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How to Avoid Pressure Cooker Accidents: Guide to Pressure Cooker Safety

Do you want to know how to avoid pressure cooker accidents? Here are some important things to consider as well as answers to some of your questions.

2 pressure cookers on a counter

Pressure cookers can be a great tool for cooking delicious meals quickly and easily. However, if not used properly, they can also be dangerous.

To avoid pressure cooker accidents, it’s important to follow some basic safety guidelines and take precautions when using this appliance in the kitchen.

Old vs. New Pressure Cookers

Keep in mind that most modern pressure cookers, especially electric pressure cookers, have a lot of safety features, including a steam release valve. This helps prevent pressure cooker explosions that you may have heard about decades ago.

Even stovetop pressure cookers are much better than the older pressure cookers that our grandparents and great-grandparents used. But back then, as long as people followed the most important pressure cooker safety tips, they didn’t have accidents.

stovetop pressure cooker

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If you have one of the old pressure cookers, I highly recommend upgrading to a newer one. The Instant Pot brand goes on sale often, so keep an eye on them at your favorite kitchen gadget retailer. I have a link to the Instant Pot on Amazon here.

Some pressure cookers have a variety of modes. Mine can even work as a slow cooker, as I think that most of the Instant Pots can.

Understand How Pressure Cookers Work

Before using a pressure cooker, it’s important to understand how it works. Pressure cookers work by trapping steam inside the pot, which raises the temperature and cooks the food faster.

The pressure is created by a sealed lid with a gasket that locks in place and a valve that regulates the pressure. It’s important to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and follow them closely to ensure safe and effective use of your pressure cooker.

Choose a High-Quality Pressure Cooker

instant pot pressure cooker

When it comes to pressure cookers, quality matters. Investing in a high-quality pressure cooker can help ensure your safety in the kitchen.

Look for pressure cookers that are made from durable materials, have safety features like pressure release valves, and are certified by reputable organizations like the Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

Avoid purchasing cheap or knock-off pressure cookers, as they may not meet safety standards and could be more prone to accidents.

Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions

One of the most important things you can do to ensure pressure cooker safety is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Each pressure cooker is different, and the instructions will provide you with important information about how to use your specific model safely.

Make sure to read the instructions thoroughly before using your pressure cooker for the first time, and refer back to them as needed. Don’t take shortcuts or try to modify the cooking process, as this can increase the risk of accidents.

Release Pressure Safely

When using a pressure cooker, it’s important to release the pressure safely to avoid accidents. There are two methods for releasing pressure: natural release and quick release.

Natural release involves turning off the heat and allowing the pressure to decrease on its own over a period of time.

Quick release involves manually releasing the pressure by turning the pressure release valve. However, it’s important to note that quick release can be dangerous if not done properly.

top of pressure cooker and adjusting the pressure release valve

Always use a utensil to turn the valve and stand back to avoid any steam burns.

I also like to move the pot out from beneath cabinets because the steam can warp the materials of whatever is above it. Remember that steam is hotter than boiling water.

Avoid Common Pressure Cooker Mistakes and Hazards

Pressure cookers can be a great tool in the kitchen, but they can also be dangerous if not used properly.

Some common mistakes include overfilling the cooker, not properly sealing the lid, and not following the recommended cooking times and temperatures.

pouring liquid into a pressure cooker loaded with vegetables

It’s important to read the instruction manual carefully and follow all safety guidelines to avoid accidents.

Additionally, always use caution when handling hot food and liquids, and never attempt to force open the lid before the pressure has been fully released.

More Pressure Cooker Safety Tips

Although using a pressure cooker is a simple thing, you still need to follow some safety rules. Here are more to consider:

  • Don’t leave the pressure cooker while using it. This is not an appliance that you can walk away from for hours.
  • Make sure you have enough liquid in the pot. It needs liquid to bring the food to full pressure.
  • When releasing the steam, don’t put your face or hands anywhere near the valve, or you will get burned.
  • Clean the pressure cooker after each use.
  • Maintain all of the parts of the pressure cooker, such as gaskets, valves, vents, and seals.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

When people ask which pressure cooker I usually recommend, I usually say the Instant Pot. That’s because it’s the one I’ve used the most.

However, there are other very good options, including electric pressure cookers and the stovetop version.

I had a different pressure cooker before I got the Instant Pot. I didn’t need two of them, so I gave the first one to one of my daughters.

Delicious Pressure Cooker Recipes

Pressure cookers save time and make cooking more enjoyable when you don’t want to stand over a hot stove for hours on end. 

Below are some of my favorite Instant Pot recipes. Of course, you can use whatever pressure cooker you prefer.

Lentil Soup – Loaded with all kinds of nutrition and delicious flavors, lentil soup is a cinch to cook in your pressure cooker. You’ll love how quickly dinner comes together when you’re hungry.

pressure cooker lentil soup in a bowl

Black Beans – One of our favorite meals consists of black beans and some kind of rice. All you have to do is put the ingredients in your pressure cooker. You’ll have a meal in no time!

bowl of pressure cooker black beans and rice

Taco Soup – Enjoy the south-of-the-border flavors that come together in the most delightful way by cooking it in your pressure cooker. My granddaughters both gave this recipe a two-thumbs-up.

bowl of taco soup

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken – Any time you need shredded chicken for a recipe, try this one from Swanky Recipes. It comes out flavorful, tender, and so easy to shred in a short time.

bowl of shredded chicken

Quick and Easy Turkey Chili – This recipe is for turkey chili in the pressure cooker. However, you can use beef or pork if you prefer. Regardless, this is totally delicious!

bowl of turkey chili with cheese and chips

15 Bean Soup – I’ve made this soup all of my adult life. However, I didn’t do it often because it took all day for the beans to cook. Who has that kind of time? Certainly not me. The pressure cooker removes that obstacle, so now I cook them whenever I’m in the mood for a delicious bean soup.

Bowl of 15-bean soup

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