Those of us of a certain age remember those old fashioned pressure cookers that belched steam, rattled and sputtered, and were truly frightening when pressure overload propelled the pot's contents onto the kitchen ceiling. Today's generation of cookers have built-in safeguards to prevent such scary mishaps.

Equipment expert Dorie Greenspan likes these new spring-valve pressure cookers:

Kuhn Rikon: 7-quart, Swiss-made model available for about $180 at Williams-Sonoma.

WMF Perfect Plus: 6 1/2-quart German-made model available from designstore.com for about $200.

Magefesa Rapid II: 8-quart cooker from Spain for about $110 from cookswares.com.