What to Do When the Instant Pot Says Burn

What to Do When the Instant Pot Says Burn

The Instant Pot has become an essential kitchen appliance for many households, thanks to its ability to cook meals quickly and effortlessly. However, one common issue that users may encounter is the dreaded “Burn” message on the display. This error message indicates that the food has stuck to the bottom of the pot, causing the temperature to rise and triggering the safety mechanism. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some steps to follow to resolve the issue and prevent it from happening in the future.

1. Release Pressure: When the Instant Pot says “Burn,” the first thing you should do is release the pressure manually. Press the cancel button and carefully turn the steam release handle to the venting position. Allow the pressure to release completely before opening the lid.

2. Check the Pot: Once the pressure has been released, carefully remove the lid and inspect the inner pot. You may notice burnt food stuck to the bottom, which is likely the cause of the error message. Remove any burnt food particles with a wooden or silicone spoon, ensuring not to scratch the non-stick surface.

3. Add Liquid: If you have successfully removed the burnt food, add some liquid to the pot to prevent further burning. This can be in the form of broth, water, or any other liquid specified in your recipe. The liquid will create steam and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom.

4. Deglaze the Pot: If there are stubborn bits of burnt food that won’t easily come off, you can deglaze the pot. Add a cup of water or broth to the pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape off any remaining food particles. This will help restore the pot’s non-stick surface and prevent future burn errors.

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5. Adjust Cooking Time: Review your recipe and consider adjusting the cooking time if necessary. Certain recipes, such as those with thick sauces or starches, are more prone to burning. To avoid this, you can reduce the cooking time or add more liquid to create a thinner consistency.

6. Use Pot-in-Pot Method: For recipes that have a higher likelihood of burning, consider using the pot-in-pot method. This involves placing a separate container inside the Instant Pot with the food, which prevents direct contact with the bottom of the pot. By doing so, you can minimize the risk of burning and the likelihood of receiving the “Burn” message.

7. Avoid Dense Ingredients at the Bottom: When adding ingredients to the Instant Pot, make sure to layer them properly. Dense ingredients, such as meat or vegetables, should be placed on top of lighter ingredients like broth or sauce. This ensures better heat distribution and reduces the chances of burning.


Q1. Why does my Instant Pot keep saying “Burn”?
A1. The “Burn” message appears when the food is sticking to the bottom of the pot, causing the temperature to rise and triggering the safety mechanism.

Q2. Can I continue cooking after seeing the “Burn” message?
A2. It’s best to cancel the cooking process, release the pressure, and resolve the issue before continuing cooking.

Q3. How can I prevent the “Burn” message?
A3. To prevent the “Burn” message, make sure to layer ingredients properly, add enough liquid, adjust cooking times for recipes prone to burning, and consider using the pot-in-pot method.

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Q4. Is it safe to scrape the bottom of the pot?
A4. Yes, it’s safe to scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden or silicone spoon. Avoid using metal utensils that can scratch the non-stick surface.

Q5. What should I do if burnt food particles won’t come off?
A5. If stubborn burnt food particles won’t come off, deglaze the pot adding water or broth and scraping them off with a wooden spoon.

Q6. Can I still eat the food if the “Burn” message appears?
A6. It depends on the severity of the burn. If the food is salvageable after removing burnt bits, it can still be consumed.

Q7. How can I clean the Instant Pot after a burn incident?
A7. Clean the Instant Pot as you normally would washing the inner pot, sealing ring, and lid. Ensure all burnt food particles are removed before using it again.

By following these steps and implementing preventive measures, you can overcome the “Burn” message on your Instant Pot and continue enjoying hassle-free cooking experiences.

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