Instant pots are multifunctional pressure cookers that can be used to prepare foods and meals quickly. If you want to quickly prepare something and do not want to use a microwave then you can use an instant pot.
They can easily cook anything from roast chicken to desserts in very little time compared to other appliances.
If you’ve recently bought an instant pot and are concerned about the safety issues then you are at the very right place. If you are reading this article then probably you’ve heard about an instant pot explosion or something related.
If you have got the question that does an instant pot explode? then there isn’t any particular or clear-cut answer to this question. I will today attempt to answer your doubts in the best way possible.
In comparison with pressure cookers from a decade past the instant pots do not explode. They come with 10 safety features that keep them safe from such instances. These features are designed to prevent the instant pot to function in an unsafe way. If such things happen then the pot will automatically stop working or reduce any internal pressure.
Even after such features, there are issues of explosions that have been reported and today in this post I will do my best to explain to you why this happens.
How does an instant pot work?
Instant pots help you to prepare food in a short period which otherwise would have taken hours, therefore, people tend to use pressure cookers.
Pressure cookers work by providing a sealed place to the food for cooking. When you add liquid inside the pressure cooker and after it gets boiled it helps to create a pressure that in turn helps to cook the food quickly at a faster rate compared to conventional cooking.
This pressure has to be properly controlled and regulated to a specific level to ensure that there are no explosions. In older pressure cookers the pressure is regulated using a weighted pressure regulator which is usually regulated on the top.
In instant pots, this is done through a pressure regulator which helps to keep the temperature between 10.12 – 11.6 psi.
If the pressure inside exceeds 15.25 psi then the steam inside the pot is pushed up and released automatically until it reaches its optimal range.
Most of the accidents tend to happen due to the lack of this knowledge. Having this understanding would help you a lot not only for using instant pots but also while using any kind of pressure cookers.
10 features ensure the safety of an instant pot. Let’s quickly look at those 10 features.
The 10 Safety features
Instant pots, by keeping n in the explosion inside the pressure cookers, were designed with features that will prevent such accidents.
Lid close detections
In cases where the lid of the instant pot isn’t properly closed while using, the instant pot will not activate any pressure cooking until it’s not properly closed. You can, however, use the suaté and keep warm functions in some of the selected models.
Leaky lid protection
If there is any kind of leakage due to any reason then the programming of the instant pot will automatically be switched to keep warm settings and will not build up to any preset pressure levels.
Anti blockage vent
While cooking food there are possibilities that the food gets trapped or clogged in the steam release vents. Instant pots are designed with a vent shield that prevents any kind of food particles from getting clogged.
There are automatic temperature controls that regulate pressure in an instant pot. If the pressure exceeds the psi level then this feature releases the pressure and brings it back to the optimal range. This is done by the thermostat that regulates the temperature inside the instant pot.
If the temperature inside an instant pot rises due to things like no moisture or any other possibilities the heat will be cut off and that will help the food from getting burned or any other kind of accidents. Instant pots come with a fuse that protects against excess heat and electric currents. There are pressure sensors that keep the optimal temperature between 10.12 psi – 11.6 psi.
Lid lock under pressure
This is a very important safety feature that instant pots have. When the pressure inside the cookers is not properly released the lid will automatically get locked and prevent it from opening until the pressure comes to a normal range.
Automatic pressure control
An instant pot also comes with an automatic pressure control feature which is linked to the regulator that releases steam and brings it down from the pot if it exceeds 15.23 psi.
Excess pressure protection
In the end, an instant pot also has an added layer of protection for a backup plan if the regulator does not work. When the pressure inside the pot goes too high then a protection mechanism is activated which shifts the pots inside the coker downwards which tends to create a gap between the lid and the inner pot which releases the steam inside the chamber and his results in stopping any kind of heating.
Extreme temperature and power protection
If everything above fails to work then your instant pot has got one fuse that automatically disconnects the power once the pot reaches the temperature range that is between 336 degrees Fahrenheit to 341.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It also disconnects if a high level of electrical current is being used by the instant pot.
Pressure regulator protection
If there is excess pressure inside your pot then it will release some steam so you don’t have to worry if it starts making some noise like a hiss or release some steam. Once the pot goes over 15.23 psi the steam inside gets released automatically until the temperature reaches its optimal range.
With all these safety features kept in mind while designing an instant pot, there are almost no possibilities that it can explode. But still, there are reasons and cases where an instant pot has exploded. Manufacturers try their best to provide you with instant pots with such features that prevent any kind of explosions.
How and why does an instant pot explode?
There are cases where even after those features an instant pot has exploded. We must know why this happens.
Blocking the steam release valves
This thing can happen due to several reasons but the most prominent one is the food particles getting clogged in the valve. This can possibly stop the pressure inside to get released which might lead to any kind of failure or malfunction.
You should regularly clean the release valves and other important components inside the instant pots. These explosions can also take place if the steam valve is blocked by something like any cloth or dish towel.
Always make sure that the steam release valves are kept clear enough from any kind of blockage.
Filling it over max level
This is very common and also a major reason an instant pot explodes. People tend to fill the pot over the max level.
If you fill it over the max level there are chances of some food which expands while they cook to get clogged or trap the steam releasing valves which might release in excess pressure and explosions.
Not changing the sealing
The sealing rings inside your instant pot are to be changed necessarily every 12-16 months. It also needs to be cleaned. A faulty sealing ring also becomes a reason behind many explosions.
Ignoring the manual
The manual prescribes all the things that are to be done and that are to be avoided. It contains all the properties of the products and precautions to be taken while using it. So one should always read the manual carefully before using any appliances.
These are some of the instances and reasons why the instant pot can explode. If you are careful enough and with those safety features you can easily prevent it from such kinds of accidents.
Instant pots are great appliances that make your cooking process faster and they are also designed by keeping the convenience and the safety of the customers prior.
Just like any other tools or appliances you can possibly hurt yourself or cause an accident if you do not use it properly and carefully.
I hope I answered all your doubts and you are sure of how the instant pot works and why does it explode.