Instant Pot Water Test

Instant Pot Water Test

Just received your new Instant Pot Pressure Cooker? Congrats!! 😀

Instant Pot DUO Evo Plus is on sale on Amazon! Also check out Our Handpicked Best Instant Pot Accessories

Excited, overwhelmed, and confused as you unwrap the box…

Now what?

Before you cook up a storm, start with the Instant Pot Water Test! This recommended step helps you familiarize yourself with how the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker works.

Click on the 1-minute video above to see it in full action or follow the step by step instructions below 🙂

Step 1:  Safety Checkup

Instant Pot Silicone Ring

Check to make sure the silicone ring is properly seated.

Check to make sure the venting knob and floating valve are unobstructed.

Pressure Cooker Release Method



Step 2:  Add Water

Instant Pot Water Test Pouring Water

Place the inner pot in the Instant Pot.

Pour 2 cups (500ml) – 3 cups (750ml) of cold water in the Instant Pot.



Step 3:  Close Lid

Instant Pot Water Test Close Lid

Close the Instant Pot lid by lining the two arrows (see picture below) and turn the lid in clockwise direction.Instant Pot Water Test Close Lid Clockwise



Step 4:  Seal

Turn venting knob from Venting Position to Sealing Position.

Instant Pot Water Test Sealing Position



Step 5:  Initiate Test Run – Set the Cooking Time

Press the Manual Button (Pressure Cook Button) OR Steam Button. Either one will work.

Instant Pot Water Test Manual Button

The indicator will show “30”, meaning 30 minutes pressure cooking time.

Since we don’t need to “cook” that long, press and hold the “-“ button until the indicator says “2”. It means we’re setting the pressure cooking time to 2 minutes.

Instant Pot Water Test Set to 2 Minutes

See the red light under High Pressure? High Pressure is the default pressure setting.



Step 6:  Preheating Cycle

The indicator will change from “2” to “On” in about 10 seconds.

Instant Pot Water Test Heating Cycle

When it shows “On”, the Instant Pot starts the preheating cycle – heating up the water to generate steam.

It takes roughly 13 minutes to reach High Pressure.



Step 7:  Steam Generating

It is normal for steam to come out of the floating valve during the preheating cycle.

Instant Pot Water Test Steam

Once enough steam has been generated in the Instant Pot, the floating valve will pop up.

You should not see any steam releasing from the Instant Pot at this point.


Once the floating valve pops up, pressure starts to build inside the Instant Pot.



Step 8:  Pressure Cooking Cycle

Once the Instant Pot has reached high pressure, the indicator will change from “On” to “2”. This means the pressure cooking cycle has started and it will pressure cook for 2 minutes.

Instant Pot Water Test Countdown Timer



Step 9:  Keep Warm Mode

After the 2-minute pressure cooking cycle, Instant Pot will automatically enter the “Keep Warm” mode.

Instant Pot Keep Warm ModePress Keep Warm/Cancel button on the lower right corner (the one with orange light) to turn off the Instant Pot.

The indicator will switch to “OFF”.

At this point, you will need to release the pressure before opening the lid.

Voila! You’ve passed the Instant Pot Water Test! 🙂

Read Next: How to do Quick Release vs Natural Release?

Looking for Easy Starter Recipes?

Check out these Easy Instant Pot Recipes to get you started.33+ Easy Recipes for New Instant Pot Users

Start off with the Instant Pot Water Test: Includes Demo Video + Step-by-Step Instructions.

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newest oldest most helpful

I received my IP for Xmas ‘19. VERY Intimidating just for the water test. Lol. Several things. When doing the water test I noticed some steam coming from the front ( it looked like steam when you cook on a range) which from what I’ve read is normal is that correct? Secondly, I had the knob ( very wobbly) set to sealing. I noticed about 2 mins left of a 5 min. Test, that a good amount of steam flowed from the back while the knob was still in the SEALING position. Is that normal? Then when it went to… Read more »

Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot DUO 80
Frank Conlan

I bought the instant pot lux 6 and when i do the water test when it heating up steam comes out the valve and when it changes from on to 2mins the steam stops and count down starts but when it got to 1min to go some steam came out the sealing knob .my old lux 8 did not yo that.

Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot LUX 60
Trish Pineau

Hello – so frustrated – even after I get my IP to pressure and it switches to timer, tons of steam is escaping ? I used this when I got it, water test no problem – perfect ribs – then did not use. Dusted off, made cauliflower soup – perfect. Next time went to make same soup – 3 x – would not switch to timer. My “sealing valve” I have tried locking it so it does not move, watched videos – turned it so its not “locked” and tight, but still pours steam – so frustrated. Once it went… Read more »


Hello! I’m doing the water test right now and I turned the knob to venting over 10 minutes ago and it’s still not unlocking and the floating valve is still raised- how long does this normally take?

Norma Frazier

Hi Amy
Could you please put recipes for only 2-3 people bought my son a IP for 2019 Christmas and I am going to
try it out, I know he’s happy he is going to really love it , he was going to get one about a year ago and he just didn’t do it


Which model of instant pot do you like?

Sonamnishi Bagaria

Hi i just got my brand new instant pot 7 in 1. During the initial water test, the timing was set to 2 minutes, however the system does not turn from on to keep warm mode even after 20 minutes. What could be the issue?

Jill Harbaugh

Its been 20 minutes. Valve is up, water is still spouting out and has not come to pressure. Still says on.

Jill Harbaugh

From the sealing/venting valve. I’ve had the pot for about a year, don’t use it a ton… This is a new issue.

Jill Harbaugh

So I popped off the venting cover to clean. It wasn’t dirty. But wiped it all off and put back on. It worked now. The water test came to pressure in a little over ten minutes. Thanks!


Bought my mom a 6 qt and wanted to try it out. did the water test no problem. Tried to cook beef stew and got a burn message. I turned it to keep and manually released pressure, gravy began to spew out of the pressure valve along with the steam, condenser cup also filled with gravy. What went wrong? This did not happen on my 8 qt. did i try to cook too soon after the water test? is it faulty?


Hi amy. Its my first time to do water test i in my ip and never had a chance to use pressure cooker befire so im very new to this, my question is why didn’t i see any steam come out of it and the valve did not pop out as well.the keep warm lights up and the timer keeps on going nownits L0:06. What did i missed? Thank you

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