Instant Pot mistakes are bound to happen with the Instant Pot. This glorious 7-in-1 device has taken the world by storm. But don’t be fooled there are some downsides to this pot and a lot of mistakes that happen along the way.
Here are some of the biggest Instant Pot mistakes I found along the way. To me personally, the Instant Pot is hit and miss. Some dishes are excellent while others lack in flavor or the texture is way off!
Here Are More Tips For Instant Pot Users
Instant Pot Mistakes You Probably Made
Read below to see if you can agree to these mistakes you could have made as your whipping up a tasty dinner for the family.
Instant Pot Mistake #1 | Cooking Time
The biggest issues are the cook time. I have seen so many people have to toss a meal cause they didn’t get it cooked in time before they had to jet out of the house.
While a recipe might say 4 minute Instant Pot pasta, it’s not really a true 4-minute dish.
Because the Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker, so once you seal and pick your cooking time, it needs to then pressure up. This can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes.
So that 4-minute pasta could turn into 24-minute pasta.
Why do Recipes not add pressure up time then?
I see this all the time, why don’t you add in pressure time? Well, it could take 10-20 minutes no matter what recipe you make. If your an IP user you should know after a couple of recipes that pressuring up varies greatly.
Just because it took 10 minutes for their pot to come to pressure doesn’t mean it’s gonna do the same for you. It could take 15 for your pot. Generally, it’s just a known rule that’s the guide.
Instant Pot Mistake #2 | Adding Liquid
Your Instant Pot has to have liquid for it to have the ability to create pressure to cook food in the pot. If you attempt to cook in your pressure cooker without adding liquid, it will never come to pressure and begin cooking.
You need a minimum of one cup of liquid for any recipe you cook. This can mean water, broth, sauce, etc.
You can use a trivet or other Instant Pot accessory to keep your food out of the liquid if you don’t want your food to sit in the liquid. I have a nice list of Instant Pot Accessories to invest in!
Instant Pot Mistake #3 | Sealing Stem Valve
Raising hand for this one! You have to make sure you seal your valve each time you to cook, so your Instant Pot can come to pressure.
I can’t tell you how long it took me to realize this one night trying to cook dinner. I thought this pressure cooker is broken, and it turns out I just didn’t seal it!
One tip I will share is if you find you’re not sealing properly you might need to clean your the valve as it can develop buildup.
Instant Pot Mistake #4 | Forgetting to Put Inner Pot Back
This is a sad one! You go to start dumping ingredients in and realize you left your pot out, so all the food or liquid now has a mess.
You might be amazed at this common Instant Pot issue. If you do this you run the risk of harming the electrical components and ruining your Instant Pot altogether.
Instant Pot Mistake #5 | Storing Instant Pot With A Sealed Lid
You don’t have to Store your pressure cooker a certain way, but I find leaving the lid open works wonders on odor.
After you clean your Instant Pot leave the lid open and the sealing ring on top so it can breathe as well. This is a wonderful way to reduce lingering odors and keep your IP fresh when not in use.
Foods like corned beef, garlic foods, and even desserts can leave strong odors behind.
Instant Pot Mistake # 6 | Adding Dairy In To Thicken Before Cooking
Some dairy items like cream, cream cheese, etc. tend to curdle as they cook. The same thing happens when you put a thickening agent in like cornstarch. It just doesn’t work.
Always add in your dairy to thicken at the end and stir it in and then if need be turned on sauté function. If you want a cornstarch slurry to make gravy, turn on sauté as well at the end and stir it in. Items like my keto cheesecake do work, and it is full of cream cheese.
Instant Pot Mistake #7 | Overfilling Your Pot
You will see a max fill line on the side of your pot, it’s there for a reason. If your pot doesn’t have enough “space” left in the pot it can’t properly pressure up. If that happens whatever food is in there will never come to pressure.
Always remember that some foods like beans, rice, etc. expand so you have to leave room for that.
Instant Pot Mistake #8 | Placing Sealing Ring Back In Pot
You remove the sealing ring after each meal to clean. That ring is a key component to your pot, without it you will have a wet countertop and failed recipe!
Always double check that after you washed your ring and dried you place it back in the position it needs!
Instant Pot Mistake #9 | Cooking with Tomato-Based Items and Getting Burn Notice
Tomato based items like pasta sauces tend to give a burn notice. They are thicker and it’s hard to the pot to register that. Sauces like Alfredo have thickening agents which of you read above you know is a no go. So it can cause your dish to fail.
One way to help reduce the risk is layering your sauce between other ingredients, and not stirring before you cook. Another is adding a little broth or even water.
Steam Release DiverterFun to Redirect Steam on InstaPot Away From CabinetsSilicone Steam Diverter for Instapot Pot Accessories
Instant Pot Mistake #10 | Releasing Pressure
Be prepared with a towel when you go to release pressure. Sometimes depending on what is in your pot could go spraying. Having a towel will save your counters and walls.
If you are cooking something that foams a bit or even soup you might get more of a foamy splatter. It’s a mess for sure, trust me!
Instant Pot Mistake #11 | Another Failed Recipe
Your pot isn’t like a slow cooker or stove that you can hover over or open the lid and check to see how it’s going. If you need more liquid you can easily add to a stovetop dish. Well, that isn’t the case with your IP. Once it is sealed you got to hope and pray.
Make sure that you pay attention to recipes. As you begin cooking you will get a feel for if the recipe seems off. Don’t add the wrong ingredients to count as liquid and leave you with a mess.
Sadly the IP fails a lot of recipes, and to me, this is a flaw. If you use the wrong type of pasta it can leave you with mush. Using hot water instead of cold can cause your pot to pressure faster leaving you with undercooked food.
This is why you see so many fails along the way. It is a device that requires you to read that manual and follow the rules and recipe.
Instant Pot Mistake #12 | Natural Release vs Quick Release
When that timer chimes you have to remember the IP is still cooking. Make sure that you follow your recipes instruction on which release to use.
The natural release is great for helping to tenderize and break down meats, so you get that fork-tender dish you want. If you quick release you can find your meat is tough and a bit dry,
The quick release is wonderful for items like vegetables, pasta, etc. These items can turn to mush with a natural release option.
Just follow the recipe on what it guides you to do.
Simple Instant Pot Mishaps
As you can see there are so many mistakes that can happen along the way. The Instant Pot is a learning curve but once you give it a try and have success you could fall in love!
Comments & Reviews
Keith Hillier says
Great info thank you very much. Question i love bacon and leek suet pudding which i cook my mums way wrapped in a pudding cloth and dropped in boiling water and boil for two hours.If i use the instant pot with the pudding wrapped in cloth and stem for an hour would that work?
Hey there Keith! I would assume you could cook it and it would take less time. Maybe 30 minutes? But I can’t fully say, as to if it would work. If you try it let me know how it goes.