Why Does My Instant Pot Keep Saying Food Burn

Why Does My Instant Pot Keep Saying “Food Burn”?

The Instant Pot has become a kitchen essential for many households. With its ability to cook a wide variety of dishes in a fraction of the time, it has revolutionized the way we prepare meals. However, one frustrating issue that many Instant Pot users encounter is the dreaded “Food Burn” message. This error message can appear on the display panel, causing confusion and disappointment. In this article, we will explore the reasons why your Instant Pot keeps saying “Food Burn” and provide some tips to help you avoid this issue in the future.

Reasons for the “Food Burn” Message:

1. Insufficient Liquid: One of the most common reasons for the “Food Burn” message is having too little liquid in the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot requires enough liquid to generate steam and create pressure for cooking. If there isn’t enough liquid, the food can stick to the bottom of the pot, leading to overheating and triggering the error message.

2. Thick Sauces or Purees: Foods with thick sauces or purees, such as tomato-based dishes or creamy soups, tend to have a higher chance of triggering the “Food Burn” message. These types of foods can easily scorch and stick to the bottom of the pot if not properly stirred or monitored during the cooking process.

3. Burnt Food Residue: Sometimes, remnants of burnt food from previous cooking sessions can get stuck to the bottom of the pot. This can cause the Instant Pot to detect high temperatures and trigger the “Food Burn” message, even if there is no actual burning happening during the current cooking process.

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4. Improper Layering: Layering ingredients improperly can also lead to the “Food Burn” message. Ingredients that tend to scorch easily, such as rice or pasta, should be placed on top of other ingredients or cooked separately to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

5. Overfilled Pot: Overfilling the Instant Pot can also cause the “Food Burn” message to appear. When the pot is too full, there may not be enough space for the food to expand and release steam, resulting in uneven cooking and potential scorching.

Tips to Avoid the “Food Burn” Message:

1. Ensure Sufficient Liquid: Always make sure to include enough liquid in your Instant Pot recipes. The general rule of thumb is to have at least 1 cup of liquid for every recipe. This will help generate the necessary steam and prevent the food from sticking to the bottom.

2. Stir Regularly: When cooking foods with thick sauces or purees, make sure to stir them regularly to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. This will distribute the heat evenly and reduce the chances of triggering the “Food Burn” message.

3. Clean the Pot Properly: After each use, thoroughly clean the Instant Pot to remove any burnt food residue. This will prevent false readings of high temperatures and help avoid the “Food Burn” message during subsequent cooking sessions.

4. Proper Layering: When layering ingredients, ensure that foods prone to scorching are placed on top or cooked separately. This will prevent them from sticking to the bottom and triggering the error message.

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5. Avoid Overfilling: Be mindful of the maximum fill line indicated on your Instant Pot. Overfilling can lead to uneven cooking and increase the chances of the “Food Burn” message appearing. Leave enough room for the food to expand and release steam.


Q: Can I still eat the food if the “Food Burn” message appears?
A: In most cases, the food is still safe to eat. However, it may have a slightly burnt or scorched taste. It is always recommended to inspect the food before consuming and use your judgment.

Q: Can I continue cooking after the “Food Burn” message appears?
A: If the “Food Burn” message appears, it is best to cancel the cooking process, release the pressure, and check the pot for any burnt or stuck food. You can then adjust the recipe, add more liquid if needed, and resume cooking.

Q: How can I prevent the “Food Burn” message when cooking rice?
A: Rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking to remove excess starch that can cause sticking. Use the pot-in-pot method, where you cook the rice in a separate container placed on a trivet inside the Instant Pot. This will help prevent direct contact between the rice and the bottom of the pot.

Q: What should I do if I frequently encounter the “Food Burn” message?
A: If you often encounter the “Food Burn” message, double-check your recipes, ensure the pot is properly cleaned, and follow the tips mentioned above. If the issue persists, you may need to contact the Instant Pot customer support for further assistance.

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In conclusion, the Instant Pot’s “Food Burn” message can be frustrating, but understanding the common causes and following the provided tips, you can minimize its occurrence. With proper cooking techniques and attention to detail, you can enjoy delicious meals without encountering this error message.

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