Why America’s Test Kitchen Calls the Fagor Duo the Best Buy for Stovetop Pressure Cookers

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The Fagor Duo 8-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker is a terrific value for its performance, and we highly recommend it for anyone who wants to cook food faster without sacrificing flavor. Our high-performance Best Buy pressure cooker is easy to operate, even if you’re new to pressure cooking.

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How did we put pressure cookers to the test?

Highest Temperature:
We measured the temperature inside the cooker under high pressure for 30 minutes and noted the peak temperature reached. Because temperature is directly related to pressure, this indicates the pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure generated by each cooker. Since recipes calling for “high pressure” are designed to cook at 15 psi, which is achieved at 250 degrees, pots that could reach 250 degrees were rated higher.

We prepared our pressure-cooker recipes for risotto, Boston baked beans, chicken stock, a meaty tomato sauce with pork, and beef stew, rating the dishes’ tastes and textures and the cookers’ steadiness of heating and evenness of browning (which we also checked by making crêpes).

Ease of Use:
We evaluated shape, size, weight, and handle comfort; the design of locking mechanisms, pressure indicators, and steam-release mechanisms; cleanup; and other features that enhance user-friendliness.

Evaporation Loss:
We added 2 pounds of water to each cooker, weighed the whole cooker with water inside, and boiled it at high pressure for 1 hour, checking the weight at 20, 40, and 60 minutes to determine the amount of water that had evaporated. Cookers with lower evaporation levels rated higher.

America’s Test Kitchen is the most-watched cooking show on public television—up to 2 million viewers watch each episode. The show is filmed in the test kitchen of Cook’s Illustrated magazine, located just outside Boston.

Each episode features recipes we’ve carefully developed to make sure they work every time. Christopher Kimball and the test cooks solve everyday cooking problems, test equipment so you never have to waste money on things that don’t work, and taste supermarket ingredients to save you time in the store. It’s a common-sense, practical approach you won’t find on other cooking shows.

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