My Instant Pot Won’t Come To Pressure, Why?

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Are you trying to cook Instant Pot recipes and your Instant Pot Won’t Come to Pressure? Even if you’ve done everything right, there could be a reason your pressure cooker won’t build pressure. Is your pressure cooker taking forever to pressurize if so read on to learn more.

Instant Pot Won’t Come to Pressure

My Pressure Cooker Won’t Build Pressure, Why? 

Your Instant Pot will not immediately come to pressure. It can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes for your Instant Pot to come to pressure before it shows the cooking time. How long it takes depends on how full your Instant Pot is and how much liquid you have in the pot. 

How Long Does It Take My Instant Pot To Pressurize?

If you have waited for longer than 30-minutes and the time has not started to count down on your Instant Pot, there may be an issue which can be easily fixed. Sometimes your pressure cooker won’t build pressure and here are the top reasons why!

Why Your Instant Pot Won’t Come To Pressure

If you’re asking why’s my Instant Pot not pressurizing, here are the top reasons that your Instant Pot won’t come to pressure:

You Need to Add More Liquid

The very first thing you need to do is make sure you put enough liquid in your pressure cooker. Instant Pots use steam to cook your food, and steam is created from liquid. As the liquid circulates in your Instant Pot and steam is created, it begins to create pressure. Thus, if there is not enough liquid, you will not have pressure. 

As a rule of thumb, you should always put at least 1-cup of water into your pressure cooker.

If you’re using a recipe that doesn’t call for a lot of liquid, then you will need to add more water so that your Instant Pot has the required amount to pressurize. If you find this makes your recipe too watery or thin – near the end of cooking, try saute mode to see if the dish has thickened up.

If you are still having trouble, getting your Instant Pot to pressurize after adding more liquid, then move on to the next solution.

You Need to Clean the Pot

Another reason why your electric pressure cooker may not pressurize is when bits of food are stuck to the bottom of the pot or the Instant Pot lid area. Food particles may block steam from escaping and you will end up with a burn message.

To fix this issue, you will want to open your Instant Pot, stir your food, and make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom. If you do notice food stuck to the bottom, add ½ cup more liquid and use a spatula to break the food off the bottom and deglaze the pot.  

The Liquid Is Too Thick

In order for your liquid to produce steam, it has to be thin enough to produce steam. You will get a burn error before your Instant Pot even begins when your sauce is too thick. This has happened to me with spaghetti sauces and even stews and soups

If you have a thicker liquid in your pot, you may need to thin it down. You can do this by adding 1 cup of broth or water to the sauce. Then, try to cook it again. 

If you have added too much thickener or a high starch ingredient to your recipe, then it can prevent the Instant Pot from coming to pressure meaning your pot won’t pressurize. You will need to add more cold water to thin down your liquid.

Examples of starchy foods are brown rice and legumes. If you wish to cook your black beans or chickpeas in the Instant Pot, you will need to thin down their cooking liquid before adding them to the pressure cooker. This can be done simply by adding more water until you reach the desired consistency.

Something Is Wrong With Your Sealing Ring

If you notice steam coming out from around the sides of the pot and around the lid, you may have an issue with your sealing ring. The rubber ring that fits snugly around your Instant Pot lid is called the sealing ring.

When the sealing ring is not fitted around the edge of your lid correctly or it has been used too much it loses its shape, your Instant Pot will not pressurize. 

Examine your lid and make sure that the sealing ring is fitting around the edge snugly. If you notice the Instant Pot not sealing or the ring has a yellowed color and shapes into an oval instead of a round circle, you will need to buy a replacement sealing ring

The Pressure Release Valve Is Not Sealed Correctly

Sometimes, even when the sealing valve is in the “sealing” position, it can still need a little adjusting. If you see steam coming from your steam release valve, you may need to just adjust the pressure valve a little.

Give your float valve a little wiggle up and down and push it into the sealing position. Sometimes it just doesn’t go into the right place when we turn it. 

Instant Pot Is Too Full

Another reason why your Instant Pot may not pressurize is because there is too much food or too much liquid. If there isn’t enough space for the steam to circulate, then the pot won’t create pressure and the burn notice will show on the Instant Pot display.

The max line is located on the inner pot and it tells you how much liquid to put in your pressure cooker. When you are using a recipe, make sure to measure the ingredients and only fill your Instant Pot to the max line. If you have already filled it too full, try taking out some liquid to make more space.

You Are Cooking Foods From Frozen

Frozen food takes longer to cook in an Instant Pot, and the device will pressurize more slowly. If you are cooking frozen meat wait a little longer and allow more time for your pot to come to pressure. Electric pressure cookers will cook both fresh and frozen food but frozen will always take longer building pressure.

Follow The Instructions Correctly

One of the most common Instant Pot problems is failing to follow the manual instructions for your Instant Pot Model. People often think that because their Instant Pot is electric, there are no rules to follow. However it’s super important that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions or your Instant Pot won’t come to pressure.

The Instant Pot manual will specifically state the amount of liquid, and what type of accessories are needed for pressure cooking in a specific model. Then follow the rules accordingly while using that pot.

If you have tried all of these solutions and nothing seems to work, you may need to contact Instant Pot Customer Care. They are extremely helpful and will be able to help Instant Pot users to trouble shoot.

Hopefully with all these tips your Instant Pot begins to come to pressure. Good luck cooking in your pressure cooker!

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3 Comments

  1. This was so helpful. I had just changed my silicone ring and panicked when my oatmeal didn’t come to pressure. I left the oatmeal sitting in the water for 30 min before I turned pot on. It had congealed and was too thick; hence, no pressure!

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