All About The Safety of The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
You’ve always got to prioritize safety in the kitchen. You’ve learned about knife safety, how to cook with oil, and even the different kinds of meat temperatures you should try to meet, but what about something as simple as safety tips for your Instant Pot pressure cooker? Are you aware of how each feature works so that you can know what to avoid? Do you even know what you’re avoiding? If the answers to any of these are “No” or “I don’t know” keep reading!
What dangers are possible with your Instant Pot?
There are a few risks that you should know about to keep yourself, your kitchen, and your food correctly protected when it comes to effectively using your Instant Pot pressure cooker. They are:
- Spoiling or ruining your food: When you don’t clean, seal, or use your device as instructed, you run the risk of destroying your food even if you think you’re using it properly. That’s why cleaning and use instructions are included.
- Destroying your Instant Pot: Similarly, you can run the risk of destroying your Instant Pot if you aren’t using it as directed or cleaning it as directed. Food could get burned to the bottom, the steam release could get blocked by foam, and the sealing ring could be damaged. This all means you would need to invest in new parts or a new pot.
- Fire or explosion risk: Most importantly, using a cooker that is not working correctly or used in a way it is not intended to be, can create a fire risk. This is due to the use of hot temperatures and improper steam release, or even explosion if the pressure is not vented or sealed correctly.
How to stay safe with your cooker
So, if you’re looking to avoid all of those things — as we should hope you would be — here are some tips to give you the best experience with your pot. You’ll be happy to know that there are quite a few safety features built right into your cooker to best protect you and your loved ones while in use. These include:
- Steam release valve: Your pot has a steam release valve that will monitor the pressure inside the pot and release it. This will help to prevent excess pressure from building up in terms of safety. It will vent steam as it needs to and still properly cook your food.
- Lid position detection: The pot needs to be sealed properly and build up the pressure to prevent any injuries or accidents. The pot will not start pressurizing if you don’t close the lid correctly. The same goes for the sealing ring. If the pot detects it is not set correctly, it will not start cooking.
- Thermal fuse: In the worst-case scenario where something fails, and the temperature inside of the cooker climbs above an acceptable rate, there is a fuse that will set itself off and turn off the cooker. This is helpful if you are still getting used to the Instant Pot and its different heat settings — especially in using the high heat option.
These are the main safety precautions that you should know about the Instant Pot pressure cooker to help you use it safely. There are some other general tips that you can follow, however, to maximize safety and comfort when cooking with your pot. These are:
- Steam = dangerous: It seems evident if you’ve ever had the misfortune of reaching over the vent by accident, but most people think that vapor is harmless. It is not harmless. It is hotter, even than boiling water. Avoid coming into contact with it. When you need to release the steam, either use an oven mitt or a silicone waterproof finger mitt that will cover your hand and make sure to keep your skin safe as the hot steam rushes out.
- Inspect and take care of the lid, the anti-block shield, the gasket, and the inner pot each time: Every single time you clean the lid, take the opportunity to check out the anti-block shield, the gasket, and the inner pot. These should all be properly and thoroughly cleaned every time you use it. When something looks strange (e.g., a rip or an unusual curving of the sealing ring), it should be replaced immediately. This prevents dangerous overheating or steam blockage, which can create an explosion or fire hazard if it’s left long enough.
- Follow the fill line rules and instructions: The pot will give you guidance on how far to fill it. Do not overfill it. This includes leaving room for allowance when you are cooking with food that expands as it cooks (e.g., beans, rice).
- Don’t leave the pot alone: This is a detail that a lot of people think they can skip over. They have things to do and places to go. You can leave most electric pressure cookers alone when they’re cooking, but it is the best practice to monitor them once in a while.
- Don’t try to open it while it’s running: While there are safety procedures in place to prevent you from being able to open the lid, it is essential not to try to open it anyway. It will unlock when it is safe to do so. If there is a problem and you need it to stop immediately, unplug it from the wall. Force opening it early will most likely end you in injury or cause damage to your cookers, if not worse.
Cooking with your Instant Pot should always be a positive and safe experience. These tips and tricks will help you keep it that way for all involved. Just like all other tools in your kitchen and all of there procedures that you know to do or not do, add these to your list. Make sure that you keep everyone and everything at its safest. All of the delicious meals will be wasted with none of the safety hazards, expensive repairs, or life-altering injuries that could easily be avoided.