Is your Instant Pot not sealing? I have seen so many people in my Facebook group who are struggling to get their Instant Pot to Seal. There are several reasons why your Instant Pot may not be sealing, so to better help everyone, I have created this informational post for you!
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Why Won’t My Instant Pot Seal?
One of the most common problems Instant Pot users face is that their Instant Pot won’t create a proper seal or come to pressure properly. So, here are 8 reasons you may be having this issue!
#1 Instant Pot Not Sealing Due to Sealing Ring Issues
Your sealing ring plays a big role in making sure your pressure cooker seals and builds to the correct pressure. In fact, the sealing ring can be several reasons, all in one. Here are some things to check:
- Make sure the sealing ring is there. Many times, the sealing ring is removed for cleaning. So, if your pot isn’t sealing, check the lid and make sure you put the seal back in.
- Is the seal properly seated? If your sealing ring cannot be rotated around the rack, it is not properly seated in your lid. Make sure it is in its place.
- Has the sealing ring expanded too much? The ring expands when it is heated. If you just used your Instant Pot, you will need to wait for it to cool in order for it to seal again.
- The sealing ring may need to be cleaned. You should take your ring out each time you use your pot and clean it. Food and debris can prevent your pot from sealing.
- You need to change your silicone sealing ring. If the ring gets torn or damaged it won’t work. Additionally, if you use your Instant Pot often, you should change the sealing ring every 6 to 12 months.
- Its always a good idea to keep a spare sealing ring in your kitchen as this is most likely the cause of your sealing issue.
All About the Seal
As stated above, the seal can be a major issue when it comes to your Instant Pot sealing and building adequaate pressure. I have also seen many people curious about getting the smell out of their seals. There are several things you can do to get the smell out:
- Use different seals for different things. For example, use a red one for meats, a blue one for desserts, and a clear one for soups.
- Clean your seal in white vinegar and water. Let it soak for 15-30 minutes. You could also just pressure cook your Instant Pot for 2 min with vinegar in it.
- Try baking your seal. Bake it at 350 degrees in 15 min increments until the smell is gone. It typically takes about 30-45 min to get the smell out.
- Get a New Instant Pot Sealing Ring on Amazon
#2 Your Pressure Release Handle is Not Sealed
The little knob on top of your lid has to be in the sealing position so that it will build pressure and seal properly. Make sure you check that it is turned to sealing.
#3 Instant Pot Not Sealing Due to Scorched Food
If you saute food before pressure cooking, you will want to make sure to deglaze the pot. This means using soapy water and scraping the bottom so there is no food debris on the bottom of the inner pot. Additionally, scorched food can cause the dreaded burn notice.
#4 The Water Evaporated
If your pot was incorrectly sealed and you fixed the issue, you may think you didn’t. Once you fix the ring or the sealing valve etc, you have to make sure there is still enough liquid in the pot so that it can come to pressure. You may need to add an extra cup or two of cold water if it evaporated.
#5 The Inner Pot is the Wrong Size
I have both an 8 quart and a 6 quart Instant Pot, and I have put the wrong inner pot in each one of them. The inner pots are different sizes too, so if it’s not coming to pressure, make sure you put the right one in.
#6 The Lid Locking Pin is Stuck
There is a spring-loaded pin on the rim at the back of the lid. If it is stuck in the retracted position, your Instant Pot will not seal. Push on it from the inside and outside of the lid or jiggle it to reset the pin.
#7 Instant Pot Not Sealing Due to the Cord
Maybe your cord isn’t plugged into the Instant Pot all the way. It comes loose from time to time. Check and make sure your cords are plugged into the Instant Pot and the outlet.
#8 You Just Need to Be Patient
The Instant Pot will not come to pressure in a certain amount of time for everything. In fact, things like soup and frozen food will take longer to come to pressure. If your Instant Pot isn’t counting down, wait 20-30 minutes before you start worrying.
#9 Thick Sauces
If you are cooking a recipe with a thick sauce, it may cause a problem with the Instant Pot coming to pressure. If your sauce is too thick, you can add an extra cup of liquid or another ingredient that will thin it out so that the Instant Pot will come to pressure.
#10 Pot is over-filled
If you have too much food in your cooker, it will not come to pressure. Make sure your cooker is not more than 2/3rds full.
#11 Excessive Liquid in Pressure Cooker
Sometimes when you are cooking, especially when you are cooking something that is not frozen, there will be an abundance of liquid. This can cause it to splash out of the steam release handle when you release the cooker. There are a couple things you can do so this doesn’t happen: 1) use the natural release method, or 2) turn the steam release handle to “venting” for a few minutes.
Chances are nothing serious is wrong with your Instant Pot even if it won’t seal. Just check your pot if you are having an issue and restart!
About Angela Milnes
Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and adults. Angela has also taught cooking classes and loves to share both family recipes and easy instant pot recipes here on The Instant Pot Table. Follow her on Pinterest!