Instant Pot Terminology & Acronyms

Instant Pot Glossary: Instant Pot Terminology & Acronyms that will help you learn how to use the Instant Pot, understand Instant Pot Recipes & Manual.

Just got a new Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker? Welcome to the Instant Pot Tribe!! Time to learn the Instant Pot Terminology in Instant Pot Recipes, Instant Pot Manual, and lingo commonly used by fellow Potheads among Instant Pot Communities.

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Here’s an Instant Pot Glossary for the abbreviations and jargon that will get you off your feet as a newbie.

Leave us a comment if you think there are other Instant Pot terms that belong to this list. Thanks! 🙂

Ready to learn the Instant Pot Codes?

Instants Pot Acronyms

1. IP, Instapot, Magic Pot, Pot = Instant Pot

  • Example: My DH accidentally poured food in the IP without the pot. Please help! TIA
  • Decode: My dear husband accidentally poured food in the Instant Pot without the inner pot. Please help! Thanks in advance.

2. Pothead, Potters = Instant Pot users

3. PC = Pressure Cooker

4. EPC = Electric Pressure Cooker

  • Instant Pot is one of many brands of Electric Pressure Cookers in the market.

5. HP = High Pressure

  • High Pressure is the pressure cooking mode that cooks at 10.2 – 11.6 psi.

6. LP = Low Pressure

  • Low Pressure is the pressure cooking mode that cooks at 5.8 – 7.2 psi.

7. NR, NPR = Natural Release or Natural Pressure Release

After the cooking cycle finished, let the Instant Pot releases the pressure on its own (let it sit) until the Floating Valve (metal pin) completely drops.

8. QR, QPR = Quick Release or Quick Pressure Release

After the cooking cycle finished, move the Venting Knob from Sealing Position to Venting Position to quickly release the pressure inside the pressure cooker. Wait until the Floating Valve (metal pin) completely drops before opening the lid.

instant pot quick release (pressure cooker quick pressure release)


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9. HA = High Altitude

Your current location’s altitude affects the optimal pressure cooking time. So, if you live in a high altitude city over 3000 ft above sea level, adjust the cooking times for our recipes using the Pressure Cooker High Altitude Cooking Time Chart.

10. PIP = Pot in Pot or Pan in Pot

The Pot-in-Pot method allows you to cook more than 1 dish separately in the same pot at the same time.

You can do this by placing the ingredients in an oven-safe container on a rack inside the pressure cooker, separating it from the liquid and/or ingredients directly in the pot.

For example, you can cook rice and main dish at the same time in the Instant Pot!

Pot in Pot or Pan in Pot Method to cook Instant Pot Chicken and Rice

11. 5-5-5 = High Pressure 5 minutes, Natural Release 5 minutes, Ice Bath 5 minutes

This is one of the many methods for making Hard Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot. Same idea with 6-6-6 or 4-4-4.

However, we still enjoy making Instant Pot Eggs using Low Pressure. 😉

Easy Instant Pot Recipes: Instant Pot Soft Boiled Eggs, Instant Pot Medium Boiled Eggs, Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

12. Cheesecake #17

Why is there a number with the cheesecake photos shared everywhere? Is there a mystery Instant Pot Cookbook somewhere?

You might call us crazy..But yes! We tested our New York Cheesecake Recipe 17 times before perfecting it. This way, you can save time & money from experimenting! 😉

Easy New York Instant Pot Cheesecake Recipe: make this smooth & creamy or rich & dense pressure cooker cheesecake with crisp crust. Impress guests & pamper yourself!

Instant Pot Terminology

1. Instant Pot LUX, DUO, DUO Plus, Ultra, Smart

The Instant Pot Company currently manufactures 5 different product lines of Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cookers: LUX, DUO, DUO Plus, Ultra, and Smart.

They vary in features, functionalities, designs, sizes, and price.

Instant Pot Review: Which Instant Pot to Buy. First-hand user experience of all Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cookers. Thoughts on what size, model, features, price is best Instant Pot to buy.

2. Exterior Pot / Exterior Housing / Cooker Base

The exterior pot or housing refers to the outer brushed stainless steel part – where you place the inner pot.

*Caution: never immerse the exterior Instant Pot housing in any type of liquid.

3. Inner Pot / Insert / Liner / Stainless Steel Inner Pot

The inner pot is the removable 3-ply bottom stainless steel cooking pot (as shown in photo below) – where you place your food/liquid.

*Note: it’s dishwasher safe.

Instant Pot Setup: Unboxing Instant Pot before first use - setting up inner pot insert

Each Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker comes with 1 stainless steel inner pot. You can purchase an extra one for more flexibility:

4. Instant Pot Lid

The few critical parts you need to know about the Instant Pot Lid: Silicone Sealing Ring, Venting Knob, Floating Valve, and Anti-Block Shield (further explained below).

Instant Pot Ultra Lid

You can also purchase an Instant Pot Glass Lid (for slow cooking, keep warm mode), or Instant Pot Silicone Cover (for storing leftovers in the fridge).

5. Instant Pot Seal / Ring / Sealing Ring / Gasket

The Silicone Sealing Ring is critical to the pressure cooking process. So, it’s important to always check if it’s seated properly or damaged before you close the lid.

*Note: the silicone ring is dishwasher safe.

Instant Pot Setup: Unboxing Instant Pot before first use - check the Instant Pot Silicone Sealing Ring

*Pro Tip: It’s always good to have spare Silicone Sealing Rings as they do wear and tear over time.

6. Knob / Venting Knob / Steam Release Valve / Pressure Release Handle

It’s perfectly normal for the Venting Knob to be loose. You can pull it straight out for washing if necessary.

Instant Pot Setup: Unboxing Instant Pot before first use - check the Instant Pot Float Valve

7. Valve / Floating Valve / Pin / Metal Pin

This Floating Valve shows you a key signal whether your Instant Pot has built enough pressure (up to pressure) or has finished releasing pressure (depressurize).

*Note: different Instant Pot models’ Floating Valve may look different than the one shown in photo below

Instant Pot Float Valve

8. Sealing Position / Venting Position

It’s critical to ensure the Venting Knob is in the right position for the pressure cooking to go as intended.

  • Sealing Position: allows you to trap the steam in the pressure cooker (build up pressure)
  • Venting Position: allows you to release the steam inside the pressure cooker (depressurize)

Pressure Cooker Venting Knob Position

9. Shield / Anti-Block Shield

The Anti-Block Shield is one of the ten safety mechanisms of the Instant Pot that prevents food from interfering with the Venting Knob.

For cleaning, you can push it on the side to lift it up (as shown in photo below), and press it down in position to install it back in.

Instant Pot Setup: Unboxing Instant Pot before first use - check the Instant Pot Anti Block Shield

10. Condensation Collector

The flat little plastic cup that comes with your Instant Pot helps collect the condensation that sometimes drip into the gap as you open the Instant Pot Lid.

How to Install the Condensation Collector? First find the slot at the back of Instant Pot, then slide it right in (as shown in photo above).

Instant Pot Setup: Unboxing Instant Pot before first use - Instant Pot install condensation collector

11. Trivet / Rack / Steamer Basket / Steamer Rack

What is a Trivet? It’s the stainless steel rack that comes with the Instant Pot! A handy tool for cooking in the Instant Pot – especially great for steaming and Pot-in-Pot.

Instant Pot Setup: Unboxing Instant Pot before first use - using the Instant Pot Trivet Steamer Rack

*Note: each Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker should come with a trivet, but they may look slightly different than the one above.

In many other recipes, we often call for a steamer rack or steamer basket, you can check out the best-selling Instant Pot Steamer Basket.

12. Water Test / Initial Test Run

What’s the Water Test that everybody talks about? Some rite of passage into the Pothead Cult?

Ha! This is a recommended step that helps you familiarize yourself with how the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker works, and makes sure everything is working properly.

If your Instant Pot worked perfectly without conducting the Water Test, don’t worry about it. 🙂

Step-by-Step Instructions with a 1-min Demo Video: Instant Pot Water Test

That’s all for now!

This gives you a leg up in understanding the Instant Pot Cult language and some background knowledge for reading the Instant Pot Manual or Instant Pot Recipes.

Did we miss any Instant Pot Terminology or Acronyms? Leave us a comment below.

BONUS: Easy Starter Recipes for You

Before you go, here are some popular easy Instant Pot Recipes that’ll give you a head start in your pressure cooking journey!

We handpicked 33+ Easy Recipes for you: Instant Pot Recipes

33+ Easy Recipes for New Instant Pot Users

BONUS: Must-Have Instant Pot Accessories

3 “Must-Have” Instant Pot Accessories We Use:

1. Extra Silicone Sealing Rings

  • Silicone Sealing Ring – Instant Pot Sealing Rings’ life expectancy varies. If steam starts to leak around the lid, replace the Instant Pot Sealing Ring immediately.
  • Genuine Sweet & Savory Edition Silicone Sealing Ring– Since the sealing ring will absorb the smell of the food in the pot, many users like to use separate sealing rings for cooking savory dishes and desserts.

Buy on Amazon:

Instant Pot Sealing Ring Clear, 5 or 6 Quart
  • Integral part of the Instant Pot safety mechanisms. This authentic Instant Pot sealing...
  • Manufactured from the highest quality food safe Silicone, passed UL, FDA, and LFGB tests...
Genuine Instant Pot Sealing Ring 2-Pack - 6 Quart Red/Blue
  • 2 Pack color set, one for sweet, the other for savory
  • Integral part of the Instant Pot safety mechanisms. Designed, engineered, and built with...

2. Steamer Racks

Buy on Amazon:

Household Stainless Steel Cooking Ware Steaming Rack Stand 7" Diameter
  • Product Name: Steamer Rack Stand 7" Diameter x 1.8" Height, Note: [ Whole outside diameter...
  • Color: Silver Tone; Material: Stainless Steel (Steaming Rack)
PREMIUM Veggie Steamer Basket - Large - BEST Bundle - Fits Instant Pot Pressure Cooker 5, 6 Qt...

3. Oven- Safe Containers

  • Any oven-safe containers will be safe to use in the Instant Pot (i.e. Stainless Steel, Silicone, Corelle bowls)

Want More? Check out the most raved accessories among other Instant Pot users: Instant Pot Accessories

Have fun cooking with your Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker!

Instant Pot Terminology & Acronyms that will help you learn how to use the Instant Pot, understand Instant Pot Recipes & Manual.

Leave a Reply

newest oldest most helpful
Bonnie M Huss
Bonnie M Huss

I have a IP Lux 6 and it did not come with a Condensation Collector should I be concerned with this?
Thank you for a reply.
BTW you two are doing an awesome job of explaining IP to us. Thank you.


New at this. Making broth. Screen says “no pr”. What am I supposed to do??


It seems that the cooker did go thru CYCLE just not sure if I’m getting the result I expected. What does that mean and if it came on AFTER the broth CYCLE went thru, ??

Marilyn Winterfeld
Marilyn Winterfeld

what does it mean to deglaze the inner pot? Recipe says to deglaze inner pot with chicken stock. I’m new at this instant pot thing.

Bronwyn B
Bronwyn B

I’m a newbie. Just did water test but walked away from IP. Screen said LO:32 when I came back to kitchen. Don’t see LO in abbreviations. Now says LO:47. Is it a timer on the #s?
What does LO mean???

Richard Lugo
Richard Lugo

How do you turn it on or start?

Kay Gellerstedt
Kay Gellerstedt

Thanks for all the helpful references and information. I’ve been nervous about using my new IP but you have helped ease some of my anxiety. Can’t wait to try some of your delicious recipes

Lois Weaver
Lois Weaver

Your site is so helpful to me as a newbie. I made my first cheesecake #17 yesterday. It turned out delicious.

Michelle Parker
Michelle Parker

Looking forward to learning all the technology, recipes and suggestion.
Thank You


Here are a couple of terms that I see quite frequently, mostly from those who have stovetop cookers and are now moving to electric cookers.
#3 – Liner (inner pot)
#5 – Gasket (sealing ring)

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