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Old 01-07-2018, 03:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenspeed View Post
If you quickly release the pressure, cover the valve with a kitchen towel to contain the steam.
(You should never cover the release valve with anything)

From Hip Pressure Cooking Site:

A growing number of people are sharing pressure cooker tips that include advice about covering the valve or vent of the pressure cooker during pressure release by covering the vent/valve of the pressure cooker with a dry or wet towel, paper towel, hot pad or other object.
Following this advice is a problem because the steam release vent is one of the pressure cooker’s main safety systems and any obstruction could cause this system to fail, or to trigger one of the other last-resort safety systems (which are generally pretty messy and could permanently damage electric pressure cookers).

In fact, most pressure cooker instruction manuals instruct the cook not to cover the lid or obstruct the vent or steam release valves of their pressure cooker.

While in operation, do not cover the appliance or position it near flammable materials including curtains, draperies, walls, and fabric upholstered furniture.”
Fagor LUX Multi-cooker Instruction Manual

“Do not cover the pressure valves.”
Instant Pot DUO User Manual

“CAUTION: DO NOT COVER PRESSURE/STEAM REGULATOR OR SAFETY VALVE OR APPLIANCE WITH ANY TOWEL OR MATERIAL.”
Bon Appetit Oval Pressure Cooker Manual

“Do not cover the pressure valves with anything. An explosion may occur.”
Cook’s Essentials 4qt Instruction Manual

Instead of covering the pressure cooker lid and vents with a towel, or other item, here are our recommendations for safe alternatives.

Reduce Steam from Pressure Release



When cooking in a small space, the large release of steam after pressure cooking can certainly be inconvenient. Here are three ways to reduce the impact of steam in your kitchen:
  1. Open the pressure cooker using Natural Release, instead. This releases just a little wisp of steam during a 20-30 minute period as the cooker cools itself down.
  2. Place the cooker under the range hood, using a cutting board to stabilize, and operate and release pressure there. Before it’s time to release pressure, simply turn the exhaust fan in the range hood to maximum power. Remember to remove this set-up away from the range when the oven or other burners are in operation.
  3. If the range hood is not accessible, operate or carefully move the pressure cooker next to an open window or ventilated area before releasing pressure. If moving the pressure cooker, ensure the pressure valve is pointing away from you and that the floor is free of trip hazards (children, pets, rugs). If the pressure cooker is electric, disconnect or hold the power cord so you don’t trip over it.If your cooker’s instruction manual advises you not to move the cooker while it has contents under pressure, don’t do it.
Stop Food or Foam from Spraying Out of the Valve



Food or foam should not be spraying out of the pressure valve during pressure release – if it does here some possible causes and solutions.
  • foamy food with wrong pressure release – Foods that are known to foam and bubble, such as beans, rice, most grains and fruits should only have the pressure cooker opened using Natural Pressure Release. This keeps the foam from bubbling up and shooting out through the pressure valve.
    See also: Pressure Cooker Opening Methods Explained
  • pressure cooker too full – Cooks unfamiliar with pressure cooking may fill a pressure cooker all the way up to the top. The “max” line in the liner of electric multi-cookers is actually to be used for slow cooker and other non-pressure programs. The rules are different when cooking food under pressure. The cooker should never be filled more than half-way for foamy foods (rice, grains and beans), nor more than two-thirds for everything else.
    See also: Pressure Cooker Capacity – filling the pressure cooker
If you must get the cooker open right away, and there is stuff spraying out of the valve, open the pressure valve in small bursts 5 to 10 seconds apart – this will give the foam time to subside between bursts. Then, clean the pressure cooker lid, gasket, and every part of valve very well so there is no food residue interfering with the valve at the next use.
Always follow the safety precautions outlined in your pressure cooker’s instruction manual.

Read >>>> Safety Alert: Don’t Cover or Obstruct Pressure Cooker Vent
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmofet View Post
(You should never cover the release valve with anything)

From Hip Pressure Cooking Site:

A growing number of people are sharing pressure cooker tips that include advice about covering the valve or vent of the pressure cooker during pressure release by covering the vent/valve of the pressure cooker with a dry or wet towel, paper towel, hot pad or other object.
Following this advice is a problem because the steam release vent is one of the pressure cooker’s main safety systems and any obstruction could cause this system to fail, or to trigger one of the other last-resort safety systems (which are generally pretty messy and could permanently damage electric pressure cookers).

In fact, most pressure cooker instruction manuals instruct the cook not to cover the lid or obstruct the vent or steam release valves of their pressure cooker.

While in operation, do not cover the appliance or position it near flammable materials including curtains, draperies, walls, and fabric upholstered furniture.”
Fagor LUX Multi-cooker Instruction Manual

“Do not cover the pressure valves.”
Instant Pot DUO User Manual

“CAUTION: DO NOT COVER PRESSURE/STEAM REGULATOR OR SAFETY VALVE OR APPLIANCE WITH ANY TOWEL OR MATERIAL.”
Bon Appetit Oval Pressure Cooker Manual

“Do not cover the pressure valves with anything. An explosion may occur.”
Cook’s Essentials 4qt Instruction Manual

Instead of covering the pressure cooker lid and vents with a towel, or other item, here are our recommendations for safe alternatives.

Reduce Steam from Pressure Release



When cooking in a small space, the large release of steam after pressure cooking can certainly be inconvenient. Here are three ways to reduce the impact of steam in your kitchen:
  1. Open the pressure cooker using Natural Release, instead. This releases just a little wisp of steam during a 20-30 minute period as the cooker cools itself down.
  2. Place the cooker under the range hood, using a cutting board to stabilize, and operate and release pressure there. Before it’s time to release pressure, simply turn the exhaust fan in the range hood to maximum power. Remember to remove this set-up away from the range when the oven or other burners are in operation.
  3. If the range hood is not accessible, operate or carefully move the pressure cooker next to an open window or ventilated area before releasing pressure. If moving the pressure cooker, ensure the pressure valve is pointing away from you and that the floor is free of trip hazards (children, pets, rugs). If the pressure cooker is electric, disconnect or hold the power cord so you don’t trip over it.If your cooker’s instruction manual advises you not to move the cooker while it has contents under pressure, don’t do it.
Stop Food or Foam from Spraying Out of the Valve



Food or foam should not be spraying out of the pressure valve during pressure release – if it does here some possible causes and solutions.
  • foamy food with wrong pressure release – Foods that are known to foam and bubble, such as beans, rice, most grains and fruits should only have the pressure cooker opened using Natural Pressure Release. This keeps the foam from bubbling up and shooting out through the pressure valve.
    See also: Pressure Cooker Opening Methods Explained
  • pressure cooker too full – Cooks unfamiliar with pressure cooking may fill a pressure cooker all the way up to the top. The “max” line in the liner of electric multi-cookers is actually to be used for slow cooker and other non-pressure programs. The rules are different when cooking food under pressure. The cooker should never be filled more than half-way for foamy foods (rice, grains and beans), nor more than two-thirds for everything else.
    See also: Pressure Cooker Capacity – filling the pressure cooker
If you must get the cooker open right away, and there is stuff spraying out of the valve, open the pressure valve in small bursts 5 to 10 seconds apart – this will give the foam time to subside between bursts. Then, clean the pressure cooker lid, gasket, and every part of valve very well so there is no food residue interfering with the valve at the next use.
Always follow the safety precautions outlined in your pressure cooker’s instruction manual.

Read >>>> Safety Alert: Don’t Cover or Obstruct Pressure Cooker Vent
First, I welcome corrections to any inaccurate information I post.

In this case, I think that Hip incorrectly interpreted the manufacturers recommendations. It makes sense to make sure the safety release valve is not covered during operation (meaning when the heat source is active). However, once the heat source is removed, the pressure cooker will begin to cool and steam will start condensing to water, thus reducing the pressure. That is basic physics.

If you put a towel over the release valve (after the heat source is inactive) when the pressure is released, it doesn't really affect the rate that the steam escapes. Even if you managed to completely block the valve so that nothing could escape (and I can't imagine how you could do that), it would no more likely cause an explosion than letting it release naturally. How could it? I think the real hazard is getting burned by uncontrolled steam escaping. I found one source that suggests using a wooden spoon to operate the valve (she found out the hard way that you can get burned by the steam).

The quotes that Hip cited do not mention anything about covering the valve during a quick release, and they appear to refer to operation of the pressure cooker. The Fagor quote specifically refers to the operating period. I did a Google search on the safety of covering the valve during quick release and I found exactly one reference (the Hip site). I would be very interested if you can find any others.

I have a Fagor Duo stovetop cooker, and I re-read the manual. I could not find any mention regarding covering the valve. I did, however, find a safety note regarding foods that can foam or sputter, causing the pressure release valve to clog. Applesauce is one of the foods mentioned. You might want to check the operating instructions for your Instant Pot.
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Old 01-08-2018, 10:18 AM   #13
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Never cover the release valve. That's right from the Instant Pot manual.

Hold a towel 2 inches above the valve to catch the steam
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:36 AM   #14
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I sent off a request to Fagor to advise on the safety of covering the release valve with a dish towel to contain escaping steam. Emails in their entirety are below.

I'll continue to cover the release valve with a towel when releasing pressure (obviously only after the gas is off). As the engineer points out, as long as you don't block the release of steam, it shouldn't be a problem. I'm not willing to try to contain 250 F steam by holding a towel in the way, as it's too easy to get hit with the steam. You Instant Potheads can make your own decisions. As far as following Hip's suggestion of moving the pot to the stove to release the pressure , you might want to think about the potential hazards of moving a filled hot pot under pressure.

Tenspeed:
I own a Fagor Duo stovetop pressure cooker. When using the quick release (after the gas has been turned off), I cover the valve with a dish towel to contain the steam. I recently came across a safety alert on hip pressure cooking https://www.hippressurecooking.com/c...er-vent-valve/ that warns against this practice. Is this in fact a dangerous practice? It doesn't make any sense to me, as once the pot is off the heat, pressure can't increase. My thinking is that it is safer to contain the steam in a kitchen towel than to let it escape uncontrolled.

Can you advise on this topic?

Fagor Product Engineer:
For any of the stovetop and electric pressure cookers we don’t advise customers to cover the pressure release valve for safety reasons. I still wouldn’t recommend doing this to the safety valve since it’s how the unit releases pressure. As long as the user is not blocking the vent from releasing pressure or minimizing the release of pressure with a hand towel the unit shouldn’t set off any “last-resort safety systems” as mentioned in that article you listed. I can understand users covering over the vent if steam and a mixture food particles were escaping, but like I said as long as you’re not blocking the vent from releasing steam into the atmosphere there shouldn’t be a problem. I do advise to you to let the pressure cooker cool down after the gas has been shut off since pressure can still slightly build up from the existing heat even though the gas was completely turned off.

Here is a link that explains ways to release pressure: https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com...ssure-release/
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:51 AM   #15
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Tenspeed, I, a Pothead, have been doing the same thing. It makes sense to me, too, that as long as the steam is getting out at the rate it's supposed to, I can hang a towel over it to catch the steam. It works with no problems as far as I can tell.
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:36 AM   #16
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Interesting subject...

Last weekend, my daughter bought a Tristar Power Cooker... I have been using it throughout the week, getting used to it..

I have not discovered a reason to cover the release point of steam, yet.. Its a learning process and I'm having a good time, making meals we are enjoying..

I will keep an eye on this thread..

Ross
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:35 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Just Cooking View Post
Interesting subject...

Last weekend, my daughter bought a Tristar Power Cooker... I have been using it throughout the week, getting used to it..

I have not discovered a reason to cover the release point of steam, yet.. Its a learning process and I'm having a good time, making meals we are enjoying..

I will keep an eye on this thread..

Ross
Some people have limited space in their kitchens and don't want the steam pointing at the cabinets above. I don't always do it. It depends on what else I'm making and which counter I've put the IP on.
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:20 AM   #18
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Some people have limited space in their kitchens and don't want the steam pointing at the cabinets above. I don't always do it. It depends on what else I'm making and which counter I've put the IP on.
That makes sense... Where we use it, there is no obstruction above the unit...

Ross
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Cooking View Post
I have not discovered a reason to cover the release point of steam, yet.. Its a learning process and I'm having a good time, making meals we are enjoying..

I will keep an eye on this thread..

Ross

You probably will when you make something like beans or pasta that give off starch into the steam. It can make a mess.
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:07 PM   #20
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You probably will when you make something like beans or pasta that give off starch into the steam. It can make a mess.

Yes...
Now, because of this forum, I am forewarned... I appreciate that...

Ross
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