For those who follow the Claiming Liberty Facebook page, my review of the Power Pressure Cooker XL won’t surprise you at all. So far, it’s met or exceeded my expectations, so I thought I’d share my thoughts here on the blog.
I first heard about the Power Pressure Cooker XL over at The Survival Podcast. Initially, I thought, “I don’t need a pressure cooker. This isn’t relevant to me.” But when Jack started talking about using the device for canning, he had my attention.
What Is It?
The Power Pressure Cooker XL is a countertop slow cooker, pressure cooker, and pressure canner. It’s programmable with a time delay feature, so you can ensure that meals are hot and ready when your family is ready to eat. A computer controls the various cooking processes, so there’s no guess-work. You simply push a few buttons, secure the lid, and forget it until it’s done. It really couldn’t be easier!
I couldn’t wait to receive my Power Pressure Cooker XL from Amazon. So when it arrived at my home, I didn’t waste any time unpacking it and familiarizing myself with the appliance.
The device came in a sturdy box, and the packing foam was perfectly engineered to prevent damage during transport. All the accessories and documentation were packed inside the inner pot, so there weren’t loose bits inside the box to surprise me as I unpacked it.
I handed the paperwork to my daughter, and she started looking over the recipe book and canning guide that came with my Power Pressure Cooker XL. I started pulling plastic off the accessories. It came with a really cheap plastic ladle, a cheap plastic measuring cup, a “condensation cup”, and a “steam rack” that goes inside the pot above other food or steaming liquid so that you can cook vegetables without boiling them.
While the accessories seemed cheap and flimsy, the appliance itself seemed well made. I had no trouble removing and replacing the lid on the first try, and the controls seemed intuitive enough. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the digital controls aren’t “soft touch” like those on a microwave oven. Each “button” has a tactile relief, so I didn’t have to enlist the help of my family to label controls with my Braille labeler.
Another pleasant surprise was the bright, large LED display. I can use the appliance without seeing the display because it beeps each time a button is pressed, but once I started cooking with my new toy, I liked the fact that I could look at it and see where it was in the cycle. Yeah, I have to get close to it to read it, but that’s better than all the other digital items in my kitchen that I can’t read at all no matter how close I get.
Pros and Cons?
Keep in mind that I ordered my Power Pressure Cooker XL about three weeks ago, so my experience is somewhat limited, but I still have lots of thoughts to share.
- Features — The appliance can serve as a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, and a canner for both high AND low acid foods. It has a sear function that allows the user to sear meats or saute veggies before cooking your dish, and the unit automatically switches to “keep warm” once the meal is done. (I really like that because I can get distracted sometimes, and with that feature, I don’t have to worry about things getting cold.)
- Convenience — It’s an excellent multitasker. Because of that, I don’t mind leaving the unit on my countertop so that it’s ready to go whenever I want to use it. The inner pot is also easy to clean, and I can control the unit with only a few button presses. There aren’t any complicated menus or labels; the controls are intuitive.
- Accessibility — I’m certain that the engineers didn’t design the Power Pressure Cooker XL with accessibility in mind, but they succeeded brilliantly! I bought the device hoping that I’d be able to can without sighted assistance (among other things), but I expected to have to jump through some hoops to make that happen. With this appliance though, all I had to do was memorize the locations of all the buttons. I didn’t have to create special labels so I’d know where to press on the control panel, and I don’t have to wonder if my key presses were registered because the machine beeps each time I press one of the buttons. I’ve really enjoyed the independence that the Power Pressure Cooker XL has given me.
- Safety — Because the unit is a pressure cooker, there are lots of safety features built into the device, and you don’t need a degree to take advantage of them. When I’m using the unit, I don’t worry about those horror stories that many folks my age have heard about the pressure cooker that blew its top and put a hole in the kitchen ceiling. This unit is very safe.
- Size — I wish the unit were larger. I cook for a large family, and I have to think carefully about the meals that I choose for the Power Pressure Cooker XL. Also, as a canner, it’ll only hold 4 quart jars, so I won’t be using it for any substantial canning.
- Inner Pot Design — While the inner pot is easy to clean, it moves freely inside the appliance. I’ve found that while serving food from it, I need to grab an oven mit to steady the pot as I serve. If I don’t steady it, attempts to serve food cause the pot to spin inside the unit, and I have trouble retrieving and plating food.
Overall, I’m glad I purchased the Power Pressure Cooker XL. I’m certain that my family will enjoy a wide variety of foods prepared with this efficient multitasker, and I know I’ll be posting more projects that I’ve dreamed up using this handy kitchen appliance.