Pressure cooker size

I am about to purchase a Fagor10 quart stove top pressure cooker. I will use this mainly for stocks, stews and beans. Will a 10quart be too big to cook 1lb of beans? I like the idea of a 10quart for stocks and I can do small amounts of canning with it which I might have use for. I never plan to do big batches of canning so I do not want a big one. I did consider getting an 8q 4q combo but the 8q seemed so small for stock. I figure that if I really like pressure cooking enough that I want to use it for small things I can always get a smaller one later. As long as the 10 quart is not too big for the 1lb of beans I think I will be happy. Is there some issue that I might have not have considered?

I was hesitant to ask this question since I know it has been discussed many a time on Chowhound but I did not see much discussion about size. No, I don’t plan to fry chicken in it. :smiley: Help me pull the trigger…

To the powers that be. If you want to move this into the electric pressure topic that is fine with me but I did not want to hijack it.

I think it is a little big, but probably no harm will be done.

I have a 8 quarts, and I find it to be sufficient for stock, but your need will be different than mine.

Do you think that the main issue with it being a bit big for 1lb of beans is that it will take that much longer to get to pressure? My stove does not run very hot (it’s propane) so this could be an issue. Except for the canning possibilities, I am tempted to get the smaller pot thinking that If stock is so fast to make, I might make it more often so the batches will be smaller than I normally make. I would enjoy not having bags of bones building up.

Getting up to pressure is any issue. For pressure cooking, we don’t want too little content or too much content. I was just think that the pot will be a bit bigger than you will need most of them. Yet, you did express an interest of canning, so I guess it is a balance which need to be compromised.

As for stock, pressure cooking help to make certain stocks, but not other stocks.

I understand that it can make stocks cloudy which is fine for me for most things. Are there other issues? I am really hoping that it will cut some time out of making beef stock. Is is good for that?

Cloudy is one thing.

It isn’t better or worse. Higher temperature tends to produce a deeper flavor stock, and also extracts more fat and more gelatin. While low temperature tend to have a lighter and clearer taste. It is like comparing bread flour vs cake flour. One isn’t better than another.

Yes, pressure cooker is good for making beef stock.

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That is good to know, thank you.

Rainy, I purchased an 8QT within the last year and am very happy with it. I don’t have extra space to store anything much larger so that was why I chose the size. I usually cook about 1 cup (dried) beans at a time and it comes to pressure very quickly so I think a pound of beans in a 10QT would be no problem.

I struggled with the size decision as well because I was mainly getting it for stock and beans. I haven’t found the need to do more than one batch of stock at a time. I guess it would depend on your household size and how often you use stock. I generally make stock when I have just one chicken carcass and some good vegetable scraps (haven’t tried beef stock yet). This usually gives me enough to make a couple batches of soup/stew at the very least. We are a household of two.

I’m new to pressure cooking and look forward to more conversations on the topic.

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I remembered why I want to make small canning batches so I am stuck with at least a 10qt. It sounds like It will not be too much of a problem being so big. I cook for two as well but I like cooking in bulk and I really like soup. My understanding about beans is that you still should soak them. Do you find that to be true? If so I will want to cook larger batches for impromptu soups and such. Currently I use canned beans but I prefer the ones I cook.

IME, soaked beans are slightly more consistent in texture. But if you’re in a hurry, cooking un-soaked beans a few minutes longer than recommended should give equally good results, with perhaps a few of them softer than others.

When I followed exact timing for un-soaked beans, there were some that weren’t quite done. I’d note that I use ordinary supermarket beans, so no idea how fresh they are.

I never soak my beans. Ever. I just pressure cook them a few minutes longer. If you quick release and find they are still not quite right, throw them back on the heat, bring back up to pressure ( which will happen really fast) and do another couple minutes if they are almost there. Quick release again.

I’ve had great success with unsoaked chickpeas in the PC. For one cup of beans and four cups of water, I also add a bay leaf, two gently smashed cloves of garlic, a quarter to half an onion (peeled but not chopped) and two cloves. The cloves really make a difference. Be sure to fish them out along with the bay. They will be soft but still intact. I leave the garlic in there if I’m going to make hummus. The onion becomes mushy and gross so I get rid of it.


You can put your pound of beans, soaked or not, into a bowl to which you’ve added the right amount of cooking water, then put the bowl on a rack (or canning rings) in the bottom of the PC, then add a half inch or so water to the PC. I use this method, with 3 empty 28 oz tomato cans, to cook different colors of dry bean when I make bean salad, so the colors don’t bleed into one another. Process the same amount of time as the regular method. All I’ve had to do is rinse out the PC later, as I haven’t had boilovers.


I’ve had some cloudy PC stock but this wasn’t one of them

Pressured cooked stock after straining

RainyCat, you can save SOME time by taking your stock part of the way in a pressure cooker, BUT flavors do NOT blend as fully under pressure, and you will never get the concentration of flavors that a true stock will give you if you stop at taking the lid off the pressure cooker. That will produce beef soup, not beef stock. So after you safely remove the pressure cooker lid continue simmering the soup until it reduces (concentrates flavors) and then do the straining routine. How long you will need to reduce the soup to stock depends on the size of your pressure cooker.

As for cloudiness, it doesn’t matter how you make the stock (pressure cooker or the classic 2 or 3 days with a huge stock pot), at some point you MUST strain it through cheese cloth and/ or one of these:
I actually use both at the same time, lining the stock strainer with the cheesecloth. And I buy my “culinary cheese cloth” on too.

I’ve also found that freezing my GREATLY reduced stock in small plastic cups with lids REALLY extends their freezer “shelf life.”

I don’t know if you’re intention is to go “all the way” with a stock that has flour in it (often introduced along the way as an espagnole sauce, which contains flour) but if you omit ALL flour along the way, you will have a whoooole lot less of straining and filtering to do to get a “clean” stock. A LOT less… God knows how large Escoffier’s kitchen staff was, but mine is me and my housekeeper, and she is (literally) from Siberia, and doesn’t much like to cook, or eat for that matter. :frowning: And she ends up with me, poor baby!

Anyway, in the photograph of the little cups they are filled to the exact perfect level to cap, refrigerate until well gelled, then pop in a quart (or larger) zip lock bag and stash them in the freezer. The old freeze your stock as ice cubes then store them loose in a ziplock bag ends up with a far shorter freezer life because the air in the bag allows ice crystals to form on the frozen stock, and that will kill the flavor of the stock pretty quickly. Been there, done that, got yucky tasting stock! Yay cups!

Relax and have fun. Beef stock – even the classic Escoffier kind, is not that hard. It just takes time. So relax and have fun!

Sheesh! I started this hours ago. Computer problems!

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Nice looking stock. I am happy to hear from these posts that the stock does not get as cloudy as some other posts have left me to believe. Like you I store my stock fairly concentrated. I do not make pan sauces much of the type that requires me to care too much about the clarity of my stock anyway. I do think it matters when making risotto. I have used a murky stock to make risotto and guess what the risotto came out murky. That was a well yes duh moment. I usually use cheese cloth. I wonder if that boullion strainer is better than that or more or less the same.

I am also happy to hear that I really do not need to soak the beans. That will really help with last minute type of things. I need to get around to buying the pressure cooker. I just ran out of stock and want to cook the next batch in the PC.

I’ve made stock in a pressure cooker for nearly 50 years. It ALWAYS turns out better than stove-top. It tastes better, and it gels better, and it takes a fraction of the time and makes a fraction of the mess. I’ve never had to “concentrate” stock out of the PC - why would you even do that, given that it already sets up like jello? What’s the point in “concentrating” that? The flavor is already pretty darn concentrated by the time the PC is done with it. Maybe someone is using too much water to start with?

I make plain stock. No veggies or spices. That isn’t stock IMO, its broth. There are no flavors to meld when you are making plain stock. There is no flour in plain stock either. I’m not sure what adding flour makes it, but it stops being stock at that point. I’ve actually never even heard of doing that.

I don’t make stock much anymore as I simply don’t eat enough meat to do so, especially not beef. If I want stock these days I have to buy bones for it and I can’t help but balk at paying for bones, LOL!

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A 10 quart will be fine for a pound of beans. I’d normally cook that in an 8 quart, but it’s no problem not having the cooker full. It is more of a problem to have the cooker too full, and with beans in particular, you want some extra room.

Once you make a few things, you are going to love having a pressure cooker and you might want a smaller one. I would say go ahead and get your 10 quart for canning, stock, and beans. Then think about getting a 6 quart for risotto and other day-to-day meals.


As far as size goes, keep in mind that pressure cookers are not intended to be used more than about half full. So a 10 qt PC is actually around 5 or 6 qt capacity.

Especially for beans, which I have never in my life cooked in a PC because of the whole foaming issue. They need more head room rather than less. One of these days I may have to break down and do chickpeas in a PC as I have had such an awful time trying to cook them stove-top over the years - but so far I’m not willing to risk it.

The foaming issue is overblown. As long as the PC is not overloaded, it’s not going to be an issue. I typically sauté some onions before adding the beans and water, and the little bit of oil from that completely eliminates any foaming.


Agree with Mel. For any foods that tend to foam, I do a slowish quick release, holding the valve open with my thumb, ready to let it close and rest for a minute at the first sign of foam.

So far, using this controlled quick release, I’m only had to back off one time. That was with pasta, not beans.