8 Important Instant Pot Safety Tips

If you don't want to get burned or have your Instant Pot explode, read this.

No one wants to get burned, and fewer people want their Instant Pot to explode! While it’s unlikely that will happen, and electric pressure cookers are much safer than the stovetop kind, it’s still good to keep up on these important Instant Pot safety tips.

For more information about the Instant Pot, read our guide to getting started! We also have some great Instant Pot hacks and a ton of amazing recipes.

1. Stay Away from the Steam

Most people don’t know that steam from a pressure cooker is actually hotter than boiling water! Under pressure, the boiling point of water increases from 212°F to 250°F. That’s why your food will cook so much faster in an Instant Pot. Keep your hands from getting burned by staying away from the steam during the quick release process.

2. Follow the Recipe’s Instructions

There is definitely a time and place for deviating from the recipe, but if you don’t fill the Instant Pot properly, it could explode. It needs at least one cup of liquid to function properly, and it might need more if you’re cooking beans or pasta.

3. Don’t Overfill It

Overfilling the Instant Pot is really dangerous because it can prevent the appliance from building pressure in the right way. Never fill it past the fill mark, and consider keeping it under two-thirds full. If you’re cooking foods that expand like beans and pasta, be more cautious and keep things to the halfway mark.

4. Avoid the Quick Release with Starchy Foods

Starchy foods (like pasta and beans) can sputter and foam if you use the quick release, causing the valve to clog. If the Instant Pot can’t properly release steam, it could create too much pressure and explode. You should consider waiting for the pressure to naturally release when cooking these types of foods.

5. Make Sure the Sealing Ring is in Place

This is one of the easiest but most important Instant Pot safety tips. The only way the Instant Pot can build pressure is if that sealing ring prevents steam from escaping during the cook time. Make sure the sealing ring is properly set in place every time you place the lid onto your Instant Pot

6. Don’t Open it Early

If the float valve is still up or the lid is difficult to turn, the Instant Pot is still pressurized. Let it do its thing and come down in pressure before opening it up.

7. Never Leave The Instant Pot Unattended

It is a hands-off cooking method, but that doesn’t mean you should leave it on when you’re not around! Accidents can happen, so it’s best to stay home when the Instant Pot is on to watch for warning signs.

8. Wash It Regularly

This seems self-explanatory, but you need to wash all the components of the Instant Pot. That includes taking the sealing ring off and cleaning the lid, along with cleaning the plastic condensation collector.

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Chef Lindsay

Lindsay D. Mattison is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer. After graduating from Cascade Culinary School, Lindsay worked as the executive chef of a farm-to-table restaurant in Bend, Oregon. She is passionate about using local, organic ingredients and loves teaching home cooks how to incorporate seasonal food into their diet. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to create beautiful meals for her family. She lives with her husband in Colorado, where she enjoys the trials and errors of gardening.

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