How to Clean Every Part of Your Instant Pot

Because today's Instant Pot cheesecake shouldn't taste like last night's curry.

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August 15, 2019

By Angela Carlos for Food Network Kitchen

Have you fallen for the Instant Pot?

The multi-tasking, multi-function, magical gadget cooks a fragrant pot of chicken tikka masala just as well as an airy cheesecake. But I’ve quickly learned that cleanup is nearly as important as the cooking, unless you’re into cumin and garlic-scented sweets.

Instant Pot has made things pretty simple. The inner pot, sealing ring, lid and steam rack are all dishwasher safe — basically, everything but the cooker base. However, as Rick Martinez, our resident Instant Pot expert and host of Food Network’s Pressure Point, notes, sometimes it takes a little extra care to "keep the bad odors at bay."

To help out fellow fans, here's a list of Instant Pot cleaning tips based on personal experience and expert input that will keep your cheesecakes tasting like cheesecake and curries like curry.

Food Network Instant Pot Article

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

Cooker Base and Rim

Allow the machine to cool down before cleaning. Then, use a lightly dampened cloth or paper towel to wipe down the exterior and inside lip of the base. Because the electronics and heating element are housed in the base, it is crucial to keep this part of your Instant Pot dry.

Sometimes the rim of your pot will end up dirtier than the rest of the base because of splashing sauces. If a cloth just isn’t cutting it, try using a toothbrush or other soft-bristled brush to clean off any cooked-on mess.

Inner Pot and Steam Rack

The inner pot and steam rack are the easiest part of cleanup. The pot and rack go into the dishwasher dirty (the pots and pans cycle is great if you have it) and come out sparkling clean. Of course, you can always hand wash if you prefer.

After a few washes, if you start to notice water stains or a blueish rainbow effect on the bottom of the pot, don't panic. It’s totally harmless. You can remove the spots with a gentle non-abrasive cleaner, like Bar Keepers Friend or scrub with a sponge soaked in white vinegar. For tougher spots, soak in white vinegar for 5 minutes and rinse. Spots begone!

Lid, Sealing Ring and Anti-Block Shield

Rick is quick to admit "I HATE cleaning the lid." It’s also the most crucial part of the cleanup when it comes to odor prevention. Rick’s advice is to always remove the sealing ring (rubber gasket) and anti-block shield (steam-release valve) after every use. Clean both thoroughly with warm soapy water, as the silicon ring is quick to absorb flavors and odors and the anti-block shield can trap food particles. The lid itself can go into the top rack of the dishwasher. Be sure that all parts are completely dry before reassembling.

Condensation Collector

This piece snaps onto the side of your Instant Pot base and does pretty much what it sounds like — it collects condensation during the cooking process. Keep an eye on how much water it’s collecting (you don’t want it to overflow), and hand wash it as needed. Do let it dry completely before snapping it back into place.

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