Using an instant pot to make oatmeal can be easy, fun and quick. It is also great if you are making for a large number of people as it bulk cooks the oatmeal with very little mess.
There are a number of ways you can prevent oatmeal burning in an instant pot, these include using a lower heat setting, using more liquid so the oats do not dry out and cook for a shorter amount of time. Burning can also be caused with using the wrong setting or with the lid not being set properly.
In this article, I am going to talk about cooking oatmeal in an instant pot, why it sometimes burns and how to prevent it.
What Causes Oatmeal Burn In An Instant Pot?
It is very common that when cooking a food like oatmeal in an instant pot, it may end up burnt. Especially common is when the bottom layer of oats becomes dry, overcooked, burnt, and stuck to the sides of the pot.
There are several reasons why your oatmeal could be burning when you cook it in your Instant Pot.
Not Enough Liquid
Without enough liquid to cook your oatmeal, it will very quickly dry out, get stuck to the sides, and burn. Especially with the Instant Pot, liquid is essential for proper cooking. Grains such as the oats in your oatmeal absorb liquid and expand while cooking. This makes the right amount of liquid absolutely crucial for cooking oatmeal.
If you are consistently finding that your oatmeal is burnt and dry, this is probably the answer. It is important to note that different kinds of oats require different amounts of liquid.
Temperature Was Too High
One of the most common reasons something gets burned is that the temperature is too high. Instant Pot oatmeal is no exception. With an Instant Pot, the temperature will vary depending on how high or low your pressure is.
Cooked Too Long
Oatmeal cooks fairly quickly, and Instant Pot devices also cook rather quickly. If you are putting your oatmeal to cook for too long, even by a minute or two, it can very easily dry out and burn.
Even if you put the right amount of liquid and the right temperature, if you overcook your oatmeal it will dry out and burn quickly. If adjusting your liquid and temperature don’t seem to be helping, your cook time may be the culprit.
Cooked On Wrong Setting
Most Instant Pot devices come with various preset modes that are designed to help users more easily make their favorite things. For example, a yogurt mode for making homemade yogurt or a sauté mode for vegetables. A very common mistake, especially in first-time Instant Pot users, is cooking something on the wrong setting.
Cooking your oatmeal on the wrong setting will mean that the amount of liquid left over in the pot, the temperature, and the cook time will all be affected.
Lid Not Sealed or Releasing Too Much Pressure
It may seem like such a simple error, but if you do not properly close (and seal) the lid on your Instant Pot, it can lead to your oatmeal burning. This is because it allows moisture to escape.
Without enough moisture, your oatmeal will burn. Make sure that you are always properly replacing and inserting the sealing ring and closing the lid to your pot to keep the proper pressure.
Make sure that the dial is turned toward the “sealing” option and not the “venting” option.
With the venting option, this means pressure is being released. Instant Pots require pressure to cook (on most settings) and will not work correctly without it.
NOTE: The Instant Pot also comes with a feature designed to prevent such burns, known as the “Burn Warning”. Depending on your model, it may display on your device as “Burn”, “OvHt”, or even “Food Burn”.
If you see this message, it does not mean your meal is ruined just yet. It usually means that the inner pot is becoming too hot, and the food inside is in danger of sticking to the pot and even burning. You may still be able to salvage your meal by pausing the time cook, releasing the pressure, and taking some of the measures below such as stirring or adding more liquid.
How To Prevent Oatmeal Burning In The Instant Pot
Luckily, all of the reasons above have a quick fix, and you should be able to find the right methods that work for you in no time! Remember, don’t be discouraged. Instant Pot cooking is a new and unique method of preparing foods in the kitchen, and it is ok if you don’t get it right the first time.
Here are the ways you can try to perfect your oatmeal Instant Pot recipe:
Add More Liquid
Make sure you are following your recipe’s instructions for how much liquid to add to your oatmeal during cooking. If you see that your oatmeal is very dried out, hard, and clumpy, you can try increasing the amount of liquid you add to the Instant Pot to see if it helps.
You may also need to try another type of liquid. For example, some plant-based alternative milks may affect the cooking process and not perform as well as regular milk. You will also want to make sure that you are properly mixing in the liquid and letting it seep into every inch of the cooking pot and covering all of the oatmeal inside.
Uneven distribution can easily lead to improper cooking and burnt oatmeal. Stirring well can help encourage a generous portion of liquid over all of your oatmeal. Be careful not to add too much liquid, as then your breakfast will be too mushy.
Lower The Temperature
Although it may make your oatmeal take longer to cook, lowering the temperature can be helpful. Double check your recipe and make sure that you are not cooking your oatmeal at the wrong temperature.
Even if you are cooking it according to the instructions, you may need to experiment with lowering the cooking temperature by adjusting the pressure of your Instant Pot. You will eventually find that sweet spot!
Change Your Cook Time
Changing the cook time is very simple and easy to do. Experiment with cooking your oatmeal for different lengths of time to see if you can determine the proper time to stop the cooking process before it burns. Burning oatmeal can happen very quickly, so you may even have to try different times decreasing in 30 second intervals.
Alternatively, you can also try stopping midway through the cook time and giving your oatmeal a quick stir before trying again. Once you know the correct time it will take, be sure to record it down so you can remember.
Try Another Mode
If you suspect that your oatmeal is burning because of the mode or setting on your Instant Pot, the best thing you can do is try another mode. It may take a few tries and some trial and error to discover the best setting for your oatmeal. We will cover one of these settings in more detail below.
Don’t be discouraged if you used the wrong setting at first, Instant Pots take some getting used to! Luckily, there is a special setting on many Instant Pot devices especially for cooking meals like oatmeal.
Proper Lid Setting
If the pressure being released was the issue, this is an easy fix. All you need to do is make sure to try again with the proper lid setting. In addition, you may want to try doing a natural release instead of a quick release once your oatmeal is done cooking.
It is possible that releasing too much pressure too quickly at the end of the time cook could be causing too much moisture to evaporate too quickly and letting your oatmeal dry out. This means that your oatmeal could burn when it is technically done cooking and just releasing pressure!
What Is The Porridge Setting On Instant Pot?
The “Porridge Setting” on an Instant Pot has been specially configured to produce the best results for porridge, oatmeal, and any other similar kind of food item with a lumpy, creamy texture that requires liquid such as milk. This preset is meant to make the cooking process easy for you and take all the guesswork out of it.
This setting has automatically calculated the proper amount of cook time and pressure for the dish.
However, be aware that although the Porridge setting helps you set the right amount of pressure, the cook time may be far too long. You may need to try a much shorter cook time to get the perfect creamy oatmeal for you.
In addition to the Porridge setting on the Instant Pot, many users also like to try the Beans or the Rice setting for their oatmeal. These are similar modes since all of these foods absorb water and expand during the cooking process.
A little bit of experimentation will help you find the right cooking settings for you!