Congrats! You are the proud owner of an Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker. It's time to unbox your new appliance and do a Water Test. Don't worry, I'm going to be right by your side with step by step instructions with all the details.
While doing a Water Test is easy, it's the first big step in using your Electric Pressure Cooker and can very scary to take the step. So rest assured you are not alone. Many leave their pressure cookers in the boxes for weeks if not months before gaining the courage to pull it out.
You've heard stories to scare you but trust me, those stories come from the old pressure cookers that Grandma used to have. There are many safety features in place on Instant Pot and other brands of Electric Pressure Cookers to ensure safety if used properly.
You might want to check out my Instant Pot How To which will help you with the FAQ's and jargon of your new pot. It will also familiarize yourself with each component too.
What is a Water Test?
An Instant Pot Water Test is a great way to get comfortable with your Instant Pot and to make sure that it’s working efficiently. It's a test run if you will and allows you to pressure up the Instant Pot or Electronic Pressure Cooker and learn how to release the pressure.
These steps seem simple enough but truly do have purpose. It's not a step that should be forgotten, even by the knowledgeable owner.
Using an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker is fun and has saved me many times over when I haven't prepared or thought in advance on what I should cook for dinner. Can anyone relate? You would think choosing and making something for dinner should become fairuly routine and yet I still find myself asking the age old question, "What's for Dinner?" and feeling like take out Pizza is my only option.
Fortunately a pressure cooker can help you speed up the cook time or better yet, allow you to multi-task while dinner is cooking so you have time to set the table, or clean up the kitchen and set the table.
How to do an Instant pot water test
- Add 1 cup of water to the inner pot of the pressure cooker.
- Close the Lid.
- Make sure the seal valve is in the closed position.
- Set to Manual / Pressure Cook for 1 minute.
- Use the +/- keys to adjust to 1 minute.
- Allow the pressure cooker to heat up and seal.
- After 1 minute the timer will Beep.
- Open the Pressure valve to release steam by using the back of a spoon.
- Open the lid.
That's it! Doing a water test is a very important first step in owning your Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker.
Is it necessary to complete a Water test?
While it may not be required by manufacturers, the benefits of doing this simple test are pretty great. You can see first-hand how your machine operates and make sure that it is doing so properly.
By doing the Water Test you can also make sure your sealing ring is in it's proper place and you make sure your new Instant Pot is ready for a recipe.
What if my Water Test Fails?
Your machine could be broken, which is great news to find out now before your dinner is ruined. That being said, you should run some additional diagnostics before trying to return your new appliance.
Make sure that the inner seal is on the lid of the Instant Pot correctly and that the steam release valve is pointed to the sealed symbol.
Why is my seal valve wobbly and loose?
As scary as it may seem to have a wobbly valve, it’s actually supposed to be this way. When the pressure cooker reaches a high temperature, the sealing ring will expand and help it to fit nice and snug.
Is Hissing normal when my Instant Pot is pressuring up?
While your Instant Pot is coming up to pressure, it will make noises and release some steam from the pressure release valve. The colder that the ingredients inside the pot is, the longer it takes to come to temperature, but the noises and steam are normal while pressuring up.
I'm afraid to release the pressure with my hand, what do I do?
Using a hand towel to wrap your hand as you adjust it can help to prevent a fear of steam burns, but if you don’t feel comfortable with that suggestion, you can also use the backside of a spoon or the ladle that came with your Instant Pot.
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