What Happens if You Overfill a Pressure Cooker?
You should not overfill a pressure cooker. Doing this will adversely affect the quality of the food and can also pose a safety risk by making too much steam and by blocking the pressure valve if the food is piled too high.
There is a wide range of different sizes of pressure cookers available and in general, it is always best to buy a model that is slightly bigger (but not too much) than your needs.
The capacity is always marked on the pot and will read low maximum capacity or high maximum capacity. You need to ensure that your food does not exceed the higher level.
Cooking with an overfilled pressure cooker interferes with the cooking process. There will be too much steam generated by too much liquid and the increased pressure will cause your food to become tasteless and mushy.
Away from the food quality, overfilling your pressure cooker is dangerous. The pressure is increased beyond safe capacity and if the food blocks off the pressure valve too, you could have a serious incident on your hands. Potentially the pressure cooker could explode or cause a dangerous steam incident.
The high-level maximum capacity indicator is a safety feature that should not be ignored. Although your pressure cooker comes with built-in safety features such as the regulator and the valve plus sophisticated release mechanisms, you need to ensure that you are using the pressure cooker correctly in order for these to actually work.
Overfilling your pressure cooker may prevent these safety features from working properly, so you could cause a serious accident.
When you are filling your pressure cooker you need to use the settings. As a rough rule of thumb you can fill the pot up to half full if you are cooking beans; these need additional space to expand in the pot. Rice too takes up increased space during cooking and generates foam as well as the individual swelling and increasing in size.
For other foods, the general rule is to fill up to two thirds and this applies to just about everything including soups and casseroles.
It is easy to become blasé when you have become accustomed to using your pressure cooker, and it is an easy temptation to overfill when you don’t have quite enough room for your food. If you feel tempted to do this just don’t!
If space is a common issue just buy a larger size pressure cooker. And if you need to produce too much food right now, your only option is to cook the food in two batches.