Pressure Cookers are kitchen utensils that were designed to prepare meals faster than conventional cooking methods. It works by sealing all the points through which air can go in and out of the cooking chamber.
As the food cooks, steam escapes from it but since it cannot leave the cooking chamber, it causes pressure to build up in the cooker. This pressure makes the food cook faster, and when the steam finds a way to leave the cooker, there might be a loud whistling sound.
Should A Pressure Cooker Whistle?
Unless you are the one that manually releases the pressure from the cooking chamber, or the pressure was set to be automatically released, a pressure cooker in use should not whistle.
As stated earlier, whistling indicates that steam is escaping, which beats the purpose of using a pressure cooker in the first place. This could mean that there is a leak somewhere which should be looked into.
What Causes A Pressure Cooker to Whistle?
It is now obvious that steam escape is the root cause of the whistling heard from pressure cookers but here are other reasons why that happens.
1. Using more heat than necessary.
If the heat being supplied into the cooking chamber is too much for what is being cooked, then there would be too much pressure in the chamber which would make the steam find its way out somehow.
When the steam can force its way out, the pressure cooker would start whistling. In this circumstance, the fact that the cooker is whistling is a good thing because too much pressure can cause the whole setup to explode. To avoid a catastrophe, reduce the heat being fed into the pressure cooker.
2. Lid not sealed properly.
If the lid of the pressure cooker is not sealed properly, then there will be whistling as the steam under pressure begins to escape. Although one can keep cooking under this condition, the food would not cook as fast as it should because the pressure would not build up as much on the inside.
If you notice your pressure cooker whistles while you use it, take your time to find out why to avoid complications and get back to having the full pressure-cooking effect. Here are some benefits of using a pressure cooker to prepare meals.
3. Nutrients are retained.
The fact that you need just a little amount of water to cook food in the pressure cooker makes it retain its nutrients. The pressure cooker makes use of steam to cook food while normal pots require a large amount of water.
For example, food items like vegetables that tend to lose more of their nutrients during conventional cooking when compared to pressure cooking.
4. It saves energy.
Since pressure cookers cook food very fast, it would consume less energy since the cooker would spend less time powered on or on the stove. If you are to make use of separate conventional pots on different burners you will be expending more energy compared to when you make use of a pressure pot. The pressure pot saves time and consumes less electricity.
5. Cooler kitchen atmosphere
The atmosphere of the kitchen is cooler when you cook with a pressure cooker as opposed to cooking with conventional cookers or pots.
All the heat that is supposed to circulate around the kitchen and make the room warmer is trapped in the pressure pot. This is very important especially during summer when the weather is relatively hot.
6. It saves time.
You would save time when you use a pressure cooker because it prepares food 70% faster than normal cooking methods.
What to Do When A Pressure Cooker Whistles
Sometimes, when the pressure cooker whistles, it is an automatic process to signify that the food is ready. However, if the whistling occurs at random, here are the steps to take.
1. Consult the manual.
For every electrical appliance, there is a manual that the operator should consult if there are problems to fix.
The manual of the pressure cooker is a critical guide that will explain how to disassemble and reassemble the appliance to make sure the pressure cooker well put together.
2. Check the gasket.
When the gasket of the pressure cooker is damaged, it could cause whistling. If the gasket is broken or worn out, then it is due for a change. It would be best to get a new gasket for the pressure cooker for the whistling to stop. You can either change it yourself with the help of a manual or entrust it to a technician.
3. Examine the handle.
As you frequently make use of your pressure cooker, there is a high chance that the handle might become loose.
Take note of this and try to tighten it because, depending on the design, steam might find a way to escape and cause the pressure cooker to whistle.
4. Check the locking mechanism.
All pressure cookers have a locking system, ensuring that this locking system is in perfect condition. If the cooker is not properly locked there will be whistling while it is in use.
How to Stop a Pressure Cooker from Whistling
The whistling is an inconvenience to people and they would like it to stop if their cooker develops such problems. Also, people are rightly worried that pressure cookers can explode if the pressure build-up overwhelms the appliance.
This makes them feel uncomfortable with the whistling regardless of its cause. Here are a few ways that one can use to stop a pressure cooker from whistling.
1. Look for any leaking spots.
Whistling means steam has found a way to escape from the cooking chamber, so one has to find the source of the whistles and block the hole there.
2. Ensure it is properly covered.
While in use, make sure the pressure cooker is sealed tight.
Study the locking mechanism and carefully close it the way the manufacturer intended and there should be no unnecessary noise.
3. Be wary of the amount of heat used.
Do not turn the heat up carelessly because this will make the heat buildup so much that the pressure cooker might not be able to handle it. If you are not sure of the amount of heat to use to prepare a meal, look it up online or consult a cookbook for guidance.
When a pressure cooker whistles, it is not always a cause for alarm but it would be wise to find out why. If it is because of an automatic process, then that is acceptable. If not, fix the problem as soon as possible before it causes a safety hazard.