10 Common Mistakes You Can Avoid as New Instant Pot User

Avoid these 10 Most Common Mistakes by New Instant Pot Users will save you some stress & frustrations in using your Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker!

Now you’ve received your Instant Pot, taken it out of the box, and have even done the Instant Pot Water Test.

But, still a bit leery and intimidated by the Instant Pot.

It’s perfectly normal!

Learning how to use the Instant Pot can be a bit overwhelming…

Remembering which button to press…
How much cooking time to set…
Which pressure release method to use…
Is it safe to use?

It’s like learning to drive a car for the very first time.

Scared & nervous, you don’t know where to look, how to make a turn, when is it okay to switch lanes…

The more you know about pressure cooking, the more you understand how the Instant Pot works, what steps of precautions to take, and the more you practice, the easier it will become. I promise 🙂

We gathered 10 Most Common Mistakes made by New Instant Pot Users & ways to avoid these mistakes below.

This will save you some stress and frustrations in using your amazing new Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker! 😀

1. Forget to Place the Inner Pot Back into Instant Pot Before Pouring in Ingredients

Mistake: It can be chaotic in the kitchen. We’ve heard many stories of users accidentally pouring ingredients into the Instant Pot housing without the Inner Pot.

This happens more frequently than we all imagined. It almost happened to us once.

Solution: Place a silicone mat, glass lid, or wooden spoon on top of the Instant Pot every time you remove the Inner Pot from the Instant Pot. This helps prevent unnecessary damage to your new kitchen tool! 🙂

10 Common Mistakes for New Instant Pot Users: No Inner Pot


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2. Overfill the Instant Pot

Mistake: Many new users fill their Instant Pot with food & liquid up to the Max Line (sometimes even a stretch over the Max Line). This may risk clogging the Venting Knob.

Solution: Be mindful that the Max Line printed on Instant Pot’s Inner Pot is not intended for Pressure Cooking.

  • For Pressure Cooking: maximum 2/3 full
  • For Pressure Cooking Food that Expands During Cooking (such as grains, beans, and dried vegetables): maximum 1/2 full

If you accidentally overfilled the pot, don’t panic. Just make sure to use Natural Pressure Release to stay safe and clean.

3. Use Quick Release For Foamy Food or When It is Overfilled

Have you seen pictures of applesauce splattered all over the Instant Pot through the Venting Knob?

Mistake:  Many new users are unsure when to use Quick Pressure Release and Natural Pressure Release. There’s a chance of splattering if users use Quick Release when cooking foamy food, such as grains or beans.

10 Common Mistakes for New Instant Pot Users: instant pot quick release

Solution #1: Use Natural Release for foamy food or when the pot is overfilled.

But wait…most pasta recipes call for Quick Release, what should we do?

Solution #2: Release the pressure gradually.

You don’t have to turn the Venting Knob all the way to Venting Position to release pressure.

The initial release is usually the strongest. So, release the pressure gradually by turning the venting knob just a little with your hand or wooden spoon until you hear a hissing sound. Hold it at that position to release the pressure gradually.

10 Common Mistakes for New Instant Pot Users: Release Pressure Gradually - slow quick release
We prefer wearing silicone glove and use our hand for more control.

Read More: Instant Pot Quick Release vs Instant Pot Natural Release

4. Press the Timer Button to Set Cooking Time

Mistake: Some new users have mistaken the “Timer” button for setting the cooking time, then wondered why the Instant Pot is just sitting there not doing anything.

The “Timer” button is actually for delayed cooking.

Solution: Before you decide to return your Instant Pot for not working properly, check to see if the “Timer” Button is lit (the green light shown in photo below). If so, press Keep Warm/Cancel Button to start again. 🙂

10 Common Mistakes for New Instant Pot Users: Pressing the Timer Button for Pressure Cooking

5. Forget to Turn the Venting Knob to Sealing Position

Mistake: It might be a bit overwhelming to use the Instant Pot in the beginning, and it’s common to forget to turn the Venting Knob to the Sealing Position when cooking.

Solution: Make it a habit to turn the Venting Knob to Sealing Position every time you start pressure cooking. Don’t walk away until you made sure the Floating Valve has popped up.

10 Common Mistakes for New Instant Pot Users: Always turn the venting knob to sealing position

6. Put Instant Pot on the Stovetop and Accidentally Turned the Dial

Mistake: Due to convenience or limited counter space, some users like to place their Instant Pot on the stovetop. Sometimes, things happen…and we see melted burnt Instant Pot bottom.

Sorry, we don’t have a picture to show you the aftermath, but we see this happen frequently.

Solution: Please don’t put the Instant Pot directly on the stovetop. Some users lay a wooden board between the stovetop and Instant Pot to prevent this disaster.

Or, you can get this cart from IKEA, as it fits the Instant Pot perfectly.

10 Common Mistakes for New Instant Pot Users: IKEA Utility Cart for Instant Pot Storage

*Note: this is not sponsored by IKEA, just that many Instant Pot users (including us) find the cart very handy. 🙂

7a. Cooking Liquid: Too Thick/Not Enough Liquid

Mistake: As a new user, it’s not intuitive on how much cooking liquid to use. If there’s not enough cooking liquid or the liquid is too thick, Instant Pot will not be able to generate enough steam to get up to pressure.

Solutions: Unless stated otherwise in a recipe…

  • We recommend new users to use 1 cup of total liquid until they get comfortable with the machine.
  • Always add thickener such as cornstarch, flour, arrowroot, or potato starch after the pressure cooking cycle.

7b. Cooking Liquid: Too Much Liquid

Mistake: On the contrary, when there is too much cooking liquid in the Instant Pot, it will increase the overall cooking time (both time to get up to pressure & Natural Release time). This may overcook the food.

Plus, too much cooking liquid will dilute the seasoning, resulting in a bland dish.

Solution: Unless stated in a recipe, we recommend new users to use 1 cup of total liquid until they get comfortable with the machine.

8. Forget to Put the Sealing Ring Back in the Lid Before Cooking

Mistake: Since the silicone sealing ring absorbs the food smell, many users regularly air out/wash the sealing ring. It’s easy to forget to place it back into the lid before using the Instant Pot.

10 Common Mistakes for New Instant Pot Users: No Sealing Ring
If the sealing ring is not properly installed, steam will come out around the edge of the lid and the Instant Pot will not get up to pressure.

Solution: Make it a habit to ensure the sealing ring is properly installed every time, before you close the lid for pressure cooking.

9. Use Rice Button for Cooking All Types of Rice

Mistake: We’ve heard some new Instant Pot users have less than satisfactory results with their rice cooked in the Instant Pot using the “Rice” Button.

Don’t be discouraged!

10 Common Mistakes for New Instant Pot Users: Use the Rice Button for all types of rice

Solution: Different types of rice require different water to rice ratios & cooking times. For best results, we like to use the “Manual” Button for most control on Cooking Method & Time.

Here are our Perfect Rice Recipes:

10. Use Hot Liquid in a Recipe that Calls for Cold Liquid

Mistake: Some users ran into a problem that all their Instant Pot meals were undercooked. We later found that they always start cooking by pouring hot water into the Instant Pot.

Using hot liquid in a recipe that calls for a cold liquid shortens the overall cooking time, because Instant Pot will take a shorter time to come up to pressure.

Since the food starts to cook when Instant Pot is heating up & going up to pressure, and this part of the cooking time is shortened, the food may come out undercooked.

Solution: Use cold liquid to cook or adjust the cooking time stated in the recipe accordingly.

Bonus: Think that 1 Instant Pot is Enough! 

Mistake: Far too often, we see new Instant Pot users think those dual-Instant Pot owners are crazy, but soon have a huge desire & need to get a second Instant Pot. We were one of them. 😛

Instant Pot Pressure Cookers
We might be a little obsessive…? 😛

Solution: We’ll let you decide on this one 😉

Be Safe & Have fun cooking with your Instant Pot!

Avoid these 10 Most Common Mistakes by New Instant Pot Users will save you some stress & frustrations in using your Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker!

47+ Easy & Yummy Instant Pot Recipes to get you started 🙂

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.

Food Lovers in our 30s who worked directly with Instant Pot CEO, Manufacturers, and 35+ Restaurants. Culinary Families & Food Magazine Publishers.
  1. hi ,

    i see that when i try to cook 2-3 cups of rice using instant pot via the preset mode, the auto mode is seen for more than 15-20 mins, and the 12 mins timer starts. sometimes the auto mode exceeds 20-25 mins too

    i heard, ideally the auto mode should be enabled for 5 mins for the pressure to build up

    is there any problem with my equipment.

    1. Hi Nishanth,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      I don’t think there is any problem. The get up to pressure time will increase as the contents in the pot increases.

      Please take care & have fun cooking

    1. Hi Jean,

      You will want to dry the Instant Pot and air dry it completely for roughly 48 hours before turning it on.

      Please take care & have fun cooking

  2. Hi,
    My IP doesn’t go from sealing to venting on its own. After the meal is cooked i have to release the valve to venting. How long should i wait to go into venting (waited 30 min) or whats wrong, its not releasing the pressure on its own?

    1. Hi Shikha,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      The Instant Pot will not go from sealing to venting on it’s own (Except the Max version). It will depend on the recipe. For example, if our recipe say to natural release for 20 minutes, then wait 20 minutes before turning it to the venting position.

      If the recipe says quick release, it means to turn the venting knob to the venting position right after the pressure cooking cycle has finished.

      Hope this helps!

      Please take care & have fun cooking

  3. I would like to hard boil 14 eggs at one time since I bought that special basket. How much water do I need to put in my Instant Pot, and how long should I cook them? I did 2 eggs and 1 cup of water and the water evaporated, but the eggs were delicious and easy to peel.

    1. Hi Rose,

      Late Reply (We were on a trip to Asia)! Thank you for your question 🙂

      1 cup is enough.

      If the water was evaporated, it means the Instant Pot was not sealed properly.

      Please make sure the silicone ring is seated properly and the venting knob is turned to sealing.

      Please take care & have fun cooking

  4. I get steam releasing right away around float valve and steam release handle. My liquid is completely gone when it’s done and things have stared burning

    1. Hi Eileen,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year 🙂
      Thank you for your question.

      1) Make sure the sealing ring is installed properly.
      2) Make sure the venting knob is on the sealing position.

      Happy New Year & please take care

  5. Where can I get an instant pot manual? My instant pot pressure release knob is very wobbly and I’m not sure if that is normal.

    1. Hi Lynn,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year 🙂
      Thank you for your question. The release knob is supposed to be wobbly. You can find the Instant Pot manual online on Instant Pot website.

      Happy New Year & please take care

  6. I did make the mistake of putting it on/next to stovetop and now parts of it have melted. What is the best solution now? 🙁 I’m devastated. Will it continue working? (It seems to work but I’m scared it will malfunction and explode on me)

    1. Hi Saira,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you for your question. It will be best to take a picture and send it to the Instant Pot customer service team.

      Happy New Year & please take care

  7. I’m a newbie as well. I made a pork tenderloin and it said to let it release naturally. The pressure knob didn’t go down and it didn’t naturally release. What did I do wrong?

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you for your question. The natural release should take place in 10 – 15 minutes.

      Happy New Year & please take care

  8. I am a newbie. I have used my instant pot about 4 times now. My pressure knob has never risen up. It stays down all the time while I am pressure cooking. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hi Cindy,

      Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Holiday 🙂 Thank you for your question.

      1) Make sure there is at least 1 cup of liquid in the Instant Pot.
      2) Make sure the sealing ring is installed properly.
      3) Make sure the venting knob is turned to the sealing position.

      Please take care & have a wonderful weekend

    2. I received my instant pot for Christmas from my daughter and just love it. But I made chilli the other night and the burn light kept coming on so I added more water each time but had to keep setting the timer again. I was afraid the chili would be over cooked. What was I doing wrong. Anne Castricum

    3. Hi Anne,

      Hope you had a wonderful New Year & Christmas 🙂
      Thank you for your question. It sounds like the liquid was too thick. You will want layer the thicker ingredients on top and avoid mixing them in.

      Happy New Year & please take care

  9. I just got a Cosori Pressure Cooker for Christmas. I can still follow along with these instructions and recipes correct? If so, this website has given me a lot of insight!

    Great work.

    1. Hi Alyssa,

      Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Holiday 🙂 Thank you for your question.

      Our recipes will work fine for Cosori Pressure cooker!

      Please take care & have a wonderful weekend

  10. I tried to use my Instant Pot to make meatloaf, and I know I did something wrong…kept getting a burn signal. Am I supposed to add water when making a meatloaf? This was my first try at it, so I’m not sure how I’m supposed to do this. Any help would be appreciated.

  11. I just purchased the ultra mini. I attempted to cook one pear with the pressure cook function. I added one cup of water. The cooker automatically set to 35 min. It normally takes me 18 min to cook on the stove. I only added one cup of water. Never cooked on pressure. Do I need to add more water?

    1. Hi Alicia,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      It will probably take roughly 8 – 10 minutes to cook it in the pressure cooker.

      You can use the pressure cook button and adjust the cooking time using the + and – button.

      Please take care & have a wonderful Christmas holiday!

  12. Thank you great tips!! I am a newbie I just made some loaded potato soup and use the quick release. Which caused the cream from the soup to release all over my kitchen cabinets. Soup was delicious but a mess was made. I will remember to use the natural release or slower next time. Thank you again!!

  13. Hi guys newbie question, just got the 8 quart made chilli it was my usual recipe in the instant pot, I can of tomatoes and beef broth too. When I set it to chilli and put it to the suggested time of 20 minutes I could not tell if it was timing backwards? It was steaming though not crazy then I got the burn message. I waited a minute or 2 as it happened quickly and hit cancel. I opened it context were hot and it did not burn to the pot. Started again and still no read on remaining time?? What am I doing wrong? TY!!!!

    1. Hi Diane,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      The timing will only appear once the Instant Pot has sealed and gotten up to pressure.

      From your description, it sounds like the Instant Pot was still trying to build up pressure.

      Please take care & have an amazing week

    2. I had the same problem last night with my new 6qt DUO. It was going for about 20 minutes, then when I went over, the timer was at 19, I thought it was counting up (which is unusual), but it was counting down. I stopped it, released the steam, and my chili was at a roiling boil and done perfectly. I figured that if it had gone another 20 minutes it would have been mush, so I stopped it right there and ate dinner.
      I used the Chili/Beans setting. Is this normal operation of it? 40-50 minutes to make a pot of chili makes it not the best use of this tool. Thanks!

    3. Hi JD,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      We recommend using 10 minutes pressure cooking time for chili with the manual/pressure cook button.

      Please take care & have fun cooking

  14. Love all your recipes and tips, but I have two comments. One, you say that one cup of liquid is enough for most recipes even an 8 quart pot. The Ultra specifically says to use At least 2 cups of liquid. Are you saying that is not necessary even though the manufacturer says it is?

    2, you say to use an oven safe pyrex dish in the pot. Pyrex and CorningWare both specifically state that their products are not tested to be pressure cooker safe. I know many people use them. But I think it’s irresponsible to recommend that against manufacturers’ advice without at least putting a warning.

    I very much appreciate all the hard work you put into testing in developing these great recipes.

    1. Hi Any,

      thank you so much for your comment and kind words 🙂

      1) One cup of liquid will work fine even in an 8 quart pot.
      In the old Instant Pot 6 qt manual, the manufacturer says it needs 2 cups of liquid. In the newer manual, it has been revised to 1.5 cup of liquid.

      2) Thank you for letting us know about the Pyrex and CorningWare. I will send them an email regarding this issue.

      Thank you so much once again for the honest feedback to help us improve our site 🙂

      Please take care & have an amazing week

  15. I bought an instant pot last week and it’s still in the garage. Thank you for your thoughtful and very helpful tips. I remember 30+ years ago when my Mother gave me a pressure cooker – i opened it up began to read the instructions and the cautionary statements on steam freajed me out and it took me three years before I started to use it. I made fabulous meals and the best beets ever!
    Now I’m facing a similar experience with the Instant Pot. I know it’s going to be a great tool and companion in the kitchen. I’m 68, retired Nd have all the time in the world to cook – I’m just getting tired of it. This will help when grandchildren come over we’ll have more play time. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment Phyllis 🙂

      I am sure you will be able to make fabulous meals in the Instant Pot in no time!

      We will be here for you if you have any questions 🙂

      Please take care & have fun cooking

    2. I can totally relate, Phyllis. I got an instant Pot for my birthday a month ago. The first time I used it, when it came time to release pressure, I was leery, to put it mildly. I used an oven mitt and 18″ bbq tongs to turn the knob. Even then I jumped at the initial blast of steam. My hubby said it was quite a sight! ? I have learned since that there’s nothing to be skeered of, but do always use some kind of hand protection when you release the pressure. You will love cooking with it!

    3. I tried to make my regular stove top spaghetti sauce in my instant pot. I wanted to see how it turned out under pressure. I am use to an old fashion pressure cooker. The problem I had was I wanted to set it on Pressure Cook mode and put in a time to remain in that mode and I could not figure out how. Can you give me the steps (buttons to push) to do this? I was thinking about 30 minutes under pressure would equal 3-4 hours on stove.

    4. Hi Elaine,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      You can press the Pressure cook button and adjust the time using the + and – button

      Please take care & have a great week

  16. I have a ‘7 in 1’, 6 quart instant pot and I have to say I love it. I will also say that I’m not very adventurous and tend to stick with the a few incredible recipes I have mastered. I want to Branch out, are there any specific websites or recipes you would recommend?

    Additionally, I have to say that even though I use the exact same measurements in my recipes, sometimes I get the ‘Burn’ morning on the screen. This seems to change the cooking time, and even the pressurizing. No guarantee I will get it every time, but when I do I don’t understand why. Sometimes the bottom is a tiny bit scourged, but other times even with the burn notification, nothing is burned. Any direction or suggestions? These are recipes that I make over and over again with the exact same quantities of liquid…
    Thank you so much!

  17. My wife melted the bottom of the lid. I was able to cut off the plastic that caused the lid to not go back on but it melted so bad that a magnet fell out of the lid close to the pressure button. The sealing ring is undamaged. I briefly tested it and brought it up to pressure and it appears to still work fine but I am worried that it has damaged a safety feature that will turn it into a bomb and over pressurize. Do I still have safety features?

    1. Hi Travis,

      thank you for your comment and question. I am sorry to hear what happened.

      Safety first!

      I think it is best to send a photo to the Instant Pot customer service team and see what they say.

      Please take care

  18. Hello! I’ve had a 6 qt for a year and have enjoyed it so much that I recently got an 8 qt. How does your advice re: 1 cup of liquid apply to an 8 qt? I’ve read that I should use 2.5 to 3 cups of liquid, but that seems like a lot. Any thoughts??


    1. Hi SYN,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      1 cup will be enough liquid for the 8 quart.

      To be sure, you can do a water test with 1 cup of water and see if it can get up to pressure + maintain the pressure.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  19. What happens when the sealing ring is on, but a part of it is a little lop sided. The food finished via the alarm, but when you move the knob no steam comes out, you open the lid, and its steaming, sizzling inside, the food looks, cooked, all the water is gone, its hot inside, but the seal was a little off hence no steam coming out when you push the knob to release pressure, and all the water is gone inside? cook an additional 10 minutes to be safe with the sealing ring put on correctly?

    1. Hi D,

      thank you for your question. Sounds like the water evaporated due to steam leaking from the Instant Pot.

      It will depend what you are cooking, the food can be fully cooked in that timeframe.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  20. I have a 8 quart instant pot. Most recipes are for the 6 quart. When making recipes do you need to add more liquid? When making some of the recipes the “burn error ” came on. I believe I had enough liquid in the pot. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Tom,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      For most of the recipes, you will not need to use more liquid.

      Can you show me an example of the recipes you are getting the burn error.

      Thank you

  21. I have been cooking some great meals with the Instapot and now want to fry some chicken. Can I do this? Plan on about half cup of oil, a bit of water and saute funcion.

    1. Hi Bill,

      Water and oil don’t go well together. I would recommend using only oil and shallow frying on a skillet instead as the Instant Pot is not designed for proper frying.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  22. I have the thinkkitchen multi-function pressure cooker. I bought it over two months ago and have not used it yet. I am not sure how to. Their instructions are very vague.
    I am vegan so I would mostly use it for rice and beans.
    I hope you can give me some tips and pointers

    Thanks in advance

  23. Hi, I got the pressure cooker for Christmas & I’ve just started using it. I made stew yesterday and it tasted good the meat was tough, what did I do wrong?

    1. Hi Joanne,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      It sounds like the meat was overcooked or not cooked enough.

      We are here so please do let us know if you come across any questions!

      Take care & have fun cooking

  24. I have the 7 in 1 Instant Pot and so many recipes mention the Manual button. Mine doesn’t have one. Which do I use? So far I’m kind of sorry I didn’t just get a regular Pressure Cooker as instructions with it are poor and not user friendly and I consider myself fairly tech savvy. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

  25. I seem to have the problem of things sticking to the bottom of the pot. No matter which liquid I use, or how much is in the recipe.Meat,vegetables,rice everything sticks while it cooks. Nothing sticks while I’m sauteing onions or browning meats. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hi Cindy,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Make sure to deglaze the pan after sauteing.

      If the ingredients are still sticking, then it means steam is leaking somewhere.

      Have a great week

  26. I didn’t put lid on securely and sauce leaked under heating element scorching,duh does the heating element assembly separate from the main unit to clean under the element? Help!
    Stumbled on to your site WOW,glad I did GREAT!

    1. Hi Barbara,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      I am so sorry this happened to you.

      The heating element can be separated from the main unit. I think the screws are at the bottom.

      I would recommend contacting the Instant Pot company and see what they say first.

      Happy New Year to you and your family

  27. Some recipes ask for initial pressure cooking, then quick release the pressure, add veggies for example, reseal and presser cook for 10-15 minutes extra.

    When I tried that, it would ONLY allow me to set time for 4 min, if it would get reset back to ZERO if you tried to go over 4 min.
    Am I doing something wrong? or I cant get past teh 4 min 2nd time around?

    1. Hi Farrah,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      it should be able to set the time for more than 4 minutes. I am thinking you maybe setting the time to 4 hours if it says 4:00.

      Happy New Year to you and your family

  28. Thanks for this post, definitely helped. I am quite skilled with the old 1960 pressure cooker I inherited from my Mom, but it always terrified my Wife and the kids, so at her urging got one of these things. My first two attempts using it have turned out OK, but not great.Maybe worth noting, I am totally cool with new tech, it’s kind of my job, but both times cooking with it thus far have just been super stressful.

    Recipes will say to use saute or pressure cook, but say nothing about use ‘low’ or ‘high’ pressure, or when supposed to saute, should I use low/med/high, stuff like that. And these first 2 were recipes out of the book that came with it and still lacked such important details.

    Are there any general guidelines as far as interpreting recipes as a beginner? Thanks in advance.

  29. Dear Amy & Jacky,
    We are new to pressure cooking. After reading instructions, we did the water test and it passed. My husband made a delicious vegetarian chili last night. I was going to boil eggs today, and when I poured the cup of water in, it came right out the bottom. Help!

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      Congrats on your new Pressure cooker 🙂

      The inner pot will have to be in the Instant Pot before cooking or adding any ingredients.

      You will need to dry the bottom as much as you can and let the bottom air dry completely.

      Do not turn it on before it dries completely (Give it a day or two just to be safe) as it can cause short circuits.

      Happy New Year to you and your family!

  30. I just got my Instant pot ultra 60 and did they water test last night with no problem, today I plugged it in and nothing will turn on. All Black! Cannot get it to do anything. Please help.

  31. Hi I just got my instant pot duo plus 60! I never have used a pressure cooker in my life! I did the water test and all went well, then I put a sirloin steak about 3/4 in think seasoned with salt and pepper added can of diced tomatoes and sliced mushrooms I added about 3/4 cup beef broth. I turned the valve to sealing and pushed the meat/stew and set time to 35 mins then did quick release. everything was perfect. Now being a newbie I assumed I pressure cook it all, tonight I put it on sauté and cook chopped onions and browned ground beef, added a little oil will cooking onions and meet, then added seasonings and tomatoes and tomato sauce 1/2 cup water two cans of pintos with their juice and left steam to venting hit the chili/beans button 30 mins came on screen then on I set another time to check it out. At then end of 30 mins the screen said 28 mins! Now was that for keep warm (which was on ) or was it still cooking? I canceled it at that time and pushed steam to release faster then found something had lightly stuck on bottom of inner pot, I think it was grease from the oil I added to cook onions and meat . Now did I do it right with my chilli? Or should I have closed the vent to cook it?

    1. Hi Norma,

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

      The venting knob should have been turned to the sealing position for pressure cooking.

      Here is our Chili recipe as a reference. There is a cooking video on the page. If you are a visual learner, it will be helpful!

      Happy New Year & Have a wonderful week

  32. I’m a novice Instant Pot user and my rookie mistake was making yogurt after chicken curry. I cleaned the interior of the pot very well, but didn’t clean the sealing ring. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with a beautifully set gallon of curry smelling yogurt! Live and learn.

  33. We are using the Power Pressure Cooker XL, the directions are very poor, which did not tell us to remove the steamer tray. Duh. It took us a good hour to figure this out.

  34. Hi,
    Just bought the Lux 3L mini. Very happy with the results of four days of straight cooking (using your recipes!!). The mac and cheese was absolutely the best I have ever tasted, the BBQ ribs superb, the rice moist (and better than any time I ever cooked it in our rice maker). Finally the pot roast with the shredded carrots… two thumbs up!!
    What will I cook today…mmmmm ;).
    Thanks so much for your recipes and taking the guess work out of using the instant pot. I am new to pressure cooking and definitely was a little intimidated by the thought of the stream coming out of the vent.
    Cheers and Happy Holidays!!

    1. Hi Cindy,
      So happy to hear you’ve been enjoying your new Instant Pot & all the yummy food!! 🙂
      I’m sure there will be lots more delicious meals to come.
      Wish you & your loved ones a Merry Christmas & Blessed New Year!
      Take care,

  35. I just bought my IP and need help. Have you ever cooked beans only? I am looking for advice on how to cook black beans to an al dente texture, my son does not like squishy beans. I’ve wrecked 2 batches already. First batch – 6 cups beans, water just to cover beans 20 mins, under done, so I added more water and did 10 more mins, totally squishy. Second batch – 6 cups beans, water to 2/3 full, 30 mins, totally squishy. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  36. This post was very helpful, thanks. I just bought a Mini Instant Pot (3 qt) and haven’t even unwrapped it yet…doing research first to make sure this was the right purchase for me. I usually only cook for one, so a big IP seemed too large. Since most recipes seem to be written for the 6qt, is it safe to just cut a recipe in half? Would I use a 1/2 cup of water instead of 1 cup?

    1. Hi Leslie,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Only cut the solid ingredients in half if you are halving a recipe. 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

  37. Do you also have an instant pot cookbook in print? I’d love to request my husband get it for me for Christmas. Blessings!


    1. Hi Karen,

      Thank you for being so kind. We don’t have a cookbook published yet as we would like to keep everything online and free for now 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking

  38. So I’m a newbie and I did mistake number 1 I poured dry rice in the cooker without the liner. I managed to dump most of it out but I can still hear so rattling around under the heating element. Is there an easy way to get the rice out or can it be left there without risk of starting a fire or the likes?


  39. 🙁 Totally embarrassed but had to share… a do NOT do:

    Do not leave instant pot on stovetop, even if on a board, etc.

    Mine has been on stovetop but l did not notice that when l used my oven/broiler, the heat has been melting the control panel on the IP.

    The knob won’t turn easily and although it seems like it might work in that l can push buttons and get times, l don’t want to risk it.

    So l’m taking pieces off (seal, cord, liner) and keeping those to use with a new one soon to be ordered.

    I would keep the lid but am afraid the seal may be damaged too. Better safe than sorry.

    Anyway, I just had to mention this so someone else doesn’t do what I did.

    I’m sure no warranty would cover user error 🙁 Only highlight is I get to go shopping again 😉

    Peace all!

    1. I am sorry to hear what happened 🙁
      Thank you for sharing your experience with us Teri

      The Instant Pot will go on sale on Black Friday!

      Take care & have a great weekend

  40. Hi Jackie,

    There are few times that my instant pot don’t build any pressure when I’m making a stew, even if i press the High Pressure – when i thought its done after 45 min, the meat is still hard….what have i done wrong?

    Please help

    1. Hi Mymy,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      It sounds like the liquid was too thick to generate enough steam for the Instant Pot to get up to pressure.

      You will need to dilute the liquid with some chicken stock or water.

      Make sure no steam is leaking around the lid and the venting knob is on sealing position.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  41. My Instant Pot didn’t seal properly. The button raised to the stop, but I could tell it didn’t pressurize correctly. It didn’t beep when it was done either. what do I do?

    1. Hi Diane,

      thank you for your question.

      Was any steam leaking out? Check to see if the silicone ring is seated properly and do a water test.

      Take care

    1. Hi Trudy,

      thank you for your question

      It should be fine, but you must let it dry completely first.
      Do not try to turn it on until it is completely dry as it can fry the circuit board.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  42. I’m one of those people who left it on the stove and my husband turned it on (the stove) while cleaning but. He caught it but not before some of the plastic on the bottom of the pot melted. The wires are all still covered and protected but the plastic definitely warped. Is the pot still useable or do we need a new one.

    1. Hi Nafissa,

      thank you for your question and sorry to what happened to your pot.

      I would recommend taking a few pictures and contact the instant Pot support directly over their website.

      Take care & have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Hi Cindy,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      The pressure cooker operates at a much higher temperature than a slow cooker so I would not recommend it.

      Take care & have a great week

  43. I’ve seen recipes that say no liquid. I assume there’s enough moisture or juice in the other ingredients but am too scared to try it. Are there situations where you don’t have to add any liquid and it won’t break your IP?

    1. Hi Steph,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      Rarely will a recipe contains no liquid unless the meat is filled with juice.
      The only one I saw was a whole chicken recipe and sometimes it can fail if the chicken does not have enough moisture in it.

      Take care & have fun cooking

    2. I regularly make a breakfast casserole in my pressure cooker. I put grated potatoes, cooked sausage or cooked bacon, uncooked scrambled eggs with a little milk mixed in, and top with cheese. One rice cycle (6 minutes in my Fagor Multi Cooker) under pressure and its done and yummy. I’ve done this for 12+ years with no harm to my pressure cooker.

  44. At some point I hope you start posting pointers on using the new Ultra Instant Pot. I find your post very helpful, thank you,

    1. Hi Kathy,

      thank you for your kind words and question 🙂

      You can use an oven-safe pyrex glass bowl (You will have to increase the cooking time of the recipe by about 5 minutes)

      or you can purchase this super popular fat daddio push pan.

      Take care & have fun cooking

    1. Hi Reena,

      You may put it upside down and give it a few shake to see if you can remove all the grains first.

      If some of the grains are still stuck, you may have to remove the bottom part carefully with a screw driver.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  45. Hiii, thank you for the site.
    I was be my 4 time cooking in my Instant POt and it doesn´t heat.
    The panel is ok, the pot closed, make the 3 beeps, panel ON and… nothing happen.
    I´ve already checked everything and can not understand what is wrong.
    Some idea?

    1. Hi Keyla,

      You may want to check the connection between the plug and the pot.

      Sometimes it will go loose. Hopefully this will fix it for you 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking

  46. I have bought the Instant Pot and used it many times. Afterwards, we also bought two liveParrots and were told that we can NOT use Teflon ANYWHERE near the birds ! The inside pot is stainless steel, but is the base (Housing) pot coated with Teflon. It looks non-stick, and I need to know as the fumes from Teflon is poisonous to birds.

    I have not asked this question before.

  47. Hi, I have the instant pot and used it several times and it worked good. But the last two times, the pressure didn’t show up and my food stuck and burn some on the bottom of the pan. What did I do wrong. It is a 6 qt GoWise instant pot.


    1. Hi Sonya,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      It could be the result of a few things.

      1) The liquid is too thick and needed to be diluted
      2) The sealing ring is loose or need replacement (Typical every 12 – 18 months)

      Take care & have fun cooking

  48. I used my cooker for the first time. Made beef stew meat with brown gravy. When I released the valve, the gravy liquid sprayed threw the valve and sprayed everywhere making a scarey mess. I can not get the valve off to clean it. What did I do wrong and how and how do I clean it?

  49. Thanks for your answer about the Calrose rice. I’ll use that formula for my pot in pot rice dishes.

    If I just use it for the rice and put in 2 cups of each would I double the time (12-minutes instead of 6). And how about for 2½ cups of Calrose and water. That last bit gives me more rice than my rice cooker will make, which means I can make more sushi!


  50. Hi Jacky and Amy,
    I usually use Calrose rice because it’s the same rice I use for sushi and that’s about all I have in the kitchen. I normally would cook it in a rice cooker but would like to use the Instant Pot instead. I made one batch and it turned out a bit underdone. Used equal amount of water and rice but don’t think I had it in long enough. It was either 6 or 7 minutes.

    I made a Mongolian Beef dish and did the pot in pot rice, but the rice was a bit mushy because the Mongolian Beef recipe called for 12-minutes at pressure. Still tasted fine but consistency was off a bit.

    Any suggestions for optimum time for Calrose rice?

  51. Just got my pressure cooker and followed recipe for roast beef with vegetables. The veggies were mushy and the beef was too tough to cut. I returned the beef to the cooker and pressured for 40 more minutes. It was better but still not fork tender. Needless to say, the meal was a disaster. I followed the directions implicitly.

    Another problem, how do you get the liner separated from the lid in order to wash and clean it? How does it come apart?

    Thank you for any help you can give me.

    1. Hi Betty,

      thank you for your questions 🙂

      It is better to cook the veggies and meat separately to avoid the veggies from going mushy.
      Which roast cut were used? The best cut for pressure cooking is a well marbled chuck roast.

      Here is our Pot Roast recipe if you are interested.

      As for the liner (I assume it is the Silicone Rings), you can carefully pull it out from the lid to wash it.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  52. Just found a spelling error… probably autocorrected and not your fault at all… but there’s a sentence that says “Always add thickener such as cornstarch, flour, arrowhead, or potato starch after the pressure cooking cycle” and I know you meant to say *arrowroot*, not arrowhead. 🙂

    1. Hi Sharon,

      bone-in pork loin is quite lean and would be more suitable in a low temperature oven.

      Using a pressure cooker will cause the outer layer of the meat to overcook and become tough.

      If you would like to use it in the Instant Pot, I would recommend cutting the pork loin roast into chops to cook it as pork chops.

      Here are some pork chop recipes for you.

      take care & have fun cooking

  53. I received a Farberware pressure cooker. The recipes I’ve seen on Pinterest say things like, “set at 350 pressure”. I must be stupid, because I don’t know what button to push on my pot. Is there a conversion table for this?

    I’m obviously new, but I did cook a fabulous pot roast with a Farberware pamphlet that came with the pot, there are just not enough recipes from Farberware to match my pot. Is there a big Farberware pressure cooker cookbook?

    1. Hi Diana,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      You can actually use Instant Pot recipes without any conversions as their cooking temperature are very similar.

      Just use the pressure cook button to cook at high pressure.

      Here is some easy recipes to get started 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking

    1. Hi Stephannie,

      Thank you for your question.
      No you didn’t make any mistake 🙂

      Most of the recipes (if not all) can be used in an 8 quarts electric pressure cooker and you have extra space if you plan to double a recipe~!

      Take care & have fun cooking

  54. The heating plate in my pressure cooker has turned brown. It was gray and clean but for some reason there looks like it getting burnt on residue. I try using a magic eraser but that didn’t work. Have you got a different cleaning solution?

    1. Hi Norman,

      thank you for your question.

      Magic eraser + a bit of water is probably the most effective solution that we can think of for the heating plate 🙁

      Please let us know if you find a better solution!!

      Take care & have fun cooking

  55. I got an instant pot (5 qt) as a gift. I’m happy with the size but all the recipes and all accessories and questions are related to the 6 qt. Will that be a problem for me to find recipes for a 5qt and accessories for a 5 qt?

    1. Hi Shahida,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Most of the recipes and some of the accessories for the 6qt can be used in the 5qt (such as the silicone sealing ring) so you don’t have to worry 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking!

  56. Save way to clean the pot after putting chicken into it without the inner part? Some burnt chicken stuck to it. What do I clean itcwith?

    1. Uh oh, it sounds like Kaire is saying they put chicken inside the pot *without the liner* and there’s some mess on the inside of the pot, not the liner (in other words, it’s stuck in the part where food isn’t supposed to go)… you can’t really put water in that part, can you?

    2. Hi Steph,

      thank you for the comment.
      Yes I must have misread the question.

      Please unplug the Instant Pot and try to use a slightly damped magic eraser to see if the burnt spot can be removed.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  57. Hi! I got my Instant Pot for Christmas and am just starting to use it the last 2 days. So far I’ve made white Jasmine rice, baked potatoes and applesauce, all turned out great! But this morning I tried black beans following a recipe I found online and beans weren’t cooked when finished. Set it on manual for 25 minutes with 16 oz beans and 7 cups water, bay leaves and garlic. Used the 10 minute natural release. Can I continue cooking them even though beans and liquid are very hot? Thank you!

    1. Hi Cathy,

      thank you for your question.

      Yes, you can continue cooking them 🙂

      Black beans take about 40 – 45 minutes + Natural release.

      Take care & have fun cooking

  58. I ‘ve just gotten my IP & want to use up frozen left-overs. I don’t see any tips on how to cook/how much time it would take to fix frozen left-overs.

    1. Hi Linda,

      thank you for your question.

      Some leftovers will require a different method.

      What kind of frozen left-over are you planning to cook?

      take care & have fun cooking

    1. Hi Jan,

      thank you for your question 🙂
      I am not aware of one that can stay constantly at 240F to do pressure canning yet.

      A pressure canner will be a better choice at this moment.

      Happy New Year & Have Fun Cooking!

  59. My brother forgot to put the liner in the pot and pit in dried beans and water.,got the. Beans out but know the bottom is damp- suggestions?

    1. Hi Barbara,

      thank you for your question.
      Sorry to hear that.
      The best way is to dry it out with a towel and turn it upside down.
      Let it air dry for 24 hours before turning it back on.

      Don’t try to turn it back on in a hurry, because any moisture will short the circuit.

      Happy New Year & Have Fun Cooking!

  60. How do you get the cooker to go either low or high for slow cooking when using it as a slow cooker. I tried the adjusting button, but it would not move?

  61. I have tried so many dishes in this machine. Have decided it is not worth the effort. How do I return it to Amazon. I have had to go to users for help. No help from manuals. I received the machine Dec. 27 2016.

    1. Hi Eulalia,

      Sorry to hear that. You will have to contact the amazon customer support at amazon.com. I have removed your address & email in the comment to protect you privacy.

      We are not a part of the Instant Pot company, but If you change your mind, we are happy to answer any of your questions.

      Happy New Year & Have fun cooking

  62. Just got my pot used it once worked great. Second time did something stupid, let the hot lid rest on a mixing bowl that was handy and the bowl was the exact size to fit on the sealing ring. Now the medal bowl is stuck on the lid (probaly one in a million case) but can’t get it off. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Kara,

      Thank you for your question

      Yes, must be a one in a million case! I would try to expand the sealing ring by running it under hot tap water to see if the bowl will come lose.

      You can also try pouring some olive oil.

      If not, you can try to take out the mixing bowl with some force. The sealing ring should come loose. Make sure the sealing ring will seal properly after this as you may have to purchase a new sealing ring if it is cracked.

      Have fun cooking!

  63. Just got my Insta Pressure Cooker. I tried steel cut oats this morning. It said to cook using manual for 4 minutes. I set timer but after pre heating I started timing it on the clock and it was going way beyond 4 minutes. At 2 minutes left I turned it off. the oatmeal was totally done. Is this a malfunction of the machine or me. thanks for any advice.


    1. Hi Carol,

      thank you for your question 🙂
      Once the LED indicator switches from ON to 4 minutes, it should only take 4 minutes timing.
      If it is taking a lot longer than that, I would suggest to contact customer support to let them know.

      Try it one more time to make sure!

      Have fun cooking!

  64. My problem is how to correlate thetime for a slow cooker recipe and convert it to a PC recipe. Is there some sort of formula? I also wonder can you pc with only fat or a small amount of oil or does one need to have more fluid ie stock,water or other liquid? How do I use a steamer basket in a pc?

    1. Hi Campbell,

      thank you for your comment 🙂

      how to correlate thetime for a slow cooker recipe and convert it to a PC recipe. Is there some sort of formula?
      There is no exact formula for converting a slow cooker recipe.
      With that said, most chicken dishes will finish in under 20 minutes in the pressure cooker.

      I also wonder can you pc with only fat or a small amount of oil or does one need to have more fluid ie stock,water or other liquid?
      Oil or fat does not generate enough steam to get the PC up to pressure. Water or stock is needed. It is recommended not to use more than 1/4 cup of oil or fat in the pressure cooker.

      How do I use a steamer basket in a pc?
      To steam: We can pour 1 cup of water into the inner pot and place the steamer basket like this

      The video in our teriyaki chicken one pot meal recipe demonstrates preparing a pot in pot meal using steamer basket or rack 🙂

      Have fun cooking!

  65. I just got an IP.

    After I set IP to cook rice or pressure cook lentils, steam veggies etc, after it is done, once the natural release is completed, it goes to the warm cycle.
    Question: will the food cake if left in the warm cycle?
    If it does, is it possible to set the the warm cycle not to come on?
    (I am asking this to find out if I can just set the pot to cook rice or pressure cook and come back 5-6 hrs later without the food getting caked to the bottom due to the auto warm cycle coming on?)

    1. Hi Gita,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Rice will cake if it is left in the IP for too long due to the material of the inner pot and the heating temperature.
      I don’t think it is possible to set the warm cycle function to come on, but even without the keep warm function, I think rice will still harden and cake due to the material of the inner pot and the temperature.

      In my opinion, a rice cooker does a much better job at keeping rice hot after the cooking cycle.

      Have fun cooking!

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