Initial Test Run. What is it? Why is it important?
The Initial Test Run often called the water test helps you become familiar with your Instant Pot. It takes 3 to 5 cups of water and a few minutes. It’s also a way to ensure that the cooker is working properly, that the sealing ring is on correctly, and for you to understand how sealing / venting works. More information can be found here.
Steam Release Handle. Should it be loose?
Yes. If not, it may not function properly.
Steam Release Handle. Why does it leak steam?
Small amounts of steam is normal and safe. Normally, if the food is over the “3” mark in the inner pot, there’s only minor traceable amounts of steam coming out of the steam release handle.
Instant Pot’s steam release handle is a safety device. Just like conventional pressure cookers, the steam release handle works simply by weight pressing on the steam release pipe. Since the contact between the steam release handle and the pipe is not fully sealed, traceable steam may sometimes be seen during normal working conditions.
Instant Pot’s steam release handle has a pressure rating of 105kpa or 15.22psi. The steam release handle keeps the working pressure always under the specified pressure rating.
Instant Pot’s pressure sensor is at the bottom under the heating element. The pressure sensor works by measuring the force pressing down on it, including the weight of food. When there’s a small amount of food (under the 2 mark on the inner pot), the pressure sensor is slower at turning off the heat. Because of that, the momentum of the heat can push the pressure over the specified pressure rating, which causes a small amount of leaking from the steam release handle. Once the heating momentum is over, the pressure will be kept at the working pressure well under the 105kpa (15.22psi), and only minimal steam will come out of the steam release handle. This is still perfectly safe. Please see the illustration of Instant Pot working pressure diagram to understand the pressure changes over a cooking cycle.
Why is there steam coming out of the float valve during the start up procedure?
When you initially start your Instant Pot pressure cooker it is normal to see “On” in the display until the cooker gets to the proper temperature and pressure.
You should see steam come out of the float valve for approximately 40 -70 seconds as cooker reaches pressure. It will stop once the float valve seals.
Next, the timer countdown will start on the display. There should be very little steam leakage after the countdown begins.
To release steam / pressure naturally (Natural Pressure Release) let the cooker sit approximately 10-20 minutes after cooking until the float valve goes down.
To release steam / pressure faster (Quick Pressure Release or Manual Pressure Release) move the steam release handle from the ‘sealing’ to ‘venting’ position. Please note, this is not recommended if you’re cooking food with high starch content, e.g. porridge, which may cause spillage.
Burn Protection. What does that mean?
Most Instant Pot cooking functions, (e.g. Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Poultry, Bean/Chili, Rice, and Slow Cook) have temperature monitoring to avoid burning food. This mechanism is referred to as “burn-protection”. When a high temperature (140°C or 284°F) is detected at the bottom of the inner pot, the burn-protection mechanism suspends heating to avoid burning food. On the Instant Pot Duo Series, a warning message “ovHt” is flashed on the display.
This “burn-protection” mechanism works very well, except if the food has very high starch content. For example, if you add flour in your chili recipe, the flour sinks to the bottom, solidifies at low temperatures and can block heat dissipation. In this particular situation, we recommend you add flour to the chili after the initial cooking and perhaps cooking it for an additional one to five minutes to allow thickening of the chili.
Because the “Sauté” function operates at a much higher temperature than other settings we do not recommend operating unattended, just like you wouldn’t leave a pan on the stove unattended.
Recipes | Manuals | Cooking Time Tables
Recipes. Where can I find recipes?
Instant Pot has a number of resources for you to reference.
Why does the stainless steel inner pot have a rainbow like stain after washing?
The discoloration on a stainless steel cooking pot is called “rainbowing” which can be caused by exposure to high heat, cooking starchy food (e.g. rice, pasta) or even detergent staining after hand or machine wash. This is common in all stainless steel cookware. It is normal and harmless. To clean the rainbow discoloration, please follow the instructions on eHow. More cleaning suggestions can be found from the British Stainless Steel Association.
Why is there water on the groove of the cooker housing top?
It is normal to have some condensation of water in the groove at the top of the cooker, especially during the cooling down period. This is common for all electric pressure cookers. The groove is designed to prevent water dripping down to the counter.
If you have excessive amount of water in the groove, there are two possibilities:
The sealing ring is not positioned properly.
The sealing ring is deformed.
Please inspect your seal ring to see if it’s deformed. If so, you will need to replace the sealing ring.
Following cooking I notice the lid sucks and lifts up the inner pot. What should I do to avoid that?
After cooking and cooling down, air condenses inside the Instant Pot and creates a vacuum between the lid and the inner pot. To break the vacuum, turn the steam release handle to ‘Venting’ to let in air.
Why is there an occasional clicking sound when using my Instant Pot?
The clicking/cracking sounds in the Instant Pot comes from the following possible sources –
Water or moisture at the bottom of the inner pot.
Instant Pot pressure switch turning on and off during operation.
Frictions between the lid and the housing created by expansion and contraction due to the change in internal pressure and temperature.
The flat flexible pressure board under the heating element bending under pressure (the board is designed to last over 100,000 uses).
Food such as dry beans popping open during cooking.
If it is number 1, please wipe the inner pot dry before placing it into the cooker. Regarding the other cases, please rest assured that there is no safety or functional concerns. Your Instant Pot is working properly.
Why does Instant Pot ‘Control Panel’ look cloudy?
There is a thin protective film on the control panel to be peeled off during your first use. When you peel the thin film off, the panel will become shiny and clear.
How do I know when to replace the Instant Pot inner pot?
The Instant Pot inner pot is made from solid stainless steel with fused-on 3-ply bottom. We do not anticipate any defect to develop with the inner pot over its life under normal use.
How do I know when to replace the Instant Pot sealing ring?
What do I do if I have a question or if there is something wrong with my Instant Pot and I want to make a warranty claim?
If there is something wrong with your Instant Pot, and you would like to make a warranty claim or simply have a question, please contact the Customer Care team at https://www.instantpot.com/support/. Describe the problem in as much detail as possible and include your purchase order number and an image of your receipt.
Our warranty service is for a period of one year from the date of purchase. If your Instant Pot is beyond the warranty period, please contact us we will try our best to resolve the issue for you. For more information on the Instant Pot warranty https://instantpot.com/support/warranty-information/
How do I remove the food smell from the sealing ring?
The Instant Pot® sealing ring is made from food grade silicone. Silicone may pick up food odors during cooking. To remove the odor, try the following:
Steam Clean: add 2 cups of water or white vinegar and cut-up lemon rind, run the Steam program for 2 minutes with the sealing ring in position. Then, allow the sealing ring to air dry.
Place the sealing ring in the dishwasher. High temperature and strong detergent will usually remove the majority of smells.
Soak the sealing ring overnight in white vinegar, lemon juice, tomato juice, or bleach. Then, run it through the dishwasher.
Store the sealing ring in a plastic bag with ground coffee or baking soda.
Or, you may wish to have one sealing ring for savory and another for sweet foods.
How do I clean the Instant Pot lid?
If you allow Instant Pot to cool naturally, the lid is normally clean, with condensation water only. You don’t need to unscrew anything to wash, simply wipe dry with a dry cloth.
If you use quick release (letting steam out from steam release handle) or cook sticky foods, you may need to remove the anti-block shield (not the whole steam release assembly) for cleaning. After cleaning, place the anti-block shield back on. You may also want to pull the steam release handle out and the sealing ring for cleaning.
Please always inspect the float valve to make sure it can move up and down easily without obstruction. You can remove the float valve by taking out the small silicone rubber ring for cleaning.
Is Instant Pot dishwasher safe?
Instant Pot inner pots, pressure cooker lids, glass lids and accessories (steam rack, soup spoon and rice paddle) are dishwasher safe.
The housing has electronic components and should never be immerse in water doing so will damage Instant Pot permanently. The housing can only be wiped clean.