How to delay start instant pot? (+3 mistakes to avoid)

In this article, we will answer the question “How to delay start instant pot?”, and how to fic common instant pot problems?

How to ‘delay start’ an instant pot? 

Here are the steps that you need to follow:

  • Select a function (depends on what you plan on cooking – soup/broth, pressure cook)
  • Press the + or – button to adjust the cooking time for your dish
  • Press delay start
  • Again, press the + or – button to instruct the instant pot when to start cooking. 
  • For example, 3:00 indicates that cooking will start 3 hours from the time you adjusted the timer.

Step by step process

Advanced instant pots have a timer function that allows you to delay the cooking times. It does not work for “Keep warm” and “Saute” functions. Follow the steps below to set the instant pot for delayed cooking.

  1. Set a cooking program according to your recipe.
  1. Then immediately press the “Timer” key. Use “+” and “- “ to set the delayed hours as you like. Then press the “Timer” key again to change the minutes. The set time is the delayed time before the instant pot starts operating at the set cooking program.
  1. After the second press on the timer key, the “Timer” function starts within 10 seconds. Countdown starts on the LED display, and the flashing green indicator on the “Timer” key appears solid green. 15 4. To cancel the Timer operation, press the “Keep-Warm/Cancel” key at any time. 
  1. The Instant Pot will automatically start the cooking process when the delay timer counts down to 0. Once the food is cooked, the cooker will enter the Auto “Keep Warm” cycle for about 10 hours.

Mistakes to avoid 

  1. Never put perishable foods like meat and fish for longer than 2 hours in the pot. They will start to go bad. 

Rice will become mushy or overly soft If it is soaked for too long time periods. Leaving the rice in the “Keep warm” mode for too long will result in the burning of the bottom layer.

  1. Do not use the timer function for sticky foods like oatmeal and porridge. They will prevent the float valve from sealing leading to overflowing of the contents of the pot.
  1. Do not leave the instant pot unattended during the preheating time. When using the timer function, you walk away from your instant pot, thus, the above-mentioned food should never be cooked in the IP on the timer function.

Instant pot stuck on preheat 

This is a very common problem for newcomers. The display panel reads as “ON’ when the pot is preheating. After reaching the set temperature, It starts to pressurize to trigger the timer. The following factors may be the reason why your instant pot is stuck in the preheating phase.

Release valve not set to seal

If the release valve is set on vent instead of seal, It won’t pressurize and the cooking process won’t start. Once the pot starts to pressurize, you will notice steam coming out of the float valve and not the release valve.

Seals misaligned or damaged

If the sealing rings are misaligned or damaged, they won’t let the pressure build-up. Before operating the instant pot, check the seals. Replace them every 12-16 months. You must have at least two rings and use different rungs for sweet and sour dishes.

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

How to sterilize jars in an instant pot?

How to wash an instant pot lid?

How long does natural release take on instant pot?

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.


In this article, we will answer the question “How to delay start instant pot?”, and how to fic common instant pot problems?


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