What Does It Mean When Instant Pot Says Food Burn

What Does It Mean When Instant Pot Says “Food Burn”?

The Instant Pot has become a popular kitchen appliance for many households around the world. It offers convenience and versatility in cooking a wide variety of meals. However, there may be instances when you encounter an error message on the display that says “Food Burn.” This article will explore what this message means and provide some FAQs to help you troubleshoot the issue.

When the Instant Pot displays the “Food Burn” message, it indicates that the appliance has detected that the food being cooked is burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot. This can happen due to various reasons, such as insufficient liquid, cooking on high heat, or food with a high starch content. The Instant Pot is designed with safety features to prevent burning, and this message serves as a warning to avoid potential hazards.

To prevent the “Food Burn” message from appearing, it is essential to follow certain guidelines while using your Instant Pot. Here are some tips to help you avoid this issue:

1. Ensure Sufficient Liquid: The Instant Pot requires a minimum amount of liquid to create steam and build pressure. Always refer to the recipe’s instructions for the recommended liquid amount. Having enough liquid prevents the food from burning and also helps in proper pressure cooking.

2. Deglaze the Pot: Before starting the pressure cooking process, ensure that the inner pot is clean and free from any food residue stuck to the bottom. If necessary, deglaze the pot adding a small amount of liquid and scraping off any stuck bits using a wooden spoon or spatula.

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3. Adjust Cooking Time: If you frequently encounter the “Food Burn” message, try reducing the cooking time slightly. This can prevent the food from overcooking and sticking to the pot’s bottom.

4. Avoid Thick Sauces or Starches: Certain recipes with thick sauces or high starch content, such as creamy pasta dishes or risottos, are more prone to burning. It is advisable to add these ingredients after pressure cooking or use the pot’s sauté function separately.

5. Use the Pot-in-Pot Method: If you are cooking ingredients that tend to stick, consider using the pot-in-pot method. This involves placing a separate heatproof container, such as a stainless steel bowl, inside the Instant Pot to cook the food. It creates a barrier between the food and the pot’s bottom, reducing the chances of burning.


1. Can I still eat the food if the “Food Burn” message appears?
If the “Food Burn” message appears, it is recommended to cancel the cooking process and check the food. In most cases, the food might have burned slightly on the bottom but may still be edible. However, it is essential to inspect the food for any signs of excessive burning or if it has become unsafe to consume.

2. Can I add more liquid when the “Food Burn” message appears?
Adding more liquid after the “Food Burn” message appears might not resolve the issue. It is best to cancel the cooking process, safely release the pressure, and inspect the food. If needed, adjust the cooking method or ingredients to prevent burning.

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3. Why does the “Food Burn” message appear even when I followed the recipe?
Different factors, such as the size and type of ingredients, altitude, or variations in the recipe itself, can affect the cooking process. It is essential to consider these factors and make adjustments accordingly. If the “Food Burn” message persists, it might be worth contacting the Instant Pot customer support team for further assistance.

In conclusion, when your Instant Pot displays the “Food Burn” message, it means that the appliance has detected burning or sticking of food to the pot’s bottom. By following the tips mentioned above and being mindful of the cooking process, you can minimize the chances of encountering this issue. Always prioritize safety and inspect the food before consuming if the message appears.

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