We live in a culture of instant gratification. We’re constantly looking for new ways to cut our time in half. Whether its the carpool lane or faster upload speeds, we’ll take all the time-savers we can get.
One craze that’s been sweeping the cooking circles for a while now is electric pressure cookers. They come in many different brands, but one thing remains the same — these devices cut your cooking time down to mere minutes.
I have one. My mom has one. Pretty much every homemaker or working mom, single or married lady I know owns an electric pressure cooker. if they don’t, it’s on their wish list.
They seem like a dream come true, right? Soaking dry beans overnight and then cooking them for hours the next day? Forget about it.
With an electric pressure cooker, you can go from package to pot and have soft, edible beans in under two hours. These things are no joke.
Forgot to thaw those chicken breasts? Don’t fret! You can throw frozen meat into your pressure cooker and have it falling off your fork in no time.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, Betty Crockers across the country will be breaking out their pressure cookers for at least one dish or two or three.
One mom is warning pressure cooker users against this faster, easier method after experiencing a what can only be called a nightmare.
“Actually, I will make this public and hope that people will share… Warning!” Amanda Cryderman wrote on Facebook. “The pictures in this post are very graphic.”
The full-time working mom and wife proceeded to recount what started out as a typical evening at home. “I was in the kitchen prepping our meals for the week as usual.”
“The pressure cook beeped that it was done cooking. I walked over, (switched) the valve to manually release the steam, and then proceeded to go in the bathroom and give our dog, Zoey, a bath.”
Pressure cooker users are familiar with this routine. The instructions are simple enough. if used properly, these appliances shouldn’t malfunction. But in Amanda’s case, the worst happened. She ended up with severe burns all over her body.
“As I lifted up the lid, it shot up like a rocket and the soup exploded all over me. 250 degree soup and skin melting steam- all over the right side of my face and head, my right shoulder, arm and chest.”
Unfortunately, what happened to Cryderman has happened to others as well. In 2017, CBS Miami reported a similar incident.
Beth Morales was using her pressure cooker, reportedly “released the steam valve twice” and still the cooker exploded on her.
“It has a lock mechanism on the lid that’s not supposed to allow you to turn it if the pressure is still in there,” she told CBS. “And it did allow me to turn it, so I figured it was safe to open.”
What’s interesting is that both of these women were making soup or stew.
Similarly, Morales said she’d been cooking stew in her pressure cooker. According to Hip Pressure Cooking, the recipe in these events and others like them may be the key to the problem.
“When a recipe is thick and viscous, it cannot easily boil and generate bubbles to release the steam,” an article on Hip Pressure Cooking notes.
“When a very fast pressure cooker opening method is used for this kind of recipe, the steam is released only from the very top of the recipe and the safety systems are disengaged because no more pressure is detected inside the cooker.”
The article goes on to explain pressure cookers come with warnings for these types of recipes, informing users to shake the cooker before removing the lid.
What happened to these women and others is certainly horrible. The burns they’ve endured are gruesome and painful. Thankfully, updates on Cryderman’s Facebook page report her burns are healing well.
Cryderman tells others to “Slow down. Take the time to cook with love.” Her words resonate and hold quite a bit of truth.
For those who plan to continue to use these appliances, however, please read all the instructions and warning labels for every type of recipe. Failing to do so could cost you more than you’d save cutting time on a recipe.
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