Instant pots are nothing less than an absolute boon, especially when it comes to sauteing, slow cooking, and rice cooking. But people are apprehensive when it comes to dealing with an instant pot as they are worried about it blowing up.
Such a phenomenon occurs when too much pressure is built inside it. But hey! This can be prevented by taking a few preventive measures.
If that intrigues you, the following article will answer all your questions.
How Will I Know It Is Safe To Open My Instant Pot?
Using an instant pot may seem complex, but once you get the hang of it, there’s no turning back! Although there are various brands of pressure cookers, they follow the exact working mechanism.
Since we are talking about opening the instant pot safely, let me introduce and explain its parts to make it clearer to you.
Every pressure cooker has a metal tip called a “Float Valve,” which has a crucial role. This metal pin stays underneath the lid, and while cooking, after the instant pot reaches a specific temperature, the float valve pops out.
So, until and unless the float valve is outside the lid, it means the pressure inside the pot is still high. Thus, it’s not safe to open. However, no matter how much you try (even though it is not right), the lid won’t open until the pressure settles.
This is because the instant pots have a protective installment that prevents the lid from opening.
There are two ways you can allow the pressure to be released so that it becomes safe to unclasp the pot lid; I have explained them in detail below!
Are instant pots safe?
Absolutely! Once you know how to use them, Instant Pots will be your favorite kitchen item!
If you feel nervous or anxious about using them, do a water test to understand its working and feel comfortable.
Let me tell you the safety features inside it.
- Lid lock sensor
- Prevents leakage
- Anti-block shield
- Automatic pressure control
- High-temperature alert and control
- Steam handle
So, an Instant Pot has multiple protective attributes that make it safe to use and manage.
Can an instant pot explode?
Now, the big question. Can an Instant Pot explode? The answer is yes, but it is highly unlikely.
As I mentioned earlier, many protective specifications in an Instant Pot prevent it from exploding. Regardless, some ways can make it blow up. Let’s look at them individually so that you learn how to avoid them.
Reasons why your Instant Pot can explode?
- Clogged up valves
- Overloading the pot
- Using a worn-out sealing ring
- Defective components
- Not following manual instructions
These are some significant reasons why your Instant Pot can explode, but you can certainly prevent it.
Ways to prevent the Instant pot from exploding
The chances of your Instant Pot exploding are slim, but not none. So, without further ado, let’s see how you can prevent them from doing so.
Check and maintain: It’s best always to examine your Instant Pot and look for any food debris or defective parts. Also, maintain the condition of your pressure cooker, wash it after every use and keep them dry.
Using adequate water: Is the water too much or too less? This dilemma can cause too much steam to build up or extreme pressure. At least put half a cup of water to allow the food to cook and avoid adding too much liquid.
Warning: Putting too much water is a major cause of Instant Pot explosions, so be careful while doing so.
Clean steam valve regularly: The steam valve can be clogged up quickly, so clean it right after using it.
Place it properly: Ensure your Pot is appropriately stored so it dries well after you wash them.
When is the ideal time to open the instant pot?
When you are using an Instant pot, it will cook the food according to the mode it is set on. So, the time differs with every dish on when you should open the pressure cooker.
You can wait for the steam to be released via the venting valve or wait it out. The recipe will mention how to use it to let the pressure inside the pot go down.
Remember to never fiddle with its lid until and unless it is safe to open.
You can release the pressure inside the Instant Pot in two ways:
- Quick Release
- Natural Release
Let’s learn about them below.
What Is Quick Release On An Instant Pot?
A Quick Pressure Release, also known as venting, is when you switch the valve to let the steam out. When you do so, a gush of steam comes out from that valve, and the pressure will come out.
Although this is a quick way to remove the pressure, you still have to wait until the float valve goes down. Certain foods require Quick Release, such as vegetables but avoid doing this for meat, soups, or pasta that will cause foaming.
Moreover, avoid using your hands to vent; using a wooden spoon will suffice.
What Is Natural Release On An Instant Pot?
As its name suggests, Natural Release naturally allows the pressure to settle on its own. So, you do not have to do anything basically except wait until the float valve goes back down.
This is safer since no hot steam is removed, but it takes time. Generally, it will take around 5-30 minutes to cool down. However, avoid this method if you do not want to overcook.
You can wait some time after the cooking is completed and remove the remaining pressure through the valve. In short, combine the two methods to release the pressure and allow the lid to open quickly.
What To Do If Your Instant Pot Lid Won’t Open
There are several reasons why your Instant Pot lid is not opening or is stuck.
In most scenarios, the lid has been damaged, so you need to replace them.
Regardless you can try some methods to remove but be extremely careful with this as you are likely to damage your Instant Pot if not done correctly.
If the Pot lid is not opening, there is a high chance its internal pressure has not been released. So, first, try venting it or let it sit for a few minutes for natural release.
If it still doesn’t open, there could be an issue with the gasket (sealing ring). Since they are sensitive, you must change them within 12-18 months.
This duration is still long; you may need to replace them every 6-12 months to avoid foul odor or discoloration.
How To Replace Your Instant Pot Lid
You can easily replace any dysfunctional or damaged part of an Instant Pot. Suppose your pot lid has been dented; you can get a lid on Amazon or other websites.
If you have a warranty, contact customer support, and they will bring it for you or give you a new Instant Pot.
Author’s Note: Ensure you have latched the sealing ring properly inside the grill of the pot and check if it’s loose.
Is Instant Pot Dishwasher Safe?
Yes, the internal parts, which include the stainless steel pot, lid, steam racks, and sealing ring, are dishwasher safe. However, a few parts should not be placed in a dishwasher and must be cleaned manually.
What part of the instant pot is dishwasher safe?
The following components are safe to put in a dishwasher.
- Inner Pot and Trivets
- Sealing ring
You can also choose to wash all these parts with your hands if you see any rainbow discolorations inside the Inner pot, which is quite familiar with steel and clean with white vinegar.
How long do you have to wait to open Instant Pot?
Ans: Every instant, pot models from one another, so the answer depends. Ideally, you wait for the cooking time to be zero and let the float valve go down.
Slowly the pressure inside the pot will go down in 5-30 minutes with Natural release. After that, you can open the lid.
What happens if you open Instant Pot too soon?
Ans: Opening an instant pot too soon will cause strong steam to hit your face, which could cause third-degree burns. However, a safety mechanism is installed that locks the lid until the pressure has been released.
So, you cannot open the pot so easily that you break the lock or force it.
Can I open an Instant Pot while cooking?
Ans: If your instant pot is in manual cooking mode, do not open it as the internal pressure is relatively high. The safety lock will prevent you from removing the pot lid until the pressure has settled down.
You can cancel the cooking and let the float valve go down so that you can open it.
Can I open Instant Pot after venting?
Ans: Yes, but ensure your hand is away from the vent top to avoid getting burned by the hot steam released. After the venting is done, the floating valve will drop down, indicating it is alright to open the lid now.
In a nutshell, instant pots are quite handy cooks for making delicious food. Once you know how to operate them, you will eventually become habitual to them.
However, it is wise to be careful and not pry open the pressure cooker while venting. Also, keep its parts clean, so there are no malfunctions.