How To Fix Instant Pot BURN Error Code

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A BURN error code on your Instant Pot (available on Amazon) can be unnerving. It makes one wonder if the manufacturers should have chosen a less threatening word to program into such a convenient appliance. But a BURN error is quite common and not as menacing as it sounds; it can be fixed quickly. 

Here’s how to fix your Instant Pot’s BURN Error Code without calling for technical assistance: 

  1. Cancel the cooking cycle to power down the Instant Pot. 
  2. Check if the valve is in the steaming position. 
  3. If in the steaming position, switch to the venting position. 
  4. Check if there is any food stuck in the bottom. 
  5. Check the heating element of the cooking base for residue. 
  6. Restart the pressure cooking cycle.

The rest of the article discusses what causes the BURN error code and breaks down how to troubleshoot the problem with minimal inconvenience. If you’ve encountered a BURN error code, keep reading to find out how the issue can be resolved to get back to your cooking in no time. 

1. Cancel the Cooking Cycle To Power Down the Instant Pot

A BURN error code on the Instant Pot usually arises from an overheating problem. The error code appears to alert you that your Instant Pot has gotten too hot, either from a thermoregulation malfunction or the food in your pot starting to burn. 

While the word burn might be pretty jarring, rest assured that it’s not as bad as it sounds. And the fact that the error code appeared at all tells you that your Instant Pot’s systems are working as designed. Without a BURN error, you may never become aware of the problem until it’s too late. 

So when you encounter a BURN error code, simply press cancel on the Instant Pot controls to power it down. This resets everything and lets the Instant Pot or its contents cool down before any severe damage can be done.

2. Check if the Valve Is in the Steaming Position

One of the first things you can do when you encounter a BURN error code is to check the position of the valve. If you discover your valve has been in the venting position all along, you may have found the cause of the BURN error. 

Keeping the valve in the venting position during a cooking cycle may cause too much liquid to evaporate. This prevents the pot from reaching pressure. As a result, the temperatures in your Instant Pot rise, which may trip off the BURN error code. 

Make a habit of checking if you have the valve in the sealing position before leaving your Instant Pot to do a cooking cycle. This could prevent future BURN error codes and spare your Instant Pot from overheating damage. 

3. If in the Steaming Position, Switch to the Venting Position

If the valve was in the steaming position the whole time, it means there was a buildup of heat anyway. If that’s the case, turn the valve to the venting position to let it blow off steam. Be sure to do this before attempting to open the lid to remove the inner pot.  

When you’ve turned off your Instant Pot and released heat through the venting valve, remove the inner pot to find out if burning food is responsible for triggering the BURN error. Taking the inner pot out also releases even more heat and helps your Instant Pot cool down faster. 

4. Check if There Is Any Food Stuck to the Bottom 

Burning food may not be evident at first glance. All may seem well on the surface, but there’s a chance that the food at the bottom has started to burn. Stir the food and feel for any bits that may have gotten stuck to the bottom. 

Starchy foods usually burn more quickly, so they should always be put in last. Thickeners or liquids that are too thick may also cause the same problem. If food has started burning, transfer it to another container and clean the inner pot. 

5. Check the Heating Element of the Cooking Base for Residue

Sometimes, a dirty cooking base is the culprit behind the overheating, causing the BURN error codes. Bits of debris and residue may concentrate heat or impair your Instant Pot’s sensors that help thermoregulate your Instant Pot.

If any debris or residue is present, do not attempt to resume the cooking cycle until the cooking base has been given a thorough cleaning. Sure, it may be an inconvenient extra step. But if this is causing the BURN error code, you’ll save yourself the trouble of restarting the troubleshooting process if the BURN error code reappears.

Once you’re done cleaning, return the inner pot to the cooking base, close the lid, and ensure the valve is in the sealing position.

6. Restart the Pressure Cooking Cycle

With a debris-and-residue-free cooking base, return the food into the clean inner pot 一assuming you removed it to scrub away any burned parts at the bottom. Add more liquid. 

There should always be at least one cup (250 ml) of liquid to prevent overheating, one of the main reasons for BURN error codes. Restart the cooking cycle, and you should be able to finish cooking without another hitch.

What To Do if the BURN Error Code Still Appears After Troubleshooting

If the BURN error code is still there upon start up, you may require the services of a professional. BURN error codes usually arise only when the heat has become excessive, so an Instant Pot that is restarted should not show this alarm as it has not yet heated up. 

In Warranty

If your Instant Pot came with a warranty, you could call for technical assistance. You will be put in touch with a technician to whom you will describe your problem. The technician will most likely try to talk you through troubleshooting it yourself over the phone; they may even mention a few of the things we’ve discussed in this article. 

You can let your technician know which troubleshooting steps you’ve attempted. If the technician decides your Instant Pot might warrant a closer look, you will be put in touch with someone from customer support to start the process of claiming the warranty. 

If there is a service outpost in your area, a technician may come by to give your Instant Pot a look, or you may drop the appliance off at their office. If the company is unsuccessful in fixing the problem, they will replace your Instant Pot as long as your warranty has not been breached. 

Out of Warranty

If your Instant Pot Purchase is not under warranty, you could still take it to the company’s service outpost in your area, but you will need to pay more. If there is no service outpost in your area, you might as well bring it to any repair shop. Ask your friends who have encountered technical problems with their Instant Pots for recommendations on where repairs can be done.