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Microwave Pressure Cooker by Kuhn Rikon

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:34 pm
by Astra
I stumbled upon the Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Micro Microwave Pressure Cooker the other day. I’m highly intrigued and was wondering if anyone had experience with the product.

On top of the energy- and time-savings of conventional stovetop pressure cooking, the microwave aspect will also cut down time and possibly energy (heating the water directly, no energy wasted on heating hotplate and metal pot). I’m a bit skeptical of everything plastic, but then again Kuhn Rikon has never let me down.

Has anyone used this specific model?
Comments on handling, durability, speed, size?
How does it compare to the classic stovetop pressure cooker?
Thoughts on the cooking method itself?

Re: Microwave Pressure Cooker by Kuhn Rikon

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:09 pm
by Campitor
I think the biggest trade off is the size and the max cooking time of 30 minutes. But most recipes will be okay. Depending on what you're cooking, sometimes more than 30 minutes cooking time is required. Max wattage is 900 watts so you'll need to experiment with your microwave. There should be a sticker on the back of your microwave that lists the input watts required to power your microwave versus the output watts that is delivered as cooking energy. Good luck! If you buy it, can you post a followup review?

Re: Microwave Pressure Cooker by Kuhn Rikon

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:09 pm
by prognastat
Definitely interesting, but won't be trading in my 8 quart Instant Pot for it any time soon. Which I got for only $10 more by waiting for it to go on sale.

Re: Microwave Pressure Cooker by Kuhn Rikon

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:07 pm
by Lucky C
An electric stovetop would be more efficient than the microwave, but not a dramatic difference in energy usage and time.

Microwave ovens lose a lot of heat from converting electricity to microwaves to heated food. Any time you convert electricity in a wire to an amplified and radiated wave, you never get very close to 100% efficiency. A lazy search points me to Wikipedia stating magnetrons used in microwaves have a typical efficiency of 65%, which sounds about right based on my professional experience in related fields. Still more efficiency may be lost from the magnetron output to actually heating the food.

A stovetop is a simpler conversion from your electric wiring directly to the heating element conducting to your pot, so it shouldn't be surprising that it is actually more efficient than a microwave. Again doing a lazy search, I see a figure of 74% efficiency for electric stovetops. Better than a microwave though not dramatically.

So why does the Kuhn Rikon site say a 900W microwave pressure cooker can cook faster than using a regular pressure cooker used on heating elements that are typically > 2000W at a higher efficiency? Maybe a bit of a lie from their marketing team. Note that in the video/commercial it shows vegetables being cooked and it implies they take 15 minutes (at a constant 900W), but in my stovetop pressure cooker it would probably be under 5 minutes at maybe 2500W tops = a bit less total power and time even with the slow stovetop ramp-up.

Re: Microwave Pressure Cooker by Kuhn Rikon

Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:49 pm
by Astra
Interesting points you raise.

I was especially unaware microwaves have such a lousy energy conversion efficiency... and that classic stovetop pressure cooking performs quite well by compairson!

That being said I currently don't have access to a proper kitchen, or pots, or a metal pressure cooker, or any other meaningful way to cook. But I can access a microwave, and I found a unused Microwave Duromatic for $30 on eBay, so I'll risk a little experimentation and report back here on how it goes :D

Re: Microwave Pressure Cooker by Kuhn Rikon

Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:43 pm
by Lucky C
In that case, if you mainly have a microwave, it's still a good option! Really a microwave oven at 65% is pretty efficient compared to many other electric devices or other forms of cooking. Besides heating efficiency it is a much better option than the inefficiency of going out to a restaurant...

Re: Microwave Pressure Cooker by Kuhn Rikon

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:38 am
by vexed87
I still prefer the aluminium stove top model, it would be useful in off-grid scenarios where energy efficiency is arguably more important, whereas microwave dependant products would be rendered useless.

Re: Microwave Pressure Cooker by Kuhn Rikon

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:19 pm
by Astra
So I got the pressure cooker and I have to say I'm quite impressed.
The duromatic is made of solid plastic material, cleans off well, doesn't get super hot and has two steam vents, one of which has an indicator to tell whether the pot is under pressure. It fits 4 quarts (3.78 L), which produces 5-6 portions if filled to the max. It comes with a recipe book, but I haven't tried any yet.

The product description on the site does not make it clear, but most foods cook in significantly less than 30 min. So far I've cooked green beans, broccoli and brussel sprouts (3-4 min), cut up carrots (1 min), soaked kidney beans (16 min, 18 for mushy), cubed potatoes (3 min) and rice (8 min). So in conclusion, it is definitely faster than the iron duromatic. I don't know how that affects the energy usage by comparison to electric or gas stoves. I look forward to cooking pumpkin and chickpeas with it soon, as well as some of the one-pot-recipes. It supposedly also cooks pasta, but I'm skeptical.

If I had access to a proper kitchen, I would prefer my old classic steel duromatic for the following reasons: 1. it allows you to brown/sautee onions, garlic and spices in the same pot, adding flavour, same for meat; 2. larger volume for cooking down surplus veg, soups, stew etc for freezing (4 vs 8 qt). This of course depends which model you compare it to. 3. (presumably) better durability. As mentioned in my journal, my steel duromatic has been in my family for something like 40 years of regular use. I can't picture the plastic version holding up that well, no matter how high-quality it is.

However, the microwave version has its upsides too: 1. Food cooks faster (perhaps more efficiently?) 2. when you're living in college dorm/garage/RV/motel/workplace/container etc and don't have access to full kitchen 3. when you move a lot (and live out of a suitcase), the pot is a lot lighter and a little smaller, the two handles fold in. It's also more conventient to bring to a potluck, since lighter 4. New price is significantly cheaper than a duro of similar size and same brand ($60 vs $160), and even secondhand prices will reflect that. 5. Enter the cook time and it will do it perfectly. No forgetting and overcooking things.

For my current situation the microwave duromatic works very well, and enables me to prepare foods I could otherwise not cook myself without a kitchen. If you want to get one, keep in mind that it requires a microwave with 900V and an inner cavity size of 11.5''W x 11.5'' L x 6.5'' H. A suitable alternative for similar situations might be a rice cooker (you can also cook more than rice in it), which does not require the microwave but it does not have the added bonus of pressure cooking.