundingly unlike the tv result.
@borisparsley There’s a cooking instructor that does a show on one of the “local” channels here in town and it’s great. Constantly giving little tips and tricks as she works. Of course she does the “aaaand here’s one I put in the oven earlier” thing, but you can get the same results at home. Rick Bayless is great too.
We have all the trays this offers for a convection oven & toaster oven, we have a microwave, we have an oil less air fryer (as opposed to a oily deep fryer) and a regular pressure pot and in the summer to cut down on the oven heating up the house we use a grill. We are also pretty good at the one pot dinners. At this size I wouldn’t be able to bake a proper lasagna or other types of casseroles so ahead of the summer heat we bake those and cut into personal eating sizes so our son can reheat something nutritious after meets and practices. Plus that baking marathon day or two we don’t have to run the heater until bedtime so that cuts down the bill a little bit there. We also don’t have the counter space or cupboard space to stow this when not needed since we stow the air fryer and pressure pot and keep out the conventional/toaster/microwave ovens. If it actually works the way it says it does I suppose it’s a good price but…uh, no. At least for me but whoever buys one let us know how it works out and if the accompanying manual /cookbook is longer than 8 recipes.
@RiotDemon and then there’s:
"But this “sealing in juices” business has* become some a* buzzword in TV informercial hucksterism that it’s hard to know how much we should care."
Maybe “… become such a buzzword…”
Something like this is good if it were also a convection oven. But it doesn’t appear to do that. My toaster oven with convection is absolutely the best purchase I’ve ever made. Left over French fries FTW.
This isn’t the rotisserie version, which would make it interesting to me. I’ve already got the breville smart cook to pressure cook/roast as well as a convection toaster oven, so rotisserie is the only feature I’m missing. Would love to be able to make my own rotis chicken rather than getting the 3 hour old grocery store offering.
@mtb002 Get the Ronco Rotisserie
I had one for years and it works very well. I ended up opting for the occasional Costco rotisserie bird cause the cook at home was such a mess, took up a lot of space and we don’t do rotisserie birds that often.