Pressure Cooker Lid Jammed (Here is the FIX)

Has your pressure cooker lid jammed at any point when cooking? If yes, what was the step you took to open it? Several ways you can open up a jammed pressure cooker lid exist. 

However, if this is your first time using a pressure cooker, you may feel the appliance has been damaged when the lid gets stuck. But that isn’t the case. 

A pressure cooker’s lid getting stuck is a common experience for many. But the good thing is you can successfully open up the jammed lid. 

We’ll discuss why pressure cooker lids get stuck, including how you can open yours up, and more on this topic. Continue reading for more details.

Reasons For The Pressure Cooking Lid Getting Stuck

The reasons for your pressure cooking lid could be due to high pressure build up, getting stuck, damaged gasket, gasket stick to pressure cooker lid and pressure cooker brand. But the good thing is, regardless of why the lid jammed, you can always open it. 

Here are the possible reasons your pressure cooker lid got stuck. 

1: High internal pressure buildup:

The pressure cooker is designed to cook food fast, but it boasts an incredible safety feature, which is underappreciated. This safety feature ensures the pressure cooker’s lid remains shut even after turning off the appliance. Why? The reason is because of the pressure inside the device. 

If the pressure is too high and can cause potential harm, the lid will remain stuck until it’s safe for you to open. 

Another related reason is the pressure lock feature. The pressure lock feature can prevent the pressure cooker’s lid from opening. In this scenario, the lid won’t rotate even when the cooker has cooled down. 

In other words, whenever you try rotating the lid to open it, a small pin will pop up. 

The pin is an indication that your pressure cooker boasts a lock feature. The pin shuts the lid when cooking, making it impossible to open when the pressure inside is super high. 

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Sometimes, the pin might be stuck in the up position, particularly when cooking thicker liquids. 

2: Damaged gasket:

The gasket could be another reason your pressure cooker lid has refused to open. The gasket on the appliance may have been damaged. 

However, ensure you don’t damage the gasket any further by trying to force the lid open. Why? Besides the fact that damaging the gasket will expose you to danger, it will truncate the normal operations of the cooker. 

A damaged gasket will not allow the pressure cooker to build enough pressure to cook foods faster. 

3: Gasket sticks to the pressure cooker lid:

The pressure cooker’s job is to cook food. And you should expect the foods to be exposed to the gasket. 

Over time, the gasket will absorb food odor and become sticky and eventually, it may stick to the lid. 

4: The pressure cooker brand:

What brand of pressure cooker are you using? Does the lid get stuck often? If your answer is yes, the brand could be the culprit. 

While all pressure cooker lids can get stuck or become challenging to open, the truth is that some brands’ lids get stuck more often than others. 

However, remember that cheaper pressure cooker brands could be more prone to jamming than the more expensive ones

In addition, you must understand one must never be careless when cooking with a pressure cooker. And you must understand how to operate it to avoid any negative experience.

What Should You Do To Open Up a Jammed Pressure Cooker Lid?

You can try various methods to open up a jammed cooker lid. However, you must avoid using force to open the lid, as this could be dangerous. 

Here are ways you can open your stuck pressure cooker lid:

  • Use the cold water method: All you have to do is place the pressure cooker in the sink and run cold water on top. When you do this, you’ll hear a hissing sound. At this point, note that the metal has started contracting. The lid will start popping out gradually.
  • You can try removing the pressure cooker lid by pressing it. You’ll need to have some patience to achieve your aim. Just work your way around the cover until it becomes loose. You don’t even require much effort to accomplish this. 
  • Check the countdown timer: Are you using an automatic pressure cooker? If yes, is the cooker’s lid refusing to come off? If the answer is yes, the cooker’s countdown timer could be the culprit. An active timer indicates that there’s still pressure in the cooker. So, check the timer. If it’s still active, you have to exercise patience. Wait for the timer to turn zero to open the lid. 
  • Replaced damaged gasket: If your pressure cooker has a damaged gasket, you must replace it. Note that a damaged gasket can make it difficult for your cooker lid to come off. However, if the gasket has absorbed some food and has become sticking, ensure you wash it with soap and water. 

What Should You Do If Your Float Valve Hasn’t Dropped Yet

The simple thing you can do if your float valve hasn’t dropped yet is to clean the valve itself. This valve is supposed to be loose and move freely between natural pressure and venting. 

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So, if your pressure cooker’s floating valve gets stuck, it, therefore, means that food particles have clogged the valve. 

What you have to do in this scenario is this. Unclog the valve and have the lid around the valve washed. 

How Long Do You Have To Wait Before You Can Open a Pressure Cooker?

Before opening a pressure cooker, you must wait for 10 to 15 minutes. Start counting from the moment you stop cooking your food. 

It is necessary to be patient when dealing with a pressure cooker. So, before using your cooker, be ready to wait a bit for the pressure to drop naturally. Avoid forcing the cooker’s lid open because you’re in a hurry. 

Waiting for 10 to 15 minutes would allow the cooker’s internal pressure and temperature to drop to safe levels. However, if the lid remains stuck after waiting 10 to 15 minutes, it means the pressure is still there. In this scenario, you have to wait a little longer.

The floating valve indicates the level of pressure inside the cooker. So, pay attention to this valve. If it falls after a while, the pressure inside the cooker has dropped to zero.

At this point, the pressure cooker is safe to open. It doesn’t matter if the waiting time is up to 10 or 15 minutes. 

What Happens If You Open a Pressure Cooker Without Depressurizing It First?

You could sustain severe injury if you open a pressure cooker without depressurizing it first. The reason is that pressure has been built in the cooker and hasn’t been released. 

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So, when you open the cooker too soon, the unreleased pressure can make the appliance explode. This explosion and the steam inside the appliance can cause severe burns or injuries to anyone nearby. 

Understand that pressure cookers can heat their content 40 degrees higher than the usual boiling point. So, the foods or content in these cookers are hot and dangerous. 

Severe injuries and even death are possible when standing close to a pressure cooker that explodes. 

If you’re standing close to a pressure cooker when it explodes, the force it exacts might also knock you back.

So use your pressure cooker as directed by the manufacturer. Do not open the appliance until you’re sure that the pressure has dropped to zero. 

How Do You Quick Release a Pressure Cooker?

How you quick release a pressure cooker depends on the type of cooker you’re dealing with. The two types include a stovetop pressure cooker and an electric pressure cooker (instant pot). 

Here is how to quickly release pressure in both cookers. 

For the stovetop pressure cooker, you have to turn the heat off, place the cooker in the sink and turn on the tap. Allow water to pour on the lid (for some minutes) before removing the cover. 

For the instant pot (electric pressure cooker), hit the cancel button when you finish cooking. Then turn the release knob to the venting position. When you do, the pressure within the cooker will come out gradually. This method is called quick release. 

The quick-release method has some benefits. It saves time and ensures you don’t overcook your food. 

A Handy Tip: It takes roughly 2 to 3 minutes for the pressure to be released when using quick release.


Is your pressure cooker lid jammed? If yes, you don’t have to panic. We have discussed possible reasons, including how to open a stuck lid successfully. 

We also discussed the dangers of first opening a pressure cooker without depressurizing it. Please, note that such an act is dangerous. One could suffer severe burns or something worse, such as death.

If you’re in a hurry and can’t wait for the temperature and pressure of your pressure cooker to drop naturally, you can try the quick-release method. This is better than forcefully opening the lid.

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)