Instant Pot Frequently Asked Questions

Instant Pot FAQ - These are the most frequently asked questions by Instant Pot users.

Instant Pot is a fast-growing brand that manufactures the Instant Pot Pressure Cookers.

Instant Pot DUO 60 is on sale on Amazon. Also check out Our Handpicked Best Instant Pot Accessories

This mighty little Instant Pot Pressure Cooker has swept across the nation, stormed into homes and is slowly taking over the world kitchen! 😉

Maybe you have got an Instant Pot for Christmas, snatched a great Instant Pot Deal on Amazon Prime Day, or kept hearing from your friends who simply couldn’t stop talking about their Instant Pots.

What is the Instant Pot fuss all about?

So, we’ve gathered some of the most Frequently Asked Questions for Instant Pot below.

If you couldn’t find the answer to your question or if you have a great answer to a commonly asked question that’s not listed below, please give us a shout in the comments below.

Before Purchasing Instant Pot

1. What is an Instant Pot? Is it the Same as a Pressure Cooker?
2. Instant Pot vs. Slow Cooker?
3. Why is Everyone Raving About Their Instant Pots?
4. Is it Easy to Cook with an Instant Pot?
5. Does Instant Pot Really Speed Up the Cooking Process?
6. Are there any Disadvantages with Cooking in Instant Pot?
7. Is Instant Pot Safe to Use?
8. What is Instant Pot’s Working Pressure?
9. Can Instant Pot be Used for Pressure Canning?
10. Can I Use Instant Pot for Pressure Frying?
11. Which Instant Pot Makes Yogurt?
12. Which Instant Pot Should I Buy?
13. Which Size Should I Buy?

After Purchasing Instant Pot

14. What Instant Pot Accessories Do I Need?
15. What Accessories or Containers Can I Use in Instant Pot?
16. I Just Got My Instant Pot. What Should I Do First?
17. What is the Water Test?
18. I’m Confused With All the Instant Pot Terms and Acronyms.
19. Where Can I Find Instant Pot Recipes?
20. How to Do a Quick Release?
21. How to Do a Natural Release?
22. I Live in a High Altitude City. Do I Need to Adjust the Cooking Times?
23. What is the PIP Method?
24. Is it Called an InstaPot or Instant Pot?

 


Before Purchasing Instant Pot

1. What is an Instant Pot? Is it the Same as a Pressure Cooker?

Instant Pot is a Third Generation Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker. In fact, it’s currently one of the most popular electric pressure cooker brands!

Besides pressure cooking, you can use the Instant Pot to slow cook, cook rice, brown meat, steam food, keep food warm, and make homemade yogurt!

Comparing to traditional stovetop pressure cookers, Instant Pot gives you the freedom to “set-it-and-forget-it”, no more standing by the stove to babysit the pot as it cooks.

Also, instead of using an external heat source (stovetop pressure cooker), Instant Pot uses an internal heat source powered by electricity.


2. Instant Pot vs. Slow Cooker?

Slow Cooker (aka Crockpot) heats food at a lower temperature than common cooking methods such as boiling, baking, frying. Thus, takes longer to cook food.

While Instant Pot, most often used as a pressure cooker, heats food at a higher temperature due to a sealed cooking environment. Thus, cooks faster.

However, as mentioned above, Instant Pot also offers the Slow Cook function. Since we love pressure cooking so much, we rarely use our Instant Pots for slow cooking.


3. Why is Everyone Raving About their Instant Pots?

We love our dear Instant Pots for many reasons, and here are some of the top reasons:

  • Huge Timesaver – Cooks most food faster
  • Easy to Use
  • Safe to Use – UL & ULC certified with 10 or more built-in safety mechanisms
  • Quiet – Unlike loud & noisy traditional stovetop pressure cookers
  • Budget-Friendly – Instant Pot available below $100 USD
  • Hands-Off Cooking – “set-it-and-forget-it”
  • Can Saute/Brown Food Directly in the Pot
  • Yogurt! Yes – you can make yogurt!

4. Is it Easy to Cook with an Instant Pot?

Yes! There’s definitely a learning curve to cook with pressure cookers and Instant Pot, especially if you’re new to the method of pressure cooking.

But no worries! Once you get the hang of it, it’s relatively easy. Besides, you’ve got us right here helping you along the way! 🙂


5. Does Instant Pot Really Speed Up the Cooking Process?

Cooking in any pressure cooker is almost always faster.

It may not be noticeable for some quick to cook food such as broccoli, eggs or shrimps.

However, tender and juicy pulled pork can be done in under 90 minutes, when it usually takes 2 – 4 hours to make in the oven.


6. Are there Any Disadvantages with Cooking in Instant Pot?

One disadvantage of cooking with any pressure cooker is that you can’t inspect, taste, or adjust the food along the way.

That’s why it’s essential, especially in the beginning, to follow tested Instant Pot Recipes with accurate cooking times, seasoning, amount of liquid to ensure the food quality.


7. Is Instant Pot Safe to Use?

Modern day electric pressure cookers such as the Instant Pot are quiet, very safe and easy to use.

It has 10 or more UL Certified proven safety mechanisms to prevent most of the potential issues. Here are some safety tips.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Safety

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8. What is Instant Pot’s Working Pressure?

The current Instant Pot models have working pressure in the range of 10.15~11.6 psi.


9. Can Instant Pot be Used for Pressure Canning?

This is a direct quote from Instant Pot’s official website: “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.


10. Can I Use Instant Pot for Pressure Frying?

Please don’t attempt to pressure fry in any electric pressure cookers! The splattering oil may melt the gasket.

KFC uses a commercial pressure fryer (modern ones operate at 5 PSI) specially made to fry chickens. This Pressure Cooker Chicken is probably as close as it gets.


11. Which Instant Pot Makes Yogurt?

All Instant Pot DUO, DUO Plus, Ultra Models have the Programmable Yogurt Function for making Instant Pot Yogurt!


12. Which Instant Pot Should I Buy?

Instant Pot currently offers 4 lines of Instant Pot products:

Which Instant Pot you should buy highly depends on your budget, cooking needs, the amount of food you normally cook, or how tech-savvy you are.

For More In-Depth Instant Pot Review: Which Instant Pot to Buy


13. Which Size Should I Buy?

Instant Pot comes in 3 different sizes: 3 Quart, 6 Quart, and 8 Quart. (Instant Pot Company has discontinued their Instant Pot 5 quart models).

The right Instant Pot Size depends on what type, size, and quantity of food you’ll cook with your Instant Pot. See in-depth comparison chart here.


After Purchasing Instant Pot

14. What Instant Pot Accessories Do I Need?

Here’s our hand-picked list of the most popular Instant Pot Accessories among fellow Instant Pot users: Instant Pot Accessories & Instant Pot Steamer Baskets


15. What Accessories or Containers Can I Use in Instant Pot?

You can use any oven-safe accessories and containers.

Take note that different materials will conduct heat differently, so cooking times may vary when you use different containers.

We recommend using stainless steel containers as they conduct heat quickly.


16. I Just Got My Instant Pot. What Should I Do First? 

Congratulations and welcome to the Instant Pot Tribe! 🙂

Time to overcome your fear and unbox your Instant Pot! Here’s a Step-by-Step Guide: Instant Pot Setup

Then, you should conduct a Water Test with your brand new Instant Pot!


17. What is the Water Test?

It’s simply running a test run before you start experimenting with food. It also allows you to get a feel of how the pressure cooker works (i.e. which buttons to use, how to do quick release).

Here’s a Visual Step-by-Step Water Test Demo Video:

For Step-by-Step Instructions: Instant Pot Water Test


18. I’m Confused With All the Instant Pot Terms and Acronyms.

IP? HP? 5-5-5? Confused with all the Instant Pot Lingo?

Instant Pot Glossary: Guide for Instant Pot abbreviations & jargon that will get you off your feet as a newbie.


19. Where Can I Find Instant Pot Recipes?

There are more things you can make with your new kitchen toy – Instant Pot – than you’d imagine!

Here are some popular easy beginner recipes among Instant Pot users: Easy Instant Pot Recipes

Easy Instant Pot Recipes (Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes) & step-by-step Instant Pot Videos and Tips for you to learn how to use Instanst Pot Electric Pressure Cooker.


20. How to Do a Quick Release?

After the cooking cycle ends, carefully move the Venting Knob from Sealing Position to Venting Position.

This rapidly releases the pressure in the pressure cooker. This usually takes a few minutes.

Wait until the floating valve (metal pin) completely drops before opening the lid.


21. How to Do a Natural Release?

After the cooking cycle ends, wait until the Floating Valve (metal pin) completely drops before opening the lid.

Always turn the Venting Knob from Sealing Position to Venting Position. This ensures all the pressure is released before opening the lid. It usually takes 10 – 25 minutes.

In our recipes, you may see “15 mins Natural Release” – this means after the cooking cycle ends, wait 15 minutes before turning the Venting Knob to manually release the remaining pressure.

More In-Depth Instructions & Demo Video: Pressure Cooker Release Methods


22. I Live in a High Altitude City. Do I Need to Adjust the Cooking Times?

Yes! Our Instant Pot Recipes are developed and tested at close to sea level.

So, when you live in a high altitude city (over 3000 ft above sea level), use our Pressure Cooker High Altitude Cooking Time Adjustment Chart to adjust the cooking times in our Instant Pot Recipes.


23. What is the PIP Method?

PIP means Pot in Pot or Pan in Pot. It is an efficient way to cook multiple dishes (with similar cooking time) in the pressure cooker at the same time. Here’s an example 🙂


24. Is it Called an InstaPot or Instant Pot?

Many users call it InstaPot, IP, or IPPY.

The correct name is Instant Pot, but call it whatever you like. In fact, some users even named their cookers – “Husband” 😉


Have fun cooking with your awesome Instant Pot Pressure Cooker!

*Let us know in the comments if you have any other Instant Pot questions. 🙂

Instant Pot FAQ - These are the most frequently asked questions by Instant Pot users.
Food Lovers in our 30s who worked directly with Instant Pot CEO, Manufacturers, and 35+ Restaurants. Culinary Families & Food Magazine Publishers.
  1. Hello, thanks for the info. I just got an IP. I looked online for easy chicken breast. What I didn’t understand on what the difference is between Pressure Cook button and all the other buttons, for instance the Poultry button. Are these other button, like poultry, stews, beans and so on, are they also pressure cooking too? And how would I know how much time for these things? Thanks.

    1. Hi Christine,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year 🙂
      Thank you for your question. The buttons are roughly the same. You can use the pressure cook button for all our recipes unless specifically stated.

      Happy New Year & please take care
      Jacky

  2. I have recently got my first IP and tried my first recipe (specific to IP) followed the directions specifically even made my husband double check me. The recipe was for Sweet and Sour pork but the sauce never thickened it looked more like a pork soup when I took the lid off…any suggestions? Thank you…love you blog so helpful for us “New IP users” blessings! 🙂

    1. Hi Cecilia,

      Congrats on your new Instant Pot. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Holiday 🙂
      It sounds like too much liquid was added to the sweet and sour pork.

      The sauce will not thicken while pressure cooking as there is no evaporation.
      We have a Sweet and sour pork chop on our recipe. Perhaps you can use it as a reference.

      Please take care & have a wonderful weekend
      Jacky

  3. While I mostly use my Instant Pot for pressure cooking, I used it today for slow cooking and was wondering what the high temperature of the slow cooking setting should be, with it set on MORE. It seemed to be cooler than my traditional crockpot. When we measured the temperature it was about 190 degrees – is this normal?
    –LYNN

    1. Hi Lynn,

      thank you for your question.

      Yes, the temperature for Instant Pot’s slow cooking function is lower than traditional crockpot.

      Please take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  4. Hi!
    Firstly, I love your blog. Your beef strog was the first recipe I ever made with my Instant Pot and it was fantastic! I work for Williams-Sonoma and always recommend you to customers!
    I have a question that I haven’t been able to find online, maybe you can help.
    There is a delay between the float valve popping up/sealing and the countdown timer beginning. Just now making a batch of meatballs in sauce, it was probably 2 minutes before the timer finally hit. It IS one of the larger volume recipes I’ve made, but was right at fill line. Do you have any ideas?

    Thanks! Keep on cooking and blogging we love it!

    1. Hi Jane,

      thank you so much for your kind words and support 🙂

      When the floating valve pops up to completely seal the IP, pressure will begin to build up inside.

      Once the proper temperature and pressure has been reached, the countdown timer will then begin (hence the delay).

      Please take care!!
      Jacky

  5. Amy and Jackie
    I just bought an Instant Pot and wanted to make spaghetti squash in it. (I have done this before in my FAGOR pressure cooker) . I followed the directions as followed. 7 minutes high pressure. I add water to the bottom as required. However when the time is up the spaghetti squash is steaming but still hard inside. Do you know why this isn’t cooking?

    1. Hi Rachelle,

      Welcome to our site and thank you for your question 🙂

      Was the spaghetti squash cut in half? A whole spaghetti squash will take longer to cook.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  6. Hi, My 3 quart instant pot does not have a poultry button, what can I do. Love my instant pot for other things, want to make chicken and not sure what button to hit.
    Thanks

  7. Hi, recently bought the 3 quart instant pot. My question is my pot does not have a poultry or manual button. What can I do, was planning to make chicken thigh recipe. Thank you.

    1. Hi Leanne,

      Congrats on your new Instant Pot and thank you for your question 🙂

      The manual button has been renamed to pressure cook in the recent models.

      Happy New Year to you and your family!
      Jacky

  8. I just got my new IP as a delayed Christmas present. I was putting together a recipe that is specific to Instant Pot. When I got it all together and started it, I realized I had forgotten to put the onions in. Can the IP be opened to add ingredients and then start up cooking again?

    1. Hi Kristin,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      Usually you can open the Instant Pot to add in the missing ingredients, but it will depend on the recipe.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  9. Happy Thursday! I have a question . I prefer to brown my meat on the stove top, as opposed to the IP (yes, I know that somewhat defeats that “one pot” purpose). I can just brown a lot of meat faster way.

    Here’s the question: When I brown outside of the pot, do I have to adjust cooking times or do anything special when I add the meat to the IP to make my recipe, as the pot is not yet heated (like it would have been if I browned the meat in the IP)?

    1. Hi Mikel,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      The cooking time will stay the same as the difference is minimal.

      Make sure to deglaze the skillet and pour the flavorful juice back into the IP.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  10. Amy and Jackie,
    I followed a Paleo porridge recipe, ground nuts and 2 cups of water, and used the Porridge button. I glanced at the screen and it said burn. I checked and sure enough, it was brown and sticking to the bottom! Is it possible to do porridge in this pot following this recipe?
    I have the Duo60 vs Instant Pot.
    I tryed the big pancake recipe with similar results. Thank you for the ability to get some answers.
    Gail

    1. Hi Gail,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      You may want to use the Pot in Pot method. You can also try it one more time with the Manual/Pressure Cook button and slightly more water.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  11. Hello! I just got an Instant Pot for Christmas and have made a couple of your recipes already – with great results! Thank you for sharing.
    I do have a question and I have searched a few sites to find it but can’t seem to get a good answer. Hoping you can help. I would like to do some meal prep for the week (lunches-salads, dinners) and thought it would be good to pre-cook chicken breasts for easy assembly. What is the best way to do this? Just layer them in the pot? Do I need to cover with liquid? Tin foil between layers? What do I do?
    Appreciate the help.
    Shannon

    1. Hi Shannon,

      Congrats on your new Instant Pot and thank you for your kind words 🙂

      We did some experiments on chicken breasts and here is our full article & results

      High Pressure Cooking Method: 5 minutes at High Pressure with 1 cup of cold running tap water on a rack + 7 – 8 minutes Natural Release
      Low Pressure Cooking Method: 9 minutes at Low Pressure with 1 cup of cold running tap water on a rack + 8 – 9 minutes Natural Release (The floating pin will drop at around 2 – 4 minutes)

      Happy New Year & Have a great week
      Jacky

    1. Hi Ken,
      The newer models renamed the “Manual” button/program to “Pressure Cook” button/program.
      Let me know if you have any other questions. Have fun with your Instant Pot! 🙂
      Happy New Year!
      Take care,
      Amy

  12. Can I use a smaller inner pot? I just bought a 6qt Instant Pot and I’m looking to buy an extra inner pot. Can I get a 3qt or do I have to get 6qt for it to work?

  13. I don’t understand the LED “clock” on my Instant Pot. It looks like 0.0.:0.0. on the display. What would 20 minutes look like?

    1. Hi Susan,

      The pressure cooking buttons operate in Minute:Second so it should look like 20:00.

      The Delay Timer button will look like 00:20 as it operates in Hour: Minute.

      Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you and your family!
      Jacky

  14. Hi Jackie and Amy. I’ve been using a 6 qt. Instant Pot for almost a year now and I just received an 8 qt. one for Christmas. Obviously there’s a difference in size between the two. Can I still cook a 6 qt. recipe in the 8 qt. IP? What are the things that I have to take into consideration going from a small pot to a bigger one?
    You two are best for info and recipes on the IP. Have a Happy New Year.
    Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Brenda,

      Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you and your family!!
      Thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      No adjustment is needed when going from a smaller pot to a bigger one.

      Please take care!
      Jacky

  15. Hi Jacky,
    We lost our entire kitchen in the Harvey Flood so I am starting from scratch to rebuild many of my small appliances. The Instant Pot caught my eye, I have not bought it yet since it is an investment and I have a couple of questions.
    My mom uses the term “cooked old people” when I bring up cooking in a crockpot. The texture is something she does not care for (I like stews, etc). So my first question is does meat always come out to stem meat consistency? My second question is that I noticed someone posted about cooking a whole chicken in 45 minutes – does the pot brown the meat? Last question can you cook from frozen meat to dinner table?

    1. Hi Tracey,

      I am so sorry to hear what happened, but I am sure 2018 will be a great year for you and your family!!

      1) So my first question is does meat always come out to stem meat consistency?

      It doesn’t have to be as long as the cooking time is on point. Stew meat consistency usually means all the tissue are broken down after a long period of cooking.

      2) My second question is that I noticed someone posted about cooking a whole chicken in 45 minutes – does the pot brown the meat?
      There is a saute button you can use to brown the meat before or after pressure cooking. For whole chicken, I would recommend placing it in the oven to crisp up the skin a little after pressure cooking. It will come out nice and moist on the outside and slightly crisp on the outside.

      3) Last question can you cook from frozen meat to dinner table?
      Yes you can 🙂 Submerge at least 90% of the meat in cooking liquid and let it cook.

      We wish you & your loved ones a Merry Christmas & many blessings to come in the New Year!

      Please take care!
      Jacky

    1. Hi Don,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Standing rib roast is a tender cut and is more suitable roasting in a low temperature oven.

      Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday to You and Your Family!

      Please take care
      Jacky

  16. Now that Instant Pot has a Duo Mini would you give some guidance on your recipes as to amount of ingredients and cooking times? This would be very helpfully.

    1. Hi Robert,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      The liquid ingredients and cooking time will remain the same.

      Most of the recipes can work in the 3qt without any adjustment. If the solid ingredients can be fit in the 3qt without overfilling, everything will stay the same.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  17. I forgot to turn the sealing button on when I started to cook my Kalua Pig….when I heard it hissing and releasing steam I quickly adjusted the button….about 5-10 minutes into cooking. I then adjusted the time to 5 more minutes (75 minutes total cooking time -I have a 4 lb pork butt)
    I’m worried that I screwed it up. Please HELP! Barbara

    1. Hi Barbara,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      I am sure the meal will come out fine as you have quickly adjusted the sealing button.

      Take care & have a great weekend
      Jacky

    2. Thank you Jacky. The pork did turn out great! I now will always make sure the top button is in the right position….I’m getting the hang of it! Can’t wait to try some of your recipes.

  18. I bought the UP and read the instructions carefully ( because I’ve always been afraid of pressure cookers in the past). The Initial Test Run took more than 40 minutes. I’m glad I read this, because I found I should have put only 3 CUPS of water into the pot, not ‘add water to the “3” mark’ like the user manual states. Hope this helps other newbies. Can’t wait to expand my cooking skills with my new instant pot!!!

    1. Hi Joan,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      If you are referring to the venting knob, it is the black knob on the lid. You can turn it to the venting position and sealing position.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  19. HI, I bought anUltra 60 Instant Pot and the instructions state “position the stean release valve to Sealing by pushing the steam release button counter-clockwise. When I attempted to turn the button it wouldn’t move. I had someone else try to move the button but no luck. Can you help me out? Apparently even without moving the button steam forms in the pot???
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Joan,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      The button doesn’t move to any position on the Ultra. You just have to turn the knob counter-clockwise to seal the pot.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  20. Hi Amy + Jacky, I wrote to you one time before about how to clean the heating unit on the interior bottom of my pressure cooker. You suggested using a magic eraser. It didn’t seem to work so well. I’m thinking about using steel wool to try and clean it because the plate is really turning brown. Will the steel wool harm my pressie cooker in any way? Thank you.

  21. I would like to steam vegetables, the old fashioned way, not under pressure. Everything I have read said to add water, a steamer basket, and press “saute” and not “steam”. However, when I have done this, within a couple minutes, it has overheated and there is a HOT warning displayed. I have tried this both with the main lid set to “venting” as well as the glass lid. Each time, I got the warning. Is there any reason I cannot use the “steam” setting with the glass lid and just simply steam my vegetables?

    1. Hi Kyle,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      You can use the steam setting with a glass lid to simply steam your vegetables.

      Make sure to add roughly 2 cups of water.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

    2. Thank you!!!! I know I’m not the only other one who has asked this on the internet, so I know this will help some people. 🙂

  22. Hoping you can put my mind at ease, as this is a heavily debated topic on the Instant Pot Community page. When the Cooking time is over and the recipe asks for a natural release. The question is, does the pressure drop a lot faster if you unplug the unit or turn it off than if it is left in the warming mode?

    1. Hi Janet,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      The Instant Pot company has stated unplugging the instant pot will not make any difference on the natural release time.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  23. I have a feeling my question will be met with derision, but here goes anyway. I am a senior and have been cooking for many years. Most consider me to be an above average cook. That said, I purchased an IP a few months ago. I have been very pleased with the quality and ease of making mashed potatoes or rice. Here’s the issue. I have three IP recipe books and have used recipes for pot roast as well as beef stroganoff, pulled pork, beef stew, chicken soup with IP made broth, and beef Bourgogne. All of the dishes had one thing in common: the meat itself was tasteless. The gravies/broths/sauces were good, but the meat itself had no flavor left at all. Is this simply because the meat has been pressure cooked? The liquid used in the pot robs the beef/chicken/pork of all flavor? Do I have to choose between tender or flavorless? I am very disappointed and reluctant to sacrifice another piece of protein to this thing. That makes it a rather elaborate and spendy potato/rice cooker. My old cooking methods, using the oven or crock pot, made for much richer, flavorful dishes. Am I missing something?

    1. Hi Donna,

      It’s great to hear from you again. Hope you have been doing well.

      This is such a great question 🙂

      Meat usually goes tasteless when all the juice, fat & flavor has transferred/melted into the liquid. Tasteless and dry meat means the meat has been overcooked.

      You can reduce the cooking time to prevent this from happening so both the meat and sauce will have the right balance of flavor 🙂

      take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  24. Got an IP-LUX60 for Christmas and I’ve used it several times, but I’m still learning. I’m making a meatloaf for the first time and the recipe said to set it on high and pressure cook for 15 minutes. I assumed it meant the meat button and I adjusted to high, but it started counting down before it even sealed and it was smelling a bit burnt. I shut it off and reset it without opening it, using the meat button on medium and reset the time. It took awhile to start counting down and I let it do its thing, using natural pressure release per the recipe instructions. Took it out and flipped it and the bottom was indeed a bit burnt. Do you see anything I did wrong? Any reason it might start counting down before reaching pressure? As far as liquid…there was 1/2 cup beef broth and 1 cup ketchup.

    1. Hi CindyV,

      thank you for your comment and question 🙂

      The heat sensor for Instant Pot is built at the bottom of the pot.
      So if it registers a high temperature, it will think the pot is under pressure.

      The liquid was probably too thick to cause false reading of the sensor and the scorching at the bottom.

      The best way is to start with thinner liquid to make sure the pot can get up to pressure.

      Happy New Year & Have Fun Cooking!
      Jacky

    1. Hi Mary,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      I would add 1 cup of chicken stock and layer the cream of mushroom soup on top without mixing them in.

      Have fun cooking!
      Jacky

  25. I made congee. Now I want to keep ot warm overnight. So,I pressed porridge button and hope after that finishes, it will cycle onto warm overnight. Will that work?

    1. Hi Sue,

      Thank you for your question 🙂
      It is better to store in fridge and reheat with a bit of extra water.
      If it is on warm cycle for the whole night, the congee will be very very thick and the inner pot will be harder to clean up.

      Happy New Year & Have fun cooking!
      Jacky

  26. I have a pressure cooker and I love it. I have just one question. The heating plate in the bottom of my cooker is turning brown, I guess from the heat which makes the pot steam. How can I clean the grime off the heating plate? Anyone response would be helpful. Thank you.

    1. Hi Norman,

      thank you for your question. Perhaps you can try using magic eraser. Make sure to unplug the pressure cooker and allow it to dry before using again.

      Have fun cooking!
      Jacky

  27. Hi! I just got an instant pot for Christmas and used it to do a brisket. I followed the directions as the recipe said and my brisket came out as tuff as shoe leather. The same thing g happened to my roast. I couldn’t even cut it. I know there has to be something I’m doing wrong because I hear and see all these great things and I really want it to work and make some good tasting food! Please help me!! Lol!!- Amber M.

  28. Just took delivery on my IPduo60 and was happy to find this site. THANKS! I also purchased two cookbooks and read the manual from cover to cover. Still I have a question. We are retired empty nesters and are not particularly fond of leftovers. How do I adapt the recipes to smaller portion sizes? Can I simply half them? Is there a minimum of water that must be added? Do I really have to make enough oatmeal or rice to feed the neighbors? I’m wondering whether this was a wise purchase if I’m to save time only while wasting food. Suggestions? Thanks for a great site.

    1. Hi Donna,

      Thank you so much for your kind words and Congrats on your new IP 🙂

      We often cook at smaller portion as well. We recommend a minimum of 1 cup total liquid to new users.
      If you need a smaller portion, the pot in pot method is a great method to use.

      Please see recipe video on Teriyaki Chicken & Rice for demonstration.

      Have fun cooking!
      Jacky

    2. Hi Jacky,
      THanks for the quick and informative response. I will definitely use the P in P method. I doubt I would have found it on my own, or tried it without your recommendation if I had. Thanks,

      Donna

  29. Just bought an Instant Pot. Wanting to cook a prime rib roast. It is seared and all I want to order is use the Instant Pot to cook the meat only. How do I do That? Do I use water for steam or just put is in the pot and put the lid on it and let it cook in it’s own juices. I can’t find anywhere.

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