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An Instant Pot is a multicooker that combines a slow cooker, rice cooker, pressure cooker, and yogurt maker all in one single kitchen appliance. It has become quite popular due to the convenience it provides.
It is super safe and allows one to cook elaborate meals within just an hour, and that too without having to stand near the stove for the whole time. Though it is super convenient to use, you might face a few hindrances while cooking with an Instant Pot.
Those who use an Instant Pot often would be well aware of the ‘Burn’ message that sometimes appears on the LED. Every Instant Pot user dreads the burn message because it is pretty frustrating and can be scary too.
However, it is actually one of the overheat protection systems of the Pot and it is there to help the users to avoid food from burning completely. In fact, your meal might even come out perfect. But, does it mean you can ignore it?
Whenever the ‘burn’ message pops up on the LED of an Instant Pot, most people often get confused about whether they should let the pot continue working or stop it.
Can I Ignore Burn Message on Instant Pot?
The burn message appears when the bottom of the pot gets too hot. It might result in some of the food at the very bottom getting burnt and stuck to the pot. So, upon getting a burn warning, it is best to cancel the program and switch to the venting function to release the pressure inside.
By doing so, you will be able to open the Pot safely and clean the food debris at the bottom so that it doesn’t ruin your food’s taste.
On the other hand, if you intend to ignore the burn message, you can do that too because the Pot comes with multiple safety mechanisms to avoid the food from getting ruined.
In case you don’t respond to the burn message for five minutes, the Pot will automatically switch off and go into standby mode. This is quite a useful safety mechanism as it will literally save your meal. However, the longer you leave it in, it’s going to get even more ruined.
You will still need to take the food out and clean the bottom before you resume cooking. If you don’t clean the base up then the food stuck to the bottom will again heat up quickly, leading to the burn message appearing again. So, you would not be able to finish cooking.
The Meaning of Burn Message
As mentioned earlier, the burn message is part of the overheat protection system of the Instant Pot. There are temperature sensors installed in the Pot that continuously monitor and adjust temperatures to keep the food good and the cooker safe.
The burn message appears when the inside of the Pot gets exceptionally hot, signaling that the food at the bottom has started burning. This acts as a safety mechanism that saves your meal from actually burning and the Pot from overheating.
When you receive the burn message, the heating will stop, thus stopping the cooking process. There are instances when Instant Pot will cool down on its own and resume cooking automatically. However, it will go on standby to cool down.
The burn message is a feature of the new Instant Pot models as well as the 8-quart Instant Pot.
Reasons For the Burn Message
People get the burn message on Instant Pot often and there could be various reasons for that. A few of the most common reasons are listed in the section below to help you avoid situations that might result in the burn warning. You might have left the sealing position on venting.
This selection will allow the steam to release through the vent allowing the water to evaporate. As a result, the food will become dry and prone to sticking. Besides, the bottom side will get too hot due to a lack of moisture inside the Instant Pot.
Therefore, it is advised that you use at least one extra cup of water in the Instant Pot to ensure that the gravy does not get too thick and the food does not become dry.
If you are trying some sautéing recipe and do not deglaze it once the sautéing is complete, the Instant Pot will heat up resulting in the burn message on its LED. So, make sure to deglaze to prevent the message.
Moreover, you need to glaze the inside of the Pot with either butter or spray oil, which will result in zero drying. In case you have put the ingredients in the wrong order, the food is more likely to get stuck to the bottom and heat up.
Starchy ingredients at the bottom are likely to produce the burn message. Moreover, if you have added in dairy or cornstarch during pressure cooking, the food becomes more likely to get burned.
This is because such ingredients thicken up food, so it is best to add them until after the pressure cooking is finished or sufficiently dilute them before adding.
For diluting, 1:4 is a safe ratio. So, for example, if you are using 1 cup or less of heavy cream, then dilute it by adding 4 cups of clear liquid.
Additional Tips to Avoid the Burn Message
- Always add starchy foods, such as pasta and beans, at the end but avoid stirring.
- In case you have already gotten a burn warning because you have added thickeners to your recipe, it is best to finish cooking using the Sauté mode to avoid the message from appearing again. This might take longer for the food to get ready but at least you would not have to stop the cooking multiple times.
- Always follow the Instant Pot recipes as most of them require you to add the liquid in first.
- Follow a well-tested recipe, especially if you are expecting guests at your place. This will make sure that things go smoothly, and you don’t have to worry about delaying dinner.
- It is best to add the ingredients in layers without mixing or stirring.
- Always add in tomatoes at the top (after other foods are in) as the sugars in tomato products may caramelize easily and get burned.
- Always pre-cook ground meat to brown it a little. This will help prevent it from sticking to the base.
- Make sure to place the sealing ring properly in place and make sure that it is undamaged and thoroughly clean.
What To Do If the Instant Pot Gives A Burn Warning?
In case you do get a burn warning on your Pot, there are a few steps you can take to fix the issue.
- There’s no reason to panic – it’s not a serious issue.
- Power down immediately by pressing cancel to turn off the cooking process.
- If the steam valve was set to the sealing position, turn it to venting before opening to allow the pressure to release. If it was on venting, then that may have been the reason for the message as mentioned before.
- Once the steam has been released, open the Pot cautiously and check the ring to see if there is any damage if it is dirty or if the ring has been inserted improperly.
- Check how much of your food has been burnt. Make sure to scrape the unburnt layers of your food and transfer it to a clean container so you can get to the bottom part of the Pot to clean the food that is burnt.
- Thoroughly clean the base of the Instant Pot if necessary.
- Once cleaned, double-check everything, and then replace the food that you took out back inside, add more water to help generate more steam, and then tightly close the lid and adjust your steam valve. Then, check to see if the Instant Pot starts cooking your meals again.
Yes, one can ignore the burn message on Instant Pot. Upon ignoring it, the Pot will turn down the temperature automatically and eventually stop cooking.
However, in case the message is ignored, the Instant Pot will continue to show the warning until it eventually powers down and stops cooking – though your food will likely be burned by then. So, the best thing is to turn off the cooker, open it and check the contents inside.
See if you’ve removed any burnt foods from the bottom and then restart the cooking process.