Those eager to up their kitchen appliance game should look no further than the time-saving, multi-functional, last-minute meal savior, the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot is a popular multi-cooker brand with a multitude of functions—quickly able to put your outdated appliances out of a job with a push of a button.

Yet, even with all the buzz around this trendy feature-rich cooking device, there is considerable stage fright. Overwhelmed by the Instant Pot's impressive features are fears of possible explosions. New users often experience Instant Pot anxiety, leaving the new appliance unopened, collecting dust.

Why Are We Afraid of Our Instant Pots?

young woman anxious in kitchen

One of the hottest cooking tools on the market can expedite dinner in a flash, saving an absurd amount of meal prep time. Yet in so many kitchens, the Instant Pot sits in a lonely corner in an unopened box. Why? Because so many are asking themselves the same question, "Can my Instant Pot blow up?"

If you're wondering if your Instant Pot can blow up, chances are you've had a riveting conversation with someone familiar with pressure cookers of the past, perhaps a mother or grandmother.

As you shared your interest in the Instant Pot, seeds of doubt were planted, which probably sounded a lot like, "Oh, those are very dangerous; they can blow up. I wouldn't use one!" It's understandable; even though you went through with your rebellious purchase, you'll still stare at the trendy Instant Pot cockeyed, wondering if granny was right.

Can Instant Pots Explode?

stovetop pressure cooker

Unfortunately, the terrifying tales of pressure cookers exploding or blowing up told by mom or grandma were not overly dramatic; they're real. Both old stovetop pressure cookers and vintage electric pressure cookers weren't known for their outstanding safety features. Many kitchen accidents, such as explosions, would often stem from the pressure cooker's improper sealing, leading to a growing fear of the appliance's reliably, eventually driving its decline in popularity.

Luckily, modern pressure cookers have adapted to be safer, much safer, making accidents near impossible. The Instant Pot has 10 safety mechanisms to ensure that no harm comes to the cook or the food. However, even with extensive protections in place, one should always be responsible for taking proper care of their device and following critical directions in the manual.

Are Instant Pots Really Safe?

person pouring liquid from can into Instant Pot looks like curry

One glance at the Instant Pot, and you'll quickly gather that it's no ordinary pressure cooker. Forget any fear of explosions; the neverending panel of fancy buttons and settings may seem a little intimidating to most. However, after learning how to use an Instant Pot, you'll soon realize that most of those controls are just simple pre-sets of cooking times and pressure for some of your favorite dishes, not rocket launch buttons. Phew!

Honestly, the button you'll be getting most acquainted with is the manual button. Although the manual button doesn't sound as gripping as some of the other features, such as the yogurt button, it will help you prepare just about anything of your choosing. Choose high or low pressure according to your recipe, and then set the cooking time using the + and – buttons situated right above. If it sounds easy, it's because it is.

With your favorite ingredients locked and loaded, ready to work their magic in the Instant Pot, should you have anything to fear? The short answer is no. Your Instant Pot is not going to explode.

Instant pots are built with your protection in mind, with 10 safety mechanisms. If you hear an Instant Pot make strange hissing noises, comparable to an old home radiator, don't run for the hills, shouting "it's going to blow!" There's no need to be afraid. It's just letting off a little steam to maintain the desired pressure level, one of its many safety features.

Instant Pot Safety Features

closeup of instant pot buttons

Accidents can happen with any kitchen appliance; this is true. Yet, the most common errors made with pressure cookers have been eliminated with Instant Pot's 10 safety mechanisms. These standard safety features can be found on the Lux 6-in-1, Duo 7-in-1, Duo Plus 9-in-1, and Smart Bluetooth models, instantly setting Instant Pot anxiety at ease.

Steam Release

Users learn more about the Instant Pot's steam release as they become more familiarized with it. Recipes often call for a natural release or quick release. The steam release frees pressure from the pot by venting steam through the valve.

Anti-Block Shield

It's not uncommon for food to splatter within the pot as pressure is released, especially during a quick release. The anti-block shield is an added layer of protection. It prevents those splattered food particles from accessing the steam release pipe, making releasing pressure incredibly difficult and possibly dangerous to remove the lid.

Safety Lid Lock

When your Instant Pot is ready to cook, the lid will automatically lock, preventing it from opening it while it's pressurized.

Lid Position Protection

The lid of the Instant Pot must be placed on the device correctly for cooking to begin.

Automatic Temperure Control

Instant Pots automatically regulate the temperature to ensure the inner pot stays at a proper and safe temperature.

Overheat (Burn) Protection

Do not panic if your Instant Pot displays the burn message. It simply means that the inner pot may have gotten too hot from possibly not having enough liquid, which is usually a minimum of one cup (check your model's manual). The Instant Pot will automatically stop heating to prevent food from burning.

Automatic Pressure Control

Instant Pots will release pressure periodically if needed to maintain a proper and safe temperature.

Electrical Fuse/Thermal Fuse

Cuts off power if the temperature or electrical current surpasses safety limits.

Leaky Lid Detection

A leaky lid causes an Instant Pot to fail to pressurize. An example of a leaky lid would be a lid that does not have a well-fitted sealing ring or the valve is set to "venting," not "sealing." The loss of steam could cause food to burn as it takes considerable time to try and pressurize, but the Instant Pot will detect the leaky lid and lower the heat output.

No Pressure

Mirepoix Instant Pot

It's normal to have some pre-cooking jitters if you're new to the Instant Pot. We've all been there. Rest assured, pressure cookers have come a long way from ye olde pressure cookers from the days of yore. Instant Pots are outfitted with safety features galore. Less stressin' means you can focus on what's cookin'! Check out the Instant Pot app and for more Instant Pot tips and tricks.

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