Solution: Get To Know Your Instant Pot And When In Doubt Add Extra Water/thin Liquid If You Feel Your Pot Is Going To Need It
After being an Instant Pot owner for a few years now, this particular issue can be tricky, because what works in my pot might not work perfectly for yours. I want to be able to tell everyone EXACTLY how much liquid to use, but for a small percentage of you, it might need to be trial and error. So when in doubt, add the extra liquid the first time around and see how it goes.
Also, looking for tried and true recipes that have good reviews or are shared in Instant Pot groups is always a good idea!
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Is It Better To Slow Cook In An Instant Pot On Low Or High
The low setting takes longer than the high setting. Once that temperature is achieved, the appliance stabilizes at that temperature to allow for the ingredients to be cooked. This means most recipes can be cooked in either setting. Or if a recipe calls for eight hours on high, it can be cooked for up to 12 hours on low.
How Will I Know It Is Safe To Open My Instant Pot
You will need to wait until the float drops back into the plastic before you move to open the Instant Pot.
When the instant pot lid looks similar to this with the metal valve dropped below the plastic level this is when the instant pot has depressurized and it is safe to open the lid.
If the instant pot looks more like the image below where the metal valve is still visible this is a clear indication that the instant pot has not depressurized and is unsafe to open.
How long the Instant Pot takes to depressurize will depend on whether you decide to adjust the vent from the sealing position to the venting position.
When adjusting this setting youll want to keep your head away from the Instant Pot and use a tool to adjust it instead of your hands as the machine will likely be very hot.
If your Instant Pot is set to natural release then the pressure will likely take anything from between 10 minutes to one hour to come down to a point in which youre able to open the Instant Pot.
However, if your Instant Pot is set to quick release then youll be able to open your lid around two minutes after the timer has stopped counting down
Quick-release will mean that the steam comes out of the vent in a higher volume which can be more dangerous so be sure to give the machine some space and keep your face away from it at this time.
When you do open your Instant Pot be sure that you do so by pointing the inside of the lid away from your face.
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Q: What Is A Quick Pressure Release
A quick pressure release is when you turn the pressure release switch to the Venting position and let the steam to release quickly when the cook time ends. This will result in a strong jet of steam coming from the pressure release valve. This is normal. If drops of liquid or foam start to emerge from the pressure release valve, simply switch the valve back to the Sealed position and use an Intermittent Pressure Release .
- Instant Pot Duo: Turn the pressure release handle from Sealing to Venting .
- Ninja Foodi: Turn the pressure release valve from Seal to Vent.
- Crockpot Express: Turn the steam release valve from the Closed/Seal position to the Open/Release position .
- Power Pressure Cooker XL: Turn the pressure valve from the Lock position to the Open position .
- Fagor Pressure Cooker: Turn the valve from Pressure to Steam.
- Cuisinart: Turn the valve from Pressure to Pressure Release.
- Pampered Chef Quick Cooker: Press the Steam Release Button on the lid handle.
Other pressure cookers may have different labels, but its the same basic principle. Turn the valve to allow the steam to escape / pressure to release.
When the pressure is fully released, the float valve will drop and the lid will unlock to open. For safety reasons, the pressure cooker will not open until the pressure is released and the float valve has dropped.
Keep your face and hands away from the steam as its released. Dont release pressure under hanging cabinets, which can be damaged by the steam.
Overfilling Your Instant Pot Can Lead To A Messy Kitchen And Undercooked Food
No matter how hungry you are, your Instant Pot can only handle so much food. Overfilling the appliance can result in poorly cooked food or even leakage.
“This is a messy mistake because you risk a lot of splatter in the kitchen. Pay attention to the max fill line to avoid this,” registered dietitian Rachel Fine told Insider.
Make sure your Instant Pot is never more than 2/3 full. And if you’re cooking food that expands, such as rice or quinoa, don’t fill the appliance more than halfway.
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Q: What Is A Natural Pressure Release
A natural pressure release is when you leave the pressure release switch in the Sealed position when the cook time ends. This lets the pressure release slowly, without you doing anything. When the pressure is fully released, the float valve will drop and the lid will unlock and open.
A natural pressure release is a bit anticlimactic in comparison to a quick pressure release. There is no jet of steam when the natural pressure release starts. Theres also no clear way to tell when the pressure is fully released, and no beep or signal when the lid unlocks. Sometimes you can hear the float valve drop if youre close by.
The time it takes for the pressure to release naturally will vary depending on the ingredients and amount of liquid in the pressure cooker. A natural pressure release can take from 5 to 30 minutes in the electric pressure cooker.
Food inside the cooking pot will continue to cook as the pressure decreases.
Not Enough Liquid In Your Instant Pot
The next time my Instant Pot said burn, it was because there wasnt enough liquid in my Instant Pot.
See, you need liquid to make sure that your Instant Pot has enough to come to pressure.
And even if you add liquid, you may not have enough.
Especially if you are cooking foods that typically absorb liquid!
Thankfully, theres a super easy fix for this one too.
First, you cancel cooking and release pressure.
Then you add more liquid.
Then you can start cooking again.
And thats it. I told you its super easy!
Read Also: Instant Pot Burn Message
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What Does Instant Pot Food Burn Message Mean
The Instant Pot burn message is part of the built-in safety measures that help prevent the unit from overheating and causing for to burn.
This message usually occurs during the middle of a cooking cycle, which can be frustrating and lead to delays because the unit will stop cooking once this message is displayed.
Lets take a look at some of the most common reasons for the food burn Instant Pot message, and then Ill give you some tips for how to proceed when the Instant Pot says burn!
The Instant Pot Keeps Beeping
Its normal for the pot to beep as it starts to heat, beep when its starting the timer, and beep when the timer is done. If its beeping otherwise, that usually means something is wrong, and you should look to see if theres a code flashing on the screen. This most often indicates an overheating issue that your Instant Pot wants you to know about ASAP.
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I Cant Seal My Instant Pot Lid
The pot lid can be tricky to lock and unlock without a little practice. If you are new to your Instant Pot, try moving the lid back and forth from the locked position until you get the hang of it. If you know for sure that your lid isnt locking properly, look for food blockages or a sign of a slipped sealing ring. The lid may also be damaged, but this is relatively rare Instant Pot lids are very tough.
Lets Try The Quick Release
Back to our pot of water: Push the steam release valve to the venting position using a long-handled spoon or your finger. Just keep your fingers to the side and away from the top of the knob where the steam vents.
This valve should stay open on its own once you nudge it. The steam will come shooting up and be a little noisy.
Releasing all of the steam can take a minute or more. The more liquid in the cooker, the longer the release will take. With the 3 cups of water, it took mine 45 seconds.
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Instant Pot Recipes Made Simple
Do you wish you could find one-pot meals that are simple and easy to make and your family will love?
Youre about to find out how simple it is to make healthy, one-pot meals with your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker with my cookbook Instant Pot Recipes Made Simple. You can download it instantly to your phone, computer or e-reader, so its portable and can go with you anywhere!
With this book, youll get:
- Tried-and-true recipes the whole family will love including pot roast, spaghetti, tacos, carnitas, soups, and easy breakfast meals
- Instant Pot starter guide on how to use the buttons, tips and tricks, and more
- Printable shopping lists for ingredients
- Step-by-step video lesson on how to use your Instant Pot, pressure cooker safety, and some of my favorite tips and tricks
- Two-week meal plan that you can put into action for no-stress weeknight dinners
Your Ingredients Do Not Have Enough Liquid
This is another widespread cause of the burning sign in a number of electric pressure cooker. The burn sign can also be triggered if there is an absence of enough liquid inside your ingredients. This is automatically received that your food is burning and as such, it wont cook properly due to no steam. However, in this case also all you have to do is release the pressure, add some more liquid and begin preparing again. As simple as that!
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Fill Your Cooker The Right Way
What you put in an Instant Pot matters. Too much food or liquid in your Instant Pot while pressure cooking can lead to dangerous pressure levels.
As a rule of thumb, don’t let the total amount of precooked food and liquid in the inner pot go over the two-thirds line. If you are pressure cooking food that expands like rice, beans, pasta or dried vegetables, be even more cautious. Only fill the inner pot to half full. Also, always add at least 2 cups of water or other liquids when pressure cooking or the unit won’t pressurize properly.
Cranberries, applesauce, cereals like pearl barley, split peas, noodles and rhubarb can sputter or foam. This can cause the steam release valve to clog, creating too much pressure. Instant Pot recommends only using these ingredients when an Instant Pot recipe states it’s OK.
Tips For Instant Pot Saut Mode
- After you press the Sauté button, wait for the pot to get hot before adding your food. The display on most models will show Hot when the pot is hot.
- Add cooking oil before adding meats or vegetables to the pot. The exception is that you do not need to add oil if you are browning ground beef or another meat that will release its own fat as it cooks.
- When browning pieces of meat, such as chicken thighs, do not move the meat until it has formed a browned crust on the bottom. This usually takes a few minutes. Trying to move the meat too soon can cause it to stick to the bottom of the pot. Its also important to use enough oil, as I have found that delicate meats such as chicken tend to stick easily to the bottom of the pot.
- Always deglaze the pot after sautéing. This means that you pour in a some of your cooking liquid, such as broth or water, and scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot. If you do not do this, you are much more likely to get a burn message while pressure cooking. Learn more about how to prevent the Instant Pot burn message here.
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How To Cook With The Instant Pot
How you use your Instant Pot depends on what you’re cooking. But, many recipes — especially those involving meat — tend to follow this formula:
The above steps can vary quite a bit, depending on the recipe, but most of what I cook in my Instant Pot follows that sequence.
Here, the Instant Pot’s valve is in Sealing position.
Slow Normal Pressure Release
This is a relatively fast opening method and can take from 5 to 6 minutes depending on the pressure cooker type and fill level . Similar to Normal release, this method releases pressure using the cookers valve, or the pressure releasing mechanism, but pressure should be released very slowly. If the valve only allows for pressure to release full-throttle, the cook should release it in very short bursts- if anything other than steam sprays out of the valve , the valve should be closed for 10 seconds before the next slow release or short burst. The Slow Normal release is for occasions where its just not practical or convenient to wait for the full Natural or 10-Minute Natural release or for tricky foods .
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Im Getting An Error Code Message
Instant Pots use error codes to indicate specific problems. If a code is popping up, you should look it up to see what it means. You can find a list of the codes on the support page. C1, for example, means theres a faulty temperature sensor, C5 means that theres not enough water in the inner pot, and so on.
How Do I Get Into This Thing When Its At Pressure
Now you need to release the pressure. There are two ways:
- Natural release: That means you do nothing but wait. The more food in the Instant Pot, the longer it takes for the pressure to come downas long as 30 minutes if you have, say, a big batch of chili. In a lot of recipes, this time is actually part of the cooking time, and the recipe will specify natural release in the instructions. Think of it as carryover cooking. Youll use natural release with dried beans, a lot of soups and stews, most meats, steamed desserts, and long-cooking vegetables.
- Quick release: With this method, you use the quick release valve and steam shoots up out of it. Once again, the more food in your Instant Pot, the longer it takes for the steam to release. Youll use quick release for quick-cooking foods like tender vegetables and seafoods.
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When To Open Instant Pot: The Safest Time To Do It
One of the most asked questions regarding Instant pots is when to open an instant pot, more precisely, when to open an Instant Pot.
There have been many questions regarding just how safe an Instant Pot or any other pressure cooker for that matter, is.
These questions arise due to the fact that there have been reports of pressure cookers exploding causing serious burns and in less serious cases, minor burns.
The Instant Pot should be opened when all the pressure has been released if you are pressure cooking. You will know when all the pressure is out when the float valve goes down completely in some models of the Instant Pot or is flash with the lid surface in other models.
At that point, you can safely open the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot comes with an in-built safety feature which does not allow you to open the lid while its still under pressure.
This is the case in general but independent tests have been done on 3 models and it was discovered that one of them actually did open while pressure cooking.
There have been a few documented cases of accidents with an Instant Pot that have led to serious injury due to no fault of the user but the majority of burns are due to user negligence especially when releasing steam to depressurize it.
I am going to look at how you can safely release pressure from an Instant Pot so you avoid any of these accidents to you and your loved ones.
Advantages Of Magic Release
This pressure release method is something of a compromise between the Natural Release and Quick Release methods. Its a good option to choose when youre not sure which method to use, or the Instant Pot recipe youre using isnt clear about how you should depressurize the pot.
Magic Release also mediates some of the disadvantages of the other two methods. Its faster than Natural Release and gentler than Quick Release, so you can eat sooner and have less of a mess to clean up afterward.
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