Kuhn Rikon: Cooking (and pressure cooker) Museum

Hi I’m Laura Pazzaglia, founder of hippressurecooking.com Welcome to Kun Rikon Switzerland (off-screen) Kuuhn-ree-kon Kuhn Rikon! This is Rene ab Egg head of Marketing at Kuhn Rikon (laughing) I’m going to show you the Kuhn Rikon museum It’s just showing some steps in the evolution of cooking (OK) (oooh look at this! WOW) So cooking began in a cave over an open fire and that’s what we’re showing here but obviously we go into the kitchen now. What you see here is what they called, the black kitchen it was called that because there was no chimney and so the fire sort spread and the smoke spread everywhere this was what a kitchen looked like until around the 18th century. And this table that you’re seeing here is how people ate. The food was put directly onto the table and these little holes here indicate how big the person was that was sitting at this specific place (oh, I see) the bigger the person the bigger the person eating there (here’s a little porridge and here’s a big porridge, OK) It’s not the black kitchen, anymore. It’s the white kitchen so chimeny’s were installed so the smoke could go up through the roof and didn’t, you know, disturb too much anymore in the living area and the kitchen at the time was also very often the living area. It was still the only place that was really heated. It was obviously heated with the wood and you also cooked with wood At the time it didn’t really matter whether a pot was how flat the bottom of a pot was because the fire could get there anyway and so it there were different demands on how to produce a pot the change came when electric hobs were invented (uhuh) and that’s basically where the history of Kuhn Rikon begins and where the family Kuhn in Rikon also began producing pots at this place here in Rikon. (wow look at this) so this is one of these first electric hobs that were invented that replaced the wooden fire in many households at least it replaced it for cooking and heating was still done very often with fire and now is the time where it was important to produce a bottom flatness and to take care of how the flatness is reacting to heat because, as you know, the bottom concavity is changing depending on the heat that is being put on this bottom so it was important now that the pan is flat on the hob because otherwise heat distribution is not equal and this is the time (yea, what’s this back here, these two things hmmmmm!) what you see here is sort of an early pressure cooker a very early one, it’s still aluminium and it could be screwed closed likewise over here. Before pressure cookers became modern in households they were very often used to make soap you had bones in there and pressure cooking the bones a lot so all of the stuff came out of the bones and that was the liquid that you had as an end result was being used for soap production (now we… drink that) Now, this is already the second generation of the Kuhn Rikon management This is Heinrich Kuhn who was replaced by his son Henri Kuhn Heinreich Kuhn was the founder of the company 1926 was when he took over, and after his death that’s when his son Henri Kuhn took over and Jaques Kuhn, the brother of Henri (what are they making here?) as you can see this is history that we’re looking at it’s Kuhn Rikon history. That’s a Duromatic and that’s what the logo looked like at the time That’s when the Duromatic became famous. Again, aluminium not like today’s stainless steel and it was used to pressure cook like we do these days you can still recognize.. you know, very similar features to today’s pots and (somebody put a new pressure valve) yea there are new valves that have come there’s a new silicone.. uh how do you say (gaskets) gaskets – thank you – silicone gaskets but apart from that, the mechanism is still pretty much the same and what we could also do at the time.. this is a feature that does not exist anymore but might be pretty “in” if we would re-launch that (yea) you cold cook water and with this nice little thing, obviously, have your coffee! (oh! In fact, the Moka is a tiny pressure cooker people usually don’t know that) (Can you open this one? Is it OK to open that one?) absolutely (I don’t want to break anything in the museum here. Oh, I see, ok) Here is an invention of Jacques Kuhn, Jacques Kuhn is still alive he’s 97 I think. These days he’s living just behind the factory in a little house He’s married. But for a long time he was uh.. celibaté – how do you say in English – (single?) Single, yea. And he was a very.. he was a person that liked to simplify stuff So he was cooking and then put his stuff into bowls but didn’t want to actually dishwash both of these things so he invented the first pan that was also served and looked nice when it was put on the table with this little tray underneath (beautiful) and this design of the pan (is it made of stainless steel?) That one, yes. That one’s already stainless steel, the lid is aluminium. (leave it to a bachelor to come up with a way to do fewer dishes!) This gentilman is Jacques Kuhn at a slightly younger age He was, after the death of his brother, the sole manager of this company for many years. He was also a very gifted inventor. He’s come up with the valve The spring valve of the pressure cooker and double-walled cookware. (so, was the spring valve an invention of Kuhn Rikon?) Correct. This is the retro model that was done for the 60’s anniversary of Duromatic. Just a few years ago and was being sold in a limited edition. (oh my gosh, it’s so cute! But the lid is not aluminum, right?) It’s stainless steel that was color coated Now, what we’re seeing here is the double-walled cookware that I mentioned before Again, an invention by Jacques Kuhn. This is actually something that I used to eat with when I was little. That’s what we had on the table. and the idea was, you could cook with this on the hob and then you could place it in this little tray and put on the lid. The thing that happened is the food is now in a double-walled surrounding everything that is around there is double wall and in-between these double walls there is air air is a very good isolator so heat couldn’t get away very fast so it keeps your food warm for two hours in there and that was when my brothers and I came home at different times, everyone could still eat hot food (it’s like the first slow cooker, right?) absolutely, the other thing you can do in here is actually slow cook if you see a cross-section of what the construction looks like and it’s a huge speciality of Kuhn Rikon. I’m not aware of any other company of being capable of producing such a cookware (what’s this?) again this is an older model of a pressure cooker it’s already stainless steel, not aluminium anymore which does have the specific valve (spring valve?) the spring valve which has a different look these days but again, fuctionality-wise, this is still what’s being used and what’s state of the art (what’s this over here? Is it a prototype?) No. It’s actually a product that was being sold. It’s sort of the first item… It’s like the older brother of the Duromatic Comfort It had a timer on top, and it did actually time the cooking time it needed to get the stuff done It’s not on the market anymore. I think it was launched too early (people weren’t ready for it) yea, they weren’t ready and obviously ever since.. (of course now everybody’s doing it with the timer!) absolutely. (And here we’re back to the stone age, back over there)

3 comments on “Kuhn Rikon: Cooking (and pressure cooker) Museum”

  1. michelle_aus says:

    Very interesting, thank you Laura 🙂

  2. Michael Ross says:

    Very cool. Thanks for sharing!

  3. jdekayable says:

    I have one of those pressure cookers at the end that you called a prototype. It is named a timax and it is the greatest invention ever by kuhn rikon. It is double walled and comes with a regular lid in addition to the pressure cooker top. Although the timer isn't that accurate, I totally love my timax cause it is so versatile. Its basically a durotherm and a pressure cooker in one. I got mine new in box for $100 on craiglist, which is a bargain considering a durotherm alone is over 300. Mine came with many accessories too. It is a shame you cant buy these anymore. I think Kuhn Rikon decided that it could make more money if they sold a pressure cooker and a durotherm separately. Also the timer is a good idea but not that practical.

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