Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven put to the test

Not every recipe was a winner in this celebrity chef's speedy oven

Published: December 22, 2014 09:00 AM

Wolfgang Puck wants families to gather at the dinner table and enjoy a great meal together. He admits that’s hard to do, but his solution is the Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven. Puck promises that you can cook extraordinary meals just like he does and that food cooks in one-third the time. He adds that the $249 Pressure Oven replaces your oven, toaster, and microwave. Consumer Reports put those claims to the test.

We paid $250 for this countertop appliance. The modes are bake, broil, roast, toast, and warm and each can be used like a regular oven’s or in pressure mode, with temperature settings from 150° to 450°F. In pressure mode the small oven cavity is supposed to lock in heat and moisture once you close the door, lower the sealing lever, and put the vent release valve in seal position—similar to how a pressure cooker works though at lower pressure.

How we tested. “Imagine roasting a 13 pound turkey in under an hour,” says the manual. We followed the recipe and instructions closely, and then chose other recipes that also use the pressure mode and tried to match temperature conditions as closely as possible when we cooked the same foods in a regular oven for comparison. We roasted pork tenderloin with vegetables, baked fish with veggies, and brownies.

Wolfgang Puck

Our results. The Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven works, but not as dramatically as claimed. In pressure mode it was slightly faster than a regular oven and conserved moisture better, but did not cook in one-third the time of a regular oven. The recipes we tried, excluding the brownies and fish, call for 450°F heat; that probably accounts for most of the speed. Our turkey cooked about 30 percent faster and the pork took the same time as the regular oven but was more thoroughly cooked. The brownies took over three times as long as claimed but the problem was the recipe. We cut the recipe in half and the brownies took slightly longer than stated.

The turkey was nicely done although not as evenly browned as we would have liked since its back sat in water and juices while cooking. The pork was medium-well rather than medium-rare but the veggies cooked better and were tasty. The fish and veggies were warmed but didn’t cook when following the recipe which called for 150°F heat. The brownies were tasty and moister. But in side-by-side comparisons our tasters did not find a clear winner.

And don’t give away your toaster or microwave. The manual for the Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven says it takes 7 minutes for lightly toasted bread—most toasters pop up medium toast in about 2 minutes—and a cup of water won’t come to a boil like it will in a microwave. If you’d rather have a top-rated microwave, such as the $180 Panasonic Inverter NN-H965BF or a top toaster, the $60 Calphalon 2-Slot HE200ST, then you’ve come to the right place. See the results of our tests of countertop and over-the-range microwaves and toasters and toaster ovens too.

Kimberly Janeway

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