Pressure cookers are a staple in kitchens everywhere, but they can be hazardous if you’re not careful. Whether you’re using a stovetop pressure cooker or an electric model, there are some safety precautions to keep in mind when cooking with steam.
This article will explore common pressure-cooker mistakes and how to avoid them. We’ll also look at what happens when things go wrong during the cooking process and talk about the best way to handle the appliance in your next meal prep session.
Table of Contents
Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions Carefully
According to North State Journal, the instant pot, a modern kitchen device, has become increasingly popular among home cooks. Nevertheless, as per a recent survey, around 70% of individuals were apprehensive about using it. Although this concern is reasonable, it can be avoided by adhering to the instructions and using the appliance properly.
A good rule of thumb is to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and follow them precisely. Don’t deviate from the manufacturer’s instructions, no matter how much you think you know about cooking under pressure.
Also, don’t use your pressure cooker for anything other than what it was intended for. If you’ve never used a pressure cooker before and don’t know how to operate it safely or if there are any issues with its operation (for example, smoke coming out of vents), stop using it immediately and contact customer service at the company that made your device.
Always Inspect the Pressure Cooker’s Components Before Use
Before you start cooking, it’s a good idea to inspect the components of your pressure cooker for damage or wear and tear. This can help prevent accidents later on.
Here are some of the things to look for:
- Check the rubber gasket for signs of damage, such as cuts or cracks. If it looks like there might be any problems with this piece, buy a new one before using your cooker again.
- Check the lid for cracks or damage (such as dents). If there is any issue with either part of this item, replace it immediately. You don’t want anything compromising its seal.
- Inspect both sides of your pressure regulator valve. Make sure they aren’t bent out-of-shape so they won’t fit into place properly anymore when needed during cooking time.
In recent years, there has been an increase in lawsuits related to pressure cooker explosions. These lawsuits claim that the cookers were defective and unsafe, resulting in serious injuries and property damage. A pressure cooker explosion can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as a faulty lid or malfunctioning pressure release valve. As a result, many individuals have suffered severe burns, cuts, and other injuries.
TorHoerman Law, a law firm handling pressure cooker lawsuits, states that manufacturers have faced legal action for not warning consumers about the potential risks associated with their products. The law firm also mentions several brands of pressure cookers that have been recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission on its website.
Use a Suitable Cooking Liquid
The liquid you use in your pressure cooker is an essential part of keeping it safe. It should be a safe and non-toxic substance that won’t cause the pressure cooker to overheat, explode, stick to the bottom of the pot, or burn food.
The following liquids are recommended:
- Vegetable broth or stock (homemade) – but not bouillon cubes or powder, as these contain sodium. Instead, use homemade vegetable stock made with fresh herbs like celery leaves and parsley stems, which can add additional flavor to your dish.
- Coconut milk (canned) – make sure it’s unsweetened because otherwise, it might burn quickly under high temperatures.
Additionally, Tasting Table suggests that it is important not to fill the pressure cooker beyond two-thirds of its capacity, especially when cooking starchy grains or legumes. Exceeding the recommended capacity can lead to clogging of the steam release valve and permanent damage or breakage of the pressure cooker.
Avoid Releasing the Pressure Too Quickly
When cooking with a pressure cooker, it’s crucial to avoid releasing the pressure too quickly. This is because when you open the pressure cooker, hot steam and liquids can spray out and cause severe burns or injuries.
To avoid this, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for releasing the pressure, either through natural release or quick release. Natural release involves allowing the pressure to come down slowly, while quick release involves manually releasing the pressure by turning the release valve.
However, even with quick release, it’s essential to be cautious and release the pressure in short bursts to prevent steam and liquids from spraying out. Taking proper precautions while releasing pressure is essential to ensure your safety and prevent accidents in the kitchen.
Keep Children and Pets Away From the Pressure Cooker
When cooking under pressure, it’s important to keep children and pets away from the pressure cooker. The steam created by cooking can be very dangerous for small children and animals.
When using a pressure cooker, always make sure that you are supervising young children or animals in your home. If they get too close to the stovetop while cooking with a pressure cooker, they could end up getting burned or scalded by hot liquid or steam that escapes from the pot.
Avoid Leaving the Pressure Cooker Unattended While It Is in Use
It’s essential to never leave a pressure cooker unattended while it’s in use to prevent accidents. Pressure cookers use high heat and pressure for cooking food quickly, which can cause the temperature and pressure inside the cooker to rise rapidly.
Leaving the cooker unattended could cause the pressure to exceed safe levels, leading to a dangerous explosion or fire. Always stay nearby while the cooker is in use and attend to it regularly to ensure that it’s cooking correctly and safely.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading this article. We know that pressure cooking is a great way to save time and energy in the kitchen, but it’s important to remember that there are some safety precautions you need to take when using this type of appliance.
According to Residence Style, a survey conducted by NAHL, a specialist in accident claims, found 73% of the 2,000 Brits surveyed have sustained injuries at home multiple times in the past year. The study found that despite being aware of the risks, people still tend to injure themselves. The results also revealed that the kitchen is the most hazardous area of the house, with a 60% likelihood of injury.
But if you follow our tips above and keep up-to-date on any new information about your specific model, we believe that you’ll be able to enjoy pressure cooking without worry.