Every day, millions of Americans use household kitchen appliances to cook a variety of different foods. However, many products, such as pressure cookers, can often be defective, leading to severe injuries and hardship. When these pressure cookers cause injuries, both the manufacturer and retailer may be held liable for damages. Consumers around the country have experienced problems with their pressure cookers, ranging from defects in design and manufacturing to a lack of sufficient instructions on how to use these increasingly complex appliances.


The Danger of Defective Pressure Cookers

Since pressure cookers use intense heat and pressure, they need to be well made to avoid causing burns. The manufacturers of these kitchen appliances owe a duty of care to consumers to ensure that they are reasonably fit and free of defects. However, some consumers have complained that an increasing number of these products are prone to faulty parts and bad craftsmanship. Common reported defects include the following:
  • Trapped food particles that block safety valves from working properly;
  • Ineffective pot lid seals to prevent spillage;
  • Defective cooker gaskets allowing premature opening of the pot during high pressure, which may cause severe burns;
  • Defective safety pins;
  • Lack of sufficient instructions and warnings about possible dangers;
  • Defective thermal probe, causing risk of electric shock; and
  • Exploding pressure cookers due to inadequate steam venting.

Pressure Cooker Injuries & Recalls

The personal injuries caused by these defects can often be catastrophic. Many consumers have filed reports of explosions that have caused severe second and third degree burns on the face and body due to flaws with many of these pressure cookers. These reports have led to recalls across the nation. In July 2015, approximately 1,000 electric pressure cookers manufactured by Double Insight Inc. were recalled because the thermal probe located in the base of the cooker can conduct electricity throughout the cooker, posing a risk of electric shock. Additionally, Breville USA Inc. recalled over 35,000 of their Fast Slow Cookers due to defective sealing gaskets that may lead to burns caused by an unexpected buildup of pressure. These pressure cookers were sold at Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, Macy's, Sur la Table and Williams Sonoma stores nationwide and online at Amazon and Breville’s company website. Further, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Manttra Inc., issued a voluntary recall of over 38,000 Manntra Smart Series multi-cooker sets.


While some companies have issued recalls on defective pressure cookers, others continue to market and sell them in various stores nationwide. For instance, despite numerous complaints alleging negligent design and manufacturing that could lead its pressure cookers to inadvertently explode, Tristar Products Inc. continues to market their products as safe and effective appliances. The company has issued no recall and continues to make their products available for purchase at major retailers like Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, WalMart, Kohls, and JC Penny.