It's a Pressure Cooker!

We have a Google folder in Drive where we stash all kinds of lists boat-related. There’s “Provisioning” and “Projects to Do”. Diagrams of the boat and new galley layout. Drawings and country notes and budgets.

Of course, there is “Gear to Buy.”

A screenshot of SOME of the items in the Calypso folder!

A screenshot of SOME of the items in the Calypso folder!

I’ve waffled back and forth on a pressure cooker. We took one with us the first time out, a gorgeously compact wedding gift from my mother-in-law, a French SEB model.* I never really got it to work well. It took twice as long to cook anything as a regular pan (never came up to pressure) and I wound up using it mostly as a pasta pot. By the time we got ready to go on cruise #2, the top had rusted so hard it was unusable.

The second cruise, we were a family of four, heading to the Bahamas. Canning meat as a way of stretching our meager fridge space was very appealing, so I ventured back into the realm of pressure cookers. This time, a Presto was my choice (mostly because of the price point, to be honest.) I successfully canned about 12 pints of chicken enchilada filling and meat sauce for spaghetti and thought I was a pressure cooker convert.

The next time I pulled the pan out, poof. No pressure. When I investigated the lid more closely, I found a hairline crack.

Pressure cooker #2, relegated to pasta pot duty once again.

As you might imagine, I am a little wary. I can get a really good heavy pasta pot for a lot less than a pressure cooker, thank you very much. It’s not that the pots are only used for pasta (everything on board needs to serve more than one duty), but if all I needed was a big pot I’d get one without a weirdly long handle.

Apparently the new pressure cookers are really good. Not the InstantPot variety (no space nor electricity for that on board our boat) but the stovetop versions, specifically by Fagor. There are new safety features built in as well as a far easier method of using them. You have to be careful; some are made in China and others (the more expensive ones) are made in Spain.

Of course, I lust after the one from Spain. But the price tag, for a piece of gear I’ve tried to use a few times before with no luck, had me reconsidering. A LOT.

The other day, I was walking to the grocery store and walked past a sign outside a cookware shop. “Sidewalk sale this weekend!” the sign pronounced. Shiny pots on one table caught my eye, and I leaned in for a closer look.

There. My Fagor 6-quart pressure cooker, from Spain, on half-price sale.


Maybe the third time is the charm?

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