Pressure Cooker Safety - Pressure Cooking School

We described each part of the pressure cooker earlier, and detailed how each plays a role in pressure cooker safety as well.

So, to review, you are the first pressure cooker safety system: NEVER OVERFILL THE PRESSURE COOKER. Remember:

  • Max 1/2 Full: rice grains and beans (and their cooking liquid)
  • Max 2/3 Full: everything else

That ensures that nothing interferes with the lid of the pressure cooker, which is where most of the other safety systems are. Also, check that the primary valve is clean and clear before pressure cooking.

If something were to go side-ways, even before it gets to that point, the pressure cooker itself will detect that the pressure (temperature) inside is too high and turn off the pressure cooker.  But, while that’s happening, though, the food inside is still boiling and building pressure so the cooker will release excess pressure from the valve on the lid. And, if the main valve were to be clogged the cooker will release pressure from the lid-lock or secondary valve. If that were to be blocked, the cooker will release pressure from the gasket.

Pressure Cooker Safety - Pressure Cooking School

The last safety system of for absent-minded cooks like me. Where at the last minute I realize, “Oh, I need to add some carrots” and try to open the pressure cooker during cooking.  Well, the lid locks automatically the minute pressure starts to build. It means that if there is any pressure still inside the cooker, you cannot open the lid.  It’s a mechanical system so even if there is no electricity you will still be prevented from opening the lid.


Pressure Cooker Safety Systems

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  1. I’ve used an old Mirro-Matic Pressure Cooker for many years and was always pleased with how fast and easy it was to use. The Instant Pot seems more complicated to use and takes longer, I think. I got mine as a gift for Christmas and used it on New Years day to make Pork and sour krout,I could not find a receipt and just judged by the Spareribs receipt. It did come out tender,but seemed to take longer then I thought it should.. What did I do wrong ?

    1. It does take electrics a little longer to reach pressure – I timed Instant Pot at 13 minutes vs. an average of 9-11 on stovetop. It DEFINITELY takes longer to open for Natural Release because although the heating element is off, it being ceramic, it continues to deliver heat during the opening process. I would say that this opening takes twice to three times as long compared to stovetop.



  2. Hi, I got a stove-top pressure cooker, aluminum 4qt, used on portable butane stove. PC has 3 lid valves: handle mech./pressure valve(that pops up after 2 minutes), Central regulator/rocker valve(that gurgles & spins) and offset overpressure spring valve (whose pin never pops up). I reduce heat when the rocker valve starts jiggling?

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