Initial Test Run (12 psi Water Test)
The initial test run is a quick and easy way to get to know your Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. With 20 minutes and a few cups of water, you can ensure everything is working properly and that you understand how steam release works.
- Secure the power cord to a 120V outlet. If your power cord is detachable, ensure that it is plugged firmly into the base connection socket on the back of the cooker base.
- Add 3 cups (24oz / 750mL) of water to the inner pot.
- Insert the inner pot into the cooker base. (Note: The inner pot must be used for cooking. Never pour food or liquid into the cooker base without the inner pot in place.)
- Ensure the sealing ring is installed correctly on the sealing ring rack. When in place, you should not be able to remove it easily.
- Place the lid and turn clockwise until it is fully closed. The cooker will chime when the lid is opened and closed.
- Set the steam release to the “Sealing” position.
- Ultra automatically sets the steam release to the “Sealing” position when you close the lid.
- Select Manual or Pressure Cook.
- Use the + / – keys or the dial to adjust the cook time to 5 minutes. (Note: The display will indicate “5” on some models, and “00:05” on others.)
- The cooker will begin the pre-heating cycle after 10 seconds. The display will indicate “On” while the cooker heats. Refer to “What to Expect During the Water Test” (below) for additional information.
- Once the cooking cycle has completed, the cooker will beep and switch to Keep Warm if it is ON.
- Use the Quick Release (QR) venting method (see below) to release pressure.
Natural Release (NR): No action is taken. Allow the cooker to cool naturally, release heat and pressure over time. You will know that the cooker is no longer pressurized when the float valve drops into the lid.
Note: May take 10 – 40+ minutes. Depressurization time will vary based upon volume of food and liquid.
Quick Release (QR): Turn the steam release handle from the “Sealing” position to the “Venting” position. If spatter occurs, turn steam release handle back to “Sealing” position, and try again after a few minutes. The float valve will drop into the lid when the cooker has depressurized.
- Ultra: press the quick release button down until it clicks to QR.
What to expect during the Water Test
-The 3 Stages of Pressure Cooking-
- Heating & Pressurization
The cooker will preheat, creating the steam required to build pressure. Once enough steam pressure has accumulated, the float valve will pop up and “pressurize” the cooker. During the Water Test, this may take 5 – 15 minutes.Do not press down on the lid; the float valve will rise when sufficient steam pressure has built up. Until the cooker pressurizes and the float valve has popped up, the lid will be removable. Once pressurized, the lid will lock.Note: The time it takes your cooker to pressurize is determined by a variety of factors, including food and liquid volume.It is normal to see steam exit the float valve hole until the float valve pops up and the cooker pressurizes. If you see steam escaping from around the sides of the lid, stop the test to ensure that your sealing ring is properly installed
- Cook Cycle
The cooker will not start the countdown right away. First, the cooker must come to pressure. Within 5 minutes of pressurization, the cooker will beep once and the countdown will appear on the display. When the timer reaches “00:00”, the cooker will beep 10 times to signal that cooking has completed.Note: Smart Programs allow you to make changes to time, temperature, and pressure levels during the cook cycle.
- Depressurization & Keep Warm
When pressure cooking has completed, follow your recipe’s directions when selecting a venting method.
Always ensure that the float valve has dropped completely before attempting to open the lid. If the lid will not turn, do not attempt to force the lid open.
If Keep Warm is turned ON after the cook cycle completes, the timer will count up. If Keep Warm is not turned ON, cooker will return to Standby.Note: The cooker will cool sufficiently to NR over time, but it will cool faster if Keep Warm is turned OFF