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Old 10-08-2013, 05:20 AM
 
Location: NC
6,390 posts, read 4,470,459 times
Reputation: 7148

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So, I was at the thrift store yesterday and saw what seemed to be a BRAND NEW Mirro 4qt pressure cooker, they put it on the shelf as I was standing there, and it was marked at $3.98. I himmed and hawwed for a moment, and figured "why not?".

So I brought it home and cooked some pinto beans, they actually came out great. Some of the best I've made in a LONG time, but here's the thing. It never fully came up to pressure. I mean the little knob didn't rock on it, there was a slight stream of steam that came out at the handle (there is actually a valve up in the handle, in addition to the main valve, and the pressure release plug). I guess I probably cooked everything on high, first for about 45 minutes, they weren't done, so I did another 35 including the time it took to bring them back up, so maybe 1:10 total cooking time under pressure.

But the thing was on HIGH the entire time. FWIW, it's a glass-top stove, but if it was boiling inside, and steam coming out just a little, then does that mean it's defective?

Just wondering if anyone has any tips or advice. (The only pressure cooker I've ever used was 60 qts, and it took two people to lift it to an industrial stove-top. This was in the restaurant business.)

Thanks.

(and the beans were REALLY good, and still cooked from dry to done in about 1/3 or 1/4 the usual time, without even a presoak...)
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:28 AM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,109,412 times
Reputation: 23049
It not sealing somewhere. Wrong gasket, not installed correctly, warped lid/pan. Could be several things.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:43 AM
 
Location: NC
6,390 posts, read 4,470,459 times
Reputation: 7148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
It not sealing somewhere. Wrong gasket, not installed correctly, warped lid/pan. Could be several things.
Thanks, I was finally able to find a manual online, and it might be as simple as "I didn't dry the lid and gasket well enough". I'll try that. Of course, I have a "few-day supply" of beans, so it will be a while before I get to using it again.

I'm pretty sure the lock under the handle is not setting, due to what I mentioned above. Likely just moisture preventing the seal (I hope).

I will be most happy if I can continue to cook beans from dry to done in under an hour. (The main reason I don't cook beans more often is that without a PC, one has to plan at least four hours in advance, now I'll be able to do it on a whim. Yay!)
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:44 AM
 
Location: Delaware
136 posts, read 286,182 times
Reputation: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
It not sealing somewhere. Wrong gasket, not installed correctly, warped lid/pan. Could be several things.

Ditto!
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:27 AM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,109,412 times
Reputation: 23049
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myghost View Post
Thanks, I was finally able to find a manual online, and it might be as simple as "I didn't dry the lid and gasket well enough". I'll try that. Of course, I have a "few-day supply" of beans, so it will be a while before I get to using it again.

I'm pretty sure the lock under the handle is not setting, due to what I mentioned above. Likely just moisture preventing the seal (I hope).

I will be most happy if I can continue to cook beans from dry to done in under an hour. (The main reason I don't cook beans more often is that without a PC, one has to plan at least four hours in advance, now I'll be able to do it on a whim. Yay!)
Great, I'll bring the corn bread when's dinner?
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:26 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,148 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myghost View Post
So, I was at the thrift store yesterday and saw what seemed to be a BRAND NEW Mirro 4qt pressure cooker, they put it on the shelf as I was standing there, and it was marked at $3.98. I himmed and hawwed for a moment, and figured "why not?".

So I brought it home and cooked some pinto beans, they actually came out great. Some of the best I've made in a LONG time, but here's the thing. It never fully came up to pressure. I mean the little knob didn't rock on it, there was a slight stream of steam that came out at the handle (there is actually a valve up in the handle, in addition to the main valve, and the pressure release plug). I guess I probably cooked everything on high, first for about 45 minutes, they weren't done, so I did another 35 including the time it took to bring them back up, so maybe 1:10 total cooking time under pressure.

But the thing was on HIGH the entire time. FWIW, it's a glass-top stove, but if it was boiling inside, and steam coming out just a little, then does that mean it's defective?

Just wondering if anyone has any tips or advice. (The only pressure cooker I've ever used was 60 qts, and it took two people to lift it to an industrial stove-top. This was in the restaurant business.)

Thanks.

(and the beans were REALLY good, and still cooked from dry to done in about 1/3 or 1/4 the usual time, without even a presoak...)
Myghost, if it took 1 hr 10 mins to cook those beans, I don't think that pressure cooker is maintaining pressure anywhere near like it should. For pinto beans, it should take maybe 20 - 25 mins, max, depending on its maximum pressure setting, how old the dried beans are, etc. As was said before, there could be multiple causes for the problem. If I were you, I would contact the manufacturer:

[url=http://www.wearever.com/ConsumerInformation/Pages/contact-us.aspx]Contact address: questions about cookware and bakeware[/url]

Give them a call and see if they can help you troubleshoot the problem. (You can also find out from them if its a 15 PSI pressure cooker, which is the standard pressure setting.) You may not be locking the lid properly (for example, if you were able to remove the lid while the PC was supposedly under pressure, it wasn't under pressure, and it wasn't locked properly), maybe the gasket needs replacing, maybe the pressure valve needs to be cleaned.

Worst case, if it doesn't work, at least you can shave SOME time off the bean cooking time, and for $4 that's good. A 4 qt. pot isn't big enough to make stock in, but you could certainly make smaller amounts of soup, rice, grains, potatoes, smaller amounts of meat, etc.
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