Instant Pot Parts Reference Guide
Get your new pressure cooker out of the box and get cooking! In this Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Parts Reference Guide, I break down the basic parts of electric pressure cookers, including specific details for the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, Crockpot Express, Power Pressure Cooker XL.
Welcome to Part 1 of the How To Use an Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Getting Started Guide! There are five parts to this Getting started Guide:
- Pressure Cooker Parts Reference Guide – you’re here!
- The Difference Between Quick Release and Natural Release
- How to do an Instant Pot Water Test
- Making your First Meal in your Instant Pot
- Easy Recipes for your Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot
Part 1 will help you get to know the different parts of your machine. For a full understanding of your specific pressure cooker’s parts, be sure to check out the diagrams in your user manual.
All electric pressure cookers are made up of similar parts with similar functions. However, the various electric pressure cooker brands use slightly different terms to refer to the different parts and pieces that make up the machine. To help you make sense of everything, I’ve compiled a quick guide to the different pressure cooker parts with the terminology I use on my blog as well as the terminology used by the different pressure cooker user manuals.
Pressure Cooker Parts Reference Guide
This is the exterior pot, the outside of the pressure cooker. The housing contains the electronics, the buttons, and the heating element. Also called:
- Instant Pot Duo: Exterior Pot
- Ninja Foodi: Cooker Base
- Crockpot Express: Heating Base
- Power Pressure Cooker XL: Base
Always use your Housing with the interior pressure cooking pot in place. NEVER ADD INGREDIENTS DIRECTLY TO THE HOUSING.
✨ When cleaning your housing, wipe with a soft, damp cloth. NEVER submerge the housing in water.
Pressure Cooking Pot
This is the interior pot, the one that fits inside the housing. This is where you’ll put the ingredients. Also called:
- Instant Pot Duo: Inner Pot – a stainless steel pot, with a ceramic nonstick pot available for purchase
- Ninja Foodi: Removable Cooking Pot – a ceramic nonstick pot
- Crockpot Express: Cooking Pot – a nonstick pot (no teflon coating)
- Power Pressure Cooker XL: Inner Pot – a nonstick pot with a teflon coating.
✨ When cleaning your pressure cooking pot, you’ll want to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Some brands, like Instant Pot and Ninja Foodi, allow you to wash the cooking pot in the dishwasher. However, I baby my pots and pans and prefer to hand wash my pressure cooking pot.
The lid locks in place on top of the housing—pretty self-explanatory. The pressure cooker lid contains a pressure release switch and float valve on top, while the underside of the lid holds the silicone gasket and a mini-gasket that locks into place on the float valve.
In most brands, the lid is a single solid piece that the silicone gasket attaches to; however, the Power Pressure Cooker XL has an inner liner that attaches to the gasket and presses into place on the lid.
✨ To clean the lid, I prefer to use a cloth or sponge with soapy water to clean the metal underside of the lid and rinse immediately in the sink. I never submerse my lid in water and let it soak. (It can make it hard for the water to come out.)
Pressure Release Switch
In my first cookbook, I called this part the Pressure Release Valve. However, after getting a number of questions from readers confused by having both a float valve and a pressure release valve, I’ve started calling this little part on the lid’s exterior a pressure release switch to avoid confusion. This part goes by a slightly different name in each model. Here’s the terminology for some of the most popular brands:
- Instant Pot Duo: Pressure Release Handle – turns from Venting (steam icon) to Sealing (triple-S icon)
- Ninja Foodi: Pressure Release Valve – turns from Vent to Seal
- Crockpot Express: Steam Release Valve – turns from Open/Release (steam icon) to Closed/Seal (X over the steam icon)
- Power Pressure Cooker XL: Pressure Valve – turns from Open (steam icon) to Lock (bulls-eye icon)
(Names used by other brands include including pressure limit valve, pressure regulator knob, steam release handle, steam release reset button, and rapid release button.)
No matter what you call it, this switch controls whether the steam inside the pot can escape. Switch it closed to build pressure in the pot and open it to release pressure.
In some models, like the Instant Pot Max, the steam release switch is replaced by a button. It is not removable and resets itself to the Sealed position each time you remove the lid.
In other models, the pressure release switch just sits loosely on top of the lid. (Don’t worry if you notice it jiggling—totally normal!) For these models, the switch can be removed for cleaning. Clean the switch with soap and water; do not put in the dishwasher.
This tiny pressure cooker part has a miniature silicone gasket attached to it to keep the pressure cooker airtight. This small valve is one of the safety features of electric pressure cookers. As your pressure cooker comes to pressure, the float valve is pushed up until the mini-gasket seals the cooker. When the float valve is up, the lid locks and cannot open.
✨ Exact names and cleaning instructions vary by brand; here are the recommendations for the most popular brands:
- Instant Pot Duo: Float Valve – take apart the float valve and mini gasket when cleaning
- Ninja Foodi: Float Valve – do not take apart the float valve assembly when cleaning
- Crockpot Express: Bobber Valve – the manual doesn’t specify whether to take it apart; however, it does encourage you to gently press the valve up and down 2-3 times and ensure it
is clear from debris before you begin using it
- Power Pressure Cooker XL: Floating Valve or Floating Valve, depending on your model – the manual doesn’t specify whether to take it apart; however, it says to when you clean the lid to make sure the float valve is free from debris and are able to move up and down freely.
This removable ring is made of tough, food-grade silicone and attaches to the underside of the lid. When the lid is locked in place, this ring creates the airtight seal that lets the pressure cooker come to pressure. Also called:
- Instant Pot Duo: Sealing Ring
- Ninja Foodi: Silicone Ring
- Crockpot Express: Sealing Gasket
- Power Pressure Cooker XL: Rubber Gasket
✨ You can choose to wash this in the dishwasher or by hand. (Some people think washing it in the dishwasher helps get rid of the smell; however, I haven’t found anything that fully gets rid of it.)
Some models of pressure cookers, including the Instant Pot, have a metal shield shield over the opening to the pressure release switch. It prevents food and foam from entering the pressure release switch. This shield is removable, though it can be difficult to get off of a brand new machine. After a few times taking it on and off, it gets easier to remove.
✨ If your model has a shield, I recommend removing it to clean and immediately replacing it to avoid losing any pieces.
>> That’s it for the pressure cooker parts! You’re ready to move on to the next section!
Part 2 in our Getting Started Guide will discuss everything you need to know about choosing a pressure release method, including how and when to use each type.
If you’re in a hurry to get cooking, you can always skip to our Make Your First Meal post and come back to review this information while you’re waiting for the chicken to cook.
Once you have your first meal under your belt, move on to some easy pressure cooking recipes. Before you know it, you’ll be making fabulous pressure cooker meals and wondering how you ever cooked without it!
The Getting Started Guide Series
- Pressure Cooker Parts Reference Guide – you’re here!
- Choosing a Pressure Release Method
- Water Test Run for the Instant Pot / Electric Pressure Cooker
- Make Your First Meal in Your Pressure Cooker
- Easy Recipes to Make in Your New Instant Pot / Electric Pressure Cooker
Other How To Guides
- How to Get a Pan Out of the Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot
- How to Know Which Instant Pot Button You Should Use?
- How to Use the Pot-in-Pot Method in Your Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot
- How to Convert a Recipe to a Pressure Cooker Recipe
- How to Pressure Cook Frozen Chicken Breasts
- How to Cook Pasta in the Instant Pot / Electric Pressure Cooker
- How to Make Perfect Pressure Cooker Cheesecake
- Our Favorite Pressure Cooker Accessories on Amazon here!
I have a 9.5 instapot PC’r I need another inner pot . I havent seen any this size available. Who has these?
Hi Christian – Instant Pot sold a 10 quart Instant Pot but not a 9 1/2 quart. Do you have a different brand? If you have an Instant Pot, you can look on the label on the back and it will tell you the size.
I have a power pressure cooker xl and I bought replacement gaskets. Can you advice how to get the steam valve back on it. I removed it and tried to put it back together with the new gaskets and it does not work. A picture would be helpful.
How do I use the instant pot pressure cooker as a slow cooker. I tried it once but the meat was not cooked. I’ve read since that you should use a glass lid. Will this make a difference. How do you use the slow cooker, maybe I used it wrongly.
Do you know where I can get a replacement pot for my Wolfgang Puck Pressure Cooker ? Thank you
Hi Elaine – I’m sorry I don’t but you could call Wolfgang Puck Customer Service: 1-866-444-4033 and see if they could point you in the right direction.
I lost that little ring on inside of the handle.What is it cost? Name…
What brand of pressure cooker do you have? Often the float valve is inside the handle and it has a mini gasket on the inside of the float valve. A replacement for an Instant Pot is about $8 just be sure and buy the correct size https://www.instanthome.com/product/instant-potr-duotm-float-valve
I bought an Intant Pot Duo and it has been sitting in the box since Christmas of 2020.
It came with the clear/white sealing ring attached and another red one.
I don’t have a clue what that one is for, so I’ve yet to use it.
Can you tell me if it just an extra or what it is for?
Hi Beverly – the red one is an extra one. The sealing rings absorb odors that are difficult to remove, so some people like to use one ring for sweet things and one for savory/strong flavor meals. I’ve got a great getting started guide https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/getting-started-with-your-new-electric-pressure-cooker-or-instant-pot/ to help you learn to use your Instant Pot. Have fun!
Crockpot Express lids were recalled.
Just recently received a notice.
Hi Matt – yes, some Crockpot Express lids are being replaced. There’s more information on their website https://recall.crock-pot.com/
Are the cooking pots interchangeable between brands? I’m looking to replace the pot in a Fagor brand 6 qt pressure cooker and they’re apparently no longer in business.
Hi Gabby – generally no the pots are not interchangeable. Fagor America is now Zavor and I believe their pots are interchangeable. https://parts.zavoramerica.com/collections/all/accessories
What does E6 mean? I started cooking a huge roast and megs. want to cook longer
Hi Sandy – which pressure cooker do you have? If you have a Crockpot Express E6 means the unit is getting too hot.
I have a technique pressure cooker.i can’t find where to buy a new seal for the lid.
Hi Ann – where did you purchase the pressure cooker? QVC?
How to get the pressure cooker XL off keep warm to cook longer
Hi Jessica – you can either press the Keep Warm/Cancel button or unplug it and plug it back in.
I used my Power Cooker 4-5 times ok. Now the lid seems loose & the “lid” error displays. Any ideas?
Are your inner lid and gasket on correctly?
I have an elite Bistro by maxi-matic and the float valve went missing. Any idea where I might purchase one? Model EPC 10130R.
thanks for your help
Hi Gail – have you tried contacting the company https://www.maxi-matic.com/contact-us/ (800) 365-6133
Where can I get a pressure lid ? I have a ninja gender crisp pressure cooker. Ok100 series
Hi Linda – you’ll need to contact Ninja to see if that’s available https://www.ninjakitchen.com/support/
I received a instant pot duo nova multi use pressure cooker 7 in 1 8 quart for Christmas And I just took out of the box and tried the water test. My guide book says put 3 cups water in the inner pot then put lid on and push the pressure cook button then set to 5 minutes then the display reads ON. Then when the float valve rises And it should go from ON to the countdown and it doesn’t. Do you know why. Please help
Hi Sheri – there will be a little bit of time from when the float valve rises until the Instant Pot is actually at pressure and starts to countdown. Just need to wait and it should be working.
received an instant pot for Christmas. I have another pressure cooker that I have been using for 3 years which I like.
with the new cooker, a RED GASKET was included. No where in any of the packaging tells me what the its for. doesn’t fit anywhere. what’s it for and where does it go??
Hi Sherry – it’s just an extra gasket. Many people like to use one for sweets and one for savory, so that’s the reason for the different colors, so they’re easy to tell apart. The gaskets absorb odors that can be difficult to get rid of.
Do you know where I can buy just the pressure lid?
Hi David – what brand and model of pressure cooker do you have?
I am trying to can some peas and I have steam coming out around the lid please help
Hi Buddy – if the steam is coming out around the edges of the lid, it’s usually because the gasket is not seated properly, your gasket is too loose or the gasket is broken. Try removing the gasket and putting it back on. If it still seems loose/stretch out, you can put it in the freezer for a little while, which can help it shrink back into shape. If it’s cracked or damaged, you’ll need to order a replacement gasket – available on Amazon or directly from Instant Pot.
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