For the price, the Fagor Duo 8-Quart is a safe, high-quality pressure cooker with above-average capacity. It's a good beginner, as it's very easy to use according to both professional and owner reviewers. The pressure indicator is straightforward, and it offers several safety features. Though it has a 10-year warranty, there are more reports of malfunction with this unit than with pricier models like the Kuhn Rikon Duromatic 6-Quart Pressure Cooker.
High marks from pros and owners, alike. Available in four different sizes (4-, 6-, 8- or 10-quart), the Fagor Duo is packed with features. It gets its share of praise from experts after comparison testing on cooking performance. Reviewers say that the generously sized stainless-steel base on the 8-quart model is great for caramelizing foods before cooking, and it includes a steamer basket. Each Fagor Duo unit offers the standard high-pressure setting as well as a lower setting for cooking delicate foods. Though some owners report that their cookers have broken one way or another, the manufacturer covers these pressure cookers under a 10-year warranty.
Owners consider it straightforward to operate. While Cook's Illustrated says the Duo's lid doesn't lock quite as easily as one competitor's, most owners disagree. They say the unit is fairly easy to lock and use. The included recipes and instructional DVDs are also helpful to most owners. And thanks to the visual pressure indicator, reviewers agree that the pressure is very easy to monitor.
Looks like a pot. The Fagor Duo 8-Quart has a sleek, stainless-steel finish and looks more like a standard pot than many other units. (Its safety valves and pressure sensor are built into the handle, so the lid is free of busy buttons and knobs.) This pressure cooker is also dishwasher-safe and relatively compact for easy storage.
Modern safety features. The Fagor Duo has all the standard safety features found in more expensive models. It has a secure lid that locks in place and a pop-up indicator that lets you know when the optimal cooking pressure is reached. Of note: The manufacturer warns that the unit should only be filled two-thirds full (or half full for contents that expand during cooking) to prevent a malfunction. If the operating steam valve should become blocked during cooking, the Duo has a secondary release and vent opening in the lid to allow the pressure to release.
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1. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Review Credibility: Very Good Cook's Illustrated magazine tests and compares eight pressure cookers. The Fagor Duo 8-Quart is one of the two "highly recommended" models, and the editors say it performs nearly as well as the top-rated Fissler Vitaquick at a fraction of the price. They say the wide base and lower sides make for a good cooking surface, and the pressure indicator is easy to monitor. They do note that the lid doesn't latch quite as smoothly as the Fissler's.
Review: Stovetop Pressure Cookers, Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, Jan. 1, 2013
2. Choice magazine
Review Credibility: Very Good Australia's Choice magazine tests eight pressure cookers based on the ability to turn lamb shanks and dried soup mix into a tender, flavorful meal. The ease of locking the lid, using the controls, and disassembling and cleaning the unit accounted for 60 percent of each product's overall score.
Review: Pressure Cooker Reviews, Matthew Steen, March 19, 2009
Review Credibility: Very Good More than half of the 260-plus owner reviews of the Fagor Duo Pressure Cooker give it a perfect rating. Owners say the lid is easy to attach and lock in place, and the yellow indicator makes it easy to know when the correct pressure is achieved. Several owners, however, report bad experiences with the Fagor Duo ranging from handles breaking to very rare explosions while cooking. It isn't clear whether mishaps are due to improper use.
Review: Fagor Duo Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2013
Review Credibility: Good The Fagor Duo 8-Quart Pressure Cooker receives a perfect score from more than a dozen owners at Macy's website. Reviews agree that less expensive cuts of meat turn out tender, and it's easy to use and clean. Owners appreciate the recipes and DVD that come with the cooker.
Review: Fagor Duo Pressure Cooker, 8 Qt., Contributors to Macys.com, As of February 2013
Review Credibility: Good MyShinyKitchen.com reviewer Kelly Rockwell writes an informative and well-researched buying guide on pressure cookers based largely on her own experience. She names the Fagor Duo her favorite mid-priced pressure cooker; the handle is comfortable to grip, and the unit is easy to use.
Review: Pressure Cooker Reviews and Buying Guide, Kelly Rockwell, Not Dated