I have heard so many times, “My Instant Pot is not coming to pressure.” It seems everything is done right, the valve is in sealing position, but the Instant Pot is just blowing out steam. What in the world is going on? Why won’t my Instant Pot come to pressure?
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My Instant Pot Won’t Come to Pressure, Why?
Remember, 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.
If you have waited the full 30-minutes and the time has not started to count down on your Instant Pot, or you see steam coming out, keep reading…
7 Reasons Why Your Instant Pot Won’t Come to Pressure
Your electric pressure cooker is all the rage right now, but you may be wondering what it’s all about if you haven’t gotten it to come to pressure. Trust me, even though I am writing this, I have experienced the many reasons why it won’t, so before you toss it out the window in anger, let me help you figure out what the problem is.
Here are 7 reasons why your Instant Pot won’t come to pressure:
#1 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 liquid into your pressure cooker. However, I have found that putting at least 2-cups I rarely have a pressure problem or burn notice. So, if your pot won’t pressurize, try adding ½ to 1 cup more water.
#2 You Need to Clean the Bottom of the Pot
If you were sauteing meat or veggies in your inner pot, you may have food stuck to the bottom. If there is food stuck to the bottom, it may make your pressure cooker think that the food is already burnt and as a result, it will not come to pressure. Additionally, the ingredients stuck to the bottom restrict the circulation of liquid.
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 is stuck to the bottom, add ½ cup more liquid and use a spatula to break the food off the bottom. Then, begin to again.
#3 Instant Pot Won’t Come to Pressure If Your Liquid is too Thick
In order for your liquid to produce steam, it has to be thin enough to produce steam. Many times you will get a burn notice before your Instant Pot even begins when 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 are going to want 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.
#4 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 that the sealing ring has a yellowed color and shapes into an oval instead of a round circle, you will need to buy a replacement sealing ring.
#5 Your Valve is Letting Steam Escape
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 valve, you may need to just adjust the valve a little. Just give it a little wiggle up and down and push it more into the sealing position. Sometimes it just doesn’t go into the right place when we turn it.
#6 Your Instant Pot is Too Full
The rule of thumb is to never fill your inner pot over ⅔ full. There is a silver line that is hard to see in your inner pot. That line tells you how full you can fill it. If your pot is two full, it can either make sure your Instant Pot won’t come to pressure, or it will end up spewing your food all over the place when you do a quick release. Always make sure you don’t overfill your Instant Pot.
#7 Your Instant Pot Won’t Come to Pressure If It Needs Cleaned Better
Sometimes food particles can get stuck in places we just didn’t notice. You may need to clean your sealing ring as it may have debris on the inside. You may need to clean the Instant Pot lid area so the lid can lock into place. Or, you may need to clean the float valve or anti-block shield. If you have any debris where it shouldn’t be, your Instant Pot will not come to pressure. This is a safety feature to ensure that your Instant Pot will not blow up!
If you have tried all of these solutions and nothing seems to work, you may need to contact Instant Pot Customer Care.
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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!