how long does instant pot take to preheat

How Long an Instant Pot Takes to Preheat

An instant pot is an electric pressure cooker that gained a huge following in recent years, and it can be a game-changer in the kitchen.

This device doubles as a slow cooker, pressure cooker, yogurt maker, rice cooker, and a lot more, and this makes it a staple to have in the kitchen of busy cooks all over.

But, how long does it take your instant pot to preheat?

The average instant pot takes between 10 and 20 minutes to heat up from when you first switch it on. How long it takes will depend on a host of factors, including the amount of food you’re cooking and the size of the pot.

The design is very similar to other pressure cookers on the market, so you also want to pay attention to the brand and ensure you get a high-quality product.

If you’re not sure what an instant pot is, how it functions, and potential problems you could run into, this is for you.

We’re going to go over all of these items and more in this post. This way, you’ll get a good idea of whether or not it’ll benefit you.

Defining an Instant Pot

An instant pot is a multi-functional appliance to have in your kitchen, and you won’t need to worry about cooking healthy food if you invest in a quality appliance.

An instant pot uses steam to cook your food, and the water in the pot takes some time to preheat before it releases steam. So, you can cook much healthier with it since you cook with steam over oil.

If you recently bought an instant pot, you’re most likely still figuring out how the pot operates. If you look at the body of your instant pot, you can see a range of buttons, and each of these buttons has a different function to help the pot operate.

It’s common for your recipe to have you cook for 30 minutes without completely finishing the food, and this is where your preheating function comes into play.

You’ll have to understand how long it takes to preheat your instant pot and how preheating works to have success with this device.

Instant Pot Functions

The instant pot is a multi-functional device, and this is why it is very popular with people. It can perform:

  • Slow Cooker – The instant pot allows you to turn it into a slow cooker to create flavorful, delicious food.
  • Pressure Cooker – Using the instant pot as a pressure cooker is one of the most-used functions on this device because the pressure that builds up inside the pot cooks in a quick time frame.
  • Cooking Rice – All you have to do is set the timer and leave it run. You won’t have to hover around to ensure it cooks for the correct time, and the instant pot will automatically stop when the timer goes off.
  • Steamer – You can avoid using oil to cook your food and steam it instead to make it healthier.
  • Saute – Instead of just offering a boil function, your instant pot allows you to saute and caramelize any vegetables you have before you cook them.
  • Yogurt
  • Doubles as a warmer that can keep your food warm for hours at a time.

There are also additional features to consider with this instant pot, and some models come with the ability to bake cakes and boil eggs.


Pressure cooking is one of the most popular uses of an instant pot. To cook your food, you’ll need to allot time in the pressure cooker for the pressure to build up.

This is the preheating process, and it can take 10 to 15 minutes on average to come to pressure. However, there are a few factors that control how much time your instant pot needs to preheat, including:

  • Your instant pot’s cooking timer will only start after the device reaches your set pressure amount.
  • The time it takes to preheat will vary from one model to the other, with some preheating quicker than others.
  • How long it takes to preheat your instant pot will depend on how much food you want to cook. The more food you have, the longer the whole process will take.

Pressure Release

Just like you’ll have to set aside time for your instant pot to preheat, you’ll have to set aside time for it to release the pressure before you open it.

Once you finish cooking, there are two ways you can choose to release the pressure, and we’ll outline them below.

Natural or Slow-Release Function

The slow-release function is the process of letting the instant pot release the pressure is built up by itself.

This could take a few minutes, but it works to ensure that your food gets cooked all of the way through.

It can take some patience to curb the desire to speed the process up, but the slow-release will give you soft, correctly boiled food each time you use it. No matter if you’re cooking legumes, beans, or meat, consider using this option.

Quick Release

When you’re cooking a more delicate item in the instant pot that doesn’t need a long cooking time, you may opt for the quick-release function.

All you have to do is push the steam release button for it to release all of the pressure at once. You shouldn’t use this function when you’re cooking harder food as it won’t cook correctly.

Potential Problems with Preheating in an Instant Pot

If you’re having problems with your instant pot preheating, there are a few things that could be wrong. It’s very common for newer users to have issues when they’re learning how to use this appliance, and we’re going to list them below for you.

One of the most common problems people face with this appliance is that it can get stuck in the preheating phase. If the appliance works correctly, once you finish with the preheating process, the timer for your cooker will start by itself.

But, when the timer doesn’t automatically switch on after it finishes preheating, you should troubleshoot it using the following tips.

  • Double-check that you set your release valve set to seal. If the pressure release valve is on the vent, the instant pot won’t function correctly. The pressure that builds up inside the pot during the preheat phase will get released through the release valve. So, the preheating process will stay incomplete and seem like it’s stuck in an endless loop.
  • You also want to check and see if the sealing ring is in good condition. If the sealing ring gets damaged or if it isn’t aligned properly on the pot, you won’t be able to complete the preheating process. Keep checking your ring each time you use it to ensure it’s in good condition and functioning properly. Once a year, you should buy a new ring to protect the appliance from malfunctioning.

Bottom Line

The preheating function on your instant pot is one way to finish cooking harder foods, and it can take between 10 and 20 minutes for the process to complete.

How long it takes depends on the model, how old it is, and how much food you want to cook. Once you start using it, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious and healthy food whenever you want.

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