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Tower Aluminium Pressure Cooker
I brought this Pressure Cooker last year from Comet in the sale at £20 which was a bargain price as it had been reduced from £40.
A pressure cooker is a faster way of cooking ingredients, and you can add more than one item to the pan, as they have a divider. You put a small amount of water in, so it is almost like steaming the items.
This is a 4 litre cooker, and is plentiful to cook for a family.
The pressure cooker is made from aluminium
Inside the base (looks like a large saucepan) there is a round metal disc with holes in, pop this in, then the small metal basket with the food in, add water.
Put the lid on, and line up so that it locks into position. Once the pressure inside the pressure cooker has built up, the indicator switch on the top closes, the whistle starts whistling, this is the time that you start timing your cooking.#
You place the whole unit in some cold water in a sink this stops the food cooking and releases the build of pressure, the food is then ready to use.
I just wash mine in soapy water.
=What can they be used on=
I have used mine on gas and electric hobs.
One of the uses I use the base of the pressure cooker is for cooking jam, as it gives me a large enough base to cook, in.
I tend to cook potatoes and vegetables in mine saves money as your only using one ring of the cooker at the time.
=Would I recommend=
I would highly recommend this pressure cooker, it is a great model and even if you have to pay the full price of £40, then I would say it pays for itself in the long run.
When I was young and was in India, my mom used to cook in pressure cooker for cooking most things including rice, dal and curry. But I had not seen one sold here in UK until recently. In the recent years shops and supermarkets are selling slow cookers and pressure cookers.
I bought Tower pressure cooker from Comet last year on sale for £20. It generally retails for around £40. Cooking in pressure cooker is a very healthy option as it keeps all the nutrients inside. It is also a faster option of cooking as it takes minutes to cook in this rather than hours in open pans. For example, lentils gets cooked in 5-10 minutes but in a saucepan it takes about 30-40 minutes. Therefore it saves your gas/electricity consumption too. You can steam vegetables easily too.
This is a 4 litre cooker- good enough to cook for a medium sized family of four. It comes with a steamer plate. It is made of aluminium.
The cooker's lid has the pressure whistle. When you put food in the cooker you need to align and turn the lid clockwise to lock in position. Once the pressure inside builds up and reaches its max, the indicator switch closes. The whistle keeps whizzing and releasing pressure while the food is getting cooked. To make sure the food is getting cooked properly, you will have to simmer or increase the gas so that the whizzing is neither too fast nor too slow. But do bear in mind that if you cook for longer, then the food will be literally mashed!
While cooking, do add adequate water, if not the food will burn. But if the food leaves some water itself, then there is no need to add water or add minimal water, for example - meat.
Although not non-stick, I'm impressed that generally the food doesn't get stuck to the base. This makes it easy to clean too. I'm not sure if they are dishwasher proof but I have been using them in the dishwasher and they seem to get cleaned fine.
They can be used on gas hobs and electric hobs.
I would definitely recommend people to try pressure cooked food and Tower brand ones are affordable and easy to operate.
We have the 7 litre pressure cooker which is priced 29.99 in argos currently. This pan i believe we have had 7years plus! Replacing the odd part here and there which we have either damaged or when it comes to the rubber ring seal has seen better days.
I would never have used a pressure cooker if it wasnt for my husband. I can remember my nana cooking her stews in one but my mother never used one. My husband is from the middle east and everyone uses them over there. A kitchen wouldnt be without one. So when we moved in together he had one and he showed me how to use it. Sounds daft but the water level is very important in a pressure cooker unless you want to be cleaning the contents of the pan from the ceiling and walls.
This Pan is a solid pan a good family size with a black plastic handle and a looped handle to the other side of the pan for ease of moving the pan especially with food. I must admit i use this as a pan more than a pressure cooker because it is such a heavy based pan its ideal for making my currys.
A pressure cooker dramatically reduces cooking time. You may be looking up to a reduction of about 90% depending on what you are cooking. The best part about this pan is the base is a good shape i have another pressure cooker i dont like as the base is smaller with the pan being taller.
This is a great pan and 7l is a good size we are big eaters and a family of four so its ample size. Being silver in colour with black handles it will suit any kitchen. The pan has a metal tube to allow the steam to escape and the lift off plastic/ metal cap that is in place when pressure cooking. This is the thing apart from obviously the noise which i dont like is taking this off its really difficult to remove without getting burned with the steam.
If u decide to buy the pressure cooker take care when using!
When I was a child, there were some things which really frightened me. Lightning, the Daleks, that creepy ventriloquist's dummy Lord Charles but above all....my mother's pressure cooker. Sitting on the hob hissing and spitting furiously on an almost daily basis, it terrified me. Later, when I had my own home my mother would ask me repeatedly; "Why don't you get a pressure cooker..." and would go on to list the advantages of this method of cooking. I always shuddered with memories of that childhood fear. But, living in times when the household budget and my time schedule must be strictly controlled, I re-evaluated my reluctance to use this cooking technique. After all, the nutritional advantages of pressure cooking cannot be denied nor can the time saving benefits. So, with a mixture of apprehension and anticipation of new cooking experiences, I set off to research the models and prices available. Finally, I settled on a model which is not the smallest or most basic but nor is it a top-of-the-range number. "Mid range" is how I would describe the Tower Speed 7.
~Principles of Pressure Cooking~
A pressure cooker is an airtight metal pot which uses steam under pressure and at high temperature to cook food. This reduces the time taken to cook without having a detrimental effect on the food's nutritional value.
~Why Choose this Method of Cooking?~
Pressure cooking saves time and fuel by cooking foods around three times faster than conventional methods. The foods are more nutritious as water-soluble vitamins and minerals are saved. I find meat is tender and succulent (even with cheaper cuts which would normally require lengthy cooking) and stocks, soups and casseroles have superb flavour which can exceed the results obtained with conventional methods. Steamed puddings are moist and light.
~Choice of Cookers Available~
Modern pressure cookers are safe with locking lids, pressure indicators and over-pressure safety systems. Very basic models are on sale through to designs which come with built-in timers and a choice of weights to allow the cook to decide on the pressure used. Capacities range from 2.5 litres to 8.5 litres and prices range from around £20 to well over £100.
~The Tower Speed 7~
This model cooks at a pressure of 11.6 PSI (pounds per square inch) equivalent to 0.88 bar. The pan comes with the CE mark assuring that safety standards have been met. The cooker can be used on gas and electric hobs or solid hotplates but not on ceramic, halogen or induction hobs. The set consists of the main body of the cooker, the lid (with three pressure vents or valves), a rubber gasket to fit inside the rim of the lid and create the pressure seal, one removable weight, a steamer basket with lifting handles and a separator which fits inside this basket, dividing the area in half exactly. The body and lid of the pan are produced from aluminium. The black-capped weight revolves, indicating when the point of cooking pressure has been reached and a timer should be started. An aperture situated within the lid's black handle contains a small red 'button' which sits in a low position at normal (or low) pressure and then rises to indicate that high pressure has been achieved. This falls when the pressure drops. An instruction booklet including recipes comes with the purchase and a telephone number for after-sales service is provided. The product comes with a ten year guarantee for the main body and lid of the cooker and a one year guarantee for the other parts.
~Advantages of this Model~
A visual pressure indicator.
Cooker reaches cooking pressure quite quickly.
Simplicity of use.
A large capacity - seven litres. (I like to cook items such as soups and stocks in larger batches to be frozen so this size is very useful for me. I also like to "braise" fairly large joints of meat (or even whole chickens) so the pan capacity is excellent.)
The front lifting handle is useful when the pan is heavy.
~Disadvantages of the Model~
Unsuitable for users of induction, ceramic or halogen hobs.
This model lacks flexibility in terms of being able to select the pressure for a particular dish as it comes with only one weight.
The pan is made of aluminium - which some cooks avoid - and the interior of the pan stains quite easily.
I also find that a little steam escapes at times from the handle area during the cooking process, though you are warned in the accompanying booklet that this may be so and assured that this is not a cause for alarm.
It takes a little time to master correct control of the pressure (manifested by the degree of spin of the weight).
~Price and Availability~
This model is stocked at several high street and online retailers. I bought mine at Argos on offer for £23.99 but I note it is now being sold for £29.99. (Amazon current price is also £29.99). If you like to browse, then Debenhams, House of Fraser and Robert Dyas are among the stores offering these cookers. (When I visited Argos the sales staff were superb and brought three different cookers out, at my request, so I could have a close-up look at the models before deciding.)
~Safety Considerations in Pressure Cooking~
I must stress the importance of reading the instruction booklet before you begin to cook. Modern pressure cookers are safe and efficient - when they are used properly and in accordance with the manufacturers directions for each model.
I would strongly recommend pressure cooking in general because of the speed, the quality of the food produced and the economy. (I estimate I have reduced my oven usage by half and hob use by about one third.) I would recommend this model as an easy-to-use introduction to the cooking method. I think you would need to invest in a good quality cookbook though as the recipes in the included booklet are limited. Although you will note some negative features, as described above, I think this product represents very good value for money.
(NB: this review has appeared previously on other sites under the same name.)
The word pressure cooker used to scare me as hated the thought of using them.
When I got married over 7 years ago my husband wanted one put onto our wedding list which I done reluctantly as I didn't want one. Well out of all the gifts my best friend could have chosen she picked the, You guessed it pressure cooker lol. She thought seeing as we met at catering college it was an apt gift.
It sat for many weeks in the box unopened before I decided to have a proper look at it.
This particular model was Tower from Argos which cost about £26.99 at the time.
You can buy them now priced between £19.99-29.99 depending on the size as they go from 4litre to 7 litre. Mine was 7 litre which was actually a fraction too big.
The thing that was used to scare me was the fact I thought you'd open it and steam could explode everywhere. But on reading the instructions properly and looking the cooker over I saw that it appeared to have a safety catch to stop this happening.
The cooker is made from Aluminium which is solid even if making the weight heavier which if you have weak hands would not be ideal to use as is even heavier once has food inside it.
It has an interlocking lid and a release button to undo lid again. A steam release valve on the top which helps to release steam faster when you are ready to open it. This model also came with a steamer basket. Also the important pressure indicator.
This is suitable for use on gas and electric hobs and solid hotplates.
It also came with a very handy instructions booklet complete with a large range of recipe ideas which were from soups to chicken dishes and even rice pudding which is on my to try list.
From a pressure cooker phobic to a several times a week user I have become. I cook chicken breasts in it and add sauce, potatoes etc and have dinner ready in 25 minutes or sometimes less.
You can add your veggies separate into the basket if you so wish but I tend to throw it all in together and make it into a casserole type meal.
Once I've browned the chicken I add the other ingredients let it start to boil and then the lid is ready to be put on. The lid will lock into place and then if you keep an eye on the pressure indicator which is a button on the handle with a red spot on it, this will pop up when the cooker is using pressure. This indicator also tells you when it is safe to open up again as it will go back down. There are two ways to release steam from the lid to allow the indicator to go down quicker if you are a bit impatient.
Steam does automatically come out of the valve on lid so don't put your hand over it.
Soup take about 10-15 minutes to be ready and my most favourite meat I like to cook in here is lamb as this way of cooking leaves it so nice and tender.
If you are someone that likes dinner done quick and easy then this is what you need to use. Cooks quicker and food is cooked lovely.
Hope anyone else that may have a fear of these will now be reassured there are safe to use as long as you understand the instructions.
Last Christmas we replaced ours and brought the next size down. The original one had lasted nearly 7 years and had certainly had more use then a normal saucepan. The reason for replacing was the handle ended up breaking and the base was worn out.