Can You Leave A Pressure Cooker Unattended?

Pressure cookers are a great way to make quick and easy meals, but they can be dangerous if not supervised. While cooking in a pressure cooker, you may sometimes need to leave it unattended. By leaving it alone, you’re exposing it to the risk of a fire or explosion. 

For your safety, you need to know whether to leave a pressure cooker alone and when not to. In this article, we will discuss the matter in detail and the risks of leaving a pressure cooker unguarded. Additionally, we will add some safety precautions while pressure cooking. So, let’s get started.

Is It Safe to Leave a Pressure Cooker Unattended?

The answer is no. It’s not safe to leave a pressure cooker unattended for a long. Many people believe that leaving a pressure cooker unguarded is safe, but this isn’t always the case.

When you leave a pressure cooker on the stovetop for too long, the steam can build up inside and create an explosion. This explosion could lead to severe injury or even death.

The good news is that some pressure cookers with modern features make it safe to leave them alone. These features include timers, automatic stop valves, and pressure release valves.

Furthermore, many electric pressure cookers have a safety feature called “keep warm.” This feature will keep your meal at the desired temperature for an extended period of time. But you still shouldn’t leave them unattended to avoid any incidents.

When Can You Leave the Pressure Cooker Unattended?

You can leave a pressure cooker unguarded when it is an electric model that comes with safety mechanisms. But you should never leave a traditional one alone.

Some electric pressure cookers can be left unguarded for up to 10 hours without causing any damage or injury. They shut off automatically if they get too hot or high in temperature.

Furthermore, pressure cookers with a “keep warm” setting will keep your meal at the desired temperature for 10 hours. But we don’t recommend leaving it for so long if you’ve not enough experience of using pressure cookers.

It is better to check it after every 30 minutes to ensure it is working correctly. However, if you’re leaving it alone, select a program so that the cooker can execute it and shut off automatically when it’s done. Apart from this, ensure that the lid is tightened properly.

Can You Leave An Instant Pot Unattended?

The Instant Pot is a great example of a pressure cooker that can be left unattended. It comes with safety mechanisms that keep it safe if you leave it alone. 

The ‘keep warm’ setting is convenient to keep your food for 10 hours. This allows you to leave your instant Pot unguarded. Furthermore, the Instant Pot multicookers feature different cooking modes. So, you can select the preset cooking programs according to your needs.

After selecting your desired preset cooking program, select the keep warm function and leave it alone. When cooking is done, it will automatically switch to keep warm mode. But still, you must be careful when leaving your Instant Pot unattended.

Safety Precautions While Using a Pressure Cooker

There are some safety precautions that you should follow while using a pressure cooker. These precautions will help you prevent injuries and keep your food safe.

  • Always read the instructions for your cooker before use. These instructions will tell you how to use it properly and when to stop cooking.
  • Let the pressure release naturally. This will help you avoid unnecessary injuries while cooking.
  • Put enough water in the Pot to completely cover the food. This will prevent your food from burning.
  • Don’t leave a metal utensil inside the Pot while cooking.
  • Never put anything flammable or combustible into the cooker. 
  • Don’t leave it unguarded unless the manufacturer suggests. 
  • Remove children and pets from around it.
  • If there is a malfunction with your cooker, contact customer service immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can you leave a pressure cooker on?

It depends on the type of cookers you’re using. If you’re using a traditional pressure cooker, you should not leave it even for 5 minutes. This is because anything unwanted could happen. But if you need to leave it alone, don’t forget to keep an eye on it.

On the other hand, you can leave it alone for hours if you’re using an electric model. The duration varies from brand to brand. So, go through the manufacturer’s user guide provided with your appliance.

Why does a pressure cooker explode?

The reason is that the heat generated by the stove or oven will affect the inner pressure inside the pressure cooker. This will increase its temperature to a very high level which can cause an explosion. It can cause severe injuries to you or your family.

What happens if a pressure cooker runs out of water?

If the pressure cooker runs out of water, it can explode. So, if you leave it unattended, ensure that it has enough water inside. It’s better to have someone else present who can respond quickly to an emergency.

Can you leave food in a pressure cooker overnight?

No, it’s not safe to leave food in a pressure cooker overnight for your safety. If you do so, the food could be spoiled, which is harmful to health.


Hopefully, it’s clear to you that you can not leave a pressure cooker unattended on the stovetop. But if you need to leave it alone for some time, ensure that the lid is tightened properly and there is enough water.

Always follow the safety instructions when using pressure cookers. Otherwise, you may end up with some severe injury.

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