The Exploding Pressure Cooker

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DawnT
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The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Wed, 04/29/09 4:07 PM
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It happened again last afternoon at work during a casual conversation about what's for supper. The topic of post roasts came up followed by the usual, "I don't have time for that".  Among my anglo co-workers, (I'm one too), there's apears to be a consensus that supper shouldn't take more then an hour and involve as few ingredients as possible and the concept of pre-preparation the night befrore appears to be an abstract concept. So I bit. Fifteen-20 minutes veggie preparation and 15 minutes a pound in a pressure cooker with most of the vegetables added at the last 8 minutes isn't going to crimp anyones time. Fast,simple,and easy.
 
Here we go again. Everyone chimes in with a horror story about someone that someone knew or their mother (or someone she knew) that had a pressure cooker blow up. Same old,same old. The roof,wall,scalds. The urban legend continues ad nauseum. It always gets me with the intense conviction that the stories are re-told and always second or third hand accounts. You might as well talk about attempting to cook with explosives. These women are so convinced that pressure cookers are dangerous time bombs there is no way to rationally talk about the subject. Amusing to the rest of us really.
 
I grew up with my grandparents. The old,Mirro pressure cookers with the round disc for the jiggler were used almost daily probably made in the 40's with bakelite handles. Never an incident or a problem. Cooking was second nature with them. When I learned to cook from many of my Cuban friends mothers and grandmothers, they too used them most every day. None of us ever heard stories of black or red bean covered walls. Part of the legend is that many cookers were made with inferior materials by today's standards. Every pressure cooker made has had some form of pressure safety. Still, safeties and jiggler stems can plug, but that doesn't obviate not keeping an eye on your cooker like most people do and lower the temp once the jiggler indicates pressure or noticing something isn't right. Lets face it, if some explosions occured, it would have taken some mass neglect or abject ignorance.
 
Will this nonsense ever go away ?  Have any of you had this acutally happen to you or wittnessed it? In over 40 years of pressure cooking including pressure frying in oil, never has anything remotely similar ever happened to me. 
 
 
 

doggydaddy
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Wed, 04/29/09 4:21 PM
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I think that pressure cookers are overlooked. The things are amazing. Everyone wants a pot roast that has cooked all day in a crock pot while you can do it in a hour. You could create pork carnitas in the same time with the pork just fork tender falling apart.
I have done beef ribs where the pressure actually tenderized the bones.

I have never had any problems with mine.

mark


WarToad
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Wed, 04/29/09 4:24 PM
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Same here.  I can a lot, and I have a fair number of friends/family that can too.  I've never known anyone to ever say they had a direct experience, or personally known someone with a direct experience of an explosion.  And that little rubber safety stopper would blow out anyway long before that 3/8" aluminum ever would.
 
Pure "my friends uncles neighbors sisters boyfriends mother once.... " pure urban myth.  I have no doubt there have been explosions.  Every now and then meteors hit houses too.  Doesn't mean you should fear the sky.

the ancient mariner
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Wed, 04/29/09 4:48 PM
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I learned from my mother who used a pressure cooker till the day she died at 96.  I have used one for over 50 years, my brother the same thing----------never a problem.

NYPIzzaNut
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Wed, 04/29/09 4:50 PM
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...my Polish mom used hers all the time ... my favorite was her beef tongues...

beijinger
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Wed, 04/29/09 6:03 PM
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     Hold your judgements go right to the source. A visin to the Chinese manufacture sweat shop, there you will see the horror to be pressure cooker explosion 101. See the facts are hey try not to ship overseas the ones that will take off your arm or leg. You may ask is this all myth buh i have seen the walls in the countryside the walls of the townsquare dented and torn.
        The love of my life lost a glass storage cabinet the projectile inches from her head. She wrote me the story too long to repeat but when i returned to China to take her to the aisle. As a snuck about try to find the place to hide a marraige gift what did a soo the pressure relief valve 10 feet up and 20 feet from where it should of been. Then I believed too. 

ocdreamr
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Wed, 04/29/09 6:07 PM
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Let me preface this by saying I used to own a pressure canner & used it regularly ( my mother would sit outside while it was in use)  I no longer use it because I don't can any more.
Now as to the explodability of one.  Yes it can happen, back in the late seventies I worked with a 4H group in a small Carroll county MD town.  One of the local ladies had her pressure cooker explode & it caused a fire in the kitchen area of the house and resulted in her death.  This isn't second or third hand info.  I didn't know the lady personally but saw the house & knew her neighbors at the time of the incident.

BigGlenn
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Wed, 04/29/09 6:26 PM
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My neighbor Johns house keeper placed a wet rag over the hissing steam vent on a very old pressure cooker. She said she didn't like the sound that it made. It blew while I was in the drive way maybe 10 feet from his kitchen window. I had to comb the glass shards out of my hair. I called 911 thinking it was a gas explosion. She suffered bad burns on her face and neck from the hot liquid.  When I went in with John and the fire department we found the lid to the pressure cooker stuck halfway in the ceiling. By the way she sued him and his insurance for a half a million dollars. She won! Even though in court she admitted to placing the rag over the vent! He never hired another house keeper.

Greymo
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Wed, 04/29/09 7:37 PM
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I had a friend who was making applesauce in her pressure cooker.  It was on a hot autumn day and she was wearing shorts and a halter top.  Her cooker exploded  and she ended up with being in the hospital over a month with the bad burns that she suffered.

Twinwillow
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Wed, 04/29/09 8:54 PM
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I love my fully automatic, 6 quart electric pressure cooker.
Gorgeous chicken soup in 35 minutes. Amazing!

DawnT
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Wed, 04/29/09 9:30 PM
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Ok, how many of these first hand stories can be attributed to misuse or plain ignorance? First off, every pressure cooker made since the 30's has had a secondary relief valve in the case the main/jiggler vent clogs. Some companies even use two of these. It works totally different then the main vent and it's not as prone to clogging.There's actually a second, but really overlooked safety feature in some designs in that the rubber/silicone seal will give if too much pressure accumulates over 15 psi and release pressure around the rim. How about common sense? You don't fill these things full or with ingredients that will foam or plug the valve. You don't start a session without at least sticking a toothpick through the jiggler valve to make sure it's not blocked if you didn't do this when you washed it. Canners usually have screw-down locks/latches. That's not only going to take 2 safety failures, but an awful lot of pressure to blow unlike a bayonette-type lid. Many so-called explosions have occured when people for some reason try to open them under pressure or crank up the heat to high and walk off without even waiting for the pressure to release and lower the heat.

Virtually all cookers are made in Spain,Portugal,and Brazil nowadays. China and Switzerland too. Aluminum is rare except for some cheap Chinese ones. They are mosty all stainless and almost indestructible. They've even incorporated features to make them fool proof such as pressure operated lid locks and made pressure regulators unaccessible under a control knob. Most countries and the EU have standards that require pressure testing.  You couln'd make these things any safer or idiot proof.
 
Goodness, I have 5 of these thngs ranging from 4q-12q . One I've had over 35 years. If I could find gaskets for my grandmother's little 4q Miro's that are probably 70-80 years old, I'd use them too. I routinely pressure fry with oil to make fried chicken. I don't take chances with the regular style cookers and use one with a clamp-type lid. I couldn't live without these things they make life so much easier trying to get a meal on the table after work.
 

jman
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Wed, 04/29/09 10:01 PM
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DawnT


If I could find gaskets for my grandmother's little 4q Miro's that are probably 70-80 years old, I'd use them too.
 


Have you tried this site?

food4u
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Sun, 05/3/09 3:42 AM
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I'm too afraid to use one. I have heard the horror stories and to be honest, I wouldn't know what to cook in one. My present cooking methods are working just fine, without the risk of explosions. We never had one growing up, I don't know if it was because of something happening or just the fear of something happening. Either way, I never learned to use one and grew up being a little afraid of them.
That being said, are there any recipes that people feel absolutely can't be done without one?

edwmax
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Sun, 05/3/09 8:01 AM
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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.    ...........

tcrouzer
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Sun, 05/3/09 8:34 AM
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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.

pokinielsen
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Sun, 05/3/09 9:06 AM
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Twinwillow


I love my fully automatic, 6 quart electric pressure cooker.
Gorgeous chicken soup in 35 minutes. Amazing!


Where can I get one of these?!! It sounds like a gem that I would love to have.

MetroplexJim
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Sun, 05/3/09 9:10 AM
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Sunday dinner was always pressure-cooked roast beef.  Wonderful stuff!
 
"Explosions" are just "urban legends".   The only way to make one explode is to close the relief valve with a screw.  Even then chances are that just the screw would hit the ceiling. 
 
If they weren't such easily alarmed "fraidy cats" the global warming folks would advocate this wonderfully energy-efficient cooking method. 

PapaJoe8
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Sun, 05/3/09 6:32 PM
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I use low pressure pots. The lid seals itself. They take a bit longer than a regular pressure cooker but they work good. I have a 22 qt. that I use most often but also have 2 smaller sizes. I also have a regular pressure cooker but it never gets used.
Joe

ann peeples
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Sun, 05/3/09 7:40 PM
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My Mom loved her pressure cooker-I never shared the passion.All I remember is she made the best chili in it...and rue the day I didnt learn from her for that particular recipe...

Twinwillow
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Sun, 05/3/09 9:27 PM
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pokinielsen


Twinwillow


I love my fully automatic, 6 quart electric pressure cooker.
Gorgeous chicken soup in 35 minutes. Amazing!


Where can I get one of these?!! It sounds like a gem that I would love to have.


Walmart, for one. And probably, Costco or Sam's too. I bought mine online from Amazon. Just be sure to buy an OVAL one. Not a round one. The oval works better for chickens and other large cuts of meat. 
I recommend the Cook's Essential's brand 8 Quart (oval) model with 15 psi. Just "Google" it or go to "Nextag" for a price comparison. About $130.00 and well worth it!
<message edited by Twinwillow on Sun, 05/3/09 9:34 PM>

marzsit
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Sat, 05/9/09 3:27 AM
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i have 4 pressure cookers.. a 6-quart presto, 2-liter and 4-liter hawkins and a 10-quart magefesa that doubles as a pressure fryer.  the hawkins cookers are probably the safest design, the lids seal like an aircraft door (the lid goes completely inside the pot, and pressure keeps it closed) and it would be impossible for it to explode.

Big_Ted
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Fri, 05/15/09 1:15 AM
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I've been looking for one in rummage sales, etc.  I can't afford a brand new one right now.  My mom used her cooker for just about anything. 

brittneal
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Fri, 05/15/09 2:45 AM
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Ive heard that even the maker advise not to use a pressure cooker as a presssure fryer to do chicken.  I have had it made that way before and its awesome.  What I hear that because all you use only oil  there is a danger of both fire and explosion.  The gaskets are rated at 300 degrees and the oil gets hotter and melts it.  Is that just an urban ledgend?

DawnT
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Fri, 05/15/09 4:05 PM
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Depends on the seal material and construction. Most silicone seals seem to work ok especially if they are a solid seal rather then a thin, compressed C type. The trend has been using a thin,C form gasket that works as an additional safety to release pressure if everything else fails. . Worst case it will ruin the seal especially on the real cheap chinese units like the Peerless. Most silicone sealers are rated 450 continuous, so a formed and solid seal high heat silicone should do just as well or better.  I don't know how some of these newer cookers with the integrated handle that's full of plastic parts will handle the hotter oil, but the jiggler units should do fine with the solid seals. There's a myth that you can only fry at 5 psi like the old chicken buckets of the 70's. That's a bunch of BS. The Colonel used a regular pressure cooker at 15 psi originally. In fact, one of his secrets to cooking even faster was to add a pressure valve to the lid and use an external air tank to pressurize the cooker after the lid was closed instead of waiting for the residual mositure in the chicken to steam up and build pressure. Wish somebody would add that feature to current cookers and keep a small air tank or pump next to the stove. That was genius! The standard pressure fryer used in KFC franchises well into the 60's was a 16Q Mirro aluminum pressure cooker that was leased by KFC. Nothing special about it except for the air pressure inlet valve and large size. Otherwise it was just a huge version of regular,bayonette locking lid, jiggler home unit. 

Then there is the problem with stupid people. You put enough oil in the cooker to float the chicken, not fill it up. You pre-fry the chicken 'til brown before putting the lid on.  The warnings that most companies make is out of fear of product liability.

I use the BRA/Isagona clamp-type cookers that use the heavy bar across the top like the Euro Fagors,Magefesa,and Rapid Chef's in a 4L and 10L version if I pressure fry. These types are sold worldwide by these companies except in the states. A few specialty vendors parallel import them such as Pro Selections,Accupro,and Beck Sales above the worldwide nominal cost. Seems like these Mnfr's seem to think that Americans are too stupid and litigious to use them and restrict them in this market in their regular distribution channels.  Truthfully, I can't really see much of a difference between immersion frying if you have good recovery. The pressure doesn't "drive" flavor into the meat or intensify the spices. Getting it right is tricky and you may end up ruining a couple batches until you get it right empirically.
<message edited by DawnT on Fri, 05/15/09 8:05 PM>

Rusty246
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Fri, 05/15/09 4:21 PM
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Never had an accident either, I mostly use mine for boiling peanuts anymore though.  Just have to make sure you rinse the peanuts well!  Takes a sometimes 2 hour boiling time down to 19 minutes, sometimes less depending on how fresh the peanuts are.  I have two, one was my Mother's and the gasket did wear out, I found out the messy way but got a replacment at an Ace Hardware store.

2005Equinox
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 05/18/09 3:02 AM
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My Dad used a pressure cooker for many years without any problems. He taught Mom and there too never a problem. Like said make sure the hole on top is clear and NEVER fill it more than 2/3 full. EVER!!!!! Watch it and as soon as the topper starts to jiggle turn the heat down usually medium low if memory is right. You want the topper to jiggle GENTLY.

charlottesailor
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 05/25/09 4:28 PM
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I always use a pressure cooker to make soup.  Used to use a Presto with the jiggle regulator.  That is until a few years ago.  The vent pipe got clogged (I think, didn't know it at the time) and the regulator wasn't jiggling so I  turned up the heat.  I left the room and heard a loud pop and rushing steam, when I came back in to the kitchen there was a fountain of boiling liquid erupting from where the overpressure plug had been.  There was food all over the cabinets and the ceiling not to mention a fountain of scalding steam/water.  The pressure became too high and blew out the overpressure plug and the contents followed.  I would have been scalded if I had been near it. 

Still use a pressure cooker, but now I use a T-Fal euro-style pressure cooker.  

kevincad
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Wed, 06/10/09 11:41 AM
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MetroplexJim


Sunday dinner was always pressure-cooked roast beef.  Wonderful stuff!
 
Same here! Wait until the beef is about eight minutes from being done, and put in carrots, onions and taters!

Sunday dinner at it's finest!
<message edited by kevincad on Sun, 08/19/12 7:58 AM>

Sundancer7
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Wed, 06/10/09 2:18 PM
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Mamaw Smith still uses one that is at least 50 years old.  It is aged and looks sorta ugly however it seems to work very well as I work with her and we use it every year canning tomatoes and other produce..
 
She cranks it up and let it get to a certain pressure, turns it off and puts the lid on.  Never ever had a problem.
 
I am sorta afraid of them myself although Mamaw Smith is 87 and it has never caused her any issues.
 
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

DawnT
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Wed, 06/10/09 2:40 PM
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The new. Euro-style cookers are very nice and practically idiot-proof. They must have designed these things especially for phobic Americans. That convenience comes with a price if you use yours a lot. I have the Fagor Duo set which has two 8q & 4Q pots and one lid. The pressure lock started to give problems when I'd release the pressure towards the end and add the delicate veggies and then try to put it back under pressure for a few more minutes. Many times it wouldn't seal/lock. That got so bad that I couldn't even get the pressure to lock during the primary cook.
 
Fagor's customer service's simple soloution to that was to replace the entire handle assembly with all of the controls at over half of what I paid for the entire set. I took a nutdriver and screwdriver to the lid and removed it...geesh what a gooed-up mess underneath. Fagor recommends not immersing the lid and just washing and rinsing the exposed parts. After some elbow grease with a citrus cleaner and a few runs of the valve parts inside the sonic cleaner that I use for our jewelry with straight ammonia, everything went back together and good as new. Every so often now, I open it up and repeat the above. It's a pain if you use them a lot and the price you pay for the all-in-one convenience. If you own one of these kind of pc's, you might want to check out the insides under the handle once in a while.

rajdhani
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Fri, 08/17/12 5:42 AM
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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.

bartl
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Sat, 08/18/12 9:36 PM
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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

brisketboy
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Sun, 08/19/12 11:11 AM
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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.

scrumptiouschef
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Sun, 08/19/12 1:06 PM
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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.

Sundancer7
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Sun, 08/19/12 1:13 PM
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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

mar52
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Sun, 08/19/12 2:16 PM
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Never used one and don't know how to use one..  They don't come with instructions.  I'm afraid of them.

ken8038
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Sun, 08/19/12 5:31 PM
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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.
 

Twinwillow
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Sun, 08/19/12 5:51 PM
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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.
 

marzsit
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 08/20/12 6:45 AM
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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......

stricken_detective
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Sat, 08/25/12 4:55 PM
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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.

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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Fri, 09/7/12 6:51 AM
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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.

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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 10/8/12 10:39 AM
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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

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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 10/8/12 10:52 AM
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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.

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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 10/8/12 1:09 PM
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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.  

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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 10/8/12 1:38 PM
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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"?
<message edited by Twinwillow on Mon, 10/8/12 1:39 PM>

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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 09/30/13 2:17 PM
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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.


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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 09/30/13 2:39 PM
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Says the 1 post new member.  P-shaw.

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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 09/30/13 3:13 PM
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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. 

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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 09/30/13 5:17 PM
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Well, the one-post new member just happened to be researching pressure cookers because her exploded last night.

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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 09/30/13 6:55 PM
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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??

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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 09/30/13 7:03 PM
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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!

smokestack lightning
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 09/30/13 7:04 PM
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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

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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 09/30/13 7:05 PM
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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??



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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 09/30/13 10:10 PM
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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...
 

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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 09/30/13 10:12 PM
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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...
 

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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Mon, 09/30/13 11:18 PM
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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."

bartl
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Tue, 10/1/13 7:39 PM
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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

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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Tue, 10/1/13 9:21 PM
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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.

Twinwillow
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Tue, 10/1/13 9:35 PM
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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
 

Twinwillow
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Re:The Exploding Pressure Cooker - Tue, 10/1/13 9:42 PM
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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.

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