Tastes so good

A pressure cooker cuts cooking time and amps up flavours for seriously luscious dishes. MIA CHENYZE tests these with beef stew and chicken soup.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
A pressure cooker cuts cooking time and amps up flavours for seriously luscious
dishes. MIA CHENYZE tests these with beef stew and chicken soup.
Main Photo Photography Vernon Wong
Main Photo Photography Vernon Wong

• Place all the ingredients in the pot and put it on the hob (those here can be used on gas and induction hobs). For stews, fry the aromatics and brown the ingredients, if necessary, before adding water or stock.
• Lock the pot and bring it to pressure, which takes about 15min.
• Lower the flame when the pot reaches optimal pressure (watch the indicator), then leave it to cook for 30-40min to be done.
• At the end of the cooking, remove the pot from the hob and depressurise it by pressing a button or turning a knob before opening the pot. Alternatively, put the locked pot under running water for a few minutes to release pressure. All the pressure cookers here have a safety lock that does not allow you to open them when there is built-up pressure.

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FISSLER VITAVIT PREMIUM 6L $999, from Isetan Scotts
• The standout feature is the pressure vent, where the steam inside the pot is expelled in a V direction away from you. This makes depressurising less scary.
• It is the only one with visual cues about the heat. Yellow indicates that it’s reaching optimal pressure. Green: Pressure-cooking has star ted and you should lower the flame. Red: The temperature within is too high and you should turn down the heat or take it off the stove.
• Thanks to the Close tab on the lid, this one was dead easy to secure.

• Beef stew came out almost fork-tender after 30min at high pressure, and the broth was beefy without being gamey. But the carrots and potatoes were a tad mushy.
• Chicken soup was robust and the breast meat was still moist after cooking.

VERDICT A dream to use in every way, it’s worth the premium price tag

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TEFAL CLIPSO+ PRESSURE COOKER 6L $379, from major department stores.
• The steam-release vent was intimidating. I used a wooden spoon to turn the pressure adjustment dial, and steam spurted out vigorously in all directions.
• The lid was the easiest to close – just push down the top handle to lock it. No alignment to fuss over.
• It was easy to monitor. At optimal pressure, a red ball bobs up.
• The handles can be folded down to save space.

• The beef stew was flavourful but could have used another 10min on the stove for a more tender bite. Like the Fissler and WMF pots, the potatoes and carrots were a little mushy.
• The chicken soup was the best of the lot. It had good depth and struck a perfect balance between savoury and sweet. It was also surprisingly light and not oily.

VERDICT A budget-friendly workhorse that gets the job done efficiently.

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WMF PERFECT PRO 6.5L $459, from major department stores
• The pressure vent points away from you, which feels safer than having steam spur t out in all directions when you depressurise the pot.
• It was fairly easy to monitor the pressure level. When you see the first orange ring, the pot has hit the pressure to cook veggies and fish; when you see the second ring, the pressure is good for meats.
• It’s easy to check and change the pressure setting with the knob on the handle.
• It took me a while to align the lid. Having to struggle with this over a hot stove stressed me out.
• Some liquid dripped at the point where the lid meets the handle. It didn’t affect the cooking but was messy.

• Beef stew was stellar on flavour, and only slightly less tender than the one cooked in the Fissler. The carrots were mushy, but potatoes had better bite.
• The chicken soup beat the Fissler one by a small margin, with the onions and car rots balancing the taste of the chicken better.

VERDICT An above-average pressure cooker. All you need is practice fitting the lid.

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ASD PRESSURE COOKER 6L $139, from major department stores
• The steam release vent works in the same way as the Tefal, which made me ner vous.
• The lid’s indicator arrow helps with alignment, making it easier to lock it into place .
• Like the Tefal, a red ball bobs up when it reaches the right pressure.

• The beef stew developed very good flavours, and the potatoes and carrots had the best texture, but the meat was quite tough.
• The chicken soup came out well – tender meat in a tasty, non-oily soup.

VERDICT A good buy if you don’t mind spending a little more time cooking.