How to rid your Instant Pot ring of that nasty smell

Maybe you've figured out how to stop ruining your frying pans, and know exactly how to manage your slow cooker, but if you're new to the world of Instant Pot cooking, there are certain things that might surprise you. For instance, did you know that without proper cleaning your Instant Pot sealing ring is likely to take on a nasty smell? 

The silicone ring inside the lid of your Instant Pot is there to keep things sealed up tight when the pressure cooker is in use, but over time, no matter how well you clean the lid, the smells of the food you cook can get absorbed by the ring and start to linger. Water and other grimy bits can also get caught behind the ring. 

While you can just buy a new one, if you're trying to reduce your contributions to your local landfill, learning how to clean your Instant Pot ring is actually pretty easy (via The Kitchn). 

If your ring is only slightly stinky, you can run it through the dishwasher. But if the odor is persistent, there are a couple of ways to tackle it. 

First, you can simply fill your Instant Pot with two cups white vinegar and seal the lid. Set your Instant Pot to "steam," and let the machine basically clean itself for two minutes. The steamy vinegar acts as a deodorizer. When done, remove the ring from your Instant Pot and let it air dry before you put it back in the lid. 

The second method also involves white vinegar. Remove the Instant Pot ring from the lid, then add it to a sheet pan filled with white vinegar and water. Laying it on the sheet pan lets it soak thoroughly without getting misshapen like it would in a bowl. Let it sit as long as you can, then wash with soap and water and air dry thoroughly before using again (via Bon Appétit). 

If you're really particular about scents, it might be worth it to keep two Instant Pot sealing rings on hand — one for savory dishes, and one for sweet, so you can avoid cross contamination, but Urvashi Pitre, author of Indian Instant Pot, notes, "The main thing is that just because the ring smells doesn't mean it transfers the smell to the food, so people need to not worry quite as much as they do."