- Joined Apr 25, 2015
Ah yes, user reviews. I glanced at a few and noted many said you have to turn off your home smoke detectors with it. I think this is why local regulators eventually are able to create the legal pressure (no pun intended) to throttle back the Emsons of this world. I predict the same will happen with the mighty Presto, so get it while you can, because this Forum Brother may be buying one just to resell it at $500 some day....questions on a website named after a jungle river, they state that the hot smoke setting alternates from 190 to 240 depending on the "combo" smoke setting...whatever that means?!
...As for those old stove top pressure cookers, they certainly are versatile.
Though, I never witnessed one redecorating the kitchen despite all the horror stories and urban legends...
Per the Presto Smoker user manual, combo means 40% of your set time (up to 6h max) is in Low Smoke mode, then the last 60% is at High Smoke.
Alas those stovetop pressure cookers had a tendency to build up previous cooks' worth of food coating within the center diameter hole that the jiggler sat on. The weight of the jiggler divided by the area of that hole was the pressure setpoint. The jiggler would bounce up and down with a musical clatter maintaining pressure within a psi of that pressure point. But as the hole closed off, well you could build up "excess" pressure. (I think the new Chinese self-powered units have a gooseneck sort of vent that traps this food "spit" and keeps the final metered path out clear "for the life of the unit".)
Of course the Presto having two vents is not new...all pressure systems have such redundancy since steam locomotive days. On old-school pressure cookers, the secondary relief is a half inch rubber pressed into an off-center position on the top lid. It's supposedly designed to blow at 2x the normal pressure of ~12 psi. But that old school rubber was notorious for getting hard and non-compliant with age so 5X is probably a realistic number for that time when my Dear Dad blew potatoes all over the ceiling. Naturally my old school mom & pop cleaned up, replaced the rubber (heck, they might have re-used the original if they could recover it stuck to the ceiling with the potatoes.)
I inherited and still have that pressure cooker, although I usually use the larger stainless model my folks gave me as a young man out on my own. But I still have memories of Dad meticulously cleaning the jiggler hole with a toothpick before and after each cook...at least after the potato explosion.
And I'm proud to say I've learned from Dad's experience. I always keep a handful of round toothpicks in the bottom of one of these old pressure cookers as a reminder to never forget this critical piece of maintenance.