Have you heard of an instant pot? Ever tried using it? Are you thinking about buying one, but have doubts about whether or not it is safe? To me, attractive features matter nothing compared to my protection and wellness.
For those of you who haven’t heard about an instant pot, or what it does, here is a brief explanation. An Instant Pot is a versatile pressure cooker that will prepare everything from barbacoa beef to mashed potatoes and ramen. It cooks all the items within a shorter duration compared to any traditional cooking device. Instant pots come with several variations but they each have their special set of perks.
According to the official Instant Pot website, the latest Duo Nova works as all these seven devices in one:
- Pressure Cooker
- Sauté Pan
- Slow Cooker
- Rice Cooker
- Food Warmer
- Yoghurt Maker
If this configurable multi-cooker gets an area in your house, you’ll certainly begin depending more on than just about any other food preparation equipment. Your Instant Pot’s functionality will differ depending on the type you choose.
Based on the shape and design of the device, you may install other forms of dishes into the unit, for instance, cupcake moulds. You could also use aluminium foil in your instant pot to split specific food items which permit you to simultaneously cook vegetables and meat products for dishes.
According to a report in 2019 on FOX31, ‘Instant Pot pressure cooker scalds girl’, a nine-year-old (then), Caroline, was immediately covered with scalding soup and her face flooded with hot steam. Her mom stated, “The valve float drops, and we go to open it and put the kale in. We were just going to add kale. And it exploded. Completely exploded.”
An instant pot was a blessing before the news about accidents circulated throughout the world. Did all of these disasters happen accidentally? Or is this a possibility presumed while using a high-pressure cooking appliance? It was not just this incident that happened to the nine-year-old, we found several other lawsuits concerning the Instant Pot.
The official Pressure Cooker Lawsuit site says, “Instant Pot pressure cookers were in the Top 5 best-selling products on Amazon.com during the 2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping weekend. Millions have been sold worldwide. Unfortunately, there are reports of Instant Pots exploding and causing burn injuries.”
A California resident filed a complaint in February, this year after she had been burnt. It happened due to an accident with an Instant Pot pressure cooker. A female in Louisiana registered a case in March 2023 after sustaining second-degree burns to her belly because her Instant Pot cooker blew up. A Delaware resident filed a complaint in September of last year when she was injured after her Instant Pot burst as soon as she removed the cover.
The instructional booklet that arrives with Instant Pot states it has a specific security mechanism that, while under pressure, stops the cover from releasing. In certain instances, conversely, the lid might have managed to open up under pressure and caused severe damage and disaster.
According to The Schmidt Law Firm, “Instant Pot pressure cookers have safety features, but accidents happen. Anyone can suffer major burn injuries from a pressure cooker that explodes or overflows boiling-hot food and steam.”
Instant pot temperatures should probably reach 250 degrees Fahrenheit, is around forty degrees hotter than 212 degrees Fahrenheit (i.e. boiling point of water). Instant pots prepare meals quicker as it gets warmer than a regular sluggish-cooker, but it’s riskier too. If the lid opens before the volume exceeds a sufficient point, an outburst of hot air, water vapour, and foods may occur.
There’s plenty of research showing the related danger, particularly if you have children in the household. Many people still talk about the instant pots and pressure cookers causing serious incidents like the cover falling off without any kind of signal. If you become seriously hurt by your Instant Pot, you could register a product liability case against Instant Pot manufacturers, advertisers and distributors.
Such injuries will have significant consequences, whether you pursue a case regarding the company or otherwise, you will have to experience a world of discomfort and spend a fortune on recovery. You have to be constantly aware while using an instant pot in your house if you’d like to prevent such hazardous situations.
Although the Instant Pot is an excellent household item, it has several drawbacks that users must be mindful of. Below, is a list of points to keep in mind before cooking any specific dish.
Several consumers prefer using a spatula to nudge the valve open to help avoid heat injuries. While under pressure, you can never see steam coming from the container. The mechanism is built to stay free, and it can sound a bit unsteady while pressing and opening it, but it is obvious when the valve opens due to heat escape.
An Instant Pot could burn food items. And as you know, this destroys both the pot and the food. This happens because food products at the base of the container do not get adequate moisture. While preparing more complicated recipes, containing levels of rice/meat, they can burn quickly.
If this becomes a frequent issue, it renders subsequent cleaning of the container a great challenge. The good thing is that the pot has detectors devoted solely to sensing burning, and instantly shuts them off. To avoid all the trouble, I would recommend you to cautiously mix and add sufficient food items.
If you own an Instant Pot, you would know that the container uses a silicone loop to create a tight seal and to secure the cover in position. This works perfectly, but it can soak up the scents of food products over time, mainly intense food products. Bad odours could be an inevitable problem.
If you start noticing this problem, detach the ring. If you think the ring always stinks, you should request an exchange. If you fancy, you could even clean it with sodium bicarbonate to see if it works for you. Generally, this takes away bad smells from the ring and solves the issue.
Initially, the mechanism could be difficult to comprehend. Learning the art of ‘How to Use the Steam Valve’ is essential. I would request you to test to ensure that the mechanism is locked while pressure cooking. There is a tiny steam vent on the cover, which can be placed in a locked or escape condition by moving it like a knob.
It can take a bit of time to get accustomed to so you should understand how things work fast. The Instant Pot has a warm-up and duration to wait for pressure to rise that it will require until a timer finally counts down. This cycle can vary according to the food items that you put in it, which can impact the overall preparation time.
The Instant Pot will make a sound when the countdown is finished, and continue incrementing then. And that’s how long the meal has been automatically depressurized, an interesting measure to keep tabs on whether you choose to allow moisture escape after a certain period.
If you’d like to prevent certain risks, you should be extremely cautious while operating an instant pot in your home. These are a few things I would recommend you to take into consideration:
Extra Food/Liquid: Your Instant Pot shouldn’t contain much more food or liquid because that will cause significant damage.
Foods Generating Additional Pressure: Food items such as the ones mentioned below, could generate foam and trigger the valve to clutter up:
- Split Peas
These kinds of foods also generate additional pressure and therefore can lead to accidents.
Lid Issues: You might already be familiar with this one. It is one of the most important aspects. Any problem with the lid of the Instant Pot can cause serious injury. When the cover is not properly positioned, it may burst and inflict wounds.
Instruction Manual: Are you one of those people who are too lazy to read the guidebook before using a product? Because it is too time-consuming? Do you think you could figure it out on your own once you start using it? You sometimes skip reading the guide while using an instant pot. But, this is not the best thing to do. There are lots of accidents occurring because the user guide is not checked correctly. I would suggest that you read the manual thoroughly before you even start using the Instant Pot because your safety matters the most.
Pressure Cooker Valve: If the valve for removing pressure has not been locked, it could lead to a significant blast and destroy your kitchen. The pressure cooker valve should always be kept far from yourself. You don’t have to handle the valves of Instant Pots because this has triggered some problems over the years. Unless the valve opens, and all of the different parts of the body are closest to it, major complications will occur.
In conclusion, just like any other device, it is crucial to thoroughly check the guidelines and obey them. As to maintain them well-kept to ensure your house is as safe as it could be. However, don’t let the warnings and accidents get to you. It should not frighten you off from getting your kitchen one of these devices.
Like I mentioned earlier, it all boils down to doing your background reading, being cautious, and careful while utilizing a kind of a high-pressure cooker, such as Instant Pot.