This is the new Nesco Pressure Cooker that I have in my house and am testing:
THAT being said, I wrote to Nesco and told them about me, my blog and my love of all things Pressure Cooker and VOILA, I'm a product tester (for the moment anyway)
I'm going to be brutal with my testings and will tell you exactly what I think. I could, easily, write pages about how much I love it, blindly, but that wouldn't be me taking this job very seriously. I'm going to be honest, brutally honest... ok, that being said, let's rip this baby open and start playing!!
The box is gorgeous! The Cooker is GORGEOUS!
I love it in white! The whole cooker feels more substantial than the older model. Hinged lid! YAY! I never know where to put the lid when I pull it off the pressure cooker. LOOK at the control panel, fabulous! BIGGER buttons and a dual color display. I like the bigger buttons, I don't have squint to see what I want and I won't squash two at once. So far, so brilliant, Nesco.
Oh, uh. Look at this... if I lift the lid...and there's still steam in there, isn't it going to cook my wrist? Who thought this up? Ok, I won't judge just yet but this isn't brilliant. On to the cooking.
I chopped an onion and threw it in the cooker, set to BROWN, with a squirt of oil and got an instant sizzle! BRILLIANT! It browns hotter and faster than the old one. The unit also didn't turn off and have to be reset after a few minutes. Oh yes, this is good.
*ASIDE* These are two of my Pugs (BabyAlice, rear left and WalterPug rear right) and Guestpug waiting for dinner. I am trying to explain the recent time change to them, they aren't 'getting' it.
BACK to the onions, beautifully soft and lightly browned in no time at all. I added some beef and shushed it around, a squirt of tomato paste and salt and pepper and browned it. It browned beautifully evenly. I'm impressed. No hot spots and no slanting bottom that sends the stuff to the sides.
I think it's ready to test at pressure. You will notice I didn't add extra liquid. There was enough liquid with the fat the water that came out of the meat to be deep enough. It's how I do it. IF you feel the need, then add a little water.
LOCK AND LOAD, 10 minutes
at the end, it tells you that it's done... nice.
Ok, the release button is large and I love the fact you can turn it either way to release it. It's in the middle of the top and easy to stay out of the way. Ah, the reveal. The handle is much larger than the previous model, lovely to hold and smooth. The top didn't get as hot because of the plastic, nice and nice.
COLLOSAL BAD DESIGN moment. If you have to open the pressure cooker before the steam from inside is dissipated...you have to reach over it. OH WHO THOUGHT THIS UP?
I burned my wrist and I'm a PRO so I switched to using a spoon to open it. *I later learned how to open it, QUICKLY, without burning myself but people don't usually open pressure cookers QUICKLY.
I was SO impressed with the design of this model:
THESE THINGS I LOVE;
1. The condensation reservoir is at the back, with the hinged lid so that it catches liquid from the lid.
2. The plug is slightly off center at the back so you CAN push it against a wall and not have a plug in the way.
3. BIG handle.
4. Easy to reach, read and use regulator knob
5. BEAUTIFUL control panel.
6. Easy to read and use buttons.
7. BIG buttons.
8. Dual color timer display that also displays when you're at pressure.
9. LOVE the hinge.
10. It's easy to remove the lid as well as use the hinge so you're good either way you want to use it.
THE LIST OF WHAT'S WRONG WRONG WRONG:
1. Having to open the lid across the emerging steam. BAD form Nesco.
BACK to the test:
I opened it with the spoon but LOOK, the meat is perfect! Perfectly cooked, perfectly moist, perfectly absorbed the flavors. I'm happy, even with the singed wrist.
The reason I like to make my Chinese Pie in this way is that I can drain the meat into a strainer in the pan I'm going to cook it in. I can throw away most of the fat (I always keep a little in the pan) then toss the meat in. I think it's an easier way to do it
After the meat is drained, cover it with frozen corn, I like a lot. Then make some mashed potatoes and cover the whole thing with them.
BAKE the whole thing at about 425 till the tops are brown and the meat is hot
Serve it with some crusty bread that you make like this one:
I'd made it the day before and cut off a hunk and threw it in the oven for about 15 minutes to get crusty and warm. Yeah, it was that good.
SO, the Nesco Test. In addition to my thoughts above, here's more thoughts, pros and cons:
1. PRO; The cooker is fabulous, overall and it's a looker!
2. PRO; The whole thing feels more secure and substantial than the older model.
3. CON; The recipe book is sad, sad, sad. They need ME to write them one or at least link to me in their paperwork or website. I mean, who writes a cookbook to go with a pressure cooker and under meatballs, uses frozen meatballs as an ingredient. Boo Boo Hiss.
4. PRO; I think it browns faster and hotter.
5. CON: BAD handle/hinge design placement. A simple shift of the hinge to the 3'oclock position would allow you to open the unit from the side, thus avoiding any steam on your hand, arm, wrist. You CAN spin the whole unit and open it away from you but that's a pain to do, especially if you have limited space.
VERDICT: Day one, I LOVE this machine. I think you should go and buy it now. I think it's absolutely worth the money and if you can remember to open the lid fast and use me as your recipe place, the Nesco Digital Pressure Cooker is absolutely the one to get.
THAT being said... let's move to the NEXT TEST