Are Instant Pots Easy to Clean?
The more you use your instant pot, the more often you’ll want to clean it. Giving it a light scrub after every use is a good start, but the intense pressure and heat associated with this style of cooking means you’ll want to go a bit deeper to ensure your food doesn’t pick up old flavors. Luckily, those quick cleans are easy, and even a deep clean doesn’t take too long, either.
Here’s How Often to Clean an Instant Pot
There are a few parts to the instant pot you’ll clean every time you use them.
› Inner Pot. This large, stainless-steel pot is where the magic happens! It comes in direct contact with foods like rice, curries, and soups, so you’ll want to wash the pot with warm, soapy water every time you use it.
› Steam Rack. For steamed vegetables especially, this steel component touches the food directly. You can put the rack in the dishwasher, but it can be easier washing by hand, just as you would the inner pot, to get small bits of food that might be stuck in the grate.
› Steam Valve. That release valve might be made to release steam, but it can get clogged by tiny bits of food, too. When you give the whole exterior of the instant pot a wipe, pay extra attention to the steam valve to get any particles lodged in the valve. This is a quick process and all you’ll need is a clean, damp cloth.
The Best Way to Clean an Instant Pot (And We Mean Really Clean It)
Especially if you cook a lot of different types of food, you’ll want to give your instant pot a deeper clean. This includes getting after a couple of the more hard-to-reach parts of the pot.
The best way to clean an instant pot is to take it apart and clean each piece separately. Give your instant pot a more thorough cleaning whenever you see spots of food, signs of discoloration on any of the components, or if you notice a change in how long you need to set your timer for. Under- or overcooked foods may be a sign of contamination or an issue with one of the following components.
How to Clean an Instant Pot Lid
There is a lot going on at the top of your instant pot. Remove the lid and turn it over. You’ll first remove the rubber seal that circles the inside of the lid. Next, take a damp cloth and soapy water and scrub around the edges. It’s often helpful to use a toothbrush to get into the nooks and crannies on the underside of the lid.
Next, clean the anti-block shield. This is the small round or oval element that looks like a one-inch-wide pasta strainer. Gently press it toward the rim of the lid and it will pop off. Scrub the anti-block shield in hot water and soap and rinse it well before putting it back on.
How to Clean the Rubber Seal on Your Instant Pot
That rubber seal is another easy lid component to clean. Scrub the ring with hot, soapy water, or let it soak in hot water. Some instant pot fans like to at least scrub their rubber seal after every use. Others use a different seal for spicy foods and sweet foods to make sure odors don’t affect different dishes.
You can also clean your instant pot rubber seal ring by running your instant pot through a steam cleaning cycle. With your instant pot put back together, add two cups of water and a tablespoon of lemon zest to the inner pot. You can also use white vinegar instead of water. Run your instant pot on the Steam setting for two minutes and quick release the valve when the time is up. With the lid off, let all the components air dry.
How to Clean the Instant Pot Heating Element
The heating element is the toughest part to clean. First, always make sure your instant pot has completely cooled off before attempting to clean the heating element. You’ll also want to unplug the unit entirely. Don’t use anything wet or damp on the heating element itself. Even a small amount of moisture could ruin the electric components if it is still damp when you go to use it. Instead, use a dry cloth or a moderately abrasive pad, but don’t press too hard or you could damage the burner. The best way to keep this part clean is to avoid exposing it to food particles, so be careful whenever you remove the inner pot!
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