What Does The Instant Pot Do Exactly
If this programmable countertop multi-cooker earns a spot in your kitchen, youll probably start relying on it more than any other cooking appliance. The specific functions of your Instant Pot will vary based on which model you purchase, but these are the basic programs that will be present in most models:
- Slow cooker
- Yogurt maker
Many models also come with additional programs, including sous vide machine, egg maker, cake maker, and sterilizer. You can even purchase an air frying lid for your pot.
Depending on the size and type of your model, you can insert certain types of dishes directly into the appliance, including cupcake molds or springform pans. You can also use aluminum foil to separate certain ingredients in your instant pot, which allows you to cook veggies and meats at the same time for recipes like fajitas. You can find lots of different Instant Pot recipes online.
The device also features a timer and various settings for whether you want to set to cook on low, medium, high, or keep warm.
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Something Is Wrong With Your Sealing Ring
If you notice steam coming out from around the sides of the pot and around the lid, you may have an issue with your sealing ring. The rubber ring that fits snugly around your Instant Pot lid is called the sealing ring. When the sealing ring is not fitted around the edge of your lid correctly or it has been used too much it loses its shape, your Instant Pot will not pressurize.
Examine your lid and make sure that the sealing ring is fitting around the edge snugly. If you notice that the sealing ring has a yellowed color and shapes into an oval instead of a round circle, you will need to buy a replacement sealing ring.
Why Does My Instapot Say Burn
A very common error code many people see is burn. As the table below shows, the burn error means the temperature at the bottom of the inner pot was detected to be too hot. This is commonly caused by food getting stuck and burning at the bottom.
To resolve the burn error code, do the following:
- Turn off the Instant Pot.
- Switch valve handle to Venting.
- Once pressure has been released, open and remove the lid.
- Check the amount of liquid still inside the pot and add more if needed.
- Check if food is stuck to the bottom, if so, use a spatula to lossen the stuck items. Allow the liquid to get underneath the food to prevent sticking again.
- Replace the lid and resume cooking.
Note: If the food has severely burned, the best course of action is to remove it from the pot. Either get rid of the burned parts and scrape down the inner pot or start over.
Also, know that using thick liquids can cause some overheating since they may not steam as well as water. So, a paste or soup may cause a burn error code.
Also Check: How To Convert Slow Cooker Recipe To Instant Pot
Problem : The Lid Wont Shut
No matter how much you fight it, the darn lid just wont close.
The fix: Check the float valve , that small metal button near the release valve. If its up, push it down. The button has to be down for the lid to open or close.
If that doesnt work, check that the seal in the right spot. It should be tucked in close to the edge of the lid.
Most Important Instant Pot Buttons
There are a lot of buttons which can be intimidating. Most of these are just presets though with suggested cooking times set for that type of food . I rarely use these presets since I prefer to set times myself as specified in recipes. The 3 buttons that I use most are:
- Manual : This is the most important button. This button allows you to set your own pressure cooking time. Example: Recipe says to pressure cook for 10 minutes: After locking the lid in place and setting the steam release valve to Sealing, just press the Manual button and use the and buttons to change the cook time to 10. After a few seconds, you will hear a series of beeps and the display will show On to indicate the start of the pressure cooking process.
- Sauté: This button basically turns your Instant Pot into a regular pot which means that you can do it all without dirtying a second pot. This function is used with the lid off and allows you to sear/brown meats and sauté vegetables at the beginning of a recipe. You can also use this function to simmer and thicken sauces at the end of a recipe.
- Keep Warm/Cancel: Use this button to cancel any function. If it is pressed while the Instant Pot is in standby mode, it will activate the Keep Warm mode.
- Although I rarely touch any of the preset buttons, there is one exceptionthe Soup function. I tend to use this when making broth since this setting also controls the pressure and temperature to ensure that the liquid never goes into a heavy boiling state.
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Need Help Learning The Instant Pot Or Want To Help Family & Friends
Check out the preview for this awesome FREE cheat sheet. It has 14 Instant Pot tips and tricks! And is the perfect list to laminate and post on the fridge or near your own pressure cooker. It will help you remember as you become more familiar or will help others in the household learn to use this great kitchen tool too.
How Do I Reset My Instant Pot
You may wish to reset your Instant Pot back to factory settings to erase any programs you previously set up.
Resetting can be easily done and is the same for Instant Pot Duo, Duo Plus, Duo Evo Plus, Duo Nova, Duo Gourmet, Instant Pot Max, Duo Crisp, and Duo Pro Crisp.
Follow these steps to reset your Instant Pot:
With the Instant Pot in Standby mode, press and hold the Cancel button for 2~3 seconds until the unit beeps. This will completely reset or restore all your saved programs back to factory settings.
Standby mode is when the unit is off but plugged in and ready to go.
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Understand The Difference Between Natural Release And Quick Release
There are a few different methods to release pressure in your Instant Pot that you will see recipes refer to: Natural Release, Quick Release and a Hybrid Release
How to do a Natural Release?
Natural Release is when you wait for the pressure to drop down naturally. After the cooking cycle finishes, wait for the float valve to drop down on its own. This may take 10-20 minutes. Once the float valve drops, turn the steam release valve to the Venting position and open the lid.
How to do a Quick Release?
Quick Release is when you manually force the pressure to release. After the cooking cycle finishes, move the steam release valve to the Venting position. Steam will start shooting out and pressure will quickly release. Once the floating valve drops down, you can open the lid. Make sure to keep your hand and face away from the top while steam comes out . Personally, I prefer to move the valve slightly over a little at a time to slowly release the steam instead of one big gush.
Note: Quick Release is not suitable for food with large liquid volume or high starch content since food content might splatter out with the steam. What a mess!
How to do a Hybrid Release?
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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The Instant Pot Is Taking Too Long To Start The Timer
Remember, Instant Pots take time to heat up. For pressure cooking and other modes, the Instant Pot will take a pretty significant amount of time, usually 10 to 15 minutes, to heat up and bring the pressure up to proper levels, and then start the timer. So when a recipe says pressure cook in Instant Pot for 5 minutes, you should always mentally add the extra time beforehand. If it still seems like its taking too long, check your settings carefully to make sure you are in the right mode.
The Pot Is Getting Streaky Or Cloudy
If you spotted streaks or clouds inside your pot after your first couple of uses, thats normal. Fats and oils tend to cause stainless steel to stain a bit . Fortunately, those stains wont affect your cooking at all, but they could be difficult to remove when hand washing. The pot is dishwasher safe, so try running it with your other kitchenware to remove streaks and smudges. Another solution is to mix a bit of vinegar on the residue to bring back the pots original shine.
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Differences In Design Between The Lux And Duo Instant Pots
I feel like these are important to note because I would have liked to have known before purchasing.
- The DUO I received requires a three-prong outlet, while the LUX I have is a two-prong appliance.
- The DUO has slots on either side above the handles to prop the lid up. The LUX does not have an option, leaving you to have to find a place to set the lid.
- The LUX does not have a condensation cup like the DUO does. Its neither good nor bad, but I feel like its something else I could lose.
- There are fewer accessories for the 8qt DUO on Amaon like the silicone cover and tempered glass lid because its diameter is larger than the 6qt DUO and LUX. Some can be found other places, but since I do a lot of Amazon ordering I like the free 2-day shipping.
Other Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus Error Codes
The other error codes are quite rare:
C1, C2, C6, C6H, C6L: These five errors dont specify what exactly is wrong, just that your Instant Pot may have a faulty sensor and that youll need to contact customer support at 1-800-828-7280 or support @ instantpot.com.
C7 or NoPr indicates that the heat element has failed, there is not enough liquid, or the quick release switch is set to vent position. If you get the error after checking the vent release valve and checking to make sure there is the minimum amount of liquid required for pressure, you would need to contact Customer Support.
C8 indicates that you have placed the wrong inner pot in the housing. The pots are not interchangeable.
Additionally, my husband was sauteing on high and got the C8 error too even though we were using the correct pan. This happened several times. Since then I dont use the Saute High setting on the Evo Plus, instead, I use Saute/Custom/Level 3 or 4 and its worked fine since with no error code.
Lid indicates that the lid is not correctly positioned. Simply open the lid and replace it, ensuring it is properly placed.
PrSE indicates that pressure has accumulated during a non-pressure cooking program. You will want to use the quick release vent to reduce pressure in the pot.
Note that the Giveaway has closed. Thank you to everyone who participated.
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Where To Buy The Instant Pot Pro
The 8-quart Instant Pot Pro is currently available from Williams Sonoma and .
A note if youre buying from Amazon: For some reason, the Pro is currently listed in the same listing as the Duo Plus. Be sure that you have the correct version selected and be aware that a lot of the reviewsespecially the negative onesare for the Duo Plus.
At Pressure Cooking Today, we believe in making real food with fresh and familiar ingredients.Browse my collection of the best pressure cooker recipes here on my website . Follow Pressure Cooking Today on and for the latest updates. Or join my to connect with other pressure cooking fans. Or you canjoin my free email list! Youll get just one email a week with my latest recipes. If youre interested in more than just pressure cooker recipes, I share my other adventures in the kitchen over at Barbara Bakes. Youll find some amazing breakfasts and breads, along with the best dessert recipes! Check it out today!
Instant Pot Burn Guide:
In this Instant Pot Burn guide, well go through what does it mean when instant pot says burn, 7 reasons why your instant pot says burn, and what to do when Instant Pot says burn.
*Note:Weve been hearing & seeing some new Instant Pots triggering the Burn Message even when users didnt make any of the mistakes below. This has even happened to some experienced Instant Pot users who were using their usual tried & true recipes in their newly purchased Instant Pots. We have yet to confirm with the Instant Pot Company if they have made adjustments to their newest Instant Pots.
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I Keep Burning My Fingers When Trying To Release Steam
The release nozzle on the Pots valve is pretty loose, and twitching it open for a fast release after pressure cooking can be painful for even fast fingers. If youve been burnt by steam before, theres a very simple solution that Pot users have found: Just use a wooden spoon. Push the valve open with the spoon to release it and avoid any steam issues.
Redesigned Inner Cooking Pot
The Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus has a redesigned inner cooking pot with a flat bottom, handles, and a Tri-Ply stainless steel that can transfer to the stovetop.
I really love the handlesthey lock the cooking pot in place, so you dont have to hold it while youre stirring. Plus, the stay-cool handles make it much easier to have a good grip on the pot when you remove it.
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Straight From The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Manual:
- Prior to each use, inspect to make sure the sealing ring is well seated in the sealing ring rack and the anti-block shield is mounted properly on the steam release pipe. A properly seated sealing ring can be shifted, with a bit of effort, clockwise or anti-clockwise inside the sealing ring rack.
- Never pull the sealing ring by force, as the pulling may cause deformation and affect its function in sealing the pressure.
- A sealing ring with cracks, cuts or other damages should not be used.
Avoid these mistakes will save you some stress & frustrations in using your Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker!
I hope you had as much fun reading as I did writing this post Jacky
*Disclosure: We are an Amazon Influencer/Amazon Associate. This means that if you decide to purchase items or services on Amazon through our links on Pressure Cook Recipes to Amazon, Amazon will send a small commission to us at no additional costs to you. Thank you!
Learn The Instant Pot Acronyms
You will notice a variety of acronyms being used in recipes or in groups and forums online. To help you make sense of it all, here are a few common acronyms and their meanings.
- IP = Instant Pot
- NR = Natural Release or Natural Pressure Release
- QR = Quick Release or Quick Pressure Release
- 5-5-5 = common instructions for cooking hard boiled eggs .
- HP = High Pressure
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Any Other Variations You Need To Know
- If you get the 8 quart model of the DUO, it will have longer pressurizing times, longer release times for it to depressurize, etc.. Thats simply because its bigger. And theres even a smaller 5qt version, but unless youre single I would at least opt for the 6qt.
- There is also a bluetooth model to control your pressure cooker remotely.
- If you cook bread a lot or anything that needs to rise, the 7-in-1 is a better option because the yogurt function can be the warm spot to proof your dough.
In the end, if you havent already purchased one, get the one that fits your budget and lifestyle the best. Theyre all great.
If youre looking for a great place to find recipes and get help, check out my co-run group,Instant Pot Recipes for Busy Parents & Families.
My Pot Is Kind Of Stinky
The rubberized sealing ring of the Instant Pot can absorb odors easily, especially when pressure cooking. If you are cooking a particularly pungent meal, the ring may retain the smell, which is annoying when making a different meal. Garlic smells may be the most common, but it can happen over time with a variety of odors.
If the odor is causing problems, take your sealing ring out and try washing it in the dishwasher. This can remove some of the worst of the smell and get the ring back into working order. You may also want to try soaking it in a pan of warm water mixed with baking soda to absorb as much of the odor as you can. Some people even choose to purchase a spare sealing ring and use one for meals and one for desserts.
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