Can An Instant Pot Explode What You Need To Know
I just got an Instant Pot as I thought my wife and I would really love using it. But I kept seeing safety concerns and started to wonder can an Instant Pot explode?
So I decided to find out for myself and investigate. Heres what I learned.
Instant Pots do not explode unless used improperly. They have 10 built-in safety features designed to prevent them from operating in an unsafe manner. So they will automatically stop working or reduce the internal pressure if the sensors indicate a problem.
But theres a lot more to know about the Instant Pot, safety tips, and how to use them correctly, so lets keep going!
Admittedly hid with the dog behind a wall because I was afraid it would explode during the Instant Release, but anyway, here is my latest Instant Pot creation .
Bonus Point: Beware Of Some Recipes And Use Common Sense
I debated whether I should include this point. I mean, the article is called 7 Things You Need To Know About Instant Pot, not 8. But I decided it was something that needed to be addressed.
A lot of people expect magical results when they start using their Instant Pot. They expect some life-altering appliance that will help them get dinner on the table 30 minutes after they get home. The reason for those expectations is the unrealistic recipes and videos that are all over Facebook and Pinterest.
Food blogging is a business. Food bloggers rely on some tactics to get people to visit their blogs. And quick recipes is one of the best ways to drive traffic to a food site.
Just two days ago I saw a recipe for Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff, the recipe boldly stated that it will be done in 6 minutes. Yes, thats right, just 6 minutes. It said 2 minutes prep time and 4 minutes cook time. The prep time of 2 minutes included dicing of the onion, cutting of the beef, lightly sautéing, and measuring and adding the rest of the ingredients.
I consider myself a very adequate cook but even I cant do all of that in 2 minutes. In fact, I just recently made a shortcut version of a beef stew and with the beef already cubed, it took about 5 minutes to prep. That recipe for that beef stroganoff also conveniently forgot to add the time it would take to come to pressure and to release the pressure.
So What Are Some Things That I Like About My Instant Pot
- I feel like I have to start this list with humble eggs. Eggs boiled in Instant Pot are some of the easiest to peel. Heres one of the ways to make Hard-Boiled Eggs in Instant Pot.
- Also, I think that this totally deserves a sub-point. If you like quail eggs then you know that they are notoriously difficult to peel. Making them in my Instant Pot helped a lot with peeling. It wasnt as easy as with regular chicken eggs but so much better than if they were conventionally boiled.
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Consider The Time It Takes To Build And Release Pressure
You have to allow enough time for your appliance to build pressure and release pressure. So the 15-minute recipe you just found may actually take 35 minutes to fully come to pressure, cook, and release pressure.
The amount of time needed to come to pressure and release pressure depends on the recipe and the amount of liquid.
How To Cool A Pressure Cooker Down
There are three main methods for bringing the pressure in a cooker back down: natural release, quick release, and cold water release.
Natural release involves taking the cooker off heat and allowing the temperature to gradually decrease until the spring-loaded lock disengages. Keep in mind that there could be significant carryover cooking with a natural release technique, depending on how much food youre cooking.
Quick release, as the name implies, involves removing the weighted jiggler or pressing a button to allow steam inside the cooker to escape. Doing so allows you to stop the cooking immediately, but it also means that the contents of the pressure cooker will boil vigorously. Kenji takes advantage of that boiling to effectively blend his pressure cooker split pea soup without using a blender.
Lastly, theres the cold water release, which requires running the entire apparatus under cold running water until the cooker depressurizes and the lock disengages. Like the quick release method, the cold water release allows you to access your food effectively immediately. On the other hand, this method doesnt cause the contents to vigorously boil, which might be desirable for a given recipe. Be aware that the cold water release cant be used on electric models.
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Natural Vs Manual Pressure Release
When the cook time is up on your Instant Pot, there’s still one more step — releasing the pressure.
There are two ways the pressure can be released. With natural pressure release, the valve on the lid stays in Sealing position and the pressure dissipates naturally over time. This can take anywhere from 20 minutes to more than an hour, depending on what you were cooking. Low-liquid meals take much less time than high-liquid meals, like soup or chili.
The other option is manual pressure release . Here, you’ll carefully move the valve into Venting position and watch as steam shoots out of it, releasing the pressure. This method is much faster, but very high-liquid meals, like soup, can still take about 15 minutes to release pressure manually.
So which one should you use? Consider that with natural pressure release, the Instant Pot is still full of pressure, so the food will continue cooking while the Instant Pot is in Sealing mode. Manual pressure release is useful — and necessary — when you’ve built in enough cooking time and cooking needs to be stopped as fast as possible.
If the goal is to cook a meal quickly, set enough time on the Instant Pot to cook your food and release the pressure manually when the time is up.
I Am Pressure Cooking But Steam Is Leaking Out
Is steam leaking out of the pressure valve, even when turned to the upper locked position? Its normal for a small amount of steam to leak from the valve while the pot is heating up, but if it continues to leak steam during the pressure cooking cycle, you may have a problem. This could be a sign that you need to clean out and reposition the valve. If this doesnt work, you may even need to replace the valve.
If steam is seeping out the sides, make sure the lid is properly locked for pressure cooking. If the lid seems to be fine, examine your sealing ring. A stretched or cracked ring should be replaced. If the ring has become dislodged, you can usually put it back into place without trouble. A loose ring can firm up if you put it in the freezer for a little while, but this will ultimately hasten the silicone decay, so you should plan on getting a new ring either way.
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You’re Underestimating The Time A Recipe Takes
Yes, the Instant Pot is fast, but you might be a little disappointed when the mac and cheese recipe that promises to cook in five minutes takes longer than five minutes. This is because the time needed for the machine to come to pressure isn’t taken into account but there is a way to shave a few minutes off the process. Just turn on your Instant Pot right as you begin your recipe, even if you’re not ready to close the lid yet. Make sure you have whatever cooking liquid in so you’re not heating an empty pot, then finish the remaining prep. The pot will start to heat up while you’re working, and won’t have to start from cold once you do close the lid. Now you’re that much closer to cheesy pasta goodness.
How To Do An Instant Pot Water Test
Now that you have completed the water test, you are ready to cook in your Instant Pot!
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How Do Pressure Cookers Work
A pressure cooker is a sealed chamber that traps the steam generated as its contents are heated. As steam builds, pressure increases, driving the boiling point of water past 212°F. In general, this higher temperature shortens cooking times and, due to a lack of evaporation, extracts flavor more efficiently from foods.
How Does Instant Pot Work
So the working principle of the instant pot is somewhat the same as that of the regular pressure cooker. The lid seals the air inside the pot and when the air does not find a way to escape from the pressure cooker, the steam builds the pressure inside the pot. Thus, with the rise in the pressure inside the instant pot, the temperature also rises. Due to the steam, high pressure, and subsequently high temperature the food present inside the instant pot gets cooked.
You can read about pressure cooking here.
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Using The Wrong Steam
The Instant Pot uses pressurized steam to cook food. That steam has to be safely released before you can open your appliance and remove your finished meal.
“It’s important to follow your recipe to know which way to release the steam. Manual or quick release is not the best option for recipes with a lot of liquid or high starch content, like rice and oatmeal, which may splatter out of the pressure release,” said Wolner.
It’s also important to follow instructions when a recipe notes that you should use the quick-release function rather than allow the Instant Pot to depressurize over time.
Using the quick-release means the food inside the appliance won’t become overcooked. Letting the Instant Pot release steam naturally is a better option for meals that include tougher cuts of meat or legumes you want to soften.
Everything You Need To Know About How Pressure Cookers Work Including Answers To Such Questions As Who Invented Them Will They Explode And What’s Up With Cooking At High Altitudes
Say the words pressure cooker to someone whos never used one, and theyll probably think danger. It isnt hard to imagine whats going through their headsvisions of flying lids, exploding kettles, or much, much worse. Even people who have used a pressure cooker will sometimes get a little leery around one.
But while such hazards may have been possible in the past, theyre practically fiction today. Pressure cookers are safe to use. More than that, theyre incredibly useful. In this age of speed, efficiency, and optimization, there are few tools in the kitchen more suited to cooks who demand good food quickly. If youre on the fence about buying a pressure cookeror if youre an especially obstinate hater, this article is for you.
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Third Generation Electric Pressure Cookers
After the stove-top pressure cookers, in 1991 came the electric pressure cookers, called the “third generation” pressure cookers.
These include an electric heat source that is automatically regulated to maintain the operating pressure. They also include a spring-loaded valve .
An electric pressure cooker integrates a timer. Depending on cooking control capability, there are three generations of electric pressure cookers:
- First-generation electric, with mechanical timer. There is no delayed cooking capability.
- Second-generation electric, with digital controller. Delayed cooking becomes possible and the controller shows a countdown timer when working pressure is reached.
- Third-generation electric, with smart programming, which includes pre-set cooking times and settings based on heating intensity, temperature, pressure and duration.
- The first configuration consists of the air fryer lid hinged to the main unit, and is non-removable the air fryer lid flips up when using the removable pressure cooking lid, and then after the pressure cooking lid is removed, the air fryer lid flips back down. This is the configuration used by the Ninja Foodi line of pressure cookers.
- The second configuration consists of a completely removable air fryer lid, with a protective pad for storage. This is the configuration used by most other pressure cooker manufacturers, including Instant Pot.
Use The Instant Pot Natural Release And Quick Release Accordingly
Both the quick release and Instant Pot natural release will stop food from cooking. But the quick release will release the pressure immediately, and food will stop cooking quickly. The natural release will gradually stop cooking the food.
When cooking vegetables or other foods that can get overcooked easily, use the quick release. When cooking a pot roast or other slow-cooked meals, use the natural release.
TIP: Use a towel, pot holder, or silicone gloves to turn the valve vent. When you switch the steam valve to vent, steam will come out hot and fast so protect your hands.
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Do Instant Pots Use High Heat
Because Instant Pots cook food so quickly, it makes sense that people think Instant Pots use extraordinarily high heat, but you might be surprised to learn that oven baking and grilling use much higher heat than Instant Pots or any other pressure cooker.
For example, you would bake chicken breasts in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes. You’d grill chicken breasts for five to seven minutes on each side at about 500 degrees. Instant Pot operates at about 240 degrees Fahrenheit. Most other pressure cookers operate at about the same temperature, give or take a few degrees.
So how is it possible that Instant Pots cook food so quickly at such low temperatures?
In a sense, pressure cookers are just more efficient. The increased pressure raises the boiling point of water and doesn’t allow steam to escape, thereby creating a faster cooking environment.
A Cooking Liquid: Too Thick/not Enough Liquid
Mistake: As a new user, its not intuitive on how much cooking liquid to use. If theres not enough cooking liquid or the liquid is too thick, Instant Pot will not be able to generate enough steam to get up to pressure.
Solutions: Unless stated otherwise in a recipe
- We recommend new users to use 1 cup of total liquid until they get comfortable with the machine.
- Always add thickener such as cornstarch, flour, arrowroot, or potato starch after the pressure cooking cycle.
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But When You Do You Only Use The Rice Button
The “rice” button will only get you so far don’t ignore the “multigrain” button on your Instant Pot. You’ll need to use it for brown or wild rice, but the cooking times will vary because unlike the rice feature, the multigrain feature is not automatic. Unlike cooking these types of rice on the stove, the rice to water ratio remains 1:1. According to Instant Pot, that’s due to the pressure cooker’s nearly non-existent water evaporation which also makes it super easy to remember the “recipe.” You’ll just need to adjust the cook time to 22-28 minutes for brown rice, and 25-30 minutes for wild rice.