The Exploding Pressure Cooker

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rajdhani
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2012/08/17 05:42:20 (permalink)
Well, lets look at the science of canning. When you put anything in a jar and heat it, it will expand. You want as much air to escape from the jar as possible. Therefore, you would just place the lid on top with no ring. Then, the air can freely escape. As the jar cools the lid prevents air from getting back into the jar creating a partial vacuum. The problem with just setting the lids on top is that when the water boils the lids will float away. So, the ring is placed on just tight enough to hold the lid in place. But, not tight enough to keep the heated air from getting out. When the jars cool the lids will pop in. Letting you know that they are properly sealed. If you wanted to you could crank the lid on tight once they have cooled. Some people remove the ring altogether. Since the vacuum holds the lid in place. Other people leave the rings on tight to keep it safe in case it gets dropped on the lid. Generally, you should heat everything you can in a pressure cooker.
#31
bartl
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2012/08/18 21:36:31 (permalink)
I took a couple of (free) classes on pressure cookers at a local cooking supply store. What I was told was that any pressure cooker made since the late 70's has 3 different levels of protection. My mother had a pressure cooker when she first got married, made pea soup in it, and had a fountain (it clogged the valve). She got one in 1973, used it for decades, and never a problem. She gave it to me, but when I found out it only had 2 levels of safety, I chose not to use it, because pressure cookers aren't all that expensive. Besides, my slow cookers get similar results, so I generally put everything together in the morning so that it's ready when I get home.
 
Bart
#32
brisketboy
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2012/08/19 11:11:25 (permalink)
I have a four year old Ultrex and the only concern I have is the rubber gasket which I distrust after four years of use. Haven't had much luck finding a replacement. But I never had a problem with using it as a canner or doing a pot roast in it.
#33
scrumptiouschef
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2012/08/19 13:06:54 (permalink)
Couldn't live without my Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker. It's a beast when it comes to making pork stock or chicken stock. I use it all summer long to keep from heating the house up here in Austin. 90 minutes in the pressure cooker vs 8 hours on the stovetop.
#34
Sundancer7
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2012/08/19 13:13:35 (permalink)
Mamaw Smith who resides next door has a pressure cooker that she bought probably in the 1940's.  It worries hell out of me but she still uses it.  It apparently works just fine as she has used it dozens of times this year for canning our garden green beans, pepper relish, our garden tomatoes, beets and salsa.
 
Please wish us luck.  I think she only pushes it to 15lbs?
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
#35
mar52
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2012/08/19 14:16:56 (permalink)
Never used one and don't know how to use one..  They don't come with instructions.  I'm afraid of them.
#36
ken8038
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2012/08/19 17:31:40 (permalink)
My wife got a pressure cooker for a wedding shower gift. That's 31 years ago and counting. She uses it at least once or twice a month. Never a problem.
 
The price tag is still attached to the box, $19.99 at Alexanders Department store (New Yorkers of a certain age will remember..)
 
About 10 years ago we bought a slow cooker. For the last 9 years it's been gathering dust in the basement. It just ain't the same.
 
#37
Twinwillow
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2012/08/19 17:51:16 (permalink)
I'm still using the trouble free electric pressure cooker I purchased on Amazon a few years ago and described on the first page of this thread. I highly recommend it for your first (and hopefully, last) pressure cooker purchase.
 
#38
marzsit
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2012/08/20 06:45:51 (permalink)
the only pressure cooker explosions that i have heard of were with very early cast-aluminum pots that could develop cracks if they were rough-handled. modern aluminum pressure cookers are formed from soft aluminum plate and don't crack like the cast ones. also, early cookers had no lid safeties, so it was possible to open the lid if the pot was pressurized, not really an "explosion" but the effects were the same...... modern cookers solve almost all of the past safety issues.
 
the remaining safety issue is cooking food items that can clog the pressure venting systems. rice and beans have been known to clog the vents and blow the safety release...
 
as far as pressure-frying is concerned, the only issue is the material used for the lid gasket. a gasket made from silicone rubber will easily withstand 500 degrees fahrenheit, far beyond the 375 degree cooking temperature of kentucky fried chicken. in fact, colonel sanders used the standard rubber gaskets supplied by mirro for his pressure pots that were made from a rubber that didn't contain any silicone at all. they did require frequent replacement however......
#39
stricken_detective
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2012/08/25 16:55:27 (permalink)
tcrouzer

I grew up with my mom cooking in her Presto every week. When I married I bought a pressure canner to can vegetables we grew and were given by our neighbors. I always sat in a chair right in front of the stove to monitor the pressure gauge while canning and never had a problem with the canner or the jars of food that I had canned.

Now I have a Presto second generation cooker that I use all the time. I follow the directions, don't overfill the cooker, lower the heat after the pressure is reached. use a timer, and follow correct cool-down procedures. I've never had a problem. Frothy and spitting foods like beans and applesauce can clog the pressure vent! It is a good idea to add a tablespoon or two of oil when cooking beans for this reason. I never cook applesauce in a pressure cooker.

It is very probable that most home accidents are caused by user mistakes than cooker malfunctions.
Sounds like people think it's like a crock pot. They think you are supposed to put food in & walk away. That is usually never the case.
#40
marzsit
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2012/09/07 06:51:57 (permalink)
stricken_detective

tcrouzer

I grew up with my mom cooking in her Presto every week. When I married I bought a pressure canner to can vegetables we grew and were given by our neighbors. I always sat in a chair right in front of the stove to monitor the pressure gauge while canning and never had a problem with the canner or the jars of food that I had canned.

Now I have a Presto second generation cooker that I use all the time. I follow the directions, don't overfill the cooker, lower the heat after the pressure is reached. use a timer, and follow correct cool-down procedures. I've never had a problem. Frothy and spitting foods like beans and applesauce can clog the pressure vent! It is a good idea to add a tablespoon or two of oil when cooking beans for this reason. I never cook applesauce in a pressure cooker.

It is very probable that most home accidents are caused by user mistakes than cooker malfunctions.
Sounds like people think it's like a crock pot. They think you are supposed to put food in & walk away. That is usually never the case.

 
nope, you do have to monitor the cooking and adjust the temperature accordingly. i find that if i'm cooking something for 30 minutes, for the first 10 minutes under pressure i have to gradually turn the heat down every couple of minutes to maintain a steady, slow venting 'rythym', for lack of a better term... but once the rythym is stable you almost could walk away from it for maybe 10-15 minutes at a time if you're cooking something that takes a long time to cook.
#41
joelzenny
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2012/10/08 10:39:33 (permalink)
I came across this thread and site explaining to my wife what a pressure cooker is.
It's not just an urban legend.  I grew up ith my mom using opressure cookers, and 2 of them exploded (yes, actually exploded) during use.  One of them exploded when I was a kid, splattering beans all over the kitchen wall and ceiling.  My dad had to repaint the kitchen after that.  The other time was about 10 years ago.  I was in my mom’s kitchen and it exploded, almost injuring or possibly killing her.  The top left a huge dent in the enclosed kitchen ceiling fan.  Google will also provide you with news stories regarding exploding pressure cookers and their devastating effects.
 
As someone who has experienced this first hand, I can only be grateful that my mother wan't seriously injured or killed.  It's not just an urban legend.  It does happen.
 
Joel
#42
JRPfeff
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2012/10/08 10:52:08 (permalink)
Must be a deficiency in the priorities of the CPSC to allow these dangerous devices to even exist, let alone still be sold today.  Ban them (as soon as all the Buckyballs are rounded up).
 
Anecdotes are groovy, but if there was statistical evidence of pressure cookers being dangerous, they would have been outlawed by the government decades ago.  Not to mention that there'd be more lawyers trolling cable TV for clients than there are particles of asbestos in the lungs of a mesothelioma victim.
#43
DawnT
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2012/10/08 13:09:38 (permalink)
When you look at all the safety mechanisms in place even since the 50's such as interlocking lid pins operated by pressure, blow out vents or valves, contorting, V shaped gaskets that will buckle and vent with over pressure, it's hard to believe if just the jiggle valve stem or pressure regulation valve gets blocked. 15 psi isn't that much pressure if you think about it either, probably the same in a soft drink can shaken and less then half of what your tires take. Then there's the one that I love to hear about boiling oil for those brave enough to think they're going to play col. Sanders. True, some very cheap gaskets in cheap imports may have problems with oil over 400 degrees, but the silicone used in most any decent quality PC won't. If it does, it's just not going to hold pressure and leak, not explode. Then we have this pesky problem of physics relating temperature and pressure. So you do the col. sanders and get the oil to 375-400 degrees and start dropping in your chicken after it browns a little bit. Then you put on the cover and lock it into place, Miss V*ck*e and other litigious averse companies who have a vested interest in promoting a new style, modern (say expensive) PC like to advance the exploding boiling oil myth. Total crock of crap and maybe a good episode for mythbusters. The minute you cap the lid with the oil and chicken something happens thanks to the laws of physics. The temperture drops very rapidly under pressure to around 250 degrees and further cooled by the steam generated from chicken juices in minutes. After 10-12 minutes of cap time, the exit oil temp is less then 300 degrees and main reason you want to get it out as fast as you can to keep the chicken from absorbing oil at that low temp. Otherwise, the risks are no different then using an immersion fryer that potentially can be much more dangerous with oil near 400 degrees and easily boil over if you're not careful. We can't ignore stupidity though. There are some people that can't seem to follow instructions and properly seat and bayonette the lids. My mom was like that. Instructions and common sense were for idiots and fools. Forget the fact that most all lids have poistive locking systems under pressure to insure this doesn't happen, you can improperly have bayonette a lit snug, but not positively engage the locking which is glaringly obvious. The lid can pop off, but will below 15 PSI and make a mess of an overflow on the stove, not propel the lid and do structural damage. Even if every safety was blocked and you were using a so-called pre-war cast pot that may not have had any safety besides the blocked stem and some even didn't have a positive locking besides the handles joined. That's either going to take some strengh to twist apart and the possibility at those pressures for the older cast metal to rupture is insane....well smart enough if you want to scare someone into dumping grandma's pot for a brand-new $300 scandinavian pot that you'll still be scared to use. I still have my grandmother's pre-war 4 quart PC's that thanks to geting a new gasket off the net and new blow-off valve for the heck of it for $8, it's in use again since the 70's. I have 4 euro clamp type cookers from 4 to 15Q (canner), an electric 6Q presto that I now favor for pressure frying small batches instead of the super heavy clamp units, and one 4/8Q new fangled Fagor set that's been reduced to being used as large pots and deep frypan because the so called safety handles without a jiggler. Nice idea, but when the internals get gummed up or need parts, Fagor is nice enough to just want to sell you the entire handle assembly at near 2/3rds the cost of what you paid for the set with shipping and handling last I tried. Fine stainless pots though with great glass lids for general cooking.
 
Get a grip people. If something actually goes wrong, it's not the pot, it's the user and they shouldn't be allowed in a kitchen with other potential dangerous utensils or appliances. Like anyting else, they need occasional maintenance too. New gaskets and running a piece of wire or toothpick through the stem for a safety precaution. You don't pull out a PC that was a wedding gift 30 years ago and use it without checking it out with some water first any more then firing up a stove stored in your basement for 30 years. You don't fill the cooker up past 2/3 volume. All common sense.
 
And yes, frying chicken in a pc with 1/3 oil volume is safe...very safe despite litigation averse companies and pajama wearing blog pundits having you believe that you're essentially creating a hot oil bomb. You can also vent a regular PC quikly with a large serving spoon by tipping the jiggler to one side instead of placing it under water. My preferred method. I'm going on 45 years soon using these things with no incidents and my grandmother probably did the same using 4 old quart units with bakelite handles, one that I mentioned that I still use. Every kitchen down here uses one and probably learned as I did in my teens how to use them.  
#44
Twinwillow
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2012/10/08 13:38:02 (permalink)
mar52

Never used one and don't know how to use one..  They don't come with instructions.  I'm afraid of them.

 
Mar, buy one of the automatic electric pressure cookers I described on the first page. After the first time you use it you'll say, "where has this been all my life"?
post edited by Twinwillow - 2012/10/08 13:39:20
#45
Cammyo99
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2013/09/30 14:17:25 (permalink)
As a matter of fact, my pressure canner exploded last night.  I had 7 quarts of tomatoes in it.  We used it correctly, but the pressure relief spout failed to work.  Luckily no injures to people.  Can't say the same for my kitchen.

#46
WarToad
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2013/09/30 14:39:52 (permalink)
Says the 1 post new member.  P-shaw.
#47
brisketboy
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2013/09/30 15:13:13 (permalink)
As I said in an earlier post, I've had no issues in fact I canned some broth yesterday after them damn fool Houston Texans blew a 20-3 lead. I still don't fully trust the gasket but my kitchen needs repainting so I'll take my chances. I do not leave it unattended at any time except to watch Lechler kick away another blown opportunity at fourth down. When compared to all the folks who use them the few mishaps mentioned here are minuscule. 
#48
Cammyo99
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2013/09/30 17:17:21 (permalink)
Well, the one-post new member just happened to be researching pressure cookers because her exploded last night.
#49
CajunKing
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2013/09/30 18:55:53 (permalink)
Cammyo99

Well, the one-post new member just happened to be researching pressure cookers because her exploded last night.

 
Cammy - Don't let the big dawgs scare you off, their bark is loud, but harmless.  Glad to hear there was no injuries (cept for the kitchen)  kitchens need to be replaced every so often
 
Did you do an autopsy on the cooker?  wsa the pressure relief valve blocked or clogged??
#50
smokestack lightning
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2013/09/30 19:03:22 (permalink)
WarToad

Says the 1 post new member.  P-shaw.

So what? A very legitimate question. Who the hell cares how many posts she has?  Absurd!
#51
smokestack lightning
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2013/09/30 19:04:10 (permalink)
Cammyo99

Well, the one-post new member just happened to be researching pressure cookers because her exploded last night.

Welcome to Roadfood. It was a good question and hopefully some answers were helpful
#52
smokestack lightning
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2013/09/30 19:05:28 (permalink)
CajunKing

Cammyo99

Well, the one-post new member just happened to be researching pressure cookers because her exploded last night.


Cammy - Don't let the big dawgs scare you off, their bark is loud, but harmless.  Glad to hear there was no injuries (cept for the kitchen)  kitchens need to be replaced every so often
 
Actually they are offesnsive and often scare off perfectly reasonable new posters. Many are simply bullies.
 

Did you do an autopsy on the cooker?  wsa the pressure relief valve blocked or clogged??


#53
BackRhodes
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2013/09/30 22:10:38 (permalink)
Dawn...my mother had a pressure cooker that was probably given to her as a wedding present in 1946...never a problem...don't know the brand name...the secondary safety was a black rubber disk type plug, and the jiggler had 3 marks in the pop up stem...she'd put it in the sink and run cool water over it to bring the pressure down faster, and this was a very thick metal casting...probably can't do that with thinner metal modern ones...it was mostly spuds she cooked in the pressure cooker...
 
#54
BackRhodes
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2013/09/30 22:12:10 (permalink)
Mar Mar in Del Mar...I'm amazed you said you saw one with NO instructions (yet you say you don't own one)...
 
I can't imagine one with no instructions...
 
#55
OilCan
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2013/09/30 23:18:00 (permalink)
edwmax

Some people should just learn the art of the telephone for takeout & delivery chinese or pizza.     ......If they can not safely operate presure cooker, then they would not understand the safety requirements of cooking with full pans of boiling hot oil or scalding hot water.    ...........


You speak like you have something on the rest of us that don't know or trust a pressure cooker.  I cooked professionally for years in some great restaurants and hotels.  We never used a pressure cooker and I don't trust them to this day.  What have I missed?  Nothing..
FYI, I can and do understand "the safety requirements of cooking with full pans of boiling hot oil or scalding hot water."
#56
bartl
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2013/10/01 19:39:11 (permalink)
Cammyo99
As a matter of fact, my pressure canner exploded last night.  I had 7 quarts of tomatoes in it.  We used it correctly, but the pressure relief spout failed to work.  Luckily no injures to people.  Can't say the same for my kitchen.

How old was the pressure cooker? Any pressure cooker manufactured since the early 1970's has several backup safety devices.
 
Bart
#57
CCJPO
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2013/10/01 21:21:52 (permalink)
CAMMY90 - Don't feel bad. I had one explode on me. Granted it was my grandmothers. And she was the one that taught me how to use it. But that was more than 30 years ago and the pressure cooker was at least 60 years old by then.  I bought a new one in about 1984 and haven't had a problem since. Good luck in your future endeavors.
#58
Twinwillow
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2013/10/01 21:35:44 (permalink)
Mar, I think one of these will solve all of your's and everyone else's pressure cooker problems.
http://www.overstock.com/...ker/63328/product.html
 
http://www.amazon.com/Den...Pressure/dp/B001AQDAFA
 
#59
Twinwillow
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker 2013/10/01 21:42:57 (permalink)
Further to my above post, although my Cook's Essentials electric pressure cooker came with a small cookbook, I bought a larger, more comprehensive pressure cooker cook book online that covers practically any food you'll ever want to cook in a pressure cooker.
#60
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