How To Prolong Gaskets Life
Follow these tips to make your gasket will live longer.
- Dont forget to wash the gasket after using your pressure cooker. The gasket must be properly cleaned and dried before and after each use.
- After food is cooked, some particles will often stick to the rim of the pot, including grains of salt, spices, oil, fats, and other food particles. If you dont clean it, the food will stick to the gasket and may tear it as soon as you open the lid the next time. Use a clean and damp cloth to wipe the rim. Remove all the food particles from the rim before locking the lid.
- Dont let your pressure cooker run dry, because the internal heat can easily damage the gasket material. So, always use water and cooking liquid in a sufficient amount.
- Avoid playing with the gasket, because twisting, folding, stretching or knotting can easily damage it. Dont let your kids or pet mess with the gasket.
- As the gasket gets older, it may become dry or brittle. Soak it in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes before using it. However, this is not a permanent solution. You need to replace it as soon as possible.
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Unpacking Your Instant Pot
First things first, remove your Instant Pot and the various parts from the box. Remove any plastic wrap or pieces of cardboard.
You will find a few extra things in the box, but you dont really need those .
The base unit holds the heating element. It is important to never pour any ingredient into the base unit.
Stainless Steel Inner Pot
This inner pot will fit inside the base unit. This pot holds all the ingredients for any recipe that you make.
Each Instant Pot will have a different variation of the lid. Simply place on the base unit and turn to secure.
The purpose of the sealing ring is to ensure proper sealing. The sealing ring is designed to withstand high-pressure cooking and is in place for your safety. It is recommended to replace the sealing ring every 12-18 months. There are different sizes of sealing rings based on the quart size so make sure the ring fits.
I recommend keeping 2 sealing rings on hand. Use 1 ring for savory dishes and 1 ring for sweet dishes.
Steam Release Valve
This valve controls the Instant Pots ability to build pressure and properly cook your recipe. You should see a floating pin next to the valve. If the pin is up then the pot is under pressure. If the pin is down then the pot is depressurized.
The wire rack/ trivet should fit in the bottom of your stainless steel inner pot. It will definitely come in handy when you use the steam function.
Steam Vent Is Blocked
When the cooking time that you programmed into the pot finishes, steam will automatically start to naturally vent from the steam value on top of your instant pot. You can, at that point, choose to rapidly vent the steam if you want.
If you cannot naturally release steam into the room that youre in, and the steam release valve will not release steam manually either, then the steam release valve itself may be blocked.
This is a fairly common problem due to the fact that a lot of people use their instant pots to cook fine foods like rice or quinoa the small grains can sometimes get caught in the steam valve, leading to a clog which can impair the overall function of the machine.
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Underside Of Lid: The Sealing Ring And Anti
The underside of the Instant Pot contains four important parts. If you have version one DUO, it will look like the one of the left. If you have a version two DUO, it might look the one on the right.
The Sealing Ring
The plain-looking silicone ring is an integral part of the Instant Pot. Without it, pressure cant build. During heating, the sealing ring expands to create a seal that allows pressure to safely build inside the machine. If the sealing ring isnt inserted correctly or is torn, worn, or out of shape, steam can leak from the lid and the Instant Pot wont seal.
Insert the sealing ring snugly in the wire sealing ring rack. When properly inserted, the sealing ring should lay flat against the lid and shouldnt pull out easily if you give it a soft tug.
To remove the ring for cleaning, allow the lid to cool and then pull gently on the sealing ring.
To clean, use warm soapy water or run through the dishwasher. Dry the ring thoroughly before placing it back into the lid.
Even with thorough washing, the sealing ring can hold on to cooking odors. If you plan to make yogurt or desserts, like rice pudding, consider getting a second silicone sealing ring to use only for yogurt, desserts, and other mild foods. This way youll avoid making a rice pudding tastes like the chicken you made for dinner the night before.
I like to keep an extra sealing ring on hand at all times. This way, if something happens, I can replace the ring right away.
Best Sling: Oxo Good Grips Bakeware Sling
If youre looking for a durable accessory that can be used while baking in the Instant Pot, the OXO Bakeware Sling is a great option. Getting bakeware in and out of the pot without spilling, and getting it out of the hot pot without burning your hands can be a challenge, even if youve got sturdy potholders. This handy sling solves the problem, and also means you dont have to bother with the metal trivet since it lifts the bakeware off the bottom of the pot. Not just for the Instant Pot, this can be used in a pot on the stove, too.
Many Instant Pot users report that when they cook spicy or pungent foods in their Instant Pot, the seal tends to absorb the odor. While there are many methods that can reduce the odor, some of them are time-consuming and may not work for all scents. The answer to that problem is simplejust have one or more extra sealing rings on hand, so one ring can be used when youve added highly flavorful spices to your savory foods and a second can be used for delicately flavored foods and desserts.
An extra ring is handy to keep on hand, even if spicy foods arent an issue, since you never know when the dog might decide the ring is a pull toy. This is a set of two authentic Instant Pot rings in red and blue so you can tell which is for spicy foods without sniffing.
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A Silicone Lid For Storing Leftovers
Save your leftovers without dirtying another dish.
If you tend to always have leftovers, youll be so glad to have this on hand. It fits snugly over the inner pot, so you can just toss the whole thing in the fridge. No need to get more containers dirty . The tempered glass lid works great for this as well, but this will give you a flat surface that you can stack other items on.
Check Other Parts On Lid
The following 3 Instant Pot parts are critical for the Instant Pot to function properly. Make sure theyre all properly in place, clean, and clear of any obstructions during the Instant Pot Setup & every time before using.
a. Instant Pot Venting Knob ensure its fully attached to the lid and pushed down all the way. Its perfectly normal and necessary for it to be loose. You should be able to remove it for washing by pulling it straight out.
b. Instant Pot Floating Valve test & make sure it can easily pop up and down .
c. Instant Pot Anti-Block Shield push it on the side to lift it up and press it down in position to install it back in.
*Pro Tip: there may be times when food or liquid gets stuck on or inside the anti-blocking shield. Be sure to remove it and wash it thoroughly from time to time.
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Aozita Stackable Steamer Insert Pans
These tiered steamer pans allow you to cook your sides and main dish all in one pot. It comes with two interchangeable lids, one for steaming and one airtight lid for baking, cooking, or food storage.
I usually use it to simultaneously cook my rice and steam my veggies, or to thaw my meat. 10/10 would buy again, says one reviewer.
Buy It: Aozita Stackable Steamer Insert Pans, $30
What Can The Instant Pot Do
What can it not do? Seriously! There are 14 smart functionson the Instant Pot Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté, Steam, Rice, Porridge, Multigrain, Slow Cook, Keep-Warm, Yogurt, Pasteurize and Fermented Rice.
Continue reading to find out how to use the Instant Pot as a Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Saute function and as a Steamer.
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How To Clean The Gasket
Here are some handy tips to clean your gasket:
- After every use of your pressure cooker, dont forget to remove the gasket from the lid and wash it properly with soap water.
- Avoid putting the gasket in a dishwasher
- Only use soapy water to wash the gasket.
- While cleaning, examine the gasket closely. Check whether the gasket developed cracking or signs of wear and tear.
While installing the gasket, always follow the manufacturer manual. Gaskets normally have indications for right and wrong sides.
- So, before installation, look for these signs. The right side must always face upwards while installing a gasket.
- If signs are not available, you can try orienting with any visible writing on the gasket with the words facing towards you.
Instant Pot Cleaning Guide Summary
Dishwasher Safe Parts: Instant Pot Liner , Instant Pot Sealing Ring, Trivet
- Exterior: Never immerse the exterior housing in water or any other liquid
- Rim: Clean the rim with a foam brush
- Inner Pot: Remove the rainbow stains with White Vinegar or Bar Keepers Friend
- Lid: Wash lid with warm soapy water
- Instant Pot Parts: Periodically rinse the Anti-Block Shield, Steam Release Valve, Condensation Collector if necessary
- Silicone Sealing Ring: Remove odors with White Vinegar or get an extra pair of Silicone Sealing Ring
Instant Pot Cleaning was easy, wasnt it?
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Now Its Time For A Test Run
Before you do a test run, quickly wash the steel insert and the lid with warm and soapy water. ALWAYS dry the steel insert completely before inserting it in the unit.
This completes the test. Press the Keep Warm / Cancel button or unplug the unit. In about 20 minutes or so, you can try opening the lid.
Learn more: Watch a video on how to do the water test and understand why it needs to be done.
Instant Pot Cooking Time Guides
Also, those time sheets/magnets/charts with cooktimes- ehh. I dont think they are a good resource since every chart Ive seen online doesnt seem accurate to me. Unless it guide comes from a blogger or recipe creator you absolutely trust, I wouldnt spend money on it.
Personally, I would stick with tried and true recipe and methods with researched recipes
Just my two cents!
So what do you think? Do you have some of these accessories? What would you add to the list?
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Caring For New Pressure Cooker Gaskets
Material-wise, new gaskets are typically made of silicone. Manufacturers use polymers other than rubber because rubber gaskets cannot withstand high pressure. Preferences for silicone include:
- Silicone offers a better grip and seal,
- Unlike rubber, food odor is not retained in silicone gaskets.
- Silicone gaskets are more durable, and they tend to live longer than rubber gaskets, because they dont crack easily upon aging.
These points can help you care and maintain your new gasket:
- If youve installed a new gasket in your pressure cooker, theres no need for special cleaning. Just a quick wash would do.
- Theres a myth that rubber and silicone should be soaked well with water before installation to make it stronger, but its not true. The reason is, neither rubber nor silicone can absorb water, so soaking wouldnt do any good.
- The gasket however, should not be stretched or pulled otherwise it might lose its original shape, or even tear apart.
An Issue With The Sealing Ring
The silicone sealing ring is one of the most important parts of the Instant Pot. If it not placed on the lid tightly, the lid won’t seal. If the ring is torn or dirty, it won’t seal either.
Whenever you notice your pressure cooker is struggling to come to pressure and the vent knob was in the right position, the next thing you want to investigate is the sealing ring.
The sealing ring expands to seal in pressure in the Instant Pot. If you just used your Instant Pot for another recipe or did a quick release to add an ingredient with a shorter cook time, your sealing ring may be already too expanded to be able to achieve a proper seal. Either place the seal in the freezer for 5 minutes to let it cool and return to normal size or insert a spare sealing ring.
If you have not recently used your instant pot, the sealing ring may be dirty. Take it off, give it a good clean and dry well. Inspect for tears or breaks and then install the ring carefully back on the lid on the instant pot and then proceed with the recipe—after checking to be sure there is still enough thin liquid in the Instant Pot!
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How To Prevent Instant Pot Sealing Ring From Getting Smelly
For starters, the old saying an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure comes into play here. We want to do everything we can to prevent the Instant Pot lid sealing ring from getting smelly in the first place.
Here are a few tips to help with that:
1. Always store lid upside down on your potAfter washing and drying your Instant Pot, be sure to store the lid upside down on top of the appliance to allow it to air out.
2. Store in the freezer between usesThe freezer will help kill any bacteria on the silicone ring and neutralize smells.
How To Use An Instant Pot For The First Time
An Instant Pot is a multi-cooker appliance that has the features to pressure cook, saute, slow cook, steam, sous vide, keep food warm and cook meat/stew, bean/chili, soup/broth, multigrain, porridge, and homemade yogurt.
It is one of the most versatile kitchen appliances that I have ever used. It allows you to do all these functions in only one tool saving money, time, and most importantly space in your kitchen! Can you imagine storing a separate appliance for each of these 14 functions?!
The more I use my Instant Pot, the more impressed I am. In the beginning, I never expected to be able to create tender Pulled Pork or French Dip Sandwiches. I honestly thought I would use the Instant Pot once and then it would sit in the closet collecting dust. Boy was I wrong!
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Do Not Fill To The Max Line
Fill your pot 1/2 full when cooking foods that expand during cooking . You could fill the pot up to 2/3 full when cooking foods that do not expand during cooking . Keep this safety tip in mind if you choose to double or triple a recipe. If you find that you are frequently making large batches, consider upgrading to the 8-quart pot size.
Why Is The Natural Release On My Instant Pot Not Working
The process of natural release on an instant pot is a fairly simple one pressure builds during the cooking period due to steam forming within the pot. The instant pot is a sealed environment, which means that the steam cannot escape, and pressure builds.
To cut a long story short, the natural release on your instant pot wont be working because a component that causes pressure to be kept within the pot will be broken. This could be several different components within the pot, including the steam release value or the sealing ring which sits inside the lid of your instant pot.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to fix anything that may be wrong with your instant pot these appliances are designed to last.
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Cleaning In The Dishwasher
While the sealing ring is dishwasher-safe, your best bet is to use the steaming method outlined above regularly to keep the ring clean and odor-free. If its been a while since you last cleaned the sealing ring , the dishwasher will certainly give it a good cleaning, but it might not completely get the odor out.
More About the Instant Pot