Thanks to its versatility and user-friendly operation, the Instant Pot has taken home kitchens by storm in recent years. If you’ve invested in one of these popular multiuse cookers, you already know just how well it can broaden your cooking options and save you time.
Unfortunately, you may not have mastered how to keep your Instant Pot as clean as possible just yet.
While the multitasking pressure cooker can prepare an array of recipes, your food won’t taste good if there is leftover residue in the pot. If you have a new Instant Pot, you'll also want to clean it as part of the setup process. Cleaning your Instant Pot isn’t difficult, but it does require several steps to ensure that you get it as clean as possible.
Clean your pressure cooker using the right methods and do so frequently so you can keep delivering high-quality meals in your favorite appliance.
It may seem obvious, but you should always check that your Instant Pot is turned off and unplugged before cleaning. Allow it to cool completely, too, so you can safely take it apart. Remove the lid, inner pot, and any accessories, such as a steamer basket, from the appliance’s base.
When you take off the lid, it’s also essential to remove its inner silicone sealing ring. This component must sit properly inside the lid or your Instant Pot won’t have a proper seal during cooking. You should also examine the ring for damage, including cracking or warping. If you see any signs of wear and tear, it’s time for a new sealing ring.
Nearly all Instant Pot inner pots are dishwasher safe, so you can place them on the bottom rack for cleaning. Set it in an upside-down position for the best results. The lid can go in your dishwasher, too — just make sure it’s right side up in your top rack. The lid’s inner silicone sealing ring is also dishwasher safe and can be placed in either the top or bottom rack, depending on where you have room.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, you can hand wash the inner pot, lid, and silicone ring. Use hot water and a degreasing dish soap. A soft-bristled cleaning brush works well if there’s food cooked onto the pot that won’t come loose with a rag or sponge. Make sure to rinse all the components well after cleaning.
Depending on the model, your Instant Pot’s lid may have other parts that require removal and cleaning. For example, some feature a steam release cover and a steam release valve on the top of the lid that you can remove by lifting them. Other Instant Pots may have a Quick Cool cover that you can unclip from the lid.
Inside the lid, you may have an anti-block shield to cover the steam release pipe and a silicone cap to cover the float valve. The anti-block shield is easy to lift off if you push it toward the edge, while the silicone cap simply pops off.
Like the inner pot and sealing ring, these parts are dishwasher safe. However, you can use warm soapy water and an old toothbrush to give them a good cleaning by hand if you prefer.
You may also have some removable components inside your Instant Pot’s base. Some models have a water or condensation collector that you should remove, empty, and clean after every use. You can toss it on the top rack of your dishwasher or wash it by hand as you would the appliance’s other parts.
Your Instant Pot’s base can get messy during cooking, so it also requires cleaning. Never submerge the base in water, though, because it contains the appliance’s heating element. That means it’s not dishwasher safe and shouldn’t be placed in your sink.
Instead, use a damp cloth to wipe down the body’s exterior and remove any food residue or crumbs. Remember to clean the Instant Pot’s control panel, too.
Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe out the inside of the body. An old toothbrush does an excellent job of working loose cooked-on residue from the nooks and crannies inside the base that might hide food.
Whether you use your dishwasher or wash your Instant Pot’s components by hand, all the individual parts should be completely dry before putting the appliance away. Of course, it’s best to let them air dry, but you can also use a microfiber towel to wipe them dry.
Once all the Instant Pot’s components are dry, you can put the appliance back together and store it until you’re ready to use it again.
If you clean your Instant Pot after each use, its base likely won’t have too many stains. However, no matter how careful you are, some spots are normal with frequent use. Once again, make sure the appliance is unplugged and cooled completely before tackling any stains.
To remove stubborn spots from the base, mix a few drops of water with one tablespoon of baking soda to create a paste. Use a clean cloth or old toothbrush to gently scrub the baking soda paste over the stains, and then wipe it away with a clean damp cloth. If the stain is still there, you can repeat the process.
Depending on the recipe you’re cooking, you may sometimes wind up with food that’s cooked or burned onto the stainless steel inner pot of your Instant Pot. While you may be tempted to use steel wool or an abrasive cleanser to scrub the pot, avoid these harsh cleaning treatments. They can damage the pot’s finish.
Instead, soak the inner pot in hot, soapy water to loosen up the residue. Then use a nonscratch scrub sponge to gently remove any food left behind.
Even if you clean the stainless steel inner pot well after each use, you may notice water stains or bluish discolorations from minerals in your food over time. To restore your pot’s finish, pour in one cup of distilled white vinegar. Let the vinegar sit for about five minutes before dumping it out. Then, rinse the pot, and dry it thoroughly before returning it to the base.
A. Clean your appliance after each use. Even a small amount of food residue can impact your Instant Pot’s performance, so you don’t want to let it build up and affect the taste and texture of your food.
When it comes to deep cleaning, it depends on how often you use your Instant Pot. If you cook with it weekly, you’ll likely want to deep clean it every 4 to 8 weeks.
A. If you clean your Instant Pot regularly and still notice odors, steam cleaning can help. Add two cups of water to the pot with a couple of cut lemons, and turn it on to the steam setting. Allow the Instant Pot to steam for 2-3 minutes to fully remove the odors. Let the steam release naturally, and thoroughly dry all the components, including the sealing ring, before putting the pot away.
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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