Steaming - Boil

How to clean an instant pot that boiled over hard

A lot of people love the instant pot because it is a multi-functional kitchen appliance that can be used for both cooking and pressure cooking.
How to clean an instant pot that boiled over hard

Get your pot shining and clean again in less than 10 minutes with no scrubbing. HOW TO CLEAN A BURNT PRESSURE COOKER POT: Best pressure cooker hack ever!

I’ve got a tip/hack today that is essential for every pressure cooker in the entire world. It’s so important, I decided to make an entire post out of it.


Welcome to my course on How To Clean a Burnt Pressure Cooker Pot (AKA Instant Pot liner).

Oh, the bane of my existence is this scorched, burnt, impossible to remove layer of brown cement from the bottom of this pot here. And that isn’t even the worst I’ve ever seen! I’ve done much, much, MUCH worse damage than this!

A shot of a burnt instant pot

Every time I make Instant Pot Yogurt or Skyr I know that this will be the aftermath I deal with because truthfully I’m lazy/busy and don’t want to stir it while it’s coming up to temperature. But this can be a common occurrence if there’s not enough water in the pot for oatmeal, rice, pasta, or just about anything.

Before I learned this trick I tried soaking, scrubbing, soaking some more, dishwasher, Bar Keepers Friend (which works wonders on everything but this scorched mess, FYI!), but I always ended up basically scraping it off bit by bit with my fingernails. Gross, I know, but what else!

My sister Maegan is the one that taught me this trick of pressure cooking baking soda, dish soap, and water. When I first tried it, removed the lid, and saw a nasty brown layer floating in my pots soapy water, I literally squealed with disgusted delight and showed my whole family (who were equally disgusted because it really does look kinda gross, just warning ya).

In minutes it went from that burnt pot above to literally being able to wipe away any extra stuck-on residue with a silicone spatula (or a paper towel even).

A blue spatula in an instant pot scraping off burnt mess

A quick rinse and a 5 second scrub later, your pot looks like this

Top shot of a clean instant pot

It’s actually glowing with silver sun rays.

The process is so incredibly easy, I can break it down into 3 easy steps:


  • Step 1: Add water, baking soda, and soap to the pot
  • Step 2: Pressure cook for 3 minutes; let the pressure naturally release
  • Step 3: Give it a quick rinse (possibly a light scrub) – you’re done!

Now go burn something! Then you too can discover the utter joy of disgusting brown floaties in your pot! Good times are ahead!

P.S. Don’t actually burn something on purpose ‘cuz I don’t wanna be liable for that. I was just being my typical, dramatic, sarcastic self there okay? Okay! But if you happen to burn something, send me a before and after picture when you use this trick! It just never gets old!



This trick for Cleaning a Burnt Pressure Cooker Pot will work on any brand of electric pressure cooker. I have not tested it on a stovetop pressure cooker.


If you want to return your pot to its brand new, shiny appearance, I suggest using Bar Keepers Friend Liquid Cleanser. Follow the instructions on the bottle and it will be gleaming in no time!


It’s a good idea to give your entire pressure cooker a thorough cleaning from time to time. For ideas on how to clean the seal, lid, rim, and more, see my friend Jennie’s post on How to Clean Instant Pot 101.


  • USE ENOUGH LIQUID: Most recipes will need at least 1 cup of liquid to create pressure and prevent burning. This rule of thumb can vary with food like meat and fruit that release liquid as the pot is heating up.
  • AVOID THICK LIQUIDS: Liquids that are thick like tomato based sauces and sweet sauces like BBQ or Teriyaki are often the culprit of the dreaded Instant Pot BURN message. Add them after the food is cooked or add water to the pot to thin them out before pressure cooking.
  • DEGLAZE THE POT: If you saute vegetables or sear meat in the pot, you will likely have browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add a splash of liquid and use a wooden spoon to scrape them up before pressure cooking.
  • CHECK THE SEAL AND PRESSURE RELEASE KNOB: The silicone seal must be installed correctly and the knob turned to a sealed position to prevent the liquid from inside the pot from evaporating. If the liquid evaporates, the food inside will burn on the bottom of the pot.
  • Instant Pot
  • Mrs. Meyer’s Lavender Dish Soap
  • Bar Keepers Friend
  • Baking Soda
  • Silicone Spatulas (my favorite ones!)

New to the Instant Pot world? Here are my favorite Instant Pot accessories on Amazon, as well as the top healthy Instant Pot recipes to try. I also recommend you check out my cookbook Master the Electric Pressure Cooker.


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