How To Use Instant Pot Keep Warm Mode

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Do you want to know how to keep food warm in your Instant Pot? If so you’ll need to understand how the Instant Pot Keep Warm Mode works. Today I’ll be answering how the keep warm Instant Pot button works and when you should use the keep warm setting during pressure cooking?

Instant Pot Keep Warm Mode.

What Is The Keep Warm Button?

The keep warm button on the Instant Pot makes it possible for your food to stay warm after you have finished pressure cooking.

Using the Keep Warm temperature settings allows your food to stay piping hot for hours without overcooking or drying out your meal.

The keep warm setting is perfect for easy entertaining, for game night, family dinners, potlucks and holidays. Or if you’re just planning to be gone all day at work!

In a nutshell, the Instant Pot keep warm setting serves to keep your food at a certain temperature until you are ready to eat.

instant pot recipes and advice

Why Do I Need The Instant Pot Keep Warm Mode?

The main reason to use keep the Instant Pot keep warm setting on your Instant Pot is to do just that, keep your food warm until you are ready to serve.

Keeping food in the Instant pot allows family members to have their meal at the perfect temperature when they are ready to eat!

If you pressure cook your meal in advance or plan to use the natural pressure release option, then the keep warm temperature setting will keep your food warm without overcooking or burning it.

How To Use Instant Pot Keep Warm Mode?

Using the keep warm button on the Instant Pot is super easy. Simply hit the keep warm button before setting your pressure cooker to cook.

When setting the keep warm setting you can toggle between low, medium and high options or use the adjust button to choose which keep warm level you wish to use.

You can allow a quick release by opening the steam release handle or if the recipe calls for it, use a natural release. The pressure indicators will automatically switch your meal onto the keep warm setting.

Once the keep warm function kicks in, it’ll keep your food warm until you are ready to eat!

Keep in mind, the keep warm setting will keep your Instant Pot on and waiting for you. So keep this in mind if you are using the timer to delay your meal.

Will Instant Pot Naturally Release On Keep Warm?

Yes, the Instant Pot will naturally release pressure during the “Keep Warm” mode after the cooking cycle. The pressure decreases gradually, and the float valve drops, keeping the food warm until you’re ready to serve.

Instant Pot Keep Warm Setting Does Not Cook Food

The keep warm temperature setting is not a cooking mode. This means the keep warm mode will not keep your Instant Pot recipes cooking.

The Instant Pot keep warm setting is meant to keep your meal at the perfect temperature while you’re at work, doing errands or simply too busy to eat right away. Whether using it to cook chicken noodle soup or as a rice cooker, keep warm will keep your food just right!

man and woman cartoon with instant pot

Benefits Of Instant Pot Keep Warm Temperature Setting

  • Keeping your food moist. The keep warm temperature setting can prevent your meat, poultry and fish dishes from drying out.
  • Allows easy entertaining, by giving you the ability to keep your meal warm until everyone is ready to eat.
  • Perfect for those who may be delayed from coming home after work, an appointment or errands.
  • You can use the Instant Pot Keep warm overnight to keep a meal such as Oatmeal warm and ready to serve in the morning.

Instant Pot Keep Warm Temperature

The keep warm button is designed to keep the temperature of your food consistent between 140°F – 172°F. No need to use a slow cooker when the keep warm mode can maintain the temperature of your meals.

How Long Do You Use the Keep Warm Button For?

So how long should my Instant Pot stay on keep warm?

Typically the keep warm mode can keep your food warm for up to 10 hours. So you are able to keep your meal warm from a few minutes to ten hours.

cooking in the instant pot cartoon

Why Is My Instant Pot Counting Up?

On keep warm mode, the control panel will count up instead of counting down. This way you know how long the pot has been keeping warm.

5 Instant Pot Recipes You Can Keep Warm

Here are some Instant Pot recipes that work well with the keep warm button.

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15 Comments

  1. I am wondering if you can put already cooked food in and push ‘keep warm’. We are having a funeral and they are purchasing sides that need to be kept warm. I don’t see the option to start with keep warm- just to end with it.

    1. yes, you can pop food into the pot and hit the keep warm function and it will keep the food at the right temperature.

  2. My keep warm function doesn’t kick on automatically (as advertised) after I vent the pressure. I have tried it four times. Twice I just went straight into pressure cooking and twice I hit “keep warm” before I clicked on “pressure cooking” Is there something else I need to do to activate the keep warm feature automatically after cooking is complete?

  3. I have been using the Instant Pot for several years, but I have a question I’ve never been faced with before. I cooked beef and fat to render tallow. I can use the tallow, the stock, and the cooked ground beef to use in different recipes. I’m using the 10qt pot and I’m wanting to know how many cycles it will stay on keep warm? It’s already at the end of the second 10hr period. I have my hands full with my chronically sick daughter and do not have the time or energy to finish the process of getting each portion separated. As long as I have it plugged in and on will I be able to use each when I can get to it, hoping for tomorrow morning. Or does food only stay safe for less than 10 hrs on keep warm? Thank you!

    1. Hi Ann,

      The recommended time for keeping food warm in the Instant Pot is 10 hours. After this there is more chance of the food losing it’s freshness/ going off. As someone who is also chronically unwell, I understand you want to do as much as you can for your daughter. You can totally do a second cycle but for myself I would probably portion the meal out if it’s going to be eaten on day 2 or 3 and reheat in the pot or a microwave.

  4. How do I turn the keep warm button off? I turned it on by mistake and can’t see how to turn it off. Unplugging the pot for hours didn’t make any difference when I plug it back in the keep warm is still in and none if the other buttons work.

  5. Actually, you can use the keep warm setting on high to complete a cooking cycle. I found a fabulous recipe for pork loin. you cook on pressure cooker high for eight minutes then depending upon the size of the pork loin, leave it on keep warm high for another 30 to 45 minutes (part of natural release). Comes out super tender & Super moist.

  6. Since some functions of the Instant Pot do not work without the pressure lid in place, it should be mentioned that “Keep Warm” works without a lid or with the silicone rubber lid that snaps onto the top of the inner pot – though snapping it on might be dangerous. When we set out our holiday meals buffet-style for our typical 15 extended members, we have food in the Instant Pot, with the silicone lid off or on loosely and the Keep Warm setting around 180F (my model lets you set the temperature).

  7. My best cooking energy is early in the day. I was thinking to make a pot roast, letting it sit on warm after the cooking time is done, then adding the veggies and repressurising to cook them at day’s end. Will the meat toughen sitting so long on the warm cycle?

    1. When meat is cooked for too long it can become tough and dry. You set the keep warm button to begin at a certain time rather than keep it on keep warm all day long? I would release the pressure of the meat and then allow it to sit and reheat at the days end with the veg for a few minutes rather than keeping on warm all day long.

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