In the past, most pressure cooker problems could usually be attributed to user error. Instant Pot was carefully designed to eliminate and avoid most of the potential problems. UL Logo Safety Features Instant Pot is made by the No.1 electric pressure cooker manufacturer with over 10 million units already in household use worldwide. Instant Pot products are certified by UL/ULC in the US and now carries the CE mark providing unprecedented peace of mind in safety.
The stove-top pressure cookers use the weight of pressure regulator on the lid to limit the cooking pressure. Instant Pot’s patented pressure sensor technology regulates the pressure in the inner pot in a much more precise and automatic fashion. When the pressure builds up in the inner pot, the Flat Flexible Board (see diagram on right) shifts downwards to trigger the pressure sensor. Conversely, when the pressure is reduced the Flat Flexible Board moves upwards and again triggers the pressure sensor.
Image above: InstantPot’s pressure sensor mechanism
The pressure sensor controls the power of the heating element to maintain the pressure within a preset range. The photo of the actual pressure sensor is shown on the left.
This technology revolutionised the safety of pressure cooking. Apart from this unique innovation, Instant Pot has 10 levels of safety protections.
Image left: Pressure control mechanism in the base
If the lid is missing or not closed properly, Instant Pot will not activate pressurised cooking. Only the keep-warm and sauté functions work with the lid being open.
In the case that the cooker lid has a leak (e.g. the steam release not closed properly or the sealing ring is missing), the cooker will not reach the pre-set pressure level. Allowing this to continue would risk burning the food. Instant Pot detects this by measuring the pre-heating time. If the pre-heating is unusually long, the programming will be switched to Keep-warm to avoid burning the food.
If the cooker is still pressurised the lid will be locked to prevent accidental opening.
The thermostat under the inner pot regulates the temperature of the inner pot to be within a safe range, based on the type of food being cooked.
If the cooker is operating without water or moisture, pressure will not be built up in the pot. Over heating of the base will become the most likely outcome. Excessive temperature may also build up due to situations such as missing the inner pot, inner pot not in proper contact with heating element, or inner pot having heat dissipation problem (e.g. burnt starch / flour at the bottom of the inner pot blocking heat dissipation). Under such conditions, Instant Pot will stop heating when the temperature is over a certain limit.
Instant Pot is equipped with a special fuse which disconnects power at excessively high temperature, i.e. 169°C ~ 172°C or 336°F ~ 341.6°F, and extremely high electrical current. A extremely high electrical current drawn by the cooker indicates an unsafe situation.
The patented pressure sensor mechanism (shown in diagram at the top) keeps the operating pressure between 70kPa-80kPa, or 10.12psi ~ 11.6 psi.
If the pressure exceeds 105kPa (15.23 psi), the steam release (comparable to the pressure regulator in stove-top pressure cookers) will be pushed up to allow the steam being released to bring down the pressure inside the pot.
If the pressure becomes too high and the pressure regulator protection malfunctions, Instant Pot’s internal protection mechanism will activate, shifting the inner pot downwards to create a gap between the lid and the inner pot. Steam will be released from the gap into the internal chamber and the heating stopped.
Image right: Over-pressure leaking mechanism between the lid and inner pot