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I have an Instant Pot that I love to use to prepare food, and for the first dozen meals it operated without issue. Lately, however, I get a 'food burn' alert every single time I use it. As expected, my food has stuck to the bottom of the detachable pot and needs to be scraped off. What is surprising me is that it isn't happening when I cook a specific meal, it's on every meal I prepare using the pressure cooker.

The same recipes that used to be prepared without issue now need to be scraped clean from the pot. I'm not altering the recipes, except to perhaps add more liquid to prevent food from sticking.

Is there a common reason for this to happen? Is there a certain way I should load that Instant Pot that I may have stopped doing since I purchased it? Should I clean a certain part of the pressure cooker to increase the efficacy of the cookware?

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  • Sorry to notice this, and does "… it isn't happening when I cook a specific meal, it's on every meal I prepare using the pressure cooker" mean something different than "…it's on every meal I prepare…" or not? – Robbie Goodwin Feb 21 at 0:54
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    Yes, that’s the correct interpretation. I was hoping the use of repetition would imply how surprised I was that I was burning all my meals – PausePause Feb 21 at 1:05
  • Thanks and could you address that again? However much you were hoping the use of repetition would imply your surprise, does "… it isn't happening when I cook a specific meal, it's on every meal I prepare using the pressure cooker" mean something different than "…it's on every meal I prepare…" or not? – Robbie Goodwin Feb 21 at 1:15
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    Yes, the two statements mean the same thing. Feel free to edit the post if you think the phrasing is unclear – PausePause Feb 21 at 2:43
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A quick google search illustrates that this appears to be a common concern for instant pot users. Have you checked the sealing ring, steam release, and float valve to ensure that they are clean and working properly? You may just need some cleaning and preventive maintenance. You don't mention the brand, but you can begin with your user manual. Here is some information specifically about the Instant Pot brand cooker.

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    As you suggested, the sealing ring on my Instant Pot wasn't aligned properly. Thanks for the help – PausePause Feb 19 at 20:05
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    I would also emphasize the "adding enough liquid" and "not adding thickeners for the pressure cook step" information from the Instant Pot FAQ. – user2943160 Feb 21 at 17:24
  • Thanks for this. I have the same issue. I noticed that the unit wouldn't seal up and let pressure build up and soon enough my food would burn, but I didn't realize I could clean and maintain it to fix the problem. I thought I'd have to get an exchange or something. (I guess it's obvious now, but it didn't occur to me.) – cape1232 Feb 23 at 6:26

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