If you are wondering whether pressure cookers are safe to use, your concerns are valid. Back in the day, it was quite common to come across stories of exploded cookers. The good news though, is that modern pressure cookers today are completely safe to use and come outfitted with a whole host of features that are designed to make them not only more efficient but also much safer to use.
Are pressure cookers safe or dangerous?
Do we need to be worried about explosions?
Even though modern cookers are designed with modern advanced safety features, accidents can happen. All pressure cookers pose potential safety hazards. But cookers that are not well cared for, as well as older generation cookers that may have been inherited, are the most dangerous.
You can be worried about exploding pressure cookers if there are any of these situations occur: Manufacturing defects detected, certain components such as vents become clogged up, or if the lid is opened before the pressure is released. There are several things that you can do to prevent this from happening, which include:
- You should always check the lid of your pressure cooker to ensure that it is locked properly.
- Never just set your pressure cooker and forget it, like you would with a Crock-Pot. If your cooker runs out of water, it could overheat and cause an explosion.
- You should always use a sufficient amount of cooking liquid for your cooker. The minimum amount that should be used is a cup of cooking liquid.
- Never overfill your pressure cooker, especially when working with foods that froth up easily (e.g. beans) or foods that expand easily (e.g. rice, lentils)
- Never attempt to deep fry food items using pressure cookers because it is not designed to withstand such high temperatures.
Safety features included in modern pressure cookers
As mentioned earlier, pressure cookers are outfitted with several safety features designed to make them easier and safer to use. These safety features include:
Pressure release valves
Pressure release valves are vital because they ensure that pressure is regulated and that it does not go past the pre-set value. When pressure builds up in the cooker, the valves open up to release the pressure.
Locking devices, placed on top of the lid, respond to the pressure that builds in the cooker. They only open up once the pressure inside the pot has reduced to an appropriate level so that the lid can be removed safely.
Automatic pressure control
This feature maintains the operating pressure. It prevents excessive pressure which can cause an overheating situation that can lead to explosions.
Automatic temperature control
Pressure cookers are outfitted with a thermostat located under the inner pot that regulates the pot’s internal temperature to make certain that it is always within a safe range based on the type of food being prepared.
Gasket release aperture
Aside from the valves, pressure cookers also have a gasket release aperture located under the lid that releases pressure once the highest limit has been reached. The gasket maintains the pressure and the temperature inside the pot so that food can cook through evenly.