How to Get a Stuck Lid Off of a Pressure Cooker

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Watch a pressure cooker carefully after you finish cooking to keep the lid from sticking.

The pressure cooker, once a kitchen mainstay, is reappearing in many modern kitchens because of the easy cooking process it offers to busy cooks. You can use a pressure cooker to safely help you prepare many delicious entrees. After you finish cooking the foods in the pressure cooker, you must allow the pressure to dissipate inside the appliance before easily removing the lid. Sometimes the lid will become stuck on a pressure cooker, however, and you will have to try a few steps to remove it.


Step 1

Place the pressure cooker back onto the heat source and reheat it until the gauge reaches zero again to release the vacuum created inside the pressure cooker.

Step 2

Remove the pressure cooker from the heat again and place the pressure cooker into the sink. Run cool water over the lid of the pressure cooker without allowing water to block the vent.

Step 3

Press down firmly on the center of the lid while turning it to break the seal.

Step 4

Tap around the entire rim of the pressure cooker lightly with a rubber mallet. Tapping the rim of the appliance may release the vacuum inside the appliance.

Step 5

Try to remove the lid again by pressing down firmly while turning it. The combination of reheating, cooling and tapping should be enough to break the vacuum.


If water or something else clogs the vent through which steam escapes, you may create a vacuum inside the pressure cooker that makes it very difficult to remove the lid. Follow the procedure for either natural release or quick release of the steam inside the pressure cooker to avoid a stuck lid. If you choose to use the natural release method, remove the pressure cooker from the source of heat and allow it to cool slowly at room temperature until the pressure gauge reaches zero. Use the quick release method on a newer model pressure cooker by pushing a pressure release button or turning a knob to release the pressure within the pressure cooker quickly.


If you find the lid sticking often, you may need to replace the gasket.



Kathryn Hatter

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.