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Food & Recipes

5 Ways to Prevent Instant Pot Burn from Ruining Your Recipes


Purchasing an Instant Pot for your kitchen can be so exciting that you jump right into whipping up your first dish without taking all the necessary precautions. Even if you have followed the instructions included with the pressure cooker and any others provided by the recipe you’re using, you can still run into trouble. One of the most common issues is seeing the dreaded Burn Code appear, either with the word “burn” or the abbreviated “ovht,” when your pot has become overheated. Just like any other time you’re cooking, that definitely raises some (hopefully not literal) alarms. 

Luckily, it’s easy to avoid that problem entirely by keeping some simple tips in mind as you go. As with any other new kitchen device, it’s important to know all the ways it can go wrong to make sure everything goes well. Take a look to see how you can keep Instant Pot burn from ruining your recipes.

  1. Make Sure There’s Enough Liquid: If you don’t have enough liquid to use as a barrier at the bottom of the pot, it won’t be able to create enough steam and will end up burning. A good rule of thumb is to have at least one cup of liquid for every recipe. 
  2. Make Sure the Liquid Isn’t Too Thick: Although plenty of liquid is important, you have to make sure it’s thin liquid at the bottom. Thicker sauces like tomato paste should be layered in towards the top to avoid burning the pot.
  3. Add Thickener After Pressure Cooking: If your recipe calls for ingredients like cornstarch and flour to thicken the sauce up, don’t add that until you’ve already gone through the pressure cycle. Otherwise, it will have the same problem as the tomato paste mentioned above. 
  4. Don’t Cook Milk or Cream Directly: Dairy is more likely to burn during the pressure cycle, so it’s better to add that to recipes like mac and cheese after you’ve gone through that process. If you don’t want to wait, you can add all of the other ingredients to the pot and then use a smaller pot for the dairy layered on top.
  5. Check for Leaks in the Seal: Leaky seals mean too much steam could be coming out of the pot, which means there might not be enough liquid at the bottom even if you have followed every other precaution. Be sure to check your seals and replace them when they get loose. 

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