Instant Pot Do’s and Don’ts

Image source:

The instant pot is here to save you some space and time. And the fact that it has many safety measures you can rest assured that no accidents will happen. Instant pots are among the best kitchen accessories. But there are some do’s and don’ts you need to have in mind to ensure it serves you for long and well.

This article outlines and discusses the do’s and don’ts to ensure your relationship with the instant pot is good and long.

The Do’s

Perform the water test

Image source:

The first thing you should do immediately you buy the instant pot is to perform the water test to ensure it is working efficiently. But don’t worry if you already bought the pot and started using it without performing the water test. As long as the pot is working efficiently, it’s good.

You perform the water test by adding three cups to the instant pot, closing the lid, and sealing the pressure valve. Set the pot to high pressure and three minutes timer. After the water is hot enough, the timer will start. Observe how it behaves by the time the three minutes are over.

After the minutes are over, the water should be “cooked,” and the pot will switch, and it will read warm.

Always seal your pot when cooking

When you put your pot on, the next step is ensuring the pressure valve is sealed. If the pot is unsealed, the pressure will not accumulate in the pot, and hence cooking won’t happen. After you put the pot on, it will say ‘on’ for a while, and then it will start the count down after the pot’s content is hot.

The time the instant pot takes to start the timer depends on the quantity and type of food. If the food is a lot, it will take a longer time to start the timer.

Go through the manual

Make sure you go through the manual. The only way you’ll know how to operate is through the manual. That way, you learn every part of how they operate and avoid making any mistakes that can mess with the pot’s functioning. In case you can’t find your manual, there is an online manual that will help you.

The don’t’s

Never pressurize with no water

Never pressurize the instant pot with no water or any other liquid. For the pressure cooking and the rice cooking function to work, there must be some liquid. Add at least a ½ cup of water when cooking and a ratio of 1:1 on rice. The instant pot gains pressure from the steam produced by the food. If there is no fluid to produce steam, there will be no cooking.

Never leave the pressure release valve unsealed

As seen above, the instant pot requires liquid to build up the pressure through the steam produced when the liquid is heated. So, for the pot to develop the pressure, the pot needs to be locked, and no steam is coming out. That way, inside the pot, pressure develops and enhances cooking the food fast.

If the pressure valve does not seal, the liquid will get heated, and then steam produced, and it will come out through the pressure valve, and hence no pressure will build up in the pot.

Never put the hand or any object on the pressure releasing the valve

The food is ready, the timer is off, and now it’s time to release the pressure naturally. It is the worst idea to place your hand on the vent or anywhere near there. You will end up burnt. The hot steam is coming out at high pressure.

Apart from that, never place anything on the vent. Some people think placing a towel on the vent is a good idea to prevent the steam from coming across someone. But the instant pot vent is designed to release the steam upward. When you place the towel on the vent, you interfere with how it operates. This can be hazardous, or it can even cut the instant pot life span.

Never overfill the instant pot

You may be tempted to overfill the instant pot when preparing meals for a lot of people. First, this is a bad idea. From the above, we learn the quantity of food affects the time the instant pot takes to gain pressure. When you overfill the pot, the process will take forever or even never.

If you overfill, there is no space to gain pressure, and heating the food is an issue. Also, the lid may not close, and that will affect the pressurizing process. Always stick to filling the pot below the lined marked maximum. Follow the recipes given by to make sure you come up with the best-cooked meals.

Never place the steel bowl on the stovetop

It almost seems obvious, but some people still do it. When you place the steel bowl on the stovetop, you may end up forgetting it’s there and end up putting the stove on. When that happens, the whole base will melt, and the instant pot can’t function again. You will have to repair it.


Instant pots are lifesavers. They help cook so many things and save you from buying a lot of kitchen appliances and accessories. But you need to ensure you use it in the right way for it to serve you for long and stay in good condition.