How to Troubleshoot Your Electric Pressure Cooker: DIY Steps and Hacks

An electric pressure cooker can whip up scrumptious meals in a fraction of the time, however, like any other appliance, an electric cooker can also malfunction at some point in time. Here’s how you can troubleshoot an electric pressure cooker.

How to Troubleshoot Your Electric Pressure Cooker: DIY Steps and Hacks

Related: Best Electric Pressure Cooker in UAE

DIY Steps to Troubleshoot Your Electric Pressure Cooker

Here are some common problems that you may face with an electric pressure cooker at some point in time. But don’t fret, there are solutions to troubleshoot/fix these issues. These are tried and tested methods and have worked. So, go and check it out now.

Problem #1 The Pressure Cooker is Not Reaching the Pressure


  • Close the lid securely:¬†Firstly, ensure the lid is positioned appropriately and aligned with the rim of the pot. Next, check if the locking mechanism is engaged and there is no wiggle room. Further, if the lid feels loose or doesn’t click into place firmly, double-check the gasket for tears or worn areas and replace it if necessary.
  • Clean the pressure release valve:¬†If the pressure release valve is clogged, it can prevent the build-up of steam and won’t reach the necessary pressure. So, you need to remove the valve according to the instructions given in your manual. Then, clean it thoroughly using a brush and warm soapy water. See to it that all the nooks and crannies are free of debris before reinstalling it.
  • Ensure there is enough liquid:¬†An electric pressure cooker relies on steam to build pressure. You can refer to your recipe or the manual for the minimum amount of liquid required for your selected cooking program. If the liquid is too little, it won’t generate sufficient steam. However, overfilling the pot can also hamper or delay the pressure build-up.
  • Avoid overfilling:¬†Check the maximum fill line inside the pot and ensure you never exceed it. Exceeding the capacity can create pressure imbalances and also prevent the pressure cooker from reaching the desired pressure.
  • Altitude adjustments: Here is another major reason why the pressure cooker may not be reaching the pressure.¬†Unfortunately, if you live at a high altitude (above 1,000 ft.), then lower air pressure can affect the cooking process. Many pressure cookers are equipped with an altitude adjustment setting. If your cooker comes with this setting, consult the user manual for instructions on how to adjust it for high-altitude cooking.

Problem #2 Pressure Cooker Is Not Turning On


  • Double-check the power source:¬†Firstly, ensure the plug is inserted securely into the outlet, and if possible try a different outlet. Also, if you’re using a power strip then ensure it is switched on and not overloaded with other appliances.
  • Inspect the cord:¬†Since minor damage can also disrupt the flow of electricity, you need to check if anything is worn out (fraying) and if there are any cracks, or exposed wires along the entire length of the cord. If you find any damage, then replace the cord for safety reasons.
  • Clean the base and contacts:¬†Using a damp cloth, simply wipe down the bottom of the pressure cooker and the metal contacts on the pot. Food residue or grime can sometimes prevent a good connection with the heating element.
  • Check the switch: Besides the control panel buttons,¬†some pressure cookers have a switch on the base. You need to verify if the switch is on and try pressing it gently to ensure it is making proper contact.
  • Consult the manual:¬†Refer to the user manual of your pressure cooker for specific troubleshooting steps related to power issues. Some models may have additional troubleshooting suggestions or diagnostic lights that can help pinpoint the problem.

Problem #3 Pressure Cooker is Leaking Steam


  • Normal venting:¬†It’s normal for a small amount of steam to escape around the pressure release valve. It is also normal for a small amount of steam to escape from a dedicated vent hole during cooking. This is the release of excess steam as pressure builds. However, if it seems excessive or continuous, there might be a problem.
  • Check the gasket:¬†A worn or damaged gasket can allow steam to leak around the lid. The gasket is essentially a rubber seal that creates a tight closure between the lid and the pot. Inspect the gasket for tears, cracks, or hardening, and replace it if it shows signs of wear.
  • Clean the pressure release valve:¬†A dirty or clogged valve might not seal properly, leading to steam leaks. Remove and clean the valve according to the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring all crevices are free of debris.
  • Tighten the lid:¬†Sometimes, a slightly loose lid can create a pathway for steam to escape. Re-check the locking mechanism and ensure the lid is securely fastened to the pot.
Electric Pressure Cooker Step by Step Guide

Problem #4 Pressure Cooker Isn’t Releasing Pressure


  • Let the pressure release naturally: Never force the pressure release valve open, as hot steam can cause burns. Allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 10 minutes after cooking is complete. The indicator pin or pressure gauge should drop before you attempt to open the lid.
  • Use the quick-release method (if available): Some pressure cookers have a quick-release function that allows you to manually release the pressure by turning a knob or pressing a button. However, exercise caution with this method. Stand back from the vent and wear an oven mitt to protect your hand from the hot steam that will rapidly be released.
  • Run cold water over the lid: If the pressure is still not releasing after 10 minutes, try running cold water over the lid. This can help cool down the pot and accelerate the pressure release process.
  • Consult the manual: Your manual may have specific instructions for releasing pressure in case of a malfunction. Some models might have additional safety features or troubleshooting guidance related to pressure release issues.

Problem #5 Pressure Cooker is Burning Food


  • Add more liquid:¬†In case the pot is too dry, the food can burn easily. So, add more liquid if required.
  • Stir the food occasionally:¬†Don’t set it and forget it! Stirring the food occasionally during cooking helps prevent burning.
  • Adjust the cooking time:¬†If the recipe’s cooking time seems too long, reduce it slightly.
  • Clean the heating element:¬†Over time, food particles can build up on the heating element, which can cause uneven heating and burning. Clean the element with a damp cloth after each use.

By following these tips to troubleshoot your electric pressure cooker, you should be able to get back in working order in no time. If you’ve tried everything and the problem persists, it’s best to consult the manufacturer or take the appliance to a qualified repair person.

Remember, safety first! Always unplug your pressure cooker and let it cool down completely before attempting any troubleshooting. Never force the lid open if the pressure is not released.

With a little troubleshooting know-how, you can keep your electric pressure cooker running smoothly and continue to enjoy delicious, fast meals.

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