The Instant Pot is a popular pressure cooker that has been around for less than a decade. However, the appliance has found its way into over 20 million homes worldwide in that short time. The device was initially designed to replace entire kitchen appliances, allowing users to cook meals from scratch in minutes from anywhere in their homes.
An Instant Pot is a programmable pressure cooker. It can cook or steam food up to 70% faster than a stovetop or oven. The inner Pot that holds the food is steel, and the lid is tempered glass. An Instant Pot has four buttons: Keep Warm, Pressure Cook, Slow Cook, and Rice. Careful usage of these buttons can prevent an explosion from happening to your Instant Pot. These are some precautions to take when using your Instant Pot:
- Use the correct pressure level for the recipe you are cooking.
- Do not open the lid while cooking.
- Please do not use it to can jars.
- Do not overfill it with water.
- Do not submerge any metal into the Pot.
Let us delve more into the reasons why instant pots explode.
Why do instant pot explode?
Generally, the instant pots are safe if used properly according to the instructions. However, according to the manual, accidents may happen if you don’t use it safely. Instant pot cook food by creating pressure and steam. While cooking, extra pressure is released from the instant Pot through the valves.
Explosions can happen due to manufacturing defects; if the lid is opened before releasing all the pressure, safety features like the pressure releasing valve are clogged, or the gasket has cracks. Also, foods that increase in size while cooking may cause explosions if you fill the instant Pot too much.
How to avoid Instant pot explosion?
Instant pots come with safety features that make them relatively safe to use. However, as we know, Instant pots cook food by building up pressure. This pressure needs to be regulated and controlled to ensure the safety of the Pot.
In the older version of pressure cookers, a weighted pressure regulator is used as Airvent to release the excess pressure.
In instant pots, pressure is regulated by keeping the temperature around 10.00 to 11.6 PSI.
Safety features of Instant pots
1. Automatic Temperature control
A thermostat inside the Pot regulates the temperature and keeps it under safe limits according to your cooking food. The high-temperature ranges for Instant Pot are between 239° to 244° F. A sensor regulates the temperature.
2. Lid close detection
If the lid of the Instant Pot is not closed correctly, it will not start building pressure; rather, it will keep the food warm and operate the Saute function.
3. Lid lock under pressure
If the pressure is still there, pressure will lock the lid to avoid an accidental opening that can cause harm and mess.
4. Automatic pressure control
Instant pots come with a patented sensor pressure control system. This system keeps the pressure of the instant pots under the range of 10.12 to 11.6P psi (Pounds per square inch).
5. Pressure regulator Protection
If the pressure inside the instant Pot exceeds 10.12 to 11.6 psi, the steam release is pushed up to release the steam.
6. Excess pressure release
If the pressure becomes too high and the pressure regulator mechanisms fail, the instant pot shifts the inner Pot downwards to create the space between the lid and the inner Pot. It moves the steam to the internal chamber and stops heating.
7. Temperature and power protection
The Instant Pot is equipped with a fuse that disconnects the electricity with power,g, increasing temperature( 336° F to 341°F), and extremely high temperature. Excess temperature and electricity create unsafe conditions in the Instant Pot.
8: Steam release Vent
While cooking, food particles can block the steam release vent. The air vent comes with a shield to protect it from getting clogged to avoid blocking.
9. High-temperature warning
Instant pots are equipped with a high-temperature warning that helps build the pressure if there is no moisture inside the Pot. In such cases, the Instant Pot will stop after a specific temperature for safety.
Temperature can also increase excessively if :
- The inner Pot is not placed inside the Instant Pot.
- The inner Pot is not appropriately placed to contact the heating element.
- Heat dissipation is blocked due to burnt food particles or flour at the bottom.
10. Leaky lid protection
If the instant pot senses a lid leak due to the steam release valve not appropriately closed or the missing sealing ring, the Instant Pot will stop heating after sensing the long preheating time. This will help in preventing the food from getting burnt.
Why do the instant pots explode?
Instant pots come with many safety features. However, sometimes accidents can happen even with all these features present. If instant pots are not maintained/appropriately cleaned, they can cause explosions. Here are a few of the things you should keep in mind.
Always read the manual
Always read the manual properly that comes with the Instant Pot. You can find cleaning and troubleshooting advice there. Manual also prescribes everything you should do and don’t do with your Instant Pot.
Never avoid reading the manual. It may help you avoid accidents arising from avoidable mistakes.
Food getting clogged in the steam valve
Some food items expand during cooking. These food particles can clog the steam valve. Never fill instant Pot to the max with water to avoid this.
Clean steam valves regularly to avoid any accidents occurring from the excessive built-up pressure.
Not changing the sealing
Change the sealing of the instant pot every 12-16 months to avoid accidents happening from malfunctioning.
Foods that you should avoid cooking in an Instant pot
Instant Pot is one of the most popular cooking methods in the world. It has become an essential kitchen appliance in many households. But, every food is not suitable for Instant Pot cooking.
When it comes to making dishes in Instant Pot, the most important thing is to avoid fat and greasy foods like fried chicken pieces or bacon. The fat will be much more likely to settle on the bottom of the Pot and cause burnt food when you cook for too long.
Here are the few food items you should never cook in instant pot:
- Crispy and crunchy food
- Yellow and red lentils as they make a lot of foam while cooking
- Dairy products
- Pearled barley
Pro tips: These will help you avoid accidents and cook easily in instant pots.
- When cooking rice and beans together in an Instant Pot, start with 50% more water or stock than you would typically use for rice alone.
- Add little oil or butter while cooking as it reduces foam production. This tip is helpful while cooking the food in a pressure cooker also.
Safely Cook with Your Instant Pot by Looking Out for These Important Safety Precautions
When you are cooking with your Instant Pot, there are some safety precautions that you should be aware of. Many people have injured their Instant Pot, so it is essential to take these precautions to avoid any injuries. For example,
- If the Pot has boiled over, turn off the Pot and unplug it to avoid being scalded by steam or accidentally touching a hot surface.
- One of the first things you should do before cooking is to check if there’s enough water in the pressure cooker. The general rule of thumb is to fill the Pot 3/4 full with liquid, or up to one inch from the top.
- While cooking, don’t open the lid yet – give the food at least 10 minutes before checking on it.
- Always keep the steam valve of the instant pot clear and don’t move it while in opretion
- It is important to read the instructions for your specific model of Instant pot carefully before using it for the first time in order to understand how it works best for you.
I hope these tips will help you use your Instant Pot efficiently and help you avoid any accidents while cooking healthy food.
Instant pot explosion lawsuit: You can check here a complaint filed for an explosion of instant pot in 2019.
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