7 Rookie Instant Pot Mistakes

The Instant Pot® is probably among the coolest appliance you can have in your kitchen. It’s an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, warmer, and sauté pan all in one. That may seem a bit overwhelming at first, so here’s a list of rookie mistakes from the Instant Pot® Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook that will make you a pro from the start.



  1. Not setting the steam release valve to the locked position for pressure cooking and steaming. If you don’t lock it, pressure will never build.
  2. Not moving quickly enough. When you open the steam release valve, do so in a very quick movement, or better yet, use a towel to release the valve because the steam escapes very quickly and it is extremely hot.
  3. Overfilling the pot. It is best not to fill the pot more than two-thirds full (or one-half full for foods that expand, such as rice, pasta, and porridge), otherwise it could cause clogging, excess pressure, and leaking.
  4. Forgetting to add water for pressure cooking or steaming. As a general rule, make it a habit to always fill your Instant Pot® with 1½ cups (350 ml) of water and insert the steam rack before you do anything else.
  5. Not attaching the condensation collector. This could result in water slowly leaking over your countertop through the night as your food slowly cooks.
  6. Touching the lid while pressure cooking. That thing is hot!
  7. Remembering to turn off your Instant Pot®. Because the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button are the same, make sure to select the button when you finish preparing your meal. The display should switch to “Off.”

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