Are Instant Pots Safe? Use This Beloved Appliance With Caution

Ad failed to load

Chances are, if you are even a tiny bit tuned into the latest food fads, then you've probably heard all of the hype about the Instant Pot. But if you have no clue what this contraption is, don't worry. Basically, the Instant Pot's popularity begins with its boasted seven features in one streamlined machine. This handy gadget serves as a pressure cooker and slow cooker in one, and can even do a few stovetop tasks like steam and sauté. Besides answering what it can do, a more serious question remains: Are Instant Pots safe? For me, as a parent, all of the bells and whistles in the world don't mean anything in comparison to the health and well-being of my child and family.

When trends go viral, they tend to burst onto the scene with a whole lot of glitz and glamour, but little information is known beyond the surface. It's not until the buzz settles down a bit that consumers begin to critique and question the safety of these popular items. That's kind of what happened with the Instant Pot. It was a lifesaver and game-changer until stories of Instant Pot explosions spread across the country. But are these freak accidents that were just heavily covered? Or is this an assumed risk when dealing with a high pressure cooking device?

According to the official site for The Schmidt Law Firm, "the risk of an Instant Pot exploding is far lower than a traditional stove top pressure cooker because Instant Pots have more safety features, but explosions are not impossible." If the health hazard ranks towards the bottom, then how does an Instant Pot explode? "Any pressure cooker can blow up if the vent gets clogged, if the lid is opened too soon, or if safety features like the blowout preventer do not work," as The Schmidt Law Firm further explained. The causes of these explosions seem to be split between user error and faulty products. Fortunately, if you follow your Instant Pot user manual and check for broken parts, you should be safe.

Ad failed to load

Less scary than an explosion, but possibly just as dangerous is the presence of mold that could come in contact with food. According to the manufacturer's information, the Instant Pot sealing ring is made from food-grade silicone. And, as many reviewers have pointed out, these gasket-like parts retain odor and are difficult to clean. Beyond being a little gross or inconvenient, is there an actual underlying safety issue? According to a recent study published in the research journal Construction and Building Materials, researchers found that black mold (also known as Aspergillus Niger) grows on silicone and is nearly impossible to completely eradicate. That's why the safest recommendation seems to be replacing the fungal-infested item with a new, safer version, as opposed to just trying to clean or replace the part. Though this doesn't necessarily mean you should turn right around and chuck your Instant Pot in the trash, it is something worth keeping an eye out for in case mold develops, and properly allowing the appliance to dry out after each wash before you close the lid and stash it away until its next use.

If you happen to own one of the older Instant Pot models, then you should check to see if yours was recalled. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) reported the, "Instant Pot 'Smart' and 'Smart-60' electric pressure cookers recalled due to shock hazard." In these particular models, the USCPSC also noted, "the thermal probe in the base can conduct electricity throughout the cooker, posing a risk of electric shock." To put this in context, though, there were only three people who made this complaint. That's a relatively low number when it comes to safety recalls. So, in the end, it comes down to doing your research, staying informed, and being mindful when using a cooker, like Instant Pot, with such high pressure.

Ad failed to load

But these warnings shouldn't scare you off from snagging one of these beloved appliances for your own home. Seriously, many parents swear that its a lifesaver when it comes to making meals because the pressurized feature does what anyone could appreciate, especially parents: cook faster. As noted, and with any gadget, it's important to read the instructions carefully, follow them, and keep them well-maintained to keep your family as safe as possible.

Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:

Ad failed to load

Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

5 Parenting Habits That Increase Your Chances Of Successfully Potty-Training Your Child

From starting solids to learning to walk, every childhood milestone presents its own unique set of challenges — but this is especially true of potty training. Indeed, the very thought strikes fear into the heart of many a toddler parent, particularly…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

Getting Pregnant Might Mean Losing The Plus-Size Body I Love

For the last two years, I haven’t been my body’s biggest champion. I’ve gained 50 pounds. The stress of helping a parent get sober, a house purchase, and a new job got the best of me. But now, at 36, with talks between my husband and I about having a…
By Loren Kleinman

7 Hilarious Differences Between Having A Baby In Your 20s Vs Your 30s

I was 24 when I had my daughter. And even though that pregnancy was neither expected nor pleasant, I was optimistic. Sure, I guess your 20s are "supposed" to be about finding yourself, finishing college, starting your career, and navigating less-than…
By Candace Ganger

Babies "R" Us Was The First Place I Went When I Found Out I Would Be A Mom

For years I struggled to have a baby, and the sight of toys and layettes made my heart hurt. For me, Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us were a complete no-go zone, a reminder of everything I was missing out on. My mom would walk the long way around Target…
By Becky Bracken

New Moms Have Two Options: Be "Sad & Fat" Or "Desperate & Thin"

As the line goes, the worst thing you could say about me, I've already thought about myself. In the early postpartum period with my son, it was: "I am overweight, lonely, and heartbroken." It was four days after I brought my son into the world, and I…
By Danielle Campoamor

6 Fascinating Facts About Spring Babies: You Could Have A Leader On Your Hands

Does the season in which you are born affect you or are all seasons pretty equal? It turns out that there are many ways in which the your child's birth season could give you an insight into things to come. Whether you are expecting a baby in the next…
By Shari Maurer

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In April

It's that time of the month again: as March draws to a close, Netflix gets ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. Though some TV shows and movies will have to find homes elsewhere, their departure makes room for all kinds of exciting new media. A…
By Megan Walsh

I'm A Stay-At-Home Mom &, Face It, These 11 Stereotypes Are Totally True

Hello, friends! It's me, your resident stay-at-home mom. You know, there's a lot that's said about me and my kind, and the vast majority of it is not even remotely true. For example, this whole "we're lazy, vapid, unambitious, anti-feminist, backstab…
By Jamie Kenney

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s BS

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger