Are Pressure Cookers Supposed to Steam? – The definite guide (2022)

Are Pressure Cookers Supposed to Steam?

Pressure cookers are one of the essential parts of any kitchen. But what if your pressure begins to steam? Are pressure cookers supposed to steam? All of it will be answered in this draft.

Pressure cookers have made our life so easy that we cannot even think of spending our time in the kitchen without a pressure cooker. It is something that makes things go smoothly for you.

And if you are in a hurry, there is no better option than a pressure cooking pot.

But, what will you be doing if your pressure cooker starts to steam while cooking? How often can you face such a situation, and how hazardous can it be for you?

These all are the questions that might surround your mind if you are an amateur user of a pressure cooker. But, if you are here reading this article, then all of your questions will be answered below.

Is it normal for a pressure cooker to steam?

It might be silly to say that a pressure cooker does not steam. But, there is a steam release valve available that omits the steam when the pressure is increasing rapidly inside the pot.

But, there were cases when a pressure cooker started to steam through its lid and its edges. This in no circumstances can be considered a good sign.

 If a pressure cooker starts to steam abnormally, only two conditions apply: either the pressure cooker is about to explode, or the lid has not been placed finely.

In both of the cases, there is a considerable threat to the cook because an abnormal release of steam can cause a pressure cooker to explode, leading to deadly injuries to the user.

So, if your pressure cooker is steaming through the steam release valve, then there is nothing to worry about, but if the former condition prevails, then you need to check your pressure cooker as soon as possible.

Doing this will help you avoid colossal devastation.

Can a steaming pressure cooker be hazardous?

Can a steaming pressure cooker be hazardous?

There is no doubt about admitting that a steaming pressure cooker can be hazardous to use. First, if the pressure cooker starts to steam abnormally, then there are high chances that pressure is not generating enough pressure inside the pot.

So, there are negligible chances that you will get your food done in time. Secondly, if you witness pressure cooker steam, it may be because of improper lid-locking or a lousy sealing ring that may lead to a pressure cooker explosion.

Therefore, it will be right to admit that a steaming pressure cooker can be as dangerous as a ticking bomb.

Reasons behind a pressure cooker to steam?

Reasons behind a pressure cooker to steam?

Many people are stuck at the point that causes their pressure cooker to steam. It is one of the most asked questions by those who are facing such issues.

There are a lot of reasons behind pressure cooker steaming. It may be because you are using an outdated pressure cooker, and it can no longer serve your needs. The reason can be poor manufacturing of the pot, or it may also be the cheap quality of the product you are using.

So, to help you avoid being confused, we have listed some of the most common and logical reasons that lead a pressure cooker to steam.

Giving these reasons a religious read will help you understand the issue finely.

1. Overpressure: One of the most common causes for pressure cookers to steam.

Overpressure pressure cooker

The most common reason for a pressure cooker to steam is overpressure. There were cases when the pressure cooker was steaming through the steam release valve, but the steaming was so regular that the cooker cooked food finely.

The reason behind it was the overstuffing of food inside the pressure cooker leading the pressure cooker to overpressure. It is a lesser-known fact, but if you fill a cooking pot above its capacity, it may lead to continuous steam release, leading to poor functioning of the cooker.

Hence, if you were wondering why the steam release valve of your pressure cooker is hissing so often, then here is the reason.

So, from now on, if you want to avoid your pressure cooker from steam, then do not overstuff food in the pressure cooking pot.

2. A poorly locked lid may lead a pressure pot to steam.

poorly locked lid

It is one of the very common mistakes that all pressure cooker users make. Due to lack of time or other reasons, we do not close the pressure cooker’s lid properly, leading the cooker to steam through the edges of the lid.

It may sound funny, but this is one of the most deadly mistakes a chef can make while using a pressure cooker.

Because, if the lid of a pressure cooker is closed improperly, then, first of all, the cooker will never cook your food properly and secondly there are high chances of the pressure cooker to explode as it is witnessing a continuous change in the pressure.

So, if you ever witness your pressure cooker steaming through the edges of its lid, then do never dare to taste it. Please turn off the stove, wait for the pressure to release finely, and then remove the lid and close it again.

This will help you save your food, pressure cooker, and your precious life.

3. A damaged gasket is the reason for a pressure cooker to steam.

damaged gasket

So, if you do not know much about your pressure cooker and want to know why the pressure cooker is steaming, then we suggest you check the gasket at the very first.

In a pressure cooker, a gasket is the main element that helps to keep your pressure cooker airtight so that the steam inside cannot leave the pot.

But, what if your pressure cooker’s gasket is broken?

In that case, you will witness your pressure cooker steaming abnormally.

If you witness your pressure cooker steam and neither the lid is closed improperly nor the pot is overstuffed, then the issue can be with the gasket of the pressure cooker.

If the gasket has been stretched due to overuse or has been placed lousily, it can be the reason for a pressure cooker to steam.

Hence, if a pressure cooker steams, the most important and common thing to check is a gasket.

Why does an electric pressure cooker steam?

We have discussed a conventional pressure cooker steaming, but what if you have an electric pressure cooker and it steams? So, here we have some reasons that will enrich you that why an electric pressure cooker steams.

1. Preheat cycle is the main reason for an electric pressure cooker to steam

If you own an instant pot or any other electric pressure pot, then you know the preheating system. Before cooking some food, we need to go through a preheat cycle.

And during it, while the pressure pot reaches the ideal heating temperature and pressure, it releases steam from the steam releasing valve, which is finely normal.

The steam stops coming out after some time, and you are good to use your pressure pot.

2. Cooking a small amount of food can lead to steam release from a pressure pot.

If you cook a small amount of food in your pressure cooking pot, it can also be the reason for frequent streaming.

As the pressure is high inside the pot and the food quality is small, to avoid the food from overcooking, the pot adjusts the pressure and releases frequent steam, and it’s totally fine.

3. The lousy sealing ring is the cause for an electric pressure cooker to steam.

lousy sealing ring

But, what if the steam is coming out of the lid edges?

If this is the case, then the reason is a lousy sealing ring. It may be due to its old age or improper fitting. So, if you are facing this issue, then go on to replace the sealing ring at the very first.

Improper sealing for float valves can lead an electric pressure cooker to steam.

One of the most important reasons behind an electric pressure cooker steaming improperly is because of the issues with floating valves.

Either the valve pin is broken, or the valve has been jammed due to grease and oil, the pressure cooker will face abnormal steam release or even an explosion.

How to know if steam release from a pressure cooker is normal?

Something that most people ask is how they will know that the steam release from their pressure cooker is normal or not. It is something that not everyone can check.

And this is why we have crafted this compact guide that will allow you to know whether the steam release from your pressure cooker is normal or not.

1. Check if the steam is released through the steam release handle

steam release handle

If you have never used a pressure cooker and you are worried about the steam release, then the first thing to witness is the point of steam release. Because it is something that will decide the normalcy of the steam.

So, if you witness the steam release from the steam release handle at the top of the lid, there is nothing to worry about.

If you do not know, then you need to know that a pressure cooker is designed to balance the pressure inside the pot and whenever the pressure exceeds, the pressure cooking pot releases some amount of steam through the steam release valve, and that’s why you hear the pressure cooker hissing.

Hence, if the steam release is witnessed through the steam release valve, there is nothing to worry about as this is the principle on which a pressure cooker works.

2. Is your pressure pot steaming through its lid’s edges?

pressure pot steaming through its lid's edges

But, what if the pressure cooker is releasing the steam through the edges of the lid?

I do not want to threaten you, but if this is the case, turn off the stove as soon as possible and wait for the pressure to release finely. As not doing it may lead to an explosion.

As already mentioned above, one of the reasons why a pressure cooker steams through its lid is because of the broken gasket or improperly closed lid. But, one of the most threatening reasons behind it is that the pressure release valve has been blocked.

And, if this is the case, then there are high chances of your pressure cooker exploding. Because if the lid is closed properly, the gasket is fine too, and the pressure release valve is closed, there remains no point for pressure to release from the pot.

And, in this case, the only possibility is an explosion, and to avoid it, you must check the pressure release valve every time you put the pressure cooker on the stovetop.

Never miss checking the pressure release valve if you care for yourself and your loved ones.

Troubleshooting: How to fix a steaming pressure cooker?

Above, we have discussed in detail the pressure cooker that is supposed to steam, its reasons for steaming, and the threats linked to it. But, how will we be able to troubleshoot this issue?

Is it even possible to resolve pressure cooker steaming issues? Or will we have to buy a new pressure cooker pot? All of this will be discussed below, so dare not miss the second half of this draft.

1. Check for a sealing ring.

Check for a sealing ring.

The first thing you’ll check is the sealing ring placed inside the pressure cooker’s lid. If you have been wondering about your pressure cooker steaming, the most common and important thing to check is the sealing ring.

This small rubber band is responsible for the proper sealing of your pressure cooker, and it is one of the most common reasons for pressure generation inside the pressure cooker.

So, if your pressure cooker steams abnormally then, I suggest you check the pressure sealing ring. There are possibilities the ring has been stretched due to over usage, or it has become loose enough to be replaced.

If you find issues with the sealing ring, then at the very first, get a new sealing ring and replace it.

Now check if you are facing the same issue or not? I hope you will not see your pressure cooker steaming again.

2. In an Electric pressure cooker, look if the float valve is fine or not.

 float valve

In an electric pressure cooker, a float valve is responsible for pressure management inside the pressure cooking pot, and if there is any issue with the float valve, then you may witness your pressure cooker steaming.

A float valve manages, stores, and releases pressure as per the need of the pressure pot, but if there are issues with the float valve, then you may face pressure cooker steaming issues.

Most of the time, due to cooking oily and greasy food, the float valve starts to attract the dirt, leading to a possible blockage of the float valve. And, this may lead to steam release through abnormal channels like the lid of the pressure cooker.

But, if you know that there is no dirt or grease in your float valve, then you need to check for a float valve locking pin. It is something that helps the float valve move and lock. And, if it breaks, then the float valve will not perform finely, leading you to face steam-related issues.

So, if you witness an issue with a float valve, then you better know what to do (clean up the float valve and replace the float valve pin if needed.).

3. Check for the steam release handle.

steam release handle

The reason behind your pressure cooker steaming can be as simple as eating bread. The most common reason for pressure cooker steaming is that the steam release handle is not properly locked to a sealing position.

It happens when a beginner uses an instant pot. And, this leads to the horrible effect of steam release. So, to avoid it, make it your priority to check if the steam release handle is finely sealed or not.

And, if it is sealed finely and you are still facing the same issues, then there may be some technical issues with the steam release handle, and you need to contact your customer support center.

This is the best possible you can do to make things work for you.

4. Have a check for any damages on the lid.

lid of pressure cooker

One of the rarest reasons for pressure cooker steaming may be the damages to your pressure cooker lid. It is possible that for some reason, you dropped the pressure cooker or its lid, and it got damaged without you noticing it.

And, if this is the case, then there are high chances of pressure cooker steaming. So, if you have checked everything finely and no options seem to be working, then the last resort can be checking your pressure cooker lid.

And, if you find any abnormality with it, then it’s time to either fix it or you need to spend some bucks on a new pressure cooking machine.


No matter how well you were informed above, there will always be some questions that need to be answered. And this is totally fine. A sane person always looks for more options to get answers.

And, this is why we have brought for you some of the most asked questions about pressure cooker steaming. Follow them religiously to find your answers.

1. Can a steaming pressure cooker explode?

Yes, it is highly possible that if a pressure cooker is steaming, then it can explode if proper actions are not taken on time.

A pressure cooker steams because it does not get a proper route to normalize the inner pressure, and if it continues, there are high chances that you will hear an explosion in your kitchen.

So, I will suggest you have a routine check on your pressure cooker if you use it regularly.

2. Do we need to replace our pressure cooker if it’s steaming?

No really.

We know that people will threaten you to get a new pressure cooker if the old one starts to steam improperly, but there are things that you can do to make your old piece work finely.

You may check for gasket, floating valve, pressure release handle, and other such things to make your pressure cooker work finely.

Because we do not need to buy a brand new pressure cooking pot if only one part of it is malfunctioning, identify the issue, remove it finely, and you will be able to enjoy a perfectly working pressure cooking machine.

3. Can extra amounts of water be the cause of pressure cooker steaming?

On some points, extra water in your pressure cooker can be the reason for it to steam irregularly, but this is not the case all the time.

Extra water in a pressure cooker will affect the food inside the pot as there is very negligible evaporation in a pressure cooker if compared with a conventional plot, but large amounts of water are not the reason for a pressure cooker to steam.

So, do not believe in illogical things and always look for expert advice.

4. Is pressure cooking and steaming the same thing?

To some extent, we can say that pressure cooking and steaming are the same things. During steaming, the food is cooked with the help of heat and hot water vapors, and the same steam helps to build pressure inside a pressure cooker.

But, relating pressure cooker and steaming as the same will be an illogical thing.

Apart from other big differences, the most common and little difference between these two forms of cooking is that pressure cooking takes less time than steaming. So, it would not be a good thought to relate pressure cooking and steaming as the same thing.


In the end, we are good to say that this draft is enough to answer that the pressure cooker is supposed to steam. Above, we have provided all the relevant details that you needed to know about pressure cooker steaming.

The article has discussed the major reasons for a pressure cooker to steam, the normal and abnormal patterns of pressure cooker steaming, and the ways to resolve the issues if you are facing them.

Above, you have been enriched with a detailed guide that will resolve all of your concerns if you have thought that pressure cookers are supposed to steam.

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