What Safety Features to Look for in a Pressure Cooker
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Pressure cookers can provide a great way to feed a family while reducing the mess and time it takes to cook a balanced meal. However, pressure cookers are not without their risks. Instant Pot in addition to other pressure cookers have been known to cause a variety of burn and scalding injuries when superheated contents inside explode out of the pot while still under pressure. Although a safety lock on these devices is supposed to prevent the safety latch from disengaging, it has proven to be faulty on some models. When choosing a pressure cooker to purchase, it may help to look for some significant safety features of modern pressure cookers.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a faulty pressure cooker, take pictures of the scene and seek medical attention as soon as possible. It’s also important to retain the device itself in addition to any packaging or instructional material which accompanied the device.
A modern pressure cooker should include a variety of safety features, some of which are as follows:
- Lock: Modern pressure cookers should all include a locking mechanism on the top of the device which does not disengage until the contents are no longer under pressure. This mechanism has proven to be faulty on some models, so make sure to look up customer reviews of the locking mechanism on the pressure cooker you are considering before purchase.
- Pressure release valve: These valves exist to regulate the pressure inside the cooker by releasing built up pressure inside the cooker in a safe way. Pressure release valves may be spring-loaded or jiggle-top and may release excess steam.
- Pop-up indicator: This is another safety feature which allows users to evaluate the pressure inside the pot by reading the measurements which appear on the stem of the indicator as the pressure lifts the weight on top.
- Gasket release: Most modern pressure cookers contain a gasket release aperture situated under the lid, allowing pressure to be safely released from inside the pot once it reaches higher pressures.
- Safety handles: Handles on a pressure cooker should be made out of heat-resistant plastic or hard rubber, and should be ideally longer to avoid a user from burning their hands when moving the device around.
- Even heat base: The base of a pressure cooker should ideally contain a multiple-layer design. This allows heat to distribute evenly across the base of the device without the development of hotspots; this is a common issue in older pressure cookers. Choosing a pressure cooker with an even heat base can also ensure that the device lasts longer before needing to be replaced.
- Non-reactive material: Opt for a pressure cooker made with stainless steel rather than copper and aluminum. Copper and aluminum can cause food to heat too quickly and burn while stainless steel is less reactive and heats slower.
In addition to checking for these and other safety features when choosing a pressure cooker, it’s also a good idea to look up customer reviews and current lawsuits in process against different pressure cooker manufacturers. Pressure cookers can be a great tool in the kitchen, but should always be used with extreme caution and with strict adherence to safety guidelines.