In his fascinating blog, Dave Arnold,  Director of Culinary Technology at The International Culinary Center, detailed an amazing discovery in making flavourful soup stocks.

What’s the discovery?

“All pressure cookers aren’t created equal. The cooker you use affects flavor.”

Dave and his team of chefs and interns repeatedly tried cooking chicken stocks in two types of pressure cooker and conventional pot, did double blind testing with their eyes closed to factor out the hint of color as an indication to flavour.

To make the long story short, they concluded:

  • Stove-top pressure cookers with a jiggler type regulator  (which makes a continuous chu-chu-chu-chu sound as it operates) make the worst stocks for leaking out flavour in the steam. They are worse than the conventional stock pot.
  • Pressure cookers with spring valve regulator, which allows you to turn down heating to prevent steam leaking, make the most flavourful stocks.

Simply put, escaping steam affects taste.

I’m not sure whether the professional chefs are interested in testing home kitchen oriented Instant Pot.  But I’m rest assured that Instant Pot virtually leaks no steam during operation.  And you don’t need to stand by to turn down the heat.  For most of us, cooking is not a job or profession.

You can find Dave’s blog here:

4 replies
  1. Aaron Gates
    Aaron Gates says:

    My Instant Pot does nothing but leak steam and water. Yes… the typical challenge of achieving a seal is usually present with most uses… but once the seal is achieved and the float valve finally pops up to seal… the weighted steam release valve sputters and spews steam throughout the whole cooking process.

    This started happening about a month or two from ‘purchase’.. (this was a gift from my mom because she likes to give these IP-DUO80s out to family members).. and continues to do so now many many months later.

    I’ve learned to balance a heavy weight on top of the weight(like a small cast iron pan or a larger can of canned sauce, etc).. just to avoid the bulk of the steam escaping… but there’s still plenty of condensation escaping.

    I’ve searched the web and discussion board throughout this process to be sure I’m troubleshooting correctly… settings are correct… water level, etc.

    Turns out this is a very common problem.

    I’ve finally gotten my ‘ticket’ submitted with Instant Pot and I hope they’ll get us taken care of. From what I’ve read… they’ve experienced this so much they’ve been responding with replacements/fixes.

    • Sorley Oneil
      Sorley Oneil says:

      Hello Aaron,

      Thank you for reaching out. Please do let us know if we can offer any further help beyond our ticket support.

      Kind Regards,

  2. Robin
    Robin says:

    I’d like an explanation as to how leaking steam effects flavor, other than concentrating it. Nothing is leaving with the steam.

    • mjun
      mjun says:

      Hi there! If your pot is leaking steam, it may actually reduce the flavour in the pot (as compared to a meal cooked without leaking steam). As steam leaks out of the pot, so too do aromas and nutrients, which enrich and deepen flavours.


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