Instant pots are some of the most helpful kitchen appliances. They have multiple cooking modes and cook a range of dishes quickly and with no attendance.
But while many people find instant pots to be a game-changer, others are afraid that instant pots are dangerous as there is a chance of them exploding. But do instant pots explode?
What to do if an instant pot exploded? The chances of instant pots exploding are very low as these kitchen appliances have ten safety features to prevent it from happening. So long as you take proper care of the appliance and use it according to the manual, it won’t explode if it doesn’t have any production defects.
In this article, you will learn everything about an instant pot explosion. Why it may or may not happen, how to avoid it, and what to do in case your instant pot explodes.
What Is An Instant Pot And How Does It Work?
The original Instant Pot is a multicooker that combines the functions of a pressure cooker and a slow cooker. This appliance that is also the name of the brand has become widely popular in recent years.
And while the brand is best known for the various models of instant pots it makes, it also produces other appliances, including toaster ovens, slow cookers, air fryers, and other home appliances.
The instant pot itself has many models: Instant Pot Duo, Instant Pot Dup Plus, Instant Pot Ultra, Instant Pot Wifi, Instant Pot Lux, and much more!
All these instant pot models are programmable pressure cookers that perform more than six functions.
You can buy an 8-in-1 and even a 10-in-1 multi-use instant pot if you are looking for a real helper in the kitchen.
But the six main cooking modes of an instant pot include cooking on High Pressure with the valve open or closed, on Low Pressure with the valve open or closed, slow cooking, and searing.
So, if you have been wondering what the differences between an instant pot, a pressure cooker, and a slow cooker are, know that the former does everything the other two appliances do.
But how does an instant pot work? It is a sealed environment for the food to cook in. You put whatever ingredient you need to cook, add in some liquid, and seal the instant pot.
The liquid inside starts to boil and release steam, creating pressure in the pot. It is the pressure in the pot that makes the food cook faster.
The pressure regulator on the instant pot controls the pressure inside the pot and keeps it at a specific safe level which is between 10.12-11.6 PSI. When the pressure gets higher than 15.25 PSI, it is released automatically by the device.
The Benefits Of Using An Instant Pot
So, an instant pot is a multi-purpose device. But is it really worth it? There are many reasons why an instant pot might be one of the most helpful kitchen appliances.
- Instant pots can cook a variety of dishes. Thanks to the multiple cooking modes these devices have, you can use them to cook all of your favorite foods and dishes, from eggs and rice to meat, fish, and vegetables. You can even make bread in your instant pot.
- Long–cooking meals take less time to cook. Tough cuts of meat require a long cooking time until they become tender and juicy. Stews and soups also need a long-simmering time until all the flavors are blended and the dish tastes truly delicious. With an Instant Pot, cooking such elaborate meals takes way less time.
- You use less oil. Eating healthy is a lot easier with an instant pot as you can cook your food with steam, without adding any oil or fat.
- There’s no need to spend time on defrosting food. Defrosting food may take hours and even a day. But sometimes you forget to let the food thaw in the fridge or need to cook a quick meal using the ingredients you have in the freezer. You can, of course, use your microwave for quick defrosting. But even doing this takes time. With an instant pot, you don’t have to spend time defrosting food. It can go right into the instant pot and cook.
- You manage to do a lot more with an instant pot. Many people love instant pots because they don’t require unattended cooking. You only need to place the ingredients inside the pot, choose the right cooking mode, and you can do other tasks in the kitchen or around the house.
Are Instant Pots Dangerous?
Old-fashioned pressure cookers weren’t that safe which is why some people have a misconception that instant pots are dangerous too.
Pressure cookers were rather dangerous kitchen appliances in the past decade as cheap parts were used to manufacture them. Additionally, they didn’t have any safety features.
The main cause of the accidents that featured an exploding pressure cooker was the pressure regulator (i.e. valve).
When the pressure regulators on old-fashioned pressure cookers became dysfunctional, the steam collected in the pot caused it to explode.
To prevent such accidents, modern pressure cooker brands have two valves or other advanced pressure regulators.
With this said, not all modern pressure cookers are safe. We recommend you do good research on the pressure cooker you are thinking of buying to make sure it is a safe choice.
Instant pot, however, has a number of safety features that bring the number of such accidents to the minimum.
10 Safety Features Of An Instant Pot
If you are still on the fence about buying an instant pot because you are afraid that it may explode, here are the many safety features this kitchen appliance has.
So long as you take proper care of it and use it following all the safety requirements, the chances of anything happening to your instant pot are very low.
1. Lid Close Detection
One of the most helpful instant pot safety features is lid close detection. This feature ensures that you seal the lid properly before you choose some of the cooking modes and turn on the instant pot.
2. Protection Against Leakage
Your kitchen will quickly get messy if your instant pot starts to leak. Luckily, there is a safety feature to prevent this from happening.
If any liquid starts leaking from the pot, the pot will switch to the warm setting and won’t add more pressure despite the pressure level you had set earlier.
3. Automatic Lid Lock
The safety lid lock feature of an instant pot ensures that the user doesn’t open the pot when there is excess pressure inside the pot.
4. Anti-Block Shield
As you already know, instant pots have steam-release vents. When cooking various dishes, there is a risk of food clogging those vents. This is why the brand protects these vents with shields.
5. Temperature Control
Instant pots have a thermostat that regulates their pressure. Just like the pressure inside the pot, the temperature of the appliance is kept at optimal levels too to avoid any safety hazards.
6. High-Temperature Warning
An instant pot automatically cuts off the heat if the temperature inside the pot exceeds its maximum levels. It comes with a safety device that protects the appliance against overly high heat.
7. Steam Release Handle
Another safety feature on an instant pot is the steam release handle. It is located on top of your instant pot and you can use it to control the amount of steam that the pot releases.
You can also prevent the steam from escaping when needed.
8. Excess Pressure Protection
You may wonder, what if the regulator on your instant pot doesn’t work? The device has a plan B.
If there is too much pressure in the instant pot, the excess pressure protection will release some of it until the level of pressure in the pot comes to a normal range.
9. Automatic Pressure Control
The automatic pressure control of an instant pot helps to maintain the pressure inside the pot within the acceptable and safe range. If the pressure inside exceeds 15.25 PSI, the appliance will automatically lower it.
What the appliance does is create a space between the lid and the pot inside. The excess steam comes out after which the instant pot doesn’t heat up any further.
10. Extreme Protection Feature
If you are still skeptical about the safety features of an instant pot, know that there is another one for extreme situations.
The appliance will disconnect the power if the temperature of the pot is dangerously high—between 336-341°F. It will also automatically turn off if the appliance uses a high level of electrical current.
Can An Instant Pot Explode?
Despite the many safety features an instant pot has, there is a small chance of an instant pot exploding.
But this doesn’t happen for no reason. Look into the reasons below to find out why anything of the sort might happen to your appliance.
Why Does An Instant Pot Explode?
The explosion of instant pots is a rarity. However, it is something that may happen to your instant pot, and learning about the possible causes of instant pot explosions is important.
Here’s why your multi-purpose kitchen appliance may suffer an explosion.
Overfilling Your Instant Pot
Overfilling the instant pot past its maximum capacity is none of the most common causes of instant pot explosions.
When you have filled it over the maximum level of the pot’s capacity and you are cooking food that expands when it’s cooked, the valves that release the steam may get clogged.
Too much pressure will accumulate in the instant pot and it may eventually explode.
The situation described above is only one of the causes of blocked steam-releasing valves. These valves may also be blocked as a result of dirt or food particles accumulated in them with time.
So, before each use, make sure the steam-releasing valves of your instant pot are clean.
Old Sealing Ring
Not changing the sealing ring of the instant pot is another cause of explosions. The sealing ring of the instant pot needs to be changed every year or every 16 months.
Also, not cleaning the sealing ring regularly may become a cause of instant pot explosion too.
Not Using Your Instant Pot According To The Manual
You can’t blame the brand for your instant pot exploding if you haven’t used it according to the instructions in the manual.
No matter which model of the instant pot you are buying, we highly recommend carefully reading the manual before you start using the appliance.
Many instant pot accidents happen only because the users were not aware of the simple rules and precautions stated in the manual.
An Instant Pot With Production Defects
If you are doing everything right and using your instant pot following the instructions in the manual and there is still a risk of it exploding, then it is faulty.
Instant pots with production defects are not a common phenomenon but it is a possibility you should consider. Such defects include a lid that doesn’t lock properly, closed valves, and so on.
If there is such a problem with your instant pot, contact the customer service of the brand to get a replacement.
How To Prevent Your Instant Pot From Exploding
There are a few simple tips you can use to make sure your instant pot is free of the risk of exploding.
- Inspect it before each use. Make it a habit to inspect your instant pot before using it. The rubber ring that sits between the pot and the lid should always be in perfect condition. It should be clean and dry. The rubber gasket shouldn’t have any cracks. Replace the rubber ring every year or every 16 months.
- Don’t overfill your instant pot. As mentioned earlier in this article, overfilling the pot past the maximum level is one of the most common causes of pressure cooker explosions.
- Use enough liquid for the dish. The liquid you pour in the instant pot is what will create steam for the food to cook. The minimum amount of liquid to use is half a cup. Cooking food with no liquid is and high pressure can be hazardous.
- Keep the steam-releasing valve clean. This is one of the key instant pot maintenance steps. Clean the valve after each use. You can use a toothpick to do it.
- Store your instant pot correctly. Once you have cleaned the instant pot, store it wisely – with the lid upside down. This way the rubber gasket will dry well. Also, there won’t be unnecessary pressure on it and it will have a longer life span.
What To Do If Your Instant Pot Explodes
If instant pots do explode, they don’t cause as severe of an explosion as old-fashioned pressure cookers.
If the lid of the instant pot gets damaged and ejects hot liquid or food, you may suffer scalds and burns. In rare cases, the explosions may be so strong as to damage your property.
If such a thing happens, unplug your instant pot and cool your burns with cool water as soon as possible. If the burns are severe, you should certainly see a doctor.
In case you have used the instant pot according to the instructions and have been taking proper care of it, then it has exploded due to a production defect. In this case, it would be good to contact the manufacturer.
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