Maintaining your pressure cooker properly is the only way to ensure that it works for a long time. That means cleaning it before and after every use, regularly checking for debris or food stuck in the opening where the pressure regulator valve goes and replacing parts that are worn down or broken. Maintenance will also keep you safe from an accident.
If a pressure cooker is not taken care of or if it is used in an incorrect way while cooking, it can become dangerous. For example, the rubber gasket is worn down, or if the lid to your pressure cooker no longer seals properly, the pressure cooker could bust open while you’re cooking food and burn you with its contents.
The term rubber refers to the rubber gasket that goes inside the pressure cooker lid. The gasket acts as a seal to keep pressure and steam contained within the pressure cooker pot. Pressure cookers work by using steam and high temperatures to build up pressure that cooks food extra fast; if this pressure is not concealed and it starts to leak out, there’s a good chance that the pressure cooker will explode. The last thing you want is boiling liquid splattering all over you.
Even though these gaskets are called rubber, they’re sometimes made of silicone.
Each time you use the pressure cooker, you should clean it immediately after cooking. During the cleaning process, it’s important to remove the gasket and clean it thoroughly. Make sure to dry it off completely before placing it back into the lid.
To wash the gasket, use soapy water; don’t put it in the dishwasher since it could cause it to shrink or warp. Shrinkage of the pressure cooker gasket might cause pressure to release; don’t try to stretch or force the sealing ring onto the lid. While you’re washing it, look for cracks or tears. Even a very small crack can make the gasket snap while it’s in the pressure cooker. If it snaps, the lid of the cooker is no longer sealed, and pressure starts to release itself.
Read through your pressure cooker instruction manual for directions on how to accurately place the gasket in the lid. Some require it to go a certain direction.
When it’s time to replace the rubber gasket in your pressure cooker, do your research to figure out which one will fit in it correctly. Your instruction book will most likely have this information. If you can’t figure out which one to buy, look at some of these options listed below.
Fits Instant Pot Mini 3-quart, Duo Mini 3-quart, LUX Mini 3-quart, DUO Plus Mini 3-quart, and Ultra Mini 3-quart
Fits IP-DUO60, IP-LUX60, IP-DUO50, IP-LUX50, Smart-60, IP-CSG60, and IP-CSG50
Fits on 6-quart Presto pressure cookers
Fits WHA-VEVE0601GDXF3US, and WHA-VE0601GDUS
Comes with silicone gasket, pressure regulator, and pressure control valve. Compatible with 4.4-quart pressure cooker.
Fits 8-Liter Jumbo, 10-Liter, 12-Liter, and 14-Liter
Fits 7-Liter Jumbo and 9-Liter
Fits 3.5-Liter and 7-Liter
When the rubber sealing gasket in your pressure cooker starts to go bad, it may or may not be noticeable. Usually, if there is a serious problem with the rubber, you will start to see steam coming out from the side of the lid. Some pressure cookers release small amounts of steam at regular intervals; don’t mistake these two. You know it’s a problem when the steam is coming out from the crack between the lid and the base of the pressure cooker.
When the steam starts to release in this way, or if anything seems wrong, you must be careful when you go to take the rubber gasket out. Start by slowly releasing the steam and then allow time for the pressure to go down to a safe level. You can then remove the lid and look at the gasket.
When you first see the steam leaking while you’re cooking, try to remember where it was at on the pressure cooker so that you can look at that specific spot on the sealing ring. Even if you can’t find a crack on the ring, if it’s leaking steam in weird places, replace the gasket; it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Another way to determine if you have a bad sealing gasket is if you have to cook food in the pressure cooker for an extra-long amount of time compared to the past. When you’re using a pressure cooker, if any sort of pressure is released, even in the tiniest amount, the food inside doesn’t cook all the way through.