Is It Okay To Leave Instant Pot Unattended?
Well, yes, you can leave it unattended. But this is not the Instant Pot official statement, and there are some exceptions as well.
According to the Instant Pot official statement, it’s advised to refrain from leaving your Instant Pots unattended for longer periods. But why not?
Well, for starters, let’s talk about why do we buy an Instant pot?
For fast and easy cooking, of course.
The Instant pot is a multi-cooker, meaning it does a lot of things. It can pressure cook, slow cook, steam, sauté, has a keep-warm function, a timer, and can be used to make yogurt. Surprisingly this is not everything, its several other models have even more functionalities and above all, every Instant Pot performs these functions automatically with the push of a button.
Since the Instant pot is automated, it comes with a lot of safety features. For example, there is a safety lid lock that keeps it in a tight position minimizing the chances of an accidental pop. The Instant pot also has an internal temperature sensor that regulates the heat and keeps it within safe levels. Aside from the two extremely useful safety features, the Instant pot has a pressure sensor to regulate pressure, a overheat protection mechanism, an electrical fuse, and a thermal fuse. So in theory, all of these functionalities should make the Instant pot extremely safe to leave unattended. Then why does the official statement say otherwise? The company says that because its product is not perfect, it’s man-made and accidents can happen.
To minimize the risk of something bad happening, a few things must be made sure-of before leaving the pot unattended for some time.
- Make sure the lid is properly closed.
- Make sure your Instant pot has come to full pressure.
- Make sure your Instant pot is not close to the stovetop or any other incendiary device.
- Make sure to keep it running in a place that is out of your children’s reach.
Even after making note of every single precaution, you still can’t leave your food unattended for the advertised 99 hours and 50 minutes. The reasons? Well, they are detailed below.
Two built-in functionalities allow you to place your food inside the Instant pot for a long period. The Warm mode and the Instant Pot Timer.
The Instant Pot has a warm mode which is there to keep your food from getting cold. It turns on automatically after your cooking is done and runs for 10 hours. The mode can also be triggered manually and can be set up to 99 hours and 50 minutes. The Warm mode keeps the food at temperatures between 145 to 172 degrees Fahrenheit. Although this temperature can kill almost all harmful bacteria, long periods of storage up to 12 hours or more can lead some of the harmful bacteria to re-emerge.
If you have a soup laying inside the pot unattended for that long, you will have to throw it away or boil it for at least 10 minutes if there are no visual or nasal indicators.
Also keeping foods like rice, vegetables, porridge, and oatmeal inside on warm mode will either get them overcooked or they will end up clogging the float valve.
Long periods of heat inside the warm mode will also eliminate the flavors from your dish.
Thus, you can leave the Instant pot unattended in warm mode, but not for too long.
Instant Pot Timer
Instant pot timer allows you to set a time after which the pot will automatically start the cooking process. But foods like raw meat and fish will get bad if kept outside the fridge for too long. So if you have foods that are not susceptible to rotting when kept outside, you can use this feature to go attend other matters whilst the Instant pot counts down to its cooking time.