What Does Food Burn Mean In An Instant Pot

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Why Does Instant Pot Say Burn

What to Do When You Get the BURN NOTICE! Instant Pot Tips

So, now that you know its nothing too serious, let us explore the Why of this situation.

Usually, this error message is displayed when youve done something that doesnt sit well with the pot and its many sensors and safety systems. Thats why beginners are more likely to get this message.

Here are some actions that may trigger the Burn message:

How To Fix Food Burn Message Without Removing The Food

Depending on what you are cooking, you might not have to go through the hassle of removing food, cleaning the pot and restarting the cooking cycle. This is not official solution but I found it works for me like a charm, so I am sharing it with you.

Usually Burn shows up when Instant Pot is almost or at pressure. Means the pressure pin is up. Great! Logically, if it is not a 45 minute pork carnitas of frozen chicken recipe , there is enough pressure built up to finish cooking your meal because it already started cooking while Instant Pot was coming to pressure.

Here is what to do:

  • Make sure the float valve is up.
  • If pressure pin is not up, press on the lid and it more likely will pop up.
  • Ignore Burn for a few minutes and then press Cancel.
  • Time cooking time as it says on the recipe and then do Quick Release or Natural Release as per the recipe.
  • Your food should be cooked. Ta-dah!
  • This trick will work with many quick cooking recipes, roughly with under 15 minutes cook time like pasta, eggs, chicken pieces, veggies and canned beans. Examples are Instant Pot white chicken chili, Instant Pot potato salad, Instant Pot goulash, Instant Pot turkey chili and Instant Pot butter chicken.

    What Does It Mean When Your Instant Pot Says Burn

    Cooking with an Instant Pot is, at best, pretty easy. Pressure cooking barely requires any technique and generally yields perfect results as long as you follow the directions. However, accidents happen, and your Instant Pot is smart enough to let you know that things may go south ahead of time. The prime example of this is the message nobody wants to get: burn.

    And to be fair, your Instant Pot’s burn notice can appear pretty scary. What’s not to fear about a sophisticated cooking machine with the power to create tons of pressure and steam relaying a message that something’s gone wrong?

    Don’t get us wrong – pressure cookers have a fearsome amount of power that can turn disastrous and even cause bodily injuries, which is why they need to be handled properly and with respect. But your Instant Pot’s burn notice is less of an indication of upcoming terror and more of a message indicating a slight detour.

    burn notice on instant pot

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    You Didnt Add Enough Water

    As Ive specified time and time again, the Instant Pot doesnt work without liquid in the inner pot. It needs at least 1 cup of liquid to build pressure based on steam.

    Keep in mind that size does matter! In this case, an 8qt pot will need more starter liquid than a 6qt.

    Another factor that influences the way the IP reacts is the thickness of the liquid. While the specifications mention that the liquid doesnt need to be plain water, its important to know that it needs to be thin so it can get to a boil in the estimated time.

    Even more, the thin liquid needs to be at the bottom of the inner pot, so the food doesnt burn. If you mix thick sauces such as tomato paste or tomato sauce , they will settle at the bottom of the pot and may trigger the error. As such, if you work with thick sauces, its best to add them after the pressure cooking step.

    You should also avoid cooking milk or heavy cream directly in the inner pot. These liquids create a film on the wall of the container and that film scorches easily. You can still make recipes that involve creamy sauces by employing the pot-in-pot method.

    Whats the minimum amount of water for Instant Pot?

    For 3-quart Instant Pot 1 cup of water or other liquid.

    For 6-quart Instant Pot 1 cup of water or other liquid.

    For 8-quart Instant Pot 2 cups of water or other liquid.

    What Cause The Burn Message

    What To Do When Your Instant Pot Says BURN + Video

    Now you know why it says burn, but what causes it? There are some recipes that are prone to this message.

    • Any recipe with thick sauce
    • Pasta dishes
    • Chili
    • Tomato based dishes

    It is caused because the liquid is too thick or there are pieces that are actually burning. What should you do next? Dont freak out, follow a few simple steps.

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    What Should I Do If I Get The Instant Pot Burn Message

    1. Press the CANCEL button.

    2. Turn the pressure valve to venting to release the built-up pressure quickly.

    3. Open the lid.

    4. Check the contents inside the pot. There are 3 scenarios here and what you should do in each case:

    • The food is not burnt and there is nothing sticking to the bottom let the pot cool down, add more liquid and resume cooking. If theres excess liquid after the food is cooked, turn the pot to saute mode and cook down until you get the desired consistency. This will take some time if theres lots of liquid, so you can also add a solution of corn flour and water to thicken the dish quickly.
    • Some food is stuck to the bottom, but it is not burnt deglaze the food. Scrape the bits of food stuck to the bottom and add half a cup water or other liquid like stock. Stir to make sure the liquid is at the bottom of the pot and resume cooking.
    • Some food is stuck to the bottom and burnt, but the top layers are good Wait for the pot to cool down somewhat, carefully remove the food and liquid that is salvageable and transfer to a clean bowl. Scrape the bits that are burnt and throw them away. Wash the inner pot and resume cooking with the food that was not burnt.


    Issues With Your Float Valve

    The float valve is the little button that raises and lowers to indicate whether your Instant Pot is currently under pressure. If it is not raising, the Instant Pot will give the Burn notification. This is a safety measure. This keeps steam from building inside of the pot. Here are a few things that could cause your float valve from raising as it should:

    • Not enough water. If there’s not enough water inside of your pot to produce steam, the float valve will not raise. Steam is what forces the button up from the resting position.
    • You forgot to turn the pressure valve from Venting to Sealing. Even the most experienced Instant Pot users have been guilty of this. So, if you do not set your pressure valve from venting to sealing, steam will escape and not enough pressure will form inside of the pot to cause the float valve to rise.
    • I enjoy the feature on the Instant Pot Ultra that automatically seals the Instant Pot lid when you close it. It’s good if you can be forgetful like me.
  • Debris stuck under the float valve. There is a small mechanism on the inside of the Instant Pot lid that needs to be cleaned. If you are having issues with the float valve operating properly, you may need to clean this mechanism. Food particles can be lodged inside of this while your Instant Pot is under pressure.
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    More Instant Pot Basics

    Thank you for reading my Guide to Correcting Instant Pot Burn Message. And please come visit again as I continue to slice, dice, and dream up affordable Air Fryer recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Southern Recipes, and more. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.

    Why Am I Getting The Instant Pot Burn Error

    10 WAYS to Avoid Instant Pot BURN | How to save “burning” food

    To know why the burn on instant pot is triggered, we need to understand the principle behind pressure cooking food. It is the same principle whether you are using a electric pressure cooker like an instant pot or your regular stovetop pressure cooker. The liquid added to the food creates steam when it is heated to a high temperature. Since the steam has nowhere to go in a sealed pot, pressure builds up quickly which cooks the food faster.

    The important thing to note here is that pressure cookers require a certain amount of thin liquid like water or stock to come to pressure. If there is less liquid or no liquid, the food at the bottom of the pot will get scorched because there isnt enough steam and you cant stir it once the pot has been sealed.

    Lack of sufficient liquid is the number one underlying reason why you might get the burn message. Your instant pot is warning you that theres something wrong. Cool, no?

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    What Is The Best Instant Pot

    We have two Instant Pots in the Fit Foodie kitchen. They are both 6 Quart Instant Pot Duos . We have not had any problems with our older Instant Pot. It is consistent, reliable, and all of our recipes turn out the same. However, we have had a couple issues with our newer Instant Pot. We receive the burn warning multiple times with our newer Instant Pot. We still use it but have to take extra care during recipes.

    This has been a common problem with newer Instant Pots. The burn warning is usually your Instant Pot overheating. We find that if we do have a burn warning, adding more liquid to the Instant Pot helps. Some recipes call for a pre-heat of the Instant Pot before cooking a recipe. They ask you to do this so that your Instant Pot is warm and then cook time is lower. If you do have a newer Instant Pot that is having the burn issue, avoid pre-heating your Instant Pot.

    What Is The Instant Pot Burn Message

    If you have encountered the Burn message on the display screen, it certainly doesnt mean that your food is burnt or ruined or you need to make something else now.

    It simply means that the Instant Pot has detected that a very high temperate at the bottom of the pot and thus the burn warning.

    The Instant Pot comes with a lot of safety mechanisms. The burn warning is one of them. The Instant Pots thermal sensors are automatically monitored and controlled. Thus when the inner pot reaches temperatures that are very high, the sensors sense the high temperature and shut off the heat displaying a burn message.

    Once things cool down, the heating element turns back on and tries to complete the cooking program however, this burn warning is displayed 5 mines max before the cooker shuts down and returns to standby.

    Burnt Rice in Instant Pot

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    What To Do When You Get A Burn Message On Instant Pot

    In some cases, its enough to just let the pot be for a few minutes. If it cools down, it may re-start on its own and continue the process where its left off.

    If this doesnt happen, heres what to do:

  • Turn the pot off & quick-release the steam . If the pot was not under pressure, the lid can be removed without releasing the steam.
  • Inspect the bottom of the pot and make sure there is no food stuck to it. If there is, scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon. If the burnt area is large, remove the food from the pot, clean it, and re-start the cooking process.
  • Inspect the sealing ring, steam release valve, and heating element underneath the inner pot.
  • Check the level of thin liquid in the pot and adjust it if necessary.
  • If everything checks out, close the lid, set the vent in the Sealing position, and restart the cooking process.
  • If the error message keeps showing up even after youve done all these several times, then it is the time to call for a specialist.

    What Does The Instant Pot Burn Notice Actually Mean

    Instant Pot Burn Message

    According to the official instant pot website, the appliance has built in sensors that can detect high temperatures in the pressure cooking mode. As soon as the temperature crosses a certain threshold, the pot flashes a burn warning message across the LED display. Further heating is suspended to give you a chance to fix whatevers wrong.

    This is actually a great safety feature if you think about it! While you do have the inconvenience of uncooked food, the food is NOT going to catch fire and burn as it would on the stovetop if you left it unattended.

    And whats more, youll see when you open the pot that most of the food can be salvaged. It is not burnt yet because the cooker has cut off further heating automatically.

    Also Check: Instant Pot Always Says Burn

    Instant Pot Burn Message

    See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.

    The Instant Pot Burn Message What it means, and how to prevent getting a burn warning when you use your Instant Pot. Plus what to do if your Instant Pot says Burn.

    If you get the dreaded burn message on your Instant Pot, it can be frustrating and possibly even frightening. First I want to reassure you that if your Instant Pot says burn, you should not panic or worry that your meal will be ruined.

    What Does Burn Mean On Instant Pot

    In a nutshell, the instant pot says burn, means that the clever and intelligent instant pot pressure cooker is giving you a warning.

    It is telling you that the bottom of the instant pot inner pot is getting WAY TOO HOT and you need to stop it getting hot asap.

    The instant pot doesnt want you ruining your great inner pot and giving you an opportunity to fix it before it is too late.

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    How To Use These Ingredients Correctly

    If you’re using tomato paste, tomato sauce, or a creamy canned soup you will need to ensure you’re adding enough thin liquid to allow steam to form. Thick liquids like the ones I recommended using caution with are not able to produce enough steam to raise your float valve.

    Another thing to remember when you’re cooking with these thicker sauces is that you need to avoid putting them at the bottom of your Instant Pot. Try to layer as much as possible. Here’s an example of what I mean by this:

    If you wanted to make a spaghetti dish in your instant pot, you would:

    • Brown hamburger or vegetables with the sauté function.
    • Break the pasta into smaller pieces and criss cross it in a layer on top of the hamburger or vegetables.
    • Cover the pasta with a layer of tomato sauce.
    • Add additional water to help the Instant Pot come to pressure.
    • DO NOT STIR. The layers keep the thick liquid away from the bottom of the pot so they do not burn.

    Deglaze Inner Pot After Sauteing

    Instant Pot Burn Message

    After sauteing and before pressure cooking you need to deglaze the inner pot. Deglazing involves adding a thin liquid like wine, water or broth to the hot surface and scraping the bottom with a silicone scraper or wooden spatula to remove the caramelized and brown bits that are stuck.

    Deglazing adds wonderful flavor to your dish, but more importantly, it cleans the inner pot. So any liquid that you add will make full contact with the bottom of the inner pot and that allows the sensor in the Instant Pot to properly register temperature and pressure.

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    What Does Instant Pot Burn Message Mean

    If you ever used an Instant Pot, chances are you have encountered a Burn, Food Burn or Overheat message at least once. So, what is Instant Pot Food Burn? Lets quickly look at how Instant Pot works. Instant Pot is a pressure cooker with a heating element located at the bottom of the pot. It is an electronic device controlled my many mini computer elements inside.

    Cleaning Burnt Pressure Cooker Pot

    • Step 1: Add water, baking soda, and soap to the pot
    • Step 2: Pressure cook for 3 minutes let the pressure naturally release
    • Step 3: Give it a quick rinse you’re done!

    Now go burn something! Then you too can discover the utter joy of disgusting brown floaties in your pot! Good times are ahead!

    P.S. Don’t actually burn something on purpose cuz I don’t wanna be liable for that. I was just being my typical, dramatic, sarcastic self there okay? Okay! But if you happen to burn something, send me a before and after picture when you use this trick! It just never gets old!


    Also Check: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn

    How To Keep The Instant Pot From Giving You The Burn Notice

    First of all, the Instant Pot isnt just going to give you this notice for fun. There is usually something prompting this notice. I wanted to help keep your Instant Pot from giving you this burn notice in the future.

    • Make sure your sealing ring is in place The sealing ring is an important part of the Instant Pot. Without it, the pot wont seal, which means your food wont cook. The IP might also get too hot and give you the burn notice. The good news is that you can always buy a replacement ring for your Instant Pot.
    • Not enough liquid One thing is for sure, your Instant Pot needs to have enough liquid in it when youre cooking with it. Without enough liquid, the pot can become too hot and result in a burn notice.
    • Thick pasta in the IP Pasta can be a tricky food item to cook in the Instant Pot. If you dont catch it on time and there is not enough liquid you could end up with a burn notice because the food is cooking too fast raising the temperature in the pot, resulting in the burn notice.

    More Tips To Prevent Instant Pot Burn

    I like to spray the Instant Pot before I use it, this helps keep food from sticking. Always make sure there is enough liquid and that you dont over stuff the pot.

    There is a line showing you the point at which not to overfill your pot, however, when cooking food that is likely to expand such as pasta or beans, do be extra careful not to fill the pot right to the very top of the maximum line.

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