Instant pots are great for anumber of things from cooking meats fast, creating flavourful soups or even whipping up a quick and easy breakfast. But you might discover over time a metallic taste within your food.
An easy to way prevent a metallic taste when cooking food in an instant pot is to make sure that the pot is clean and has no surface scratches as this can lead to the metallic taste. Make sure you are using a stainless steel pot as these are the best and less likely to produce a metallic taste.
In this article we are going to be covering the reasons you might have a metallic taste in your food, why it is happening and how to prevent it.
Why Might You Experience a Metal Taste from Food in an Instant Pot?
Generally, a stainless pot is the most common type of cookware and is widely regarded as the best material for cooking because of its non-reactive nature. This means there is no chemical reaction when you’re cooking acidic foods.
Reactions occur most often in cookware made from aluminum. However, there will also be reactions in pots and pans with a low level of nickel when cooking acidic foods.
If you’re using a low-percentage nickel pot and experiencing a metal-like taste in foods like lemon juice and tomatoes, it’s because they have acidic contents.
The longer you leave your food in the instant pot, the more time it has to react with the metal. Even leftover food will continue to react and possibly affect the future contents of the pot.
How to Prevent Metal Taste in an Instant Pot
Of course there are ways in which you can prevent the metal taste in an instant pot. If these don’t work I suggest heading back to the place you bought it or contacting the manufactuer.
Buy Quality Wares
The first important step you need to take to avoid tasting metal flavor in your meals is to buy top quality cookware or instant pot. Most stainless pots or cookware are known to contain a good percentage of chromium and nickel.
It’s imperative that you purchase pans and pots with a high nickel percentage as they’re less reactive and produce little or no metallic taste.
Basically, if the nickel percentage is higher than 8% then you’re in the clear, but any lower and you’re likely to taste metal in your foods.
Look Out for Surface Scratches
While purchasing a pot with high nickel content is a good move, you still have to ensure isn’t damaged. If the surface of your pan or pot is damaged, it won’t matter if it has a high nickel percentage.
You cannot be too careful about surface scratches. Although stainless pots and pans are known to be stain-resistant, they’re not immune to scratches. Even the tiniest amount of scratch is enough to expose your pots to metal substances that adversely affect the taste of your meals.
Be Careful When Washing Your Pot
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to take action against stuck-on food particles while doing the dishes, the best course of action is to dip your pot in hot and soapy water to soften the stranglehold of the food.
This method will ensure you don’t have to scrub too hard and scratch the surface of your pot.
When washing your pots, it’s best to do so with mild dish detergent and a soft cloth. Using abrasive sponges and detergents will further increase the risk of scratching the surface of your pots. You should also be careful, when using your stainless spoons, not to leave scratches on your cooking pot.
Mineral buildups from your water is another hazard to worry about. This may seem a long stretch, but it might be best to wash your pots with distilled water.
Wash Your Pot On Time
You need to avoid leaving your food in the pan after cooking to reduce the time your pan has to react with the metal. Washing your pan and pots immediately is another way to remove any leftover acidic contents.
Another important point to note is to always wash and dry your pots and cookware immediately after purchase. A metallic taste is likely to be present in new cookware regardless of its quality.
This is because cookwares are cleaned and polished before they’re packaged and shipped out to retail stores. There’s a good chance that metallic taste particles are still lingering around because of the cleaning process.
Avoid Cooking Acidic Foods in Your Instant Pot
The stainless steel in an instant pot tends to react with foods of an acidic nature. I’m talking about your regular vinegar, tomato, as well as lemons and their juices. The more you cook these foods, the more the instant pot contaminates your meals with metal. Hence, you shouldn’t use an instant pot for such items.
Try to use vegetable or canola cooking oil in food preparation. These oils are known to fill the microscopic pits in your pots. That will create some sort of fence between stainless steel and food.
If you think it’s normal or “okay” for your meals to keep having a metallic taste, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Here’s a list of some of the foods that could develop a metallic taste when cooked in an instant pot:
- Tomato sauce
- Table salt
- Citrus juice
- Lemon juice
Ways To Prevent Scratches When Cleaning Your Instant Pot
There are 5 basic rules to follow when it comes to preventing scratches when you clean your pots and pans.
1. Maintain Room Temperature
Ensure your pan is under a stable room temperature condition before dipping it in water. Sudden temperature changes are not good for cookware and can significantly damage your pot or pan.
2. No Abrasive Materials
You shouldn’t do your dishes using bleach, steel wool, or other abrasive materials since they can scratch your stainless steel pot easily.
3. Wash Your Pot On Time
You need to avoid leaving your food in the pan after cooking to reduce the time your pan has to react with the metal.
Washing your pan and pots immediately is another way to remove any leftover acidic contents. It’s perhaps most effective to clean your pan while it’s still warm because it will make your life a lot easier. Don’t give the dirt and grease a chance to build up in the first place.
4. Avoid Scrubbing Your Pan While It’s Hot
It has to be warm and should be done using soap and an ordinary sponge. Nothing too thick. However, if it’s really dirty because you haven’t washed it for ages, you may use baking soda.
I say baking soda because it’s cost-friendly and there’s a high chance it’s already in your home. Moreover, baking soda clings to grease and makes scrubbing of dirt a lot easier. Remember not to let the baking soda dry out before you scrub off.
5. Bring On The Heat Only As A Last Resort
For stubborn and extreme dirt, you have to boil your pot, literally. Yes, you have to dip your pan in a larger pot and add water and baking soda.
After it’s done boiling, you can take your pan out while it’s hot and scrub away all dirt comfortably.
How To Remove Scratches From An Instant Pot
While it’s a strong option to stop using or throw out pots with scratches, having an instant pot with a few scratches doesn’t render it completely irredeemable. There are ways to successfully remove these scratches without having to purchase a new pot.
The most notable way to eliminate a scratch from your pot is by using scrotchbite. You carefully rub the pad on your pan following the grain of the metal. Ensure you don’t rub it against the grain because that can lead to a more noticeable scratch.
As soon as the scratch becomes less visible, use a microfiber cloth to polish the area. Another option is to use a stainless steel lubricant to give it a dazzling, shiny look.
What to Do When You Taste Metal in Your Food
Like I said earlier, the first step is to ascertain that the metallic taste is indeed from the food. Try drinking water and see if a strong metallic taste persists. If it washes off with the water, the problem may be from the food and its preparation with an instant pot.
You may not need to throw out the entire meal because the metallic concentration is quite negligible and shouldn’t harm you.
However, rectify the problem ASAP by using any of the preventive measures I mentioned earlier in this post. The sooner you take these steps the sooner you can return to enjoying the flavors in your meals.