Why Did My Pressure Cooker Explode?

Some pressure cookers manufactured in the late 1940s through the 1950s were poorly designed and prone to exploding.

Causes for Explosions

Older pressure cookers without safety valves frequently exploded during use.Older pressure cookers without safety valves frequently exploded during use.
Those produced in the 21st century have safety devices that eliminate this danger.

Old pressure cookers had no valves to release the tremendous pressure caused by steam inside heated to the boiling point. If the cooker was not removed from the stove or unplugged in the appropriate amount of time, the lid would fly off and the pot's fiery hot contents would splatter.

Modern Features

Pressure cookers now have emergency regulators that permit steam to discharge during the cooking process before it reaches unsafe levels of intensity. They are also equipped with manual pressure valves that prevent removing the lid before the steam has dissipated to harmless levels.

Preventive Measures

Pressure cookers from the past are sold at online auctions and garage sales and are often passed from one generation to another as family mementos. They should be reserved for display or conversation pieces but never used for cooking.

About the Author

Cassie Damewood has been a writer and editor since 1985. She writes about food and cooking for various websites, including My Great Recipes, and serves as the copy editor for "Food Loves Beer" magazine. Damewood completed a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in creative writing at Miami University.