Instant pots are a recent invention that has changed the home kitchen and cook forever. But when your instant pot isn’t working as it should, it can get frustrating. In this article, we’ll be discussing exactly why is your instant pot leaking steam, along with exploring some common solutions to get you cooking!
Let’s get started!
First Thing’s First: Your Instant Pot isn’t Sealing Properly
It’s an undisputed fact that if your instant pot is leaking steam, it’s because it’s not sealed properly. Instant pots require an air-tight seal in order to cook the food, and when this seal is disrupted, it results in leaking steam. Following this section, we’ll be delving into some reasons why your instant pot may not be sealing as it should and what you can do to solve the problem.
1. The Steam Release Handle is Set to Venting
An easy slip up that some forgetful home cooks may make is by leaving the steam release handle open so that it’s venting.
Luckily, this is a simple fix! Switch the handle to its sealing mode, but be sure to check to see if there is enough liquid in your instant pot before doing so. This will ensure it vacuums itself closed and your food won’t burn due to the lack of water, soup, or broth.
2. You’re Having Issues with the Sealing ring
The Ring isn’t in Place
Another common slip-up, your sealing ring may not be in place. Double-check that it’s seated properly in the ring rack. If it isn’t: Rotate and gently press down on the ring until it pops into place. If your sealing ring isn’t in the correct position, you may notice that steam is leaking from the sides of the lid.
You’re Missing the Sealing Ring
Alternatively, you may have lost the sealing ring entirely! If there is no ring lining near the lid of the instant pot, you’ll need to get one for a tight seal. Here’s one that comes in three different colors and sizes:
Once you’ve received your sealing ring, do the same as if it were displaced and rotate and put pressure onto the ring until it seals in place in the ring rack.
The Ring Has Expanded or is Damaged
If your instant pot has been in your household for a few years and is used often, it may be that the sealing ring has expanded over time or is damaged and just won’t seal right. The only solution is to buy a new ring, like the one above, so that you can get that perfect seal again!
The Sealing Ring is Coated in Food Debris
It’s important to clean the sealing ring every now and again to avoid food debris build-up. Too much debris can mess up the sealing properties of the ring and keep it from closing the instant pot as it should. To resolve this issue, clean the ring thoroughly with hot water and soap until all debris is removed.
3. There’s Not Enough Liquid to Properly Seal the Pot
Your instant pot requires a certain amount of liquid to build the right amount of pressure in order to seal completely. If you either haven’t added enough liquid or you’ve allowed too much liquid to evaporate before fixing a steam-escaping issue, be sure to add more liquid to the pot.
4. You’re Using the Wrong Size Inner Pot
Anyone who has multiple instant pots has probably accidentally grabbed the wrong size inner pot at one point or another. If your instant pot is leaking steam, check to see if you’re using an inner pot that is a size too small. You may want to transfer the food into the correct size pot or remember to replace it for next time.
Cooking with an Instant Pot: Tips and Tricks!
Everyone wants to get the most out of their instant pot. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be using your instant pot like a pro!
- When cooking, always use at least half a cup of liquid. Instant pots require some liquid in order to produce steam and pressurize. As we discussed earlier in this article, perfect pressure is one of the ways to prevent instant pots from leaking steam, so this is an important step!
- And when you add liquid, use something other than water! Broths, brine, stocks, vegetable juices, whatever will pair well with your dish in the place of water will give you a more flavorful outcome.
- Buy extra sealing rings to avoid cooking delays. Some of the issues that lead to steam leaking we described come from a missing or damaged sealing ring. Purchasing additional sealing rings will cover you for whenever you need a new one — without the shipping delay.
- Gather all of your ingredients before you start cooking. You don’t want to accidentally forget to add spices or a diced shallot or two after the lid of the instant pot has locked. Then you’ll have to wait until it depressurizes and it’ll be frustrating (to say the least). Rather than deal with that whole mess, make sure you have everything you need, in the order you need it so that you don’t miss a thing!
- Thoroughly clean your instant pot by putting the pieces in the dishwasher. Most of the instant pot parts are dishwasher safe. To prevent grime buildup, thoroughly sanitize your instant pot after every use.
There are also a ton of useful accessories out there that you may want to consider!
Instant Pot Accessories
Here are our favorite instant pot accessories to make your life just a little bit easier.
1. Instant Pot Mini Mitts
The days of waiting for the inner pot and accessories to cool down are over! With these gripped instant pot mini mitts, you’ll be able to safely grab hot appliances.
2. Glass Lid
If you prefer the non-pressurized settings of your instant pot, this glass lid will be a game-changer for you! It sits directly on the inner pot and is great for whenever you’re sauteeing or using the Slow Cooker mode. It’ll prevent splashes and hold steam in to keep your food from becoming dried out.
3. Steamer Basket
This steamer basket is feathered to create the ideal environment for perfect steamed veggies every time. It also comes with a hook to help you easily retrieve the basket.
4. Egg Steamer Rack
If you use a lot of soft or hard-boiled eggs in your dishes, such as deviled eggs, then this instant pot egg steamer rack may come in handy! It comes with two hooks to easily lift the rack out of the instant pot and holds the eggs in place so that you don’t have to worry about any breaks or messes.
When it comes to an instant pot leaking steam, there are quite a few potential issues that may be the culprit. From a lack of sealing rings (or damaged rings) and too little liquid to using the wrong size inner pot and forgetting to seal the handle, once you find the problem, it’s generally an easy fix. Remember to use some of our tips and tricks for first-time instant pot users, check out some of our most popular instant pot recipes, and as always, Happy Cooking!