Sautéing is a method of cooking food with a small amount of oil or fat at relatively high heat. Food that is sautéed is browned while preserving its texture, moisture and flavor.  A typical use of sautéing is to brown the meat before pressure cooking.

The new Instant Pot IP-LUX60 is equipped with an advanced sautéing/browning function key.  3 levels of temperature can be chosen with the “Adjust” key for best results.

  • “Normal”: ~160°C (320°F) for regular browning,
  • “More”: ~170°C (338°F) for darker browning,  and
  • “Less”: ~105°C (221°F) for light browning.

The “Sauté” function can also be used to thicken the sauce after pressure cooking, by adding starch or simply evaporating liquid. In fact, it can be used for anything related with a sauce pan, e.g warming a canned soup, reheating porridge, etc.

During sautéing, the lid needs to be opened at all time to avoid pressure building up.  If the lid is closed, the display will show a flashing “Lid”.

The procedure of using “Sauté”.

  • Press the “Sauté” function key.
  • Select a temperature with the “Adjust” key for “Normal”, “More” or “Less”.
  • Sauté Temperature ReachedWhen Instant Pot reaches the given working temperature, it displays “Hot” and you can start sautéing/browning meat.
  • One full “Sauté” session will run for 30 minutes. You can cancel it at any time by pressing the “Cancel/Keep Warm” key and continue with a pressure cooking function.

A brief video demo of Instant Pot IP-LUX60 for browning (sautéing) in action.

61 replies
  1. Julie
    Julie says:

    I have a new Instant Pot and the Saute button will not work, every other button works but the screen continues to say off when I try to use saute

  2. Sai
    Sai says:

    Hi, When I turn on IP, it is by default going to saute mode and turns On and vessel gets heated. but none of the other options are working. No buttons work except for Saute . Why does this happen. It worked previously fine the night before.

  3. nicole
    nicole says:

    I am trying to saute now, I have the lid off and pressed saute “more” to make it hot. it has said “on” for nearly 10 mins now and isn’t heating up 🙁 What is wrong? I need it for an 8 day cross country trip starting on Monday.

    • Sorley Oneil
      Sorley Oneil says:

      Hello Nicole,

      Thank you for reaching out! I’ll be happy to help with your Instant Pot’s Saute function. From your description we will need to assist you via our technical support team. Please visit the following link to create a support ticket and someone will contact yourself within 24-72 hours;

      Kind Regards,
      Sorley O

  4. Sandra
    Sandra says:

    FYI, the squash soup has the incorrect measurements in the recipe book that comes with the pot. You actually need 64 oz. squash…..The blogs confirm this mistake or you can call Instant Pot if you want and HOPE that you get a customer service representative that is aware of this HUGE discrepancy. It’s in the 4th edition…Otherwise if you go by the recipe, you need a straw to “drink” the soup….

  5. Sandra
    Sandra says:

    When I saute on the stovetop, I use Medium High. I wonder if there is chart that suggest saute temperature per veggies, chicken, meat, etc. Thanks in advance. Sadra

  6. Pat Vance
    Pat Vance says:

    Haven’t sautee’d yet, but would like to. When you add the liquid after sauteeing, does the liquid have to be hot or room temp?

    • mjun
      mjun says:

      Hi Pat, it depends on what recipe you are working with and what you are trying to achieve. It’s really up to you if you’d like the liquid hot or lukewarm.

  7. Beej
    Beej says:

    I have Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1… I m not sure how to lower the temperature in Sauté mode. I would like to saute in low temperatures mode.

  8. Eddie King
    Eddie King says:

    Do I always need to add a large amount of water, cooking a chicken breast in water is boiling it.
    I want it to be brown on the outside, my son told me I had to add at least 1/2 cup water. Is that correct?

    • mjun
      mjun says:

      Always add at least 18 fl oz. / 500 ml of water or other liquids so enough steam can be
      generated to cook under pressure. These include cooking sauces, wine, beer, stocks,
      juices of fruits and vegetables

  9. Trina
    Trina says:

    I have used my instant pot twice. All of the sudden my saute and manual button have stopped working. Everything else is fine. Any suggestions?

  10. Linda Kaufman
    Linda Kaufman says:

    I went to use my IP tonight and the pot would not heat up on the sauté. Please HELP! I’ve had my IP for about 3 years and it’s always worked.

  11. mary vieira
    mary vieira says:

    When I plug in my pot and hit the saute button instead of turning on it has lid on the screen. No matter what I do the lid will not come off the screen and it will not saute. What is wrong.

    • mjun
      mjun says:

      Hi Carole,
      It depends on which model and what temp setting you have it on (low, medium or high) but in general it should warm up and be ready in several minutes. You need to leave the lid off, if you need to cover it when you sauté it’s recommended that you use a glass lid.

  12. Cindy Hall
    Cindy Hall says:

    How do I know what function to use when a recipe calls for a specific button (function button) the IP LUX does not have?
    Cindy Hall

    • mjun
      mjun says:

      Hi Cindy, What function are you looking for specifically? You will need to use a manual setting if the function isn’t there.

  13. Carol
    Carol says:

    my saute mode is a 40 min cycle it looks like. it worked fine ie 30 mins until today. now when i press saute i see 40 mins flash on the screen instead of 30 before it switches to ON. please help

    • mjun
      mjun says:

      Hi Kim,
      It depends on the amount of oil. A little isn’t going to cause an issue. If it’s over a tablespoon I’d pour out the oil first.

  14. Carrie H
    Carrie H says:

    If I need to adjust the saute temperature, I have to turn the pot off, then turn it on again, and then within a few seconds I can adjust the level by pressing the adjust button repeatedly until it gets to the correct setting. Once it is turned on to a setting, I’ve found I cant adjust the temp from there without turning the unit off again.

  15. Joy Richey Svoboda
    Joy Richey Svoboda says:

    My Adjust button doesn’t seem to do anything. The sauté function just stays at normal. Is there something wrong with my pot? I tried the + & – buttons too, no change.

  16. Elizabeth Delgado
    Elizabeth Delgado says:

    I have not purchased the Instant Pot yet but my confusion is what size should I purchase. I do not want to go small and then realize I need to purchase bigger. Would the 6 quart be enough for a family of 5?

    Thank you, Liz

    • Donna
      Donna says:

      Can I do canning with Instant Pot?

      There are two types of canning: boiling-water canning at 100°C/212°F (for acid fruits, tomatoes, pickles and jellied products) and pressure canning at 115~121°C/240~250°F (for low acid vegetables, meat and poultry). Please refer to “USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning” for more details.

      Instant Pot can be used for boiling-water canning. However, Instant Pot has not been tested for food safety in pressure canning by USDA. Due to the fact that programs in Instant Pot IP-CSG, IP-LUX and IP-DUO series are regulated by a pressure sensor instead of a thermometer, the elevation of your location may affect the actual cooking temperature. For now, we wouldn’t recommend using Instant Pot for pressure canning purpose.

      See also:

  17. Irma
    Irma says:

    Can you adjust the saute after it starts? It would be nice to be able to turn it town. Do I have to turn it off and reset it? Seems silly.

    • Instant Pot Staff
      Instant Pot Staff says:

      Hi Irma,

      You can press Cancel and press Saute to restart the program. The program will operate based on current sensor reading. So it doesn’t matter which temperature it’s at.

    • MrSouderton
      MrSouderton says:

      Instant Pot has made a great pressure cooker. Sautéing in the pot and then starting high pressure cooking is really efficient and doesn’t require dirtying additional pots/pans. I especially like the button simplicity, it doesn’t limit any of the capabilities one bit.


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