Pressure cookers, when used safely, can be one of the handiest tools in a kitchen. Modern pressure cookers come with quite a few safety features to help make the process of using them go smoother. When looking into buying a pressure cooker it is important that you look into every aspect before settling. The makeup, features, and size are important when it comes to what you will be using.
Today’s Generation of Pressure Cookers
Newer pressure cookers tend to be made of stainless steel which can withstand higher pressure levels in comparison to the older models that were typically made of aluminum. There is a lock on the lid of most newer cookers that prevents the lid from being removed manually before the pressure levels are equalized which prevents the risk of the cooker exploding.
This was a risk that many people took when using the first generation of pressure cookers because they lacked the safety features of today’s modern cookers. It’s also one of the reasons many people ask the question “Are pressure cookers safe?�?
Most stainless steel pressure cookers also have a gasket that allows for steam to escape once the cooker hits a certain pressure level. Internal pressure is regulated using pressure valves and there is an indicator which shows the rising and dropping of the pressure levels on the inside of the pressure cooker.
Prevent Pressure Cooker Overflow
Your pressure cooker should not be left on high heat for long periods of time because if the pressure inside keeps rising, even once it has hit its limit, the gasket will overflow. It has the same result as if you left a saucepan boiling on the stove. Depending on what cooker you buy there could also be other safety features such as secondary valves, longer handles, or an encapsulated base. All of these features are meant to make using a pressure cooker as safe as possible as well as comfortable.
Always Use Caution When Operating a Pressure Cooker
Are pressure cookers safe to use? Even with all the safety features, it is still recommended that you be cautious when using a pressure cooker. You should always do a thorough check of your cooker before use to make sure everything is in proper working order. The gasket of your cooker should not be dried out or cracked and the inside of the cooker should be clean.
Never Overfill Your Pressure Cooker
It is very important to not overfill your pressure cooker. Many expert chefs recommend that the pressure cooker only be filled two thirds of the way with liquid and no more than that to avoid blocking the vent. If the food being cook tends to swell such as grains or rice then it is recommended that the cooker only be filled halfway to the top to allow for the food to grow. If your recipe calls for oil you should try not to use much as it can harm the cookers important internal parts like the gasket.
When cooking a food that froths it is important to be extra attentive. Frothing can block the valves that let steam out so it’s important to watch and be careful about recipe times as well as quantities when making foods such as oatmeal, pasta, or applesauce.
Safely Release the Pressure
Releasing the steam that builds up in a pressure cooker is important when it comes to equalizing pressure levels. The steam and pressure of a cooker are the main reasons people ask “Are pressure cookers safe?�? but knowing how to properly use your cooker is important.
There are three ways you can go about releasing the steam. The first method, natural release, is reducing the heat and waiting for the pressure levels to equalize on their own. The cold water release method is where you let cold water run over the lid of the pressure cooker to dissipate the steam. The last method is quick release which requires letting all of the steam escape by the release valve. It is important that you keep your hands protected and your face away from the cooker while letting the pressure levels drop to avoid any harm.
So Are Pressure Cookers Safe to Use?
Yes, pressure cookers are safe to use if you utilize the safety features included with modern cookers and always use caution when pressure cooking. Read the manual so that you know exactly how to use yours to avoid any risk or harm.