Pressure Cookers are a staple in every Pakistani household, no daal is complete until it goes into the pressure cooker.
But as common as they are it’s not as commonly known just how dangerous they can be.
Their family was sleeping when Janan aged 13, Atta ur Rehman aged 8, and Bibi Rahemania aged 7 were in the kitchen.
Their mother had left the pressure cooker resting on top of the oven and fell asleep without remembering to turn the oven off. Over the course of the night, it built up pressure and eventually exploded. Killing 3 of the children and injuring another 2.
Pressure cookers can be extremely dangerous and this isn’t an isolated incident. We hear of many deaths caused by these every year.
Burn Injuries, electrocution in case you’re using an electric cooker and explosions can happen in many different cases – even when you’re not cooking.
Here’s how you can make sure that nothing like this happens to your family.
All pressure cookers come with a rubber ring that seals air inside. It is essential to make sure that the ring is in perfect condition, it can not have any marks of wear or any sections that are losing shape. As if the ring is worn out it can lose pressure at random and cause explosions.
It is also important to make sure the ring is clean and has no residual food on it. This will ensure that the seal is safe and will not break loose at any point.
2. MAKE SURE THERE IS ENOUGH LIQUID INSIDE
Add enough water in the cooker to ensure the required amount of pressure buildup. Too much or too little water can be catastrophic.
3. DON’T OVERFILL THE COOKER
Things that expand when they are cooked can lodge into the safety valve and disrupt the safe passage of the air to ease the de-pressure. Things like rice, beans and pretty much every daal on the planet are all things you need to be careful with.
4. ALWAYS RELEASE THE PRESSURE IN A SAFE WAY
This can be done in a few ways:
By simply turning off the heat and letting the pressure cooker cool down and naturally release the pressure. This is the safest way but you have to wait a pretty long time for it.
You can also run cold water on the closed lid to cool it down, once cooled you can open the cooker. This works best if you’re in a hurry.
You can also hold the steam valve and let it release the pressure very quickly.
This is the quickest way but it is dangerous because scalding hot steam will come out of the steam valve, which can burn you very easily.
Moreover, if you don’t open up the valve properly in one go it might disrupt the pressure release and lead to an explosion anyway.
Pressure cookers are an amazing tool to help you in the kitchen, all you have to do is know how to use them and use them safely to ensure that you and your family are safe.