Why Did My Instant Pot Say Burn

Why Did My Instant Pot Say Burn?

Instant Pot has become a staple in many kitchens, offering a convenient and efficient way to cook a wide variety of dishes. However, you may have come across a frustrating error message that says “Burn” on your Instant Pot’s display. This error message indicates that the pot has detected a high-temperature condition, which could lead to burning or scorching of your food. But why did your Instant Pot say burn? Let’s explore the common reasons behind this error message and how to prevent it from happening.

1. Insufficient Liquid: One of the primary reasons for the “Burn” message is insufficient liquid in the pot. Instant Pots require a minimum amount of liquid to create the necessary steam for cooking. If you have less liquid than required, the pot may not be able to reach and maintain the proper pressure, leading to overheating and burning. Always ensure that your recipe includes enough liquid for successful pressure cooking.

2. Thick or Starchy Foods: Foods that are thick or starchy, such as chili, sauces, or oatmeal, have a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pot. When the sensor detects that the bottom of the pot is getting too hot due to food sticking, it triggers the “Burn” message. To avoid this, make sure to deglaze the pot adding enough liquid and scraping the bottom before pressure cooking these types of foods.

3. Burnt Food on the Bottom: If you accidentally burnt food in a previous cooking session and didn’t clean it thoroughly, the residue can cause subsequent recipes to burn. Residual burnt food can create hotspots and trigger the “Burn” error message. Always clean your Instant Pot thoroughly after each use to prevent any burnt residue from interfering with future cooking.

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4. Incorrect Placement: Another reason for the “Burn” message is improper placement of ingredients. Layering ingredients incorrectly, such as placing dense items like meat directly on the bottom of the pot, can lead to scorching. It is crucial to follow the recommended layering instructions provided in your recipe to ensure even heat distribution and prevent burning.

5. Sealing Issues: A faulty or improperly sealed sealing ring can also trigger the “Burn” message. If the pot is unable to generate adequate pressure due to a poor seal, it may overheat and cause burning. Always check the sealing ring before each use, ensuring it is properly seated and in good condition. If needed, clean or replace the sealing ring to maintain an airtight seal.

6. Insufficient Preheating: Preheating the Instant Pot is essential to create an optimal cooking environment. If you skip preheating, especially when cooking thicker recipes, it may result in the bottom of the pot getting too hot, triggering the “Burn” message. Follow the recipe instructions to properly preheat your Instant Pot before adding ingredients to ensure even cooking and prevent burning.

7. Overfilled Pot: Overfilling the Instant Pot beyond its maximum capacity can cause ingredients to block the pressure release valve, resulting in insufficient pressure buildup and overheating. To avoid this, familiarize yourself with your Instant Pot’s maximum fill line and ensure you don’t exceed it when preparing your meals.


1. How can I fix the “Burn” error message?
To fix the “Burn” error, carefully release the pressure, open the lid, and check the food for any signs of burning. If the dish is salvageable, stir the ingredients, deglaze the pot, and add more liquid if necessary. Once done, close the lid and resume cooking with the corrected settings.

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2. Can I still eat the food if the “Burn” message appears?
If the “Burn” message appears, it is important to assess the extent of burning. If the food has only slightly scorched, you may be able to salvage it scraping off the burnt portion and ensuring it hasn’t affected the overall taste. However, if the food is significantly burnt, it is recommended to discard it and start fresh.

3. How can I prevent the “Burn” error from happening?
To prevent the “Burn” error, ensure you have enough liquid, properly layer ingredients, clean the pot thoroughly, preheat as required, and avoid overfilling. Following the recommended guidelines and using the right settings for each recipe will significantly reduce the chances of encountering the “Burn” message.

4. Is the “Burn” error common in Instant Pots?
While the “Burn” error can be frustrating, it is not uncommon, especially if you are new to using an Instant Pot. Understanding the potential causes and implementing preventative measures will help minimize the occurrence of this error.

5. Is the “Burn” message dangerous?
The “Burn” message is an important safety feature of the Instant Pot that prevents overheating and potential hazards. While it can be inconvenient, it helps protect your food and the appliance from damage.

6. Can I still use my Instant Pot after getting the “Burn” message?
Yes, after addressing the cause of the “Burn” message, you can continue using your Instant Pot. Clean the pot thoroughly, ensure proper sealing, and follow the recommended guidelines to prevent future occurrences.

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7. Should I contact customer support if the “Burn” message persists?
If you have followed all the recommended steps and continue to experience the “Burn” error, it may be worth contacting Instant Pot’s customer support for further assistance. They can provide additional troubleshooting tips or assess if there may be an issue with your appliance.

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