Pressure cooking is gaining popularity all over the world because it makes cooking much easier. There are so many tasty meals that you can make. But if you don’t know how to handle or use a pressure cooker properly, you could be ruining your kitchen instead.
The pressure cooker is known to act unpredictably. But is it dangerous? Can it harm you by blowing up? Let’s find out!
Are pressure cookers dangerous or safe? Can they blow up?
Whether pressure cookers are dangerous or safe depends on the kind of pressure cooker you are using and how old it is. Modern pressure cookers are much safer than older models because they consist of many safety features to protect you. Pressure cookers can blow up but they won’t if used properly.
Modern electric pressure cookers come with various built-in safety functions that are also safer than stovetop pressure cookers. The risk of blowing up or getting hurt is very low when pressure cookers are used properly.
Electric pressure cookers:
Electric pressure cookers are the safest of the bunch but still pose safety risks if the pressure cooker has any faulty parts. Electric pressure cookers are new and undergo safety standards and testing before they are available on the market.
Aluminium pressure cookers:
Aluminum pressure cookers are also safe as long as you cook in moderate temperatures. High levels of aluminum are harmful to health but it does not apply to pressure cookers.
Stovetop pressure cookers:
Modern stovetop pressure cookers are as safe as electric pressure cookers. If you use it and maintain it properly, you are safe from dangers.
Old pressure cookers:
Old pressure cookers are not safe at all. Do not buy second-hand pressure cookers. Old pressure cookers do not have the safety mechanisms of modern ones. Hence, they are not safe to use.
Why are pressure cookers dangerous? How are they dangerous?
Pressure cookers can be dangerous for various reasons, such as –
Can blow up:
If misused, pressure cookers can burst when overfilled or due to rising temperatures. Reading the instructions and manual for using a pressure cooker is necessary.
If you put in items that should not be cooked using a pressure cooker, it will react negatively.
blow offs from pressure cookers can cause burn injuries. The scorching hot food or liquid will scatter all around the kitchen and could harm anyone who is inside. Pressure cookers can cause second-degree burns.
Electrocution can be caused by any electrical appliance. But since pressure cookers deal with water and steam on a daily basis, it has a higher chance of creating a short-circuit.
The water can get into the wires or the heat could melt the wires. Bad quality insulation can also result in electrocution. Do not touch the wires with your bare hands.
Dangerous for kids:
Kids should not be near pressure cookers while in use. They do not know how to use it.
Some do not have safety mechanisms:
Old pressure cooker models or second-hand models do not have many required safety features that protect you from injuries. Not all manufacturers are reliable.
How to avoid pressure cooker accidents?
Pressure cooker accidents are common nowadays. How to prevent them? The first thing you should do after buying your pressure cooking is check for defects. Inspect every corner and function thoroughly. Malfunctioning parts can cause your pressure cooker to break down.
Before you start cooking, inspect the rubber gasket for cracks. There should be no cracks or else your chances for accidents increase. Unfortunately, manufacturing defects are often not identifiable right away.
The number one rule of using a pressure cooker should be to never overfill the pressure cooker. If the food rises too high, it can cause your pressure cooker to blow up. Another thing that you should keep in mind is to wait for the pressure to release before opening the lid.
Moreover, avoid cooking certain types of food such as rice, beans, and lentils. These are expanding foods that could fill up the pot more than you expect, resulting in a boom! When dealing with these types of food, fill up the pressure cooker halfway.
It is better to not cook these foods inside the pressure cooker at all.
Lastly, remember to clean your pressure cooker regularly and maintain it responsibly. Replace your rubber gasket at least once a year for safety. While cleaning, take out the rubber gasket and wash it. The valve should be cleaned as well to avoid it from getting stuck.
Can electric pressure cookers blow up?
Electric pressure cookers have the possibility of blowing up but it depends on several factors. How old is your model? Have you read the manual properly? Once again, modern electric pressure cookers have tons of safety mechanisms that make sure that they don’t blow up.
You can be assured that it does not pose any threat as long as you use the pressure cooker safely.
There are fewer chances of it blowing up from opening the lid early because now the lids have locking devices which you can’t force open until the pressure releases. Some electric pressure cookers have the ability to alert you when the temperature reaches unsafe levels.
This also reduces the chances of it blowing up from high temperatures. Modern electric pressure cookers come with pressure release valves too. When the pressure rises too much, it automatically releases the steam.
Why do pressure cookers burst?
The reasons behind a pressure cooker burst are given below –
Food and dirt can build up blocking any valves or vents. Pressure cookers can blow up due to this. Remember to clean your pressure cooker regularly and replace any damaged parts.
Old pressure cooker models come with little to no safety features. This is why many accidents occurred in the past. Now, pressure cookers have to go through several testing agencies to make them suitable and safe for use.
However, there are still some pressure cookers that are not safe to use. Check your pressure cooker brand or model for any lawsuits or reported injuries.
High temperatures are dangerous. The rise in temperature builds up the pressure inside, causing the food to burst out.
Too much liquid:
Don’t fill your pressure cooker with too much water. Follow the recipe. It could look like there’s not much liquid in the pot but that’s not the case. The tightly closed pressure cooker can overflow with liquid if the water can’t escape.
How do pressure cookers blow up?
There are many ways a pressure cooker can blow up. A common reason is when you open the pressure cooker before the pressure has escaped from the pot. Think of a soda can, if you shake it, and open it before waiting for the liquid to calm down, it will scatter all around.
The same goes for a pressure cooker. Once it’s done cooking, do not force it open. Or else, it can blow up. Wait at least 10 minutes before opening the lid.
Pressure cookers can also blow up if you overstuff them with food or liquid, or cook at a high temperature. The food or liquid rises to the top creating immense pressure which causes it to blow up. When temperatures rise, pressure also increases.
This is why you should always keep an eye on the temperature and the amount of food or liquid you put in.
Which pressure cooker is safest?
Although there is no exact ranking to determine which pressure cooker is the safest, here are some pressure cookers that have been voted the safest. Some are electric and some of them are stovetop.
- Fagor Duo 8 Quart Pressure Cooker with Steamer Basket. Stovetop Cooker.
- Cuisinart 6 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker, Brushed Stainless, and Matte Black. Electric.
- Instant Pot IP-DU060 7 in 1 Programmable Pressure Cooker.
- Secura Stainless Steel 6 in 1 Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker.
- Presto 6 Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker.
How likely is it for a pressure cooker to blow up?
Although there are no proper statistics about this, many people have witnessed pressure cookers blowing up. They are not as rare as you would think. The accidents do not necessarily result in harm. However, it could happen to anyone if pressure cookers are misused.
When used properly, the chances of the pressure cooker blowing up are slim. Under the right circumstances, pressure cookers are unlikely to blow up unless there are any manufacturing defects.
It does not always cause bodily harm but people have lost life from pressure cooker blow ups in the past. Times have changed and we are more aware of what to do and what not to do when it comes to pressure cookers. Technology has advanced, making pressure cookers safer.
Brands are working to make the product safer and there are laws to help you in case of an injury.
How do you stop a pressure cooker from blowing up?
We’ve learned about how to prevent pressure cooking accidents. But there are more ways you can stop it from blowing up. Before following any pressure cooker recipe, read the instructions properly. Always follow exactly what the recipe says.
A slight difference in the amount of food or ingredients can cause a blow off.
Another factor is the amount of water. An appropriate amount of water is necessary but how much? If you’re following a recipe that was done using a regular stovetop, you need to decrease the amount of water you are pouring in your pressure cooker.
Never add too much water. Pressure cookers also blow up when the temperature is too high. If you don’t keep an eye on the temperature, the high temperature can result in too much pressure. Your meal will be entirely scattered on your walls and floors.
As long as you follow the recipe, the manual, and maintain your pressure cooker, you don’t have to worry about any potential dangers. Modern pressure cookers come with safety options as well as backup safety options. They are safe to use but the basics of using a pressure cooker should be learned.