Table Of Contents
- What is the Maxam Pressure Cooker?
- What’s the Problem?
- Pressure Cooker Injuries
- Pressure Cooker Burn Injury Study
- Pressure Cooker Defects
- Tips for Using Pressure Cookers Safely
- General Pressure Cooker Statistics:
- Which Pressure Cookers Have Had Problems?
- Get a Free Maxam Pressure Cooker Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers
What is the Maxam Pressure Cooker?
Maxam electric pressure cookers feature a stainless steel inner pot, a 1000-watt power range, and 6 push-button cooking functions that provide the ability to cook multiple cuisines in a fraction of the time. The pressure cooker also comes with an anti-scalding lid, which pressure cooker manufacturers claim does not give into overpressure and leakage.
What’s the Problem?
Despite their ability to cook more quickly and with less water and energy than with standard cooking methods, pressure cookers can be extremely dangerous appliances, causing severe burn injuries.
Manufacturing defects and design defects are frequently the cause of pressure cooker explosions. Some common pressure cooker injuries from pressure cooker use are severe burns, contact burns, splashed/spilled hot liquids, and explosions.
Related Article: Pressure Cooker Lawsuit Update
Pressure Cooker Injuries
- Severe burns
- Hot steam burns
- Second-degree burns
- Third-degree burns
- Severe thermal burns
- Eye injuries and blindness
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Permanent scarring
- Kitchen and/or property damage
- And more
Pressure Cooker Burn Injury Study
A 2011 study published in the Journal of Burn Care & Research  looked at the case of a man who was severely burned by an exploding pressure cooker.
We report a case of 44-year-old man who suffered second- and third-degree burn of his arms, shoulders, neck, chin, and face as the result of contact steam, the researchers said. The patient was cooking in the kitchen and used a pressure cooker to make pea soup from split peas. When he removed the lid from the pressure cooker, boiling hot peas escaped. Burn areas were dressed every day, and antibiotic therapy was begun.
Pressure Cooker Defects
- Inadequate Lid Seals – An inadequate lid seal on a pressure cooker can result in the spilling and expulsion of cooker contents.
- Faulty Gaskets that Allow Premature Opening – A faulty gasket that allows the premature opening of the pot during high pressure can cause steam and contact burns from the pressure cooker.
- Inadequate Venting – Inadequate venting can cause a pressure cooker to explode.
Tips for Using Pressure Cookers Safely
- Inspect the Pressure Cooker Before Cooking – The rubber gasket between the pot and lid is critical to the proper functioning of a pressure cooker. Before cooking, ensure the safety mechanisms are clean and are not cracked or dried out. Some defective pressure cooker manufacturers suggest replacing the rubber gasket once a year, depending on how frequently you use your pressure cooker.
- Don’t Overfill the Pressure Cooker – A pressure cooker should never be over two-thirds full. This is to prevent food from blocking the vents in the lid of the pressure cooker. For foods that swell or froth (i.e. beans, rice, pasta), only fill the pressure cooker halfway.
- Use Enough Liquid – Pressure cookers are designed to cook food by using steam under extreme pressure. Steam cannot be created without some form of liquid. At least half a cup of liquid is needed to create enough steam to properly use the pressure cooker.
- Be Mindful of the Type of Food Being Cooked – Froth produced during the cooking process by certain foods (i.e. pasta, split peas, oatmeal, applesauce, and cranberries) can block the steam valves and vents of the cooker. Before cooking these foods in a pressure cooker, ensure your recipe calls for the same size cooker as yours, and do not overfill the cooker. Never fry food in a standard pressure cooker. Some pressure cookers are specifically designed for frying. A small amount of oil can be included in a recipe, but frying in a pressure cooker that is not made for frying can melt the gasket and other parts.
- Release Pressure in a Safe Way – Pressure from a pressure cooker can be released in three ways: Natural release by removing the cooker from heat and allowing it to sit until the pressure reduces; cold water release by running cold water over the lid of the closed pressure cooker; or quick release by using the steam release valve to expel steam. Always be sure to protect your face, hands, and body when releasing pressure, and remember that steam may still escape when opening the pressure cooker—even if you believe you have properly released the pressure.
- Clean the Cooker Properly – When you have finished using your pressure cooker, remove the gasket and clean it separately from other parts of the cooker. Clean out the release valve with a toothpick. To reduce unnecessary wear on the gasket, store your pressure cooker with the lid upside down on the pot rather than locked in place .
Related Article: Why Pressure Cookers Explode & How to Avoid It
General Pressure Cooker Statistics:
According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, the majority of pressure cooker users are over the age of 30, with 46% of injured parties between the ages of 30 and 50, and 10% between 51 and 70. In 2008, of 39 sampled cases of pressure cooker-associated emergency room visits, 17 involved injuries where the pressure cooker either exploded or liquids burst from the pot, causing burns. The remaining 22 involved contact burns or steam burns.
There have been several recalls of pressure cookers in recent years due to safety concerns, including:
- FagorSplendid Chef: Over 400,000 were recalled from 2007-2015, with more than 70 burn injuries reported.
- Tristar Pressure Cooker: Recall of 145,000 units in 2012 due to lid detachments caused by excess pressure buildup, resulting in 29 reports of injuries.
- Power Pressure Cooker XL: Recall nearly 1 million cookers in 2018 due to explosion and malfunction complaints.
- Instant Pot Gem 65: Some batches were recalled in 2018 for potential fire risk from overheating.
- Crock-Pot Express Crock: 2019 recall of 119,000 units following 99 incidents of the lid detaching violently.
Which Pressure Cookers Have Had Problems?
Problems have recently been linked to several pressure cookers sold in the United States, which contained defective components or failed to include safer alternative designs that may have prevented a pressure cooker injury.
In November 2020, a Crock Pot pressure cooker recall was issued for nearly 1 million pressure cookers sold throughout the U.S., due to a risk that the appliance may continue to pressurize when the lid is not fully locked, causing the pressure cooker to explode and send scalding hot contents onto consumers. This action was taken after at least 99 reported injuries suffered by consumers, according to a 2020 notice by CPSC .
The recalled Crock-Pot multi-cooker can pressurize when the lid is not fully locked, CPSC said. This can cause the lid to suddenly detach while the product is in use, posing burn risks to consumers from hot food and liquids ejected from the product. Sunbeam Products has received 119 reports of lid detachment, resulting in 99 burn injuries ranging in severity from first-degree to third-degree burns.
Several other manufacturers have “silently” issued pressure cooker recalls, making design changes in response to reported problems. However, consumers who have defective and dangerous pressure cookers still in their kitchens have never been informed about the changes or told not to use the products.
Consumers have filed lawsuits against several different companies under various brand names, including:
- Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
- Tristar Power Pressure Cooker
- Sunbeam Crock-Pot Pressure Cooker
- Ninja Foodi
- NuWave Nutri-Pot
- Cooks Essentials
- Elite Bistro
- Philippe Richards
- Wolfgang Puck
- and Others
See the other product liability cases our lawyers have taken on.
Get a Free Maxam Pressure Cooker Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers
The Product Liability Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of jury trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Maxam Pressure Cooker Litigation. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and are currently accepting new lawsuits in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Maxam Pressure Cooker Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if your pressure cooker explodes, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a pressure cooker settlement by filing a Maxam pressure cooker lawsuit and we can help.