The Instant Pot Hack You Really Need In Your Life

When you're looking to improve your culinary prowess, nothing beats having an Instant Pot. From soups and stews to even baked potatoes, it seems like there's nothing that this machine can't do. But even though cooking can happen quickly, cleaning up isn't so easy. And that's why this is the Instant Pot hack you really need in your life.

Part of the way that the Instant Pot works is that it has a sealing ring that ensures its efficacy. While they look like rubber bracelets from the '80s, the Instant Pot sealing rings are critical to cooking safely with the unit and should never, ever be swapped out for a generic, cheaper ring. According to the Instant Pot site: "It's designed, engineered, and built with the optimal material to achieve the hardness and strength required to withstand high-pressure force during electric pressure-cooking."

Still, if you use your Instant Pot to make something especially savory, (we're looking at you, Brussels sprouts), you might find that the smell lingers long after the dish has been served. While the sealing ring is doing its job to keep all of the pressure inside of the unit, it also retains odors as well. That might be fine and good if you're looking to flavor your food with last night's bacon smell, but if you're making an Instant Pot chocolate lava cake, you might not want it.

Here's how you can easily clean your Instant Pot

So what should you do? Well, there's a way around it. In fact, this Instant Pot hack might be all that you need in order to make savory and sweet dishes without lingering or leftover smells. Since it can be challenging (although not impossible) to remove the sealing ring from the machine, you can clean it right inside the machine. And woot, it only takes a few minutes to do.

Here's how: simply set your Instant Pot to the "steam" function. All you need to do is add one cup of water, one cup of vinegar, and half of a sliced lemon to the inside pot (via Mashed). Then, run your Instant Pot on Steam for up to five minutes. Then, when the cycle is over, check to see if the smell is still there (you might have to repeat it again), until the unit is sparkly clean and smells great again.

And there you have it. A simple, easy Instant Pot hack that allows you to keep your machine clean and sans stinky odors, and only takes a few minutes to do. That's truly "instant," if you ask us.