How to Clean a Burnt Food from a Pressure Cooker

Learn how to clean a pressure cooker and say buh-bye to burnt-on crud.

You can use a pressure cooker (like an Instant Pot) to hard-boil eggs, roast a chicken and cook quick dinners. It’s no surprise that they’ve quickly become a necessity in kitchens everywhere. The only catch? It’s easy for burnt food to cling onto the bottom of the top. Especially if you’re a fan of a multicooker’s saute function—or don’t add enough water.

Skeptical to saute in the Instant Pot? We found out if this function was too good to be true.

How to Remove Burnt Food from a Pressure Cooker

When a simple wash just won’t cut it, here’s a nifty way to lift grimy, stuck-on food from the metal insert of your Instant Pot.

You’ll Need:

  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • About 4 cups of water


  1. Combine the baking soda and water in the stainless steel insert.
  2. Lock the lid and adjust pressure cook time to 5 minutes—as if you were cooking something!
  3. Use the natural pressure release setting when finished. The lid will automatically unlock when it’s ready.
  4. When finished, the stuck on food should be lifted and floating around in sudsy water. Rinse in the sink. Scrub again with a scouring pad and dish soap if necessary.
  5. Marvel at your squeaky-clean pot.

Viola! Your pressure cooker will look good as new without much elbow grease. Here are 50 more ways to clean with baking soda.

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Taylor Murphy
Taylor is a food, parenting and health writer. When she's not writing about the newest Oreo flavor or her favorite kitchen appliance, she can be found searching for her next coffee fix or taste-testing recipes with her daughter.
Nicole Doster
Nicole is the Content Director of TMB's Strategy and Performance team. She oversees the brand's shopping and trend editorial teams and assists with content planning across Taste of Home, Family Handyman, Reader's Digest, The Healthy and Birds & Blooms. With over seven years of experience writing and editing in the food and home space, she enjoys sharing cooking tips, recipe picks and product recommendations that make life a little easier. When she's not hunched over her laptop, she's either practicing latte art or fixating on her latest DIY home renovation.