Easy to follow step-by-step instructions and video for how to complete an Instant Pot Water Test and why it is necessary to do so BEFORE cooking with your Instant Pot!
When my Instant Pot first came in the mail, I have to say I was extremely anxious to get using it and while I had heard about the initial water test, I wasn't quite sure that as an experienced cook I needed to do any "testing" before cooking.
Well, guess what? I was wrong.
The first time I used my Instant Pot was to make rice and I about flipped out when I heard all the hissing coming from it. I turned it off and thought to myself that I must have gotten a dud.
Nope. I just didn't understand how electric pressure cooking worked. But after I followed the manual's instructions and completed the water test, I felt SO much more confident in using the machine.
Instant Pot Water Test
A water test for your pressure cooker is important for 2 reasons:
- helps you get comfortable with your pressure cooker
- ensures your instant pot is working correctly
How To Do an Initial Water Test for Pressure Cookers
- Pour 3 cups of water into the inner pot of your instant pot.
- Put the lid on your instant pot and turn your valve to sealed.
- Set to high pressure for 3 minutes. You do this by hitting cook time or manual button and then plus or minus until the screens reads "3."
- Once pressure is reached, the instant pot will begin to count down from 3 minutes to 0.
- Once the time is done, the Instant Pot will beep and will turn to the "keep warm" function.
- To turn your instant pot off, hit the off button and your pot will read "off."
- Let the pressure release and then remove the lid and dump out the water.
- Start cooking one of my Instant Pot recipes.
Click on Picture to DOWNLOAD printable directions for Instant Pot water Test.
Things to Take Note of During Water Test
- Your pressure cooker will begin to hiss as the water begins to come to pressure and boil.
- After a short amount of time of hissing, the float valve will float up pressure will be reached.
- At this time your instant pot is sealed and the time will begin to count backward.
- Once the cook time has elapsed, your Instant Pot will beep and default to a keep-warm function (your panel will read L 0:00 and count up as time passes.
- You have the choice to allow pressure to release naturally OR you can do a quick release of pressure. For more on the difference between natural pressure and quick release check out my Instant Pot 101 tips.
Is it necessary to complete an Instant Pot Water Test?
This "test" is just designed to help get you comfortable with the pressure cooker, it does not make your instant pot function better. It also will ensure your pressure cooker is working properly.
What if Test Fails?
Before you assume your pressure cooker is broken if the water test does not go as planned, it may be an issue you can resolve yourself.
- Make sure inner seal is on correctly on the lid of the instant pot.
- Make sure you the steam release valve is set pointed to the seal symbol.
If those were not your issues, contact Instant Pot Customer service who will be able to direct you accordingly.