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I recently bought a 9.5 Quart Tramontina Pressure Cooker for the purpose of cooking dried beans and legumes since I've moved to an altitude that makes simple stove top cooking impractical.

I've only used the cooker twice, and each time, it pressure locks but steam/bubbles continue to come out of the handle (on and off), the manual pressure release valve (frequently) and something called the "safety fuse plate" (almost continuously). Very little steam comes out of the pressure limiting valve from what I can tell.

I am not familiar with pressure cooking, but have done quite a bit of reading and cannot figure out if this is normal or unsafe or really anything. I know I'm not overfilling it and I doubt the pressure is too high. The food does not come out cooked/finished, although that could be due to incorrectly adjusting the times for the altitude.

So my questions are:

1) Is this normal?

2) Does this sound unsafe?

Happy to provide any more information as requested.

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EDIT: After replacing the safety fuse plate, the bubbling continued. I reached out to customer service and they think its probably an issue with the valve itself. If I get a replacement, I'll try the cooker again and update with the results.

  • Is there a fill line on the inside (or instructions not to fill past a certain volume...say 2/3 full)? Maybe too high a fill? – moscafj Feb 24 '17 at 13:21
  • It doesn't have a fill line, but the directions state to not fill it past 2/3 full. I have only filled it about a 1/4 full. It's a very large pressure cooker. – CMB92 Feb 24 '17 at 15:28
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    I'm not familiar with your paritcular model of cooker, but that sure looks like a defective or failed "safety fuse plate" - it should vent nothing there unless/until the temperature limit is exceeded and the fusible plate melts. Assuming this was purchased new, I'd contact the store or the manufacturer. – Ecnerwal Feb 24 '17 at 17:24
  • @Ecnerwal I thought that may be the case, but since I'm inexperienced I figured it was more likely something I was doing wrong. I'll try reaching out to the manufacturer and see what comes of it. – CMB92 Feb 24 '17 at 17:47
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Beans and legumes produce a lot of scum/foam (it's a mostly denatured protein mat) while cooking. For a pressure cooker, this can clog your vents (a bad thing). So you want to ensure that not too much is produced. Your user manual should have a section describing the cooking of beans and/or legumes with appropriate instructions.

An example is on page 23 of this manual. To summarize:

  • Don't fill cooker more than 1/2
  • Adding a tbsp of oil per cup of legume can reduce frothing [I haven't tried this]
  • Bring the legumes to a boil and skim the initial scum before closing the cooker
  • The manual is very small and does not have any cooking instructions, but thanks for those tips. I'll try 2 and 3 in a couple days and see how they work. I'm already only filling the cooker less than half full. – CMB92 Feb 24 '17 at 15:32

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