How long does the instant pot take to pressurize? (+7 tips to speed up)

In this article, we will answer the question “How long does the instant pot take to pressurize?”, and how to speed up the pressurizing time?

How long does the instant pot take to pressurize?

The Instant Pot usually takes about 5-15 minutes to reach pressure. After reaching the pressure, the float valve pops up and a beeping sound is heard. Then the cooking time begins to count down from 5 minutes. 

Hissing sounds and some steam escaping from the steam release valve or float valve hole is nothing to worry about. A plastic smell is also common, especially If you are using the instant pot for the first time.

7 tips to speed up pressurizing time

Don’t forget to seal the vent 

Sealing the vent is important to build the pressure. Check the bottom of the valve as well and make sure the float valve and shield are clean and the block shield is in place.

Check your sealing ring 

Check the sealing ring If It is misaligned or damaged or dirty. This is important for the smooth running of the instant pot.

Always thaw your meat 

Plan ahead and let your meat or any other frozen food defrost. This will reduce the cooking time and the pot will pressurize quickly.

Hit the saute button

This tip especially works when you are putting broth, meat cuts, or water in your instant pot. Before adding the food to the pot, turn on the saute mode as It pressurizes the pot much more quickly.

After adding the food to the pot, press “Cancel” and adjust the mode according to your recipe.

Give yourself a 30-minute headstart

The pot will take time to pressurize. Add this time to your recipe. If It takes too long, check for the seal of the valve.

Do not overfill the pot

The more food you stuff into your instant pot, the longer It will take to pressurize so be wary of this and do not overfill.

Check your liquid

Instead of ½ cup, add at least 1 cup of liquid in the form of water or broth and not oil. Due to the scarcity of water, the pot won’t pressurize and you will only waste your time waiting for It to do so.

Thickeners like roux or cornstarch should be added after the cooking process as they retard the formation of steam and prevent the pot to pressurize.

Other FAQs about Instant Pots which you may be interested in.

How to delay start instant pot?

How long does the instant pot take to warm up?

Common instant pot problems and how to fix them

Instant pot is taking too long to start the timer

The instant pot will take at least 15 minutes to pressurize and start the timer. If the recipe says “pressure cook in Instant Pot for 5 minutes”, add 15 minutes to this time. 

However, If It takes longer than 20 minutes to start the timer, check the settings and adjust the mode If needed. Plus the more food you stuff in your pot, the longer It will take to start the timer.

The pot is showing a “Burn” message 

This is a sign that the food might burn or the pot might suffer damage. It may be because the water is scarce in the pot and is not reached the bottom and sidewalls of the pot. Let the pot cool down If you have been sauteeing on high heat. 

Layer the starches and sauces for complex meals and elevate your meal with the help of a cooking rack. After sauteeing a vegetable or sauce, make sure the pot is clean of any bits and pieces before moving to the next cooking process.

An error code message 

If you pot shows an error code message, refer to the support page. For example, C1 means your temperature sensors are not functional, similarly, C5 means the inner pot does not have sufficient water in it.

The instant pot keeps beeping 

The pot normally beats when the timer sets on and off, If It beats otherwise, check for a coded message on the screen and fix the problem. This usually happens due to overheating.

The float valve is stuck 

The float valve is supposed to move between the natural pressure release and venting. If It does not, make sure It is not clogged by removing any bits and pieces of food and washing the lid around the valve.

My pot is stinky

Your best bet is to keep a spare sealing ring and use It for making desserts. To get rid of the stinky smell of the rubber seal, washi It using a dishwasher or submerge It into a solution of warm water and baking soda.


In this article, we answered the question “How long does the instant pot take to pressurize?”, and how to speed up the pressurizing time?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.