How The Timer On An Instant Pot Works


An Instant Pot is one of the most useful kitchen items one can have. While in its simplest form it is usually described as a pressure cooker, it’s much more than that.

An Instant Pot can saute, slow cook, and it can even make rice and steam vegetables and poultry. They make cooking much easier and cut the time it takes to prepare a meal by a huge amount.

In fact, you can actually make those time-consuming like pulled pork in about an hour.

One of the most important components of an Instant Pot is the timer. It’s responsible for letting you know how much longer you have to wait, while also making sure your food is always cooked just right.

At first glance, the timer can be overwhelming as there are so many buttons and settings to choose from that it leaves a lot of first-time users confused. 

While the buttons on your pot all have names of different types of food on them, they actually correspond to a specific set of minutes that you can adjust manually.

In this article, we take a look at how the timer on an Instant Pot works, and how you can make adjustments to really make the best meal possible. 

How The Instant Pot Timer Works

Like with most timers on kitchen appliances, the timer on an Instant Pot basically counts down from a certain time.

When the timer reaches the end of the countdown, it shuts off. Alternatively, if you have the keep warm setting on, it simply lowers the heat and pressure to the right setting to keep your food warm.

But as you’ll learn in this article, Instant Pot timers are slightly different than those on other appliances.

How To Set The Timer On An Instant Pot

If you don’t want to use the presets for a certain meal, or if you’re working around your own recipe, you’ll have to manually set the timer on the pot.

To set the timer on the Instant Pot press the “manual” button on the interface. Of course, you have to do this after you have filled the pot with the ingredients you need, set the pressure release valve to “sealing”, and set it to the right setting.

Once you press the “manual” button, you can use the “-” and “+” buttons to adjust the timer to the exact time you want. It is important to note though, that the countdown of the timer doesn’t start right away.

So if you set the timer to 30 minutes, you might actually have to wait closer to 40 minutes for the timer to be up.

That’s because the timer starts counting down once the right amount of pressure has been built.

Depending on your setting, it can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes for the pressure to build. Aside from that, you can’t open the pot until the pressure has been released, which can also take around 10 minutes.

It’s, therefore, best to add 10-20 minutes to your cooking time whenever you use your Instant Pot.

You can also press the presets on the pot which automatically set a timer, which you can manually adjust by pressing the “-” and “+” buttons.

However, it’s important to note that the “Timer” button isn’t used to set the cooking time, instead, it is used to plan how much time the pot will delay the heating, which is a great feature if you want to plan out a meal before work or if you want to plan a meal in advance.

What To Do If Your Instant Pot Timer Isn’t Working?

Before you go looking for solutions because your timer isn’t working. Make sure to wait. This is because the timer only starts when the desired heat and pressure inside the pot is reached.

This can take some time, so be patient and wait it out to really see if the timer isn’t working. 

While that is the most common solution to a timer not working, if the timer really is busted, it’s best to go to a professional to fix it.

This is because fixing it without experience or the right knowledge on Instant Pots can actually lead to your pot being damaged even further. 

So there you have it, all the basics of an Instant Pot timer. An Instant Pot is one of the greatest kitchen tools of its time. It allows people to cook great tasting, nutritious meals without having to wait hours on end.

They’re also generally safer than standard pressure cookers and much more convenient. So now that you know how the timer works and how to use it properly, all that’s left to do is get cooking! 

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