What is a pressure cooker used for?

A common appliance in many kitchens, pressure cookers are a quick, time-saving tool that removes the hassle from cooking dinner in a pinch. Pressure cookers, as the name implies, use high pressure inside a sealed container to trap heated gas, causing water to boil faster.

This also allows a 30-minute meal to be prepared in as little as 10 minutes. While its time-saving usefulness is well-known and often advertised on shopping channels, many people remain only semi-conscious of the slumbering danger within these powerful pots.

Why are pressure cookers recalled?

Pressure Cooker Recall

  • Alcan Pressure Cookers
  • Welbilt Electronic Pressure Cookers
  • Manttra Pressure Cookers
  • HSN Bella Cucina Zip Cookers
  • HSN Ultrex-brand Pressure Cookers
  • Power Pressure Cooker XL
  • Maxi-Matic Pressure Cookers
  • Tristar Products—Power Pressure Cooker XL
  • Fagor America Cookers
  • Tabletops Unlimited Cookers
  • Maxi-Matic Cookers
  • Wolfgang Puck Worldwide Cookers
  • Double Insight Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
  • 3-Squares Tim3 Machin3 Cookers

Poorly made or incorrectly used pressure cookers can pose a serious threat to consumers. This threat is so pertinent, that in April of this year, Vancouver bomb disposal was called to investigate a pressure cooker found abandoned on the side of the road, and some popular video games, such as the Fallout franchise, use pressure cookers in crafting weapons.

When sealed, this type of reaction is because a pressure cooker can reach pressures up to 15 pounds-per-square-inch (PSI) higher than normal and cooks food at up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. If the seal is incomplete or the pressure cooker is not made of reliable materials, several types of injury may occur.

What are common pressure cooker injuries?

One of the most common pressure cooker injuries is second and third-degree burns. In one case, a defective pressure expelled its ingredients, resulting in the amputation of an infant’s leg. Electrocution has also occurred in other incidents.

Pressure cooker-related injuries often arise from one of three issues, such as:

  1. Pressure cooker spills - A faulty seal may cause the contents of the pressure cooker to spill out violently while still under high pressure and at dangerous temperatures.
  2. Pressure cooker explosions - Poor or weak construction materials may result in the pressure cooker exploding from its own built up pressure.
  3. Pressure cooker shocks - Poor insulating materials may have been used in the construction, resulting in a pressure cooker that can give severe shocks when touched.

Most manufacturers will recall a product that has caused consumer injury, but some companies, such as Tristar Products Inc.’s Power Pressure Cooker XL, continue to sell products despite adverse events. The CPSC has issued a pressure cooker recall based on types of defects, volume of products sold and severity of product risks. 

Are there pressure cooker safety precautions?

Although there are injuries arising from faulty pressure cookers and manufacturers who refuse to remove unsafe products from shelves, most pressure cookers are safe, time-saving cooking appliances that are perfect for making meals in an instant.

Like any other important appliance purchase, the best thing to do to prevent injury or damage in the kitchen is to read product reviews. Be sure to search of the pressure cooker manufacturer to see if there’s an associated recall history.