The Quick And Painless Way To Clean An Instant Pot

Convenience cooking is important to consumers, especially given how much time people have to spend at work in the modern era. For a long time, that meant just throwing something in the microwave, but the new solution over the past decade has been convenience appliances which prepare food maybe 85% as well as the real methods with just a little more effort than nuking them. There have been a bunch of these appliances on the rise in recent years, such as air fryers and rice cookers, but maybe none more ubiquitous than the Instant Pot, a multipurpose combined pressure cooker and slow cooker.

But like any kitchen appliance, cleaning your Instant Pot is as important as knowing how to use it. So how do you clean that thing? It turns out, it's not nearly as difficult as you might fear, and involves surprisingly little in the way of either time or effort.

All you need is soap and water

The first step is to soak the inner bowl of the Instant Pot in warm, soapy water in order to knock off whatever food residue is stuck on there. Soaking can be a little bit controversial in kitchen cleaning — you certainly don't want to soak something like cast iron — but it works well here with something like a metal Instant Pot bowl. Next, run the bowl through the dishwasher while you gently clean the parts of the lid you can easily remove by hand with soap, water, and a sponge; no need to get super abrasive in there.

Make sure you remove and clean the sealing ring in the lid; those sorts of junction areas are breeding grounds for bacteria (this is the same reason you need to clean the seal around your dishwasher door regularly). From there, just wipe down the base of the Instant Pot and put it all back together and you're good to go.

Be careful about safety, though

There are, however, some other things you really need to know about using your Instant Pot. It's not going to be ideal for all foods, though. For example, it falls flat when it comes to stir fry. However, that's not the biggest thing here. Safety is your real concern; as a pressure cooker, an Instant Pot is potentially a danger to explode if pieces are broken or damaged. If you hear air escaping the pressure cooker while it's going, turn it off immediately if you don't want your walls coated in shrapnel.

You also don't want to leave it fully unattended on the slow cooker setting overnight. Sure, a slow cooker is extremely unlikely to explode, but we've all seen "that episode" of "This Is Us," and even if a fire is extremely unlikely to start from a slow cooker, it's still possible. Why take that chance?

As long as you use your Instant Pot safely and clean it regularly, though, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. There's a reason it's so popular: It's a great kitchen tool that can make your home cooking both tastier and easier.