How to Clean a Pressure Cooker
Your pressure cooker is a jack of all trades - you can use it for everything from steaming rice to making yogurt to slow cooking meat. Instant Pot, Farberware, Fagor, Breville, Crock-Pot, and Ninja Foodi are just a few brands that manufacture this space-saving, multi-tasking machine.
A pressure cooker can handle almost anything you throw at it, but that doesn't make it indestructible. Your pressure cooker needs to be cleaned regularly to prevent clogs, remove stubborn food residue, and get rid of lingering smells.
Washing the inner pot and wiping down the housing makes up the majority of cleaning this type of appliance. However, if things start malfunctioning, it might be time to check the smaller pieces under the lid and deep clean a few forgotten areas.
It's important to clean your pressure cooker's sealing ring, which fits around the inside rim of the body of the cooker to form a pressure-tight seal with the lid while cooking. This piece tends to absorb the odors of the food you're cooking. After cleaning and deodorizing, it needs to be properly placed to maintain its seal. Residue or food particles lodged in the steam release handle, anti-block shield, and float valve may affect their function and throw off your pressure level.
Repeated cleaning with white vinegar can stain aluminum pressure cookers - not to mention the permanent damage it can do to your stone countertops if that's where you're doing your cleaning. Soapy water usually won't do the trick when cleaning baked-on food gunk, and even the familiar baking soda mixtures can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to start removing anything.
Lastly, steer clear of using scouring pads, steel wool, and abrasive cleaners, as these could scratch the liner or other components.
Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner won't harm your favorite kitchen appliance when it comes time for a deep cleaning.
Always soak your pressure cooker's removable parts after use, and deep clean the whole appliance at least once a month.
Directions for Cleaning a Pressure Cooker:
Always consult your pressure cooker's instruction manual before cleaning.
- Unplug your pressure cooker. Unplug and let your pressure cooker cool down if you've just used it.
- Remove the lid and interior pot. Set these in the sink for the time being.
- Make your Simple Green solution. Mix 1 ounce of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner with 1 cup of water in an empty spray bottle.
- Clean the exterior. Remember that this has electronic components and should never be immersed in water. Spray your Simple Green solution onto a damp cloth or sponge, and wipe the outside of the housing to pick up crumbs and remove stains. Wipe with a dry microfiber cloth to avoid water spots.
- Hand wash the lid and its pieces.
- Remove the steam-release handle. Pull this piece off gently to check for food particles. Spray your solution on a damp cloth or sponge and wipe it clean.
- Remove the anti-block shield. Remove this from the underside of the lid to wipe the steam valve clean (do not remove the steam valve). You should do this more regularly if you use the quick release or cook stickier foods often.
- Remove the float valve and silicone ring. Wipe both pieces down with your damp cloth sprayed with Simple Green solution. Make sure the valve piece can move up and down easily.
- Let dry. Either let these pieces air dry completely or use a dry microfiber cloth to dry them before replacing.
- Clean the sealing ring. The silicone ring that seals the lid closed should be cleaned regularly to remove any lingering smells. Allow it to air dry completely.
- Wash the inner pot and steam rack. Make sure these components are dishwasher safe before throwing them in your dishwasher or hand wash them as normal. Dry with a microfiber or leave these to air dry.
- Reassemble. Make sure all of your parts are completely dry and secure to ensure a proper seal.