General

Burn Baby Burn!

Ah, the Instant Pot. Love it or hate it, it seems it’s here to stay and I honestly love cooking with mine all the time. But… there are those frustrating BURN moments that I just can’t get past!

Imagine this: You read through all of the recipe steps in advance – it’s got great reviews and you get all excited for your meal at the end of the day. You follow your recipe precisely. And then this happens:

Image-credit-Joe-Lingeman-thekitchn

Thankfully, a BURN error isn’t a regular occurrence for me, but when it happens, I feel as if I’ve failed, because I know that my meal is just never going to be right after that. It’s actually become a joke in our house that if the Instant Pot burns, we order take out! In fact, one night, my daughter wasn’t happy about what was for dinner, so she printed out the BURN warning and stuck it to my pot!

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Don’t be afraid of the burn. The Instant Pot is just protecting itself! 

According to Instant Pot, “The temperature sensor will trigger the Overheat Protection if the inner pot reaches too high a temperature, shut off the heat, and the cooker will display the warning message. Once things cool down enough, the heating element will turn back on and the Instant Pot will try to complete its cooking program. If the temperature gets too hot again, it will trigger the Overheat Protection again.”

I tried making a Pot Roast the other night and the burn came on about 10 minutes into the warm-up. I think my issue was that I added the liquid last instead of first (I still can’t get Instant Pot and Slow Cooker rules straight!). I opened my pot, gave everything a good stir and it functioned normally after that, however my post roast turned out more like overcooked roast beef. The meat was tough and waiting more than an hour just got me out of the mood, but we ate it and it was ok. Not great, but ok. See some tips from Instant Pot below to avoid the burn.

Ways to avoid the burn:

  • Ensure there is enough liquid. The single best way to prevent overheating is to have enough water-based liquid. Without water, the cooker cannot pressurize properly and may overheat. 
  • Ensure the steam release is sealed. Your Instant Pot cannot reach pressure if the steam release is not sealed, but it will continue to heat as the steam escapes. This could lead to overheating. 
  • Ensure the sealing ring is working properly. If the sealing ring is damaged or placed incorrectly steam will escape and prevent pressurization, potentially leading to overheating. 
  • Ensure the float valve is clean and moves freely. Food residue can cause the float valve to stick, which can also allow steam to escape. 
  • Layer ingredients. (THIS WAS MY MISTAKE!) Put liquids into the inner pot first, then add the other ingredients. Do not stir or mix. This helps keep things that might scorch from touching the bottom.

For complete burn details and more tips, visit https://instantpot.com/instant-pots-overheat-burn-protection/.