The dreaded Instant pot burn message is something nobody wants…it can cause a real panic. Is it something I have done, has the Instant pot broken down…or is my food burning inside?
Let me reassure you that the solution is not that complicated and a few little changes to what you do can stop this happening in the future.
In this article, I will tell you why your Instant Pot says burn and how to deal with the Instant Pot burn message. If you do get this Instant Pot burn error, it does not necessarily mean that your meal is ruined, I will look at how you can save your meal from disaster.
What does burn mean on instant pot
It simply means that there is something happening inside the pot that has caused it to shut off. This is a safety mechanism built into the Instant Pot. You need to deal with this immediately.
Although it can seem quite dramatic, the reality is that it can be dealt with…with little drama.
How to remove the instant pot burn message
This is simply done by pressing the cancel button on the front panel of your Instant Pot. Pressing the cancel button will remove the instant pot burn warning.
What to do when instant pot says burn
The first thing you want to do is press the cancel button on the front of your Instant Pot. We then want to open the lid to find out what is happening on the inside.
At this point, you need to be careful of any steam so make sure you open the lid away from you…you should always do this anyway.
Once the lid is opened, we want to empty the contents of the inner pot into a separate bowl. The purpose of this is so that we can clean the inner bowl.
Once cleaned, we need to put the food back into the Instant pot.
We then need to make sure that the Instant Pot Burn message does not reappear. The way we do this is to add some extra liquid into the inner bowl. This may seem strange…your putting more things into the bowl…but there is good reason for this.
The reason you are adding more liquid is that you probably lost liquid due to the evaporation process. It may well be that you never had enough water in the Instant Pot to begin with.
You need to add between half to one cup of water, and then continue your cooking. You may have to slightly reduce the cooking time as your food would already have cooked a little.
How to clean the burnt inner pot on your Instant Pot
If you do get the Instant Pot burn error message, chances are that there is burning on the bottom of your inner pot. Now, you can wash and clean this using water but there is another method you can use. This will get it clean easily and quickly.
This method actually utilizes the remains of the inner pot. The first thing we will do is to press the Saute button on the front panel. This will start to heat up the base of the Instant Pot.
We will then add some hot water to the inner pot. Using a silicone or wooden spoon…ideally one with a flat bottom, we will scrape the bottom of the pan.
The heat from the bottom as well as the hot water should make removing the residue at the bottom very easy.
Essentially, this process is called ‘deglazing’ and is something that is referred to a lot on Instant Pot cooking. Under normal circumstances, you would use the deglazing process to add to the flavor of the dish. In this case, the food is burnt so we need to remove it out of the inner pot.
Why does my instant pot say burn?
Let’s take a quick look as to why you are getting the Instant Pot burn message and what you can do to avoid this happening in the future.
The main reasons why you get an Instant Pot burn message;
- Sealing ring
- Steam release valve
- Not enough liquid
- Not deglazing after you sauté
- Starchy ingredients
- Your pot is too hot
- Difference in recipes
It may be that your sealing ring is damaged or in most cases, it is missing. In most cases, the sealing ring has been removed to be cleaned but not put back in before you cook.
Even if it is in there, it may well be that the sealing ring is damaged, leading to the Instant Pot burn message appearing.
In this case, you need to get it replaced. These are not difficult to get hold of so no need to panic.
The sealing ring may get damaged by becoming too loose and stretched. If it does not sit tightly in the lid, you can solve this by putting it in the freezer for a few minutes. This will make it contract and you will find that this solves the issue.
It is always worth making it a habit before you start cooking, to make sure that the sealing ring is pushed in all the way around the lid. The burn error can happen because it is not secured in.
Steam release valve
It may be that the steam release handle is not in the sealing position and it is open. It really depends on the model of Instant Pot that you have, but for most people who have the Instant pot Duo or Lux, you may need to check that the knob is not stuck in an open position.
The Instant Pot Ultra has a self-sealing mechanism which means you should not have this issue…although it can get stuck…albeit rarely.
Not enough liquid to start with
A common reason for the burn error message is that there was not enough liquid in there to begin with. You should always consult the manual for the minimum amount of liquid before you start.
If you are new to pressure cooking, perhaps you should err on the safe side by starting your journey making dishes that have plenty of liquid in them. This can build up your confidence and help you gage the amount of liquid lost in the cooking process.
Not deglazing after your sauté
This is another novice mistake that can lead to an Instant Pot burn message. When you sauté, you will leave small amounts of food stuck onto the bottom of the inner pot.
The mistake people make is that they go straight to the pressure cooking without deglazing the base. This can be done easily by adding a small amount of hot water into the hot base and scraping it clean. This actually adds to the taste of the food.
This confuses the sensors in your Instant Pot and can lead to the burn error.
Starchy ingredients such as pasta and rices can cause a burn error as they can stick to the bottom of the pan. This also applies to thick sauces like tomato soup. These kinds of ingredients can stick to the bottom.
The solution to is to layer your food…so putting your vegetables or broth in first before you add in your starchy foods. Do not stir in the ingredients…simply push down the food.
Instant Pot too hot after Sautéing
If you have just sautéed some meats or onions, your inner pot will be very hot. You can reduce the chances of the Instant Pot burn message by letting it cool down before you start the pressure-cooking phase.
Often people will move quickly between sauté and pressure cooking…let it cool and you should see less error messages.
Recipe for a different size Instant Pot
As you would expect, not everybody has the same size Instant Pot. However, it wont stop people from following the recipe regardless of the size they have.
So, for example, if the recipe is for a 6-quart Instant Pot but you have an 8 quart, you may not have enough liquid in there. You need to compensate for each recipe if it is not directly the same size Instant Pot.
Hopefully this little tips and tricks should stop you getting those Instant Pot burn messages in future. Over time with more thought placed into it, you will see them reduce significantly over time.
However, if you are still seeing those messages and you have followed the advice laid out above, it may indicate that there might be a problem with your Instant Pot.
In this case, it is best to contact the support at Instant Pot. They are really efficient and should help you solve any issues you may have.
Hopefully, this leaves you in a better position…if your instant pot says burn or you get an instant pot burn message, you know what to do.
I hope you found this article useful, if you think your friends might be interested in reading this, please consider sharing it on your social media.
Please also leave a comment below if you have suffered from this instant pot burn error…what did you do to solve the problem and what advice would you give others…leave a comment below.
See you soon…Jayne x
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Hi, I have carefully read the post and avoid all things that causes to burn my instant pot bottom. But still I am facing the same problem. How to fix it?
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