Electric pressure cookers are among the kitchen appliance innovations that certainly come in handy for individuals who want to enjoy home-cooked meals but do not have the time or the energy to spend hours in the kitchen. As with other kitchen appliances, however, certain precautions must be taken when using an electric pressure cooker, especially since mishandling can lead to injuries and other mishaps.
To make sure that cooking with your electric pressure cooker remains as hassle-free as possible, here are some safety tips and precautions you should bear in mind.
Some safety tips when cooking using an electric pressure cooker
There are so many benefits to electric pressure cookers and they are pretty easy to operate and clean as well, but it does not mean that accidents will not happen from time to time. To prevent such from happening, bear the following tips in mind when using your electric pressure cooker:
Read the manual
This is the most basic safety precaution anyone could take when it comes to home appliances and, yet, this is possibly the most overlooked one as well. Given the ease by which an electric pressure cooker is operated, homeowners tend to just chuck the user manual and jump right onto using the appliance. However, note that electric pressure cookers are not identical and certain manufacturers have their own way of constructing the model. As such, it is imperative to study the manual to find out if there are things you should or should not do when using your electric pressure cooker.
Only buy your electric pressure cooker from a reputable appliance store
It might be tempting to buy a pressure cooker at an auction or at the flea market, especially given the low prices, but it can only lead to accidents. Used or old models may have cracks or parts which no longer fit properly. These can pose dangers when cooking, not to mention the fact that you will only be wasting your money.
Make sure that the rubber gasket is always clean and without cracks
The rubber gasket is the rubber lining at the lid of the pressure cooker. This seals the pressure cooker and prevents liquids from spilling. That said, you should always make sure that the gasket is always clean and have no cracks or tears.
Measure ingredients properly
Since you will not be seeing the dishes as they cook, it is necessary to be very precise when measuring ingredients. But more than just the taste of the food, the same is also important in making sure that you are not exceeding the capacity of the pressure cooker. Make sure not to overfill the pressure cooker to avoid spills and to avoid messing with the pressure inside the appliance. Be extra careful when measuring food items that tend to expand, as in the case of beans.
Be extra careful when cooking frothy dishes
Froth can block the steam valve and the pressure-release vent of your electric pressure cooker, so you have to exercise added caution when cooking such food items. That said, when cooking frothy food items, you have to carefully follow the recipe to avoid spillage. Moreover, you also have to underfill the electric pressure cooker so that the maximum capacity line is not reached.
Always release the pressure before opening the electric pressure cooker
The pressure builds up inside the pressure cooker, so if you open it right after cooking, you are asking for an accident. Let the pressure cooker sit for a while before opening it. To find out how long you should allow the pressure cooker to cool, or how you should release the pressure inside the electric pressure cooker, it is better to consult the user manual and follow the directions carefully.
Be careful of the steam
Opening your electric pressure cooker after cooking in it will release plenty of steam, so you have to make sure that you are opening it with the lid facing away from you. This way, the steam does not go directly into your face. Also, make sure that you are using a dry pot holder to avoid burning your hand once you let out the steam. Also, make sure that the condensation on the lid does not drip on you.
Inspect the pressure cooker before use
Make sure that all the parts are clean and in good condition before using your pressure cooker. The gasket should be intact, and nothing should be blocking the vents. Make sure that the handle is also secured, especially if you tend to transfer your electric pressure cooker from one place to another. Remember that the pressure cooker will be hot so it is extremely important that the handles are tightly secured.
Clean your electric pressure cooker after every use
Improper cleaning and storage of your electric pressure cooker can cause damage to the appliance and its parts. To avoid this, it is important to carefully clean the appliance after every use and to store it properly. Make sure to remove the rubber gasket and to clean it well. In addition, do not put the electric pressure cooker in storage with the lid locked in place as it can make opening the appliance difficult and can even cause damage to the gasket.
I know that this is quite a long list of electric pressure cooker safety tips, but considering the nature of an electric pressure cooker, such precautions are necessary. After all, you cannot be too careful around an appliance that uses high pressure to cook dishes.
You might not be an expert on home appliances but following the tips above should be easy enough. As long you stick to these safety precautions, and as long as you carefully go through the user manual, you should have no problem using your electric pressure cooker.
The kitchen is among the most dangerous place in one’s household, given the items stored and used there. Hence, it is necessary for homeowners to be extra cautious when working in the kitchen and in using appliances.