What To Do If Instant Pot Says Burn

Must Try

Something’s Up With Your Instant Pot

How to Deglaze Your Instant Pot – What to do When it Says Burn

Pressure cookers can be picky, and if one thing is off, your food is at risk. Some of the most common culprits include using a damaged or dirty sealing ring, not closing the lid all the way, and a dirty Instant Pot. If there are food debris in your Instant Pot, they can compromise the pressure by blocking a part, such as the float valve, or simply burn up along the inner pot’s underside.

What Cooking Strategies Can Help Prevent Triggering The Burn Message

One strategy is to make sure that your pot is not full when you cook. The maximum amount of food you should put in an Instant Pot is about 2/3 full. Once the lid is on and the lid is sealed, the food will compress and you can add more.

Another strategy is to make sure your food isnt piled too high. You want to avoid creating a food tower situation since the liquid from inside the food will overflow onto the base during cooking.

Make sure that your food is spread out and that canned foods are not stacked on the base.

Especially at higher altitudes, you may have to adjust some of your cooking times and settings, especially for foods that you have trouble cooking with other methods.

The Instant Pot is a valuable tool that can be used on a daily basis and to cook some really delicious food. Just know that some experimentation may be needed to get the most out of your new cooking tool.

Your Steam Valve Isn’t Sealed

A pressure cooker can’t pressure cook without steam. And while there are plenty of recipes that require the valve set at vent, your pressure cooking process is at risk if there isn’t enough, well, pressure. Additionally, the steam valve can help prevent the liquid inside from evaporating and drying whatever you’re cooking out. Always be sure to adjust the pressure valve to the appropriate setting before you start cooking.

Recommended Reading: How Long Do You Cook Cabbage In Instant Pot

What To Do When The Instant Pot Says Burn How To Save Your Meal

If youre getting the burn message i.e. your Instant Pot display says burn or food burn, this section will tell you what you need to do to save your meal.

I strongly urge you to read the entire article because there are many reasons for the burn message and youll need this information to successfully use the Instant Pot in the future.

Sometimes the Instant Pot says burn or food burn and then changes toOn.; If this happens to you, just say thank you and let it keep cooking.; Youll probably have some food stuck on the bottom, but you should be able to salvage most of it.

In some rare cases, the scorched/burnt taste may penetrate the entire dish and you may need to start over.; But in most cases, its possible to salvage your meal when you see burn on the Instant Pot display.

What Does The Instant Pot Burn Message Mean

What To Do When Your Instant Pot Says BURN + Video

The burn message, usually displayed as burn,OvHt or Food Burn, is part of the Instant Pots overheat protection system. If your pot displays a burn error, it means that the Instant Pot has detected that the inner pot has gotten too hot. This is an indicator that food may be starting to burn on the bottom of the pot.

The burn warning is a safety mechanism to prevent both the Instant Pot from getting too hot and to keep your food from burning. When it senses overheating, the Instant Pot stops heating and gives you a burn notice to let you know that the cooking process has stopped. Sometimes, if you just leave the pot alone, the Instant Pot will cool for a few minutes and then begin the cooking cycle again. So it is possible that the cook cycle will complete even after a burn error.

However, there are some simple steps that you can take to fix the problem and get your dinner cooking again. Not too worry, a burn message does not mean that your dinner is ruined!

The burn warning can be more common with the 8 quart Instant Pot and also with newer models.

You May Like: How To Make Shredded Pork In Instant Pot

What Causes The Burn Message

When you see a burn message, it means that the internal pot is reaching a super high temperature. Instant Pots are designed with the mantra set it and forget it in mind. The overheat protection setting is there to put you at ease and help prevent burning. So if you see one, you should still be in good shape. Although there are a ton of reasons this could happen, the most common is a simple one. The Instant Pot runs on steam, and steam comes from two things: heat and water. If there isnt enough liquid in your inner pot, the machine wont pressurize properly and will start to burn.

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.

    Read Also: How To Cook Noodles In Instant Pot

    Pressure Cooking Cooking Cream Or Milk Directly

    A general rule of thumb is to never add milk or cream directly to the pot before pressure cooking. When boiled, milk leaves a thin layer behind. Dairy cooking cream is worse- it leaves a thick layer that may cause the bottom of the instant pot to become hotter, thus triggering the burning warning.


  • Avoid adding milk or heavy cooking cream before closing that lid. Instead, add them right after pressure cooking and mix well with the rest of the ingredients
  • Use the pot-in-pot method. Like I stated earlier, avoid cooking high starch foods together with thick sauces or heavy cooking cream to prevent both from sticking to the pot. With the pot-in-pot cooking method, simply add your starch or other food ingredients on the inner pot of the instant pot and then place a smaller stainless steel pot on top of the food and then pressure cook. Once done, you can mix them properly without any issues.
  • What Do You Do When Your Instant Pot Says Burn

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

    If you see the Burn message on your Instant Pot, take the following steps:

    • Switch off your cooker using the Cancel button.
    • Use a quick pressure release by moving the valve to the venting position.
    • Remove the lid.
    • Remove any food that has become stuck to the bottom.
    • Add water or thin liquid to your pot.
    • Allow your Instant Pot to cool down before resuming cooking.

    Read Also: How To Cook Frozen Tamales In Instant Pot

    What Does It Mean When Instapot Says Burn

    The Burn Notice on an Instant Pot simply means theres an Instant Pot Overheat Error. The Instant Pot has a built-in burn -protection mechanism that prevents users from burning food in the Instant Pot. Many times, when you open your pot after receiving a burn warning, your food will actually be fine!

    What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn

  • Dont panic. The burn message simply means that the Instant Pot has detected that the inner pot has gotten too hot, so it stops heating to prevent your food from burning.
  • Press Cancel to turn the pot off.
  • Quick release the steam and pressure from the pot by carefully turning the steam valve to the venting position.
  • Check that the sealing ring is clean, fitted in place properly, and not damaged. Check that the float valve is clean.
  • Stir to check if there is food stuck to the bottom of the inner pot. Scrape up and remove any burnt food from the pot. If a large area of the pot has burnt food, transfer the food that is not burnt to another container, clean the inner pot, and return the food to the pot. Add more liquid as needed, to make sure you have at least one cup of liquid in the pot.
  • Check that the heating element in the cooker base is clean. Also check that the underside of the inner pot is clean.
  • Return the inner pot to the Instant Pot base, close the lid, and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Restart the pressure cooking cycle. Your meal should now cook just fine!
  • Don’t Miss: How Long Do You Cook Pork In The Instant Pot

    Steam Escaping Via Venting Knob After Forgetting To Turn It Into Sealing Position

    Instant Pot has a steam release and seal knob that releases and seals in the steam when pressure cooking.

    In the event you forget to seal the hole with the knob, all the steam from the pot will escape and this means one thing- the food will start to burn since there is not enough liquid in the pot.

    The burn instant pot message will instantly appear as a warning and will automatically stop the instant pot from heating any longer.


    Every time you start pressure cooking, always turn the venting knob into the sealing position. This will ensure that no steam is lost and that you dont risk burning the meal you worked so hard to prepare.

    Issue #: You Have Food Stuck In The Heating Element Of Your Pot

    Instant Pot Burn Message

    This happened to me I accidentally got some noodles stuck in my Instant Pot when I tried to drain some pasta and my oven mitt grip slipped causing some of the noodles to slip into the heating element. ;I thought I cleaned them all out, but there was some still stuck, triggering the burn notice the next time I cooked in that pot.

    Read Also: What Is Instant Pot Natural Release

    Check Pot Bottom & Remove Burnt Content

    Check if theres anything stuck to the bottom of the inner pot.

    • Minor Burnt Food: If theres only a little bit of food stuck to the bottom, use a wooden spoon to scrub it all off.
    • Major Burnt Food: If theres blackened burnt food stuck to the bottom, first remove all food content, then soak the inner pot with soapy water & scrub.

    *Pro Tip: If the burnt food is difficult to remove, you can try Pressure Cooking water with vinegar, Natural Release, then scrub some more.;*This is when;an extra inner pot comes in handy.

    Can An Instant Pot Explode

    All pressure cookers run the risk of exploding. However, this only happens in conditions of gross negligence or heavily damaged products. Even more, the Instant Pot comes with all those safety mechanisms to reduce the risk of explosion to the extreme minimum.

    If you follow the producers specifications and always make sure all the elements that support the pot are clean and in good shape, then theres nothing to worry about.

    I have been heavily using my Instant Pot for several years and I never had an incident of this magnitude. Sure, the Burned message popped up a few times, but this gave me the knowledge and experience Ive shared with you today. So, all mildly annoying things can have a good outcome if youre looking close enough!

    Overall, the Instant Pot is a safe and easy-to-use modern pressure cooker and I stand by it.

    You May Like: How To Cook Chili In An Instant Pot

    How To Avoid A Burn Message Tips And Tricks To Avoid A Burn Message

    • Add enough liquid pressure cookers work by creating steam inside the pot. If there is not sufficient water , the steam wont build and the food will stick to the bottom and dry up.
    • Vent positions if the recipe calls for the vent to be in sealed position and you accidentally left it on venting, this will cause all the water to escape out again leave the food dry which will stick to the bottom of the pan.
    • Sealing ring if the sealing ring is not properly installed, this will cause the steam to escape out again causing the food to stick to the bottom of the pot.
    • Deglaze pot before pressure cooking some recipes call for a quick sauté before pressure cooking. It’s important to scrape off the bottom of the pot gently to remove any food particles stuck to the bottom.;
    • Layering ingredients Adding liquids to the inner pot first is always a good ideas. Then add the other ingredients and do not stir or mix, this keeps things from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
    • Pot in Pot if you are making sauces etc, using an oven safe container and place it on a steam rack to make your food.
    • Grease the bottom of inner pot Spraying oil or butter may help prevent the food from sticking.

    Burnt Vermicelli Noodles in Instant Pot

    Not Enough Liquid In Your Instant Pot

    Instant Pot Burn Message

    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!

    Also Check: How To Cook Beans In Instant Pot

    Recipe Was Tested With An Older Instant Pot Model

    If youre following a recipe youve found in a cookbook or on the internet, you could be getting the burn message because that recipe was developed using an older Instant Pot model which didnt have the burn error as a safety feature.

    Back in the old days of when the Instant Pot was first introduced, if there was an overheat condition, the Instant Pot would countdown as though it were pressure cooking even though the float valve wasnt up and the Instant Pot hadnt sealed.

    Why Does My Instant Pot Smell Like Burning Plastic

    Another possible reason for your Instant Pot smelling like burnt plastic is an unburnt protective layer. The smell normally goes away when the additional covering burns with the first use. The company puts in a protective layer to ensure that you know you are buying a brand-new Instant Pot.

    Recommended Reading: Can I Cook Frozen Chicken In Instant Pot

    What Does Burn Mean On Instant Pot

    It doesnt mean that your dinner is completely ruined. Usually the Instant Pot will alert you when it knows theres no liquid left. The burn notice is telling you that there is a problem that can be fixed.

    When you see the burn notice youll need to quick release the pressure and open the lid. When you are pressure cooking its important to make sure theres enough thin liquid or enough cups of water for the pot to evaporate and turn them into steam for cooking.

    Once the pot is open you can scrape the bottom of your pot and see what is going on. With tomato sauce and other thicker Instant Pot recipes, like chili, youll likely need to add more liquid, stir everything really well, and adjust the cooking timeand maybe use low pressure instead.

    Instant Pot Burnwhat To Do And How To Avoid It

    Instant Pot Says Burn
    • 7 minute read

    The dreaded Instant pot burn message is something nobody wantsit can cause a real panic. Is it something I have done, has the Instant pot broken downor is my food burning inside?

    Let me reassure you that the solution is not that complicated and a few little changes to what you do can stop this happening in the future.

    In this article, I will tell you why your Instant Pot says burn and how to deal with the Instant Pot burn message. If you do get this Instant Pot burn error, it does not necessarily mean that your meal is ruined, I will look at how you can save your meal from disaster.

    Read Also: How To Cook Whole Acorn Squash In Instant Pot

    How To Fix Burn Messages On Pressure Cookers:

    Heres a general process you can use to fix your recipe and finish cooking after you see a burn message on your pressure cooker.

  • Press cancel to stop the cooking process and turn off the heat.
  • Quickly release pressure in the pot by switching the valve to venting.
  • Remove the lid, careful to avoid the steam.
  • Stir the ingredients inside the pressure cooker and be sure to scrape away any bits that might be browned or stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  • Allow the pressure cooker to cool down while you add more cooking liquid, preferable something thin like cooking stock or water.
  • Replace the lid after everything is stirred well and you are sure there is liquid at the bottom of the pot.
  • Reset the cooking time and turn the vent to sealing.
  • If you are very worried about the burn warning happening again you can use low pressure when resetting your pot.
  • Latest Recipes

    More Recipes Like This