The Great Instant Pot Water Test

At last we’re ready for the fun part: the Instant Pot Water Test (a.k.a. the Steam Test). Doing this is totally optional, but is an easy way to take a quick test drive of your Instant Pot’s pressure cooking function and test to make sure it’s ready to get to work.

You can find the official instructions in the Instant Pot manual, but here’s what it boils (if you’ll pardon the pun) down to:

  1. Make sure the sealing ring is properly seated and the Steam Release Handle and Float Valve are clear.
  2. Add 3 cups of water to the inner pot, then put the inner pot into the housing/base.
  3. After plugging in and turning on your Instant Pot, close and seal the lid (turn it clockwise until it won’t go any farther; it’ll only go on one way).
  4. Check that the Steam Release Handle is in the Sealing position.
  5. Press the “Steam” function button, then press the “-” button to change the time to 2 minutes (depending on the model you have, you may then have to press Start).
  6. In 10 seconds, the Instant Pot should go into its preheating cycle. After that, steam will start to come out of the Float Valve.
  7. When the pot comes up to pressure, the Float Valve will pop up flush with the lid, completely sealing the pot and locking the lid.
  8. Once the two minutes are up, the Instant Pot will beep and switch to the Keep Warm setting (note: the timer on the control panel will start to count up, marking the minutes it’s been in the Keep Warm cycle).
  9. Press the Keep Warm/Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot
  10. You could just leave the pot cool down on its own, whereupon the Float Valve will drop and the lid will unlock this is called a Natural Pressure Release, or NPR).
  11. But let’s be wild and crazy and do a Quick Release (QR): turn the Steam Release Handle to the Venting position and let that steam fly! As with NPR, once the Float Valve drops down the lid will unlock.
  12. And that’s it – you’ve completed the Instant Pot Water Test!

DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! Keep your hands, fingers, face, and any other flailing body parts clear of the vent on top of the Steam Release Handle: it’s real, live steam and it’s hot as lava (well, not quite, but still). Just turn it using your fingers as I’ve shown in the pic, keeping your hand to the side of the handle. It’s also okay to use something like the handle of a wooden spatula to gently (no need to give it a whack!) turn the valve.

Don’t be afraid of doing a Quick Release, just treat the steam with the respect it deserves, okay?

Guess What?

If you’ve done the Instant Pot Water Test, you’re ready for the real thing! Let’s go check out some easy recipes

Where Would You Like To Go?

What is an Instant Pot?
Why Should You Buy an Instant Pot?
Which Instant Pot Should You Get?
Getting Started
The Great Instant Pot Water Test
Some Foolproof Recipes
Instant Pot Accessories
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