If Your Instant Pot Is Not Sealing Properly:
Based on many hours of research, weve gone through the process of tracking down all of the possible reasons for this issue and compiled them into a single place to make things easier for Instant Pot users everywhere. When youre Instant Pot is being stubborn and not sealing properly, go through these items until youve found the solution.
The power cord is loose.
Believe it or not, this happens quite often and can be incredibly frustrating when youve gone through everything else and the entire time, the cord was just not firmly pushed in. For this reason, weve put this as #1 because frankly, its the easiest thing to check first.
The Fix: Push the cord in firmly and make sure it is not loose.
The lid is not locked correctly.
Sometimes, when putting the lid onto your Instant Pot, it is possible to turn it without it locking correctly. This itself can happen for a number of reasons.
The Fix: A solution that has worked for some people is to push down firmly on the lid while turning it until you hear a melody indicating that its closed.
The lid is jammed.
In some instances, its possible to jam the lid causing the Instant Pot not to seal correctly. This can happen by having debris in the track or something else stuck between the lid and the pot.
The Fixes: Give the lid a shake or rattle it back and forth. Also try pushing down on the lid. Once youve got it loose, make sure to clean the track on the pot and the lid thoroughly before trying again.
Why Is The Pressure Valve So Loose In Pressure Cooker
Pressure cookers are all about pressure created inside the pot to cook the food without the use of excessive oil and multiple cookwares. Various parts of the pressure cooker are very essential for generating pressure inside the pressure cooker.
Using a pressure cooker can be very tricky and sometimes you have to be very gentle for it. There are electrical pressure cookers and they will notify you for most of the things but conventional pressure cookers work with whistle voice so that they can tell you that the required pressure has been reached.
Why Keeping The Steam Release Sealed Is Important
Im usually alerted to the fact that I forgot to turn the venting knob by the sounds of a high-pitched hiss and the sputter of water. Its often right around the time Id expect the Instant Pot to come to pressure.
In order for pressure to build in the Instant Pot a necessary requirement for pressure cooking the steam release knob must be turned to the sealed position. This traps the steam pressure in the cooker, which builds over time, eventually pressure cooking the ingredients.
When this knob is set to the venting position, pressure is unable to build inside the Instant Pot, as the steam is continually escaping through the lid. Forgetting to adjust the knob to the sealed position certainly wont ruin dinner , but making sure its sealed before cooking is a simple yet crucial step. Heres hoping we both remember next time.
Our Favorite Instant Pot Recipes
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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.
How To Cook On Manual
When you use a manual setting, you are in charge of selecting the cook time, and the pressure in some models, rather than relying on one of the preset buttons like rice or stew. Older models of Instant Pot have a Manual button and newer models have a Pressure Cook button, but both buttons do the exact same thing.
To cook on manual, all you have to do is press the Manual or Pressure Cook button and then use the + or buttons to set the cook time. The Instant Pot automatically cooks on high pressure, but some models have a separate Pressure button that allows you to cook at low pressure if youd like to.
Make sure you secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing, to ensure the pot will come to pressure. Its also important that you follow a trusted Instant Pot recipe, so that you have sufficient liquid in the pot and that your ingredients are layered properly.
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Mistake #: Forgetting To Replace The Inner Pot
Its very convenient to be able to remove the inner pot for cleaning, but dont forget to put it back in! It may sound like a no-brainer, but its actually a pretty common mistake. You dont want to start putting food in your Instant Pot, only to realize you forgot to put the inner pot back in! That would not only be a huge mess for you to clean up, but it could also damage the electrical components inside.
What Is An Instant Pot
An Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker. It is a multi-use appliance that can cook foods quickly at high pressure. Steam pressure builds up inside the pot, which creates a higher temperature environment that cooks foods faster. Unlike old fashioned pressure cookers, the Instant Pot has many safety features that make it safe and easy to use.
An Instant Pot is a pressure cooker, sauté pot, slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, yogurt maker and warmer all in one. Ive been amazed at the versatility of my Instant Pot and the flavor and texture of the foods that I am able to cook in it. The high pressure inside the Instant Pot can tenderize even tough cuts of meat. It creates rich, complex flavors seriously, Ive never had better chili than Instant Pot chili!
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An 8 Quart Instant Pot
The 8-quart models are much more prone to overheating and getting a burn notice, as it is a bit more finicky and the saute function reaches higher temperatures.
To combat this, when using the saute, adjust to medium heat instead of high heat. Also, it is best to wait 5 minutes after you turn the saute function off to let the machine cool before proceeding to cook under pressure.
Final pro-Tip: Get to know your Instant Pot. They are like people. All are unique, and some are a bit more temperamental than others, if your pressure cooker is more apt to overheat and get a burn notice you need to be a bit more cautious and follow these tips closely. If your pot seems laid-back and easy-going–you can get away with a lot more.
If these tips did not solve your issue, contact Instant Pot Customer service who will be able to direct you accordingly.
This post was originally published in 2017 but was updated in 2020 with a few more common issues that readers have shared with me.
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.
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How To Make Sure The Instant Pot Is Sealed To Build Pressure
Check and make sure that the silicone sealing ring is properly seated around the ring rack. If it’s properly seated, you should be able to rotate it with some effort.
Take a look at the float valve and anti-block shield. The shield can be taken off to be cleaned after use, but you want to make sure that it’s back in place afterwards. Both the float valve and anti-block shield should be clean and free of debris.
Make sure that the pressure release valve is in place, and it is set to the Sealing position .
For those who have the Instant Pot Ultra model, it automatically seals for you so you don’t have to manually do it yourself.
How To Use Your Instant Pot
To avoid Instant Pot problems and learn how to use your Instant Pot, you can read the manual which you will find here:
We also recommend watching the video below:
Now that youve made yourself familiar with proper usage, if you are still experiencing problems such as your Instant Pot not sealing, please review the possible reasons and solutions below.
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Q: When Do I Use A Natural Pressure Release
Using a natural pressure release allows the cooking to stop gradually. You dont want to open the valve quickly when the ingredients inside could be foaming. Youll get foam shooting out through the valve, so use a natural pressure release when making steel cut oats, a large pot of soup or pasta.
You also want to use a natural release for large cuts of meat. Just like youd let meat rest after grilling it, a slow natural release is said to let the meat relax and be more tender.
Our Favorite Recipes to use Natural Pressure Release
During a natural release, the cooking continues so you need to take that in to account when determining your cook time. If a recipe calls for a Quick Release, you can use a Natural Release if you prefer, but reduce the cook time.
Silicone Cap Gets Stuck
This can happen if youve been cooking something in your instant pot which has small parts within it. For example, a rice dish, or even porridge is at risk of this happening. If a small piece of food is trapped within the silicone cap on the inside of the instant pot, then the valve will start to function poorly.
If this poor functioning is allowed to continue, the pin of the valve may fall out, or even get pushed out, by small pieces of food or the inherent pressure in an instant pot.
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How To Use The Ninja Foodi ~ Volume One: Getting Started
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First of all, Congratulations! You have made a terrific choice in purchasing a Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker & Air Crisper! If you are still on the fence, this article is for you, too!
In this article we are going to go over the various models, discuss getting started with your Ninja Foodi, do a brief overview of the cooking functions and provide a few tips. So, let’s get started on how to use the Ninja Foodi!
If you are new to pressure cooking, I recommend reading this article before you get started: Pressure Cooking 101
What Is A Ninja Foodi And What Does It Do
If you aren’t sure exactly what a Ninja Foodi is or are unsure about all of its features, here is a brief description of what it does.
A Ninja Foodi with TenderCrisp technology is an electric kitchen appliance that functions as a multi-use cooker. Its two main features are pressure cooker and air fryer, but it also does so much more. Here are the features:
The following features are used with the pressure cooking lid on.
Pressure Cooker: The pressure cooking function can be set to Hi or Low and you can customize the time that you want the food to cook up to 4 hours. When using the pressure cooking function, you will turn the black valve on the top of the Foodi to seal. I have a great article that goes over the principles of pressure cooking and I encourage you to read it before getting started: Pressure Cooking 101
Steam: There is no temperature adjustment when using the steam setting. You can adjust the time up to 30 minutes. When using this feature it is important to make sure the black valve on the top is set to vent and not to seal.
Slow Cook: This function works like a slow cooker would and can be set to Hi or Low. You can customize the time up to 12 hours. When using this feature, you will want the black valve on the top set to vent and not to seal.
The following feature is used without a lid on the Ninja Foodi
The following features are used with the crisping lid on.
The following feature is only on certain models and is used with the crisping lid on.
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Mistake #: Forgetting To Add Liquid
Pressure cookers like the Instant Pot require a certain amount of liquid in order to create the steam that will pressurize the pot. Without liquid, your Instant Pot will never come to pressurea lesson that I learned the hard way! Be sure to add a minimum of 1 cup of liquid to your Instant Pot before cooking.
Put Instant Pot On The Stovetop And Accidentally Turned The Dial
Mistake: Due to convenience or limited counter space, some users like to place their Instant Pot on the stovetop. Sometimes, things happenand we see melted burnt Instant Pot bottom.
Sorry, we dont have a picture to show you the aftermath, but we see this happen frequently.
Solution: Please dont put the Instant Pot directly on the stovetop. Some users lay a wooden board between the stovetop and Instant Pot to prevent this disaster.
Or, you can get this cart from IKEA, as it fits the Instant Pot perfectly.
*Note: this is not sponsored by IKEA, just that many Instant Pot users find the cart very handy.
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There Are A Few Reasons Why A Pressure Cooker Will Hiss
The first, of course, is that the pressure cooker is simply not sealed properly or a valve was accidentally left open. The pressure within the pot needs to be maintained at a certain pressure to ensure that the food cooks thoroughly, so this issue needs to be corrected.
The other reason that a pressure cooker might begin to hiss is because the pressure is too high. The pressure cooker cannot talk to the cook, but it can still sound an alarm telling the cook that the pressure needs to be reduced.
There are two ways to go about reducing the pressure in the pot. The first is by simply reducing the heat with the stove-tops knob if it heats up using fire. This should have an immediate effect on the pressure cooker and stop it from hissing like a siren.
Things get a little more complicated for those with an electric stove top. Heat will not reduce quickly. The electric tops heating element will take some time to reduce the temperature.
The pressure from the cooker needs to be decreased to make sure it does not overcook the food inside. The solution for this problem is to have two heating elements on. The first one will help build up the pressure in the pot. The second element should be turned to a simmering temperature to help reduce the temperature in the pot.
So what about electric pressure cookers?
Q: Whats Going On Is My Pressure Cooker Malfunctioning
A: No. This sometimes happens when you quick release a pressure cooker.
A couple of things could be happening when the valve is spraying more than steam:
Spraying food is usually a combination of both – a sudden, heavy boil of starchy liquid. The result is a boil-over, like on a stove. But the boil-over can only escape through the pressure valve in a messy spray.
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