Pressure Cooker’s Safety Systems (The Safety Valve, Handles And More)

Pressure Cooker Safety System
Pressure Cooker Safety System

The modern pressure cooker can be found in so many homes today. It offers convenience and quick results; these are some of the reasons many homeowners have pressure cookers. These cookers rely on hot steam to cook foods under high pressure. Manufacturers of pressure cookers have found ways to incorporate safety systems on these cookers to protect all users.

Pressure Cooker Safety

In this post, I will be discussing some of the safety systems that have been added to the design of modern pressure cookers. These features are easy to understand and use, what’s more, the manufacturers encourage everyone to use these features to ensure pressure cookers serve their purpose.

The need to replace old models 

The newer models of pressure cookers stand out from the types that were used many years ago. Over the years pressure cookers have evolved, there are more features and remarkable improvements regarding durability and value. One of the outstanding improvements in pressure cookers is the introduction of a valve mechanism. It has helped to make the pressure cooker safer and easier to use.

Old Pressure Cooker
Old Pressure Cooker

In the past, many homeowners avoided pressure cookers because they were known to explode. As scary as this may sound, there were cases of explosion, but these accidents happened with the very old models. The explosions happened due to poor designs and the use of substandard materials to make the pressure cooker. These anomalies have been corrected in the new models we have today.

During the Second World War, pressure cookers were in high demand; it was a big business for the manufacturers. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs who didn’t know much about these cookers produced bad products that failed to work as expected. The defects were apparent, and there were no safety features to protect users at that time.

Over the years, the pressure cooker gained popularity again all around the world. The acceptance of this cooker was mainly due to how convenient it was to cook different types of foods quickly. The rise in demand naturally encouraged more manufacturers to enter the business industry. The demand and competition in the markets made it necessary for all manufacturers of pressure cookers to ensure their products were of high-quality to retain their customers. Also, research studies were done to find solutions to address some of the problems the users of pressure cookers reported. Moreover, that marked the beginning of the pressure cooker’s evolution.

Safety Features of Pressure Cookers

The second generation pressure cookers have been a huge hit in the market. They stand out from the older models we used many years ago, and the safety features make them function better. While these features can be generalised, we know about certain brands that have strived to add more innovative features in a bid to get ahead of the competition in the market.

The safety features for pressure cookers can be found on the stove top models and electric pressure cookers. While more people tend to buy the electric pressure cookers because of their peculiar functions and easy management, the modern versions of both devices are excellent and safe for use. It can be noted that the inclusion of more safety features in the design of pressure cookers has caused an increase in their prices. This is expected, after all, there can be no price too high for safety and value. You can get the proper guidance when deciding to buy a pressure cooker by studying the user’s manual to know more about the brand and value you will get while using the pressure cooker.

The modern designs for pressure cookers now have features such as the precision spring valves, sturdy handles, and different safety mechanisms that do not need any special training to understand or use. It is apparent that these pressure cookers have been carefully redesigned to meet the needs of the consumers. There are still some older models in the market, these pressure cookers are cheaper, but you wouldn’t want to compromise value and safety.

Modern designs of pressure cookers feature special locking devices that keep the cooker sealed until the pressure has been released and it is safe to open the vessel. These cookers come with dual pressure valves which give the user more control over the pressure generated inside the cooker. The dual pressure valves have been designed for the management of pressure during and after use. The steam pressure in the cooker is released through a small opening in the gasket.

The flat base of a pressure cooker supports the generation of pressure when the cooker has been placed on a source of heat. The flat base also ensures the cooker is well balanced for safety purposes. There are flanges on the lid of pressure cookers; these features prevent the build-up of pressure except the cooker has been properly positioned over a source of heat.

Pressure Release Valves

As earlier mentioned, the pressure release valves have helped to make the cookers safer for everyone. They are used to release the steam pressure from the cooker; modern pressure cookers have pressure release valves that do not make the characteristic hissing sounds many people find disturbing.

There are also secondary valves in new modern pressure cookers that release excess steam pressure to prevent an explosion.

This is how the secondary valves work

When excess pressure is generated inside the cooker, you will hear a hissing sound; this is excess steam escaping through the vent. In a situation where the primary vent is clogged, the steam will be forced to escape through the secondary vent, and if the secondary valve is not sufficient to allow the excess steam pressure escape, the gasket will be dislodged to allow more steam escape, so there is no fear of an explosion while the pressure cooker is in use.

Pressure Cooker Safety Valve
Pressure Cooker Safety Valve (Figures by Vickie Smith)

Closing the lid of a pressure cooker

It is essential to ensure the lid of a pressure cooker has been firmly closed before it is used. The lid in a pressure cooker works with a spring mechanism that prevents the gasket from touching the rim until the lid has been properly closed. This is a safety measure that prevents spills and escape of steam pressure. If the lid is not properly closed, you will end up wasting too much energy because the cooker will work longer, and there won’t be sufficient pressure to cook the food.

The lid should also be properly closed to avoid a mess in your kitchen.

Pressure indicators of cookers

Some pressure cookers have been fitted with indicators that show the user how much steam pressure has been generated inside the cooker while it is in use. The pressure indicators are also helpful when you need to achieve a particular pressure based on the recipe you are following to cook the meal.

In some cases, you may notice the lid will not close properly no matter how hard you try. You need to troubleshoot and find out why the lid won’t close. First, you should check for dirt under the lid; you may find food particles or other obstacles that have prevented the lid from closing. Next, check the gasket; it may be burnt or damaged by the heat; you can change the gasket in your pressure cooker. Next, look out for dents; this damage will prevent the lid of your pressure cooker from closing properly.

The pressure cooker handles

Pressure Cooker Handle
Pressure Cooker Handle

The pressure cookers have a uniquely long handle to enable you to carry the cooker from one spot to another. You can also find models that have handled on opposite sides to help you lift and move the pressure cooker easily.

The handles of pressure cookers are long enough to keep your hands away from the steam pressure; however, you should consider using kitchen gloves for additional protection. They are also sturdy enough to withstand the heat; materials used to make the handles of pressure cookers are poor heat conductors, so you don’t have to worry.

 

Pressure cookers made from stainless steel

Stainless steel is chosen as the preferred material for manufacturing pressure cookers because it is safe for all types of foods even items that have a high acidic content.

Stainless steel can also be used for all types of cookers and sources of heat without the appearance of the cooker becoming ruined. Pressure cookers made from stainless steel are also easy to clean and maintain. The durability makes it possible to use stainless steel for many years and to cook different types of recipes.

The Encapsulated Base

Pressure cookers are designed with an encapsulated base that performs a significant function, but many people don’t realize they are extremely useful. If you go shopping for a pressure cooker ensure it has this type of base. One of the major issues users of the older models of pressure cookers experienced was scorched food. It was easy to ruin meals when they become scorched. This led to the invention and addition of the encapsulated base in pressure cookers. The base has a layer of aluminium which has been placed in between stainless steel. This arrangement of metals is a perfect solution to improve the distribution of heat energy. This is how the issue of scorching has been resolved.

Thankfully, many brands of pressure cookers feature these safety systems. More people can use these cookers satisfactorily without the fear of injury. Overall, always ensure you read the user’s manual carefully to know more about the pressure cooker you have bought.