Why Does My Instant Pot Say Burn?

Why Does My Instant Pot Say Burn?
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Why Does My Instant Pot Say Burn?

Long gone the times when those stainless-steel pressure cookers were the rage because this tech-savvy world has designed a safer option, Instant Pot. But well, it comes with its fair share of panic and frustration, such as the “burn” error on the Pot. It surely gets everyone concerned, and the word fire starts ringing in your ear.

But hey, stop, you don’t have to throw the Pot out of the window because it is one of the most common problems out there (with a simple solution, of course!). in this article, we have shaped up everything you need to know about the burning sign, its reason, solution, and ways to avoid such dreadful warnings!

Why Does My Instant Pot Say Burn?

Burn Sign-on Instant Pot – What Does It Mean?

It is self-explanatory that the burn sign means your food is burning. But in some cases, the sauces and thick gravies overheat the bottom of the Instant Pot. Once the burn sign switches on, the stainless-steel insert at the bottom of the Pot switches off that further damages the Pot (and your food too!). However, it doesn’t always mean that your food is burnt.

That’s to say, because, sometimes, the Pot has an exceptionally high temperature, which triggers the warning. The Instant Pot is designed with a wide range of safety mechanics, and a burn sign is one of them. There are thermal sensors in the Pot that are monitored and controlled automatically. So, when the temperature is too high, the sensor will sense it and switch off the heat.

However, once the temperature slows down, the cooking program will be resumed because the heating element starts working. According to the manual, the burn sign stays on for five minutes. If you don’t switch off the Pot, it goes into standby mode itself after five minutes. In addition, when your food in the Pot starts leaving moisture, the food will stick to the Pot’s bottom. As the food is in pressure cooking, you cannot scrap it off the bottom, deglaze, or stir, the burn message is obvious.

Burn Message – What To Do?

As soon as the burn message prevails on the LED, hit the cancel button and switch on the venting mode. The venting mode will release the pressure so that you can open the Pot. If the food is burnt and stuck to the bottom, take a wooden spoon, and scrap everything. Before switching it back on, make sure the bottom side is clear, and there is no food debris.

On the other hand, if your food wasn’t stuck to the bottom, there are chances that gravy or sauces were too thick. So, you need to make sure that the sauce is thin enough, promising that it comes up to the pressure. In case of thick sauce or gravy, just add half a cup of water and stir it down to the bottom. This will also cool down the Instant Pot, so you can resume cooking.

If your recipe has cream cheese or heavy cream, add them once you’ve cooked the food. However, if you need to make a thick sauce, Instant Pot has a sauté mode for that. While using Instant Pot, make sure that you don’t stir the ingredients before cooking. It is advised to layer the ingredients (always put the tomato sauce in the last).  

On top of everything, you need to ensure the proper functioning of Instant Pot. Firstly, check for the stream release valve sealed position. Secondly, check if the sealing ring is pushed into the ring rack. Also, if you cannot add liquid to some recipe, you can use the trivet because it will elevate the meat. This way, the liquid will cover the Instant Pot’s bottom, promising unburnt meat.

Tips To Avoid The Burn Message

Okay, so there is nothing to panic about when it comes to the burn message. However, you can always avoid some things, promising zero time wastage. So, let’s have a look!


Instant Pot is a pressure cooker (the advanced one), and it creates steam to cook your good. So, for steam development, it needs an adequate amount of water so that the food doesn’t stick to the bottom. This clearly means that there should be enough water in the Pot.

Vent Positions

In case you are following a recipe that demands vents in the sealed position (and you switched on vents), it will release the water out. This will also dry up the food and stick it to the bottom. So, be mindful of vent positions.

Sealing Ring

If you haven’t installed the sealing ring properly, the steam will be exited away, leading to food sticking at the bottom. This means that the sealing ring should be properly installed.


Some recipes have the sautéing parts, and if you sautéed something in the Pot, make sure you clean the bottom side to remove the leftover food particles.


Make it the standard rule to add the liquids first in the Instant Pot. Once you’ve added the liquid, top it up with other ingredients but don’t stir or mix. This practice will ensure that nothing sticks to the bottom side of the Pot.


Before putting the food inside, you can grease the Pot with butter or oil, which promises zero stickings of food with the Pot.

Add Another Pot

If you’ve to make sauces, it is advised to use the over-safe containers and stack them up on the steaming rack to cook the food.

The Basic Steps To Follow After Burn Message

Once your Instant Pot shows the burn message, you need to follow the below-mentioned steps right away;

  • First of all, cancel the program and manually release the pressure
  • Then, open up the lid and scrape the bottom to get rid of debris (use a wooden spoon)
  • Clean the Pot
  • Now, put your ingredients in again (along with extra water) and close the lid to resume cooking

Common Foods That Lead To Burn Message

Usually, starch food such as pasta and noodles showcases the burn message. In addition, corn starch and sugary recipes trigger this message. The sugary recipes lead to caramelizing, hence the message.

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