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  1. #1
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    Default 1st Instant Pot attempt - fail. help!

    I was really excited to try my Instant Pot for the first time tonight. I used a recipe for chicken masala that someone linked to on this board. After you cook the onions, you add spices. I guess when I was measuring them all, I took too long and the onions/garlic/ginger started to burn and got stuck to the bottom of the pot. But I stirred and kept going. Once everything was in, it heated up. But as soon as the pressure cooking started, I got an 'overheat' message and it wouldn't continue. I turned off, stirred, heated up...same thing happened. Took out all of the food, washed the inner pot, started again...same thing happened.

    I Googled it and someone posted somewhere that you have to let the machine completely cool between 'searing' and 'pressure cooking'...but then the company said that the issue had been addressed with this latest model and the threshold for overheating should be much higher. Has anyone else had the overheating issue? I really want to love this thing, but feel slightly defeated (not to mention hungry!) at the moment.

  2. #2
    MMMommy is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    I'm so sorry! Mine came a couple of weeks ago, and it is still in the box. I admit, I am intimidated by the learning curve and having to read the instructions and learn the nuances of a new kitchen electric!
    Mommy to Two DDs
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  3. #3
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    I would call the company. I've done a recipe with sautéing before cooking, and it did fine with no need for cool down. So many recipes call for sautéing first! It must be a fault in your particular machine, or else you had the sauté feature on for way too long. I can't imagine that, though. I sautéed seven chicken breasts and then onions and garlic. That took a while!

  4. #4
    weech is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    So, I tried mine tonight for the first time also and it came out okay. While I was reading the instruction booklet, though, it cautioned against having anything get stuck to the bottom of the pot because it doesn't allow the heat to disperse and can cause overheating (or something like that). So that's why you're not supposed to put cornstarch or arrowroot in the pot while it's pressure cooking. I think if you try it again but have your spices all ready (or put in your onions before the saute setting is at its highest heat) then you might have better luck?
    Rachel
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  5. #5
    larig's Avatar
    larig is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by weech View Post
    So, I tried mine tonight for the first time also and it came out okay. While I was reading the instruction booklet, though, it cautioned against having anything get stuck to the bottom of the pot because it doesn't allow the heat to disperse and can cause overheating (or something like that). So that's why you're not supposed to put cornstarch or arrowroot in the pot while it's pressure cooking. I think if you try it again but have your spices all ready (or put in your onions before the saute setting is at its highest heat) then you might have better luck?
    And, deglaze after you've got something stuck. I've made several things--including many stews and roasts where I've seared the meat first. I never had it overheat, but I always have deglazed and cooked with liquid. The only thing that's not worked for me is some beans, but I tried them without an over night soak--tried a no-soak method for instant pot I read somewhere. Won't do it again--BUT, an overnight soak + instant pot makes perfect beans.
    L, mommy to my one and only, super-sweet boy, G 6/08

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  6. #6
    elbenn is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMMommy View Post
    I'm so sorry! Mine came a couple of weeks ago, and it is still in the box. I admit, I am intimidated by the learning curve and having to read the instructions and learn the nuances of a new kitchen electric!
    Same here! Did your instant pot box have a white plastic ring on the outside of the box? Is this just a packing item or is it something for the appliance?

  7. #7
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    I've only used mine twice, but have not had an overheating problem. I seared my meat both times. I have gotten in the habit of measuring out my spices etc. before cooking, just so I know I have everything, and it's ready to go.

    Elbenn, I think the plastic ring may be an extra silicone ring. Does it look like the ring on the inside of the lid?

    i did find it helpful to go through all of the parts and put them on and take them off as instructed in the manual.
    Mommy to my wonderful, HEALTHY twin girls
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  8. #8
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    Has anyone made plain old white rice (like Uncle Ben's) in the instant pot yet? My brown rice and basmati rice came out well, but the white rice came out wet and sticky. I've tried twice now, first with the rice to water ratio suggested by Instant Pot and once with the ratio on the rice packaging. Both times I used the rice setting. The first time I reduced to 8 minutes as the instant pot cookbook suggested. The second time I left it at the 12 minutes that popped up as standard when I pressed the rice button. Any advice? I don't make that type of rice often, but I want to know how to use the Instant Pot for any type of rice.

  9. #9
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    I may have answered my own question. I used cooking spray on the inside of the inner pot and the directions definitely did not say to do that. Maybe the spray burns at a lower temperature than food would.

    I really thought something was wrong with the pot when I removed the contents, washed it and then tried again with the same result. But both times I used cooking spray. I'll have to give it another try this weekend to see if I can get a better result.

    For those who haven't tried theirs yet and are nervous - I read the instructions through and had the book with me when I was going through it for the first time. It's pretty easy to use and seems to be safe if you follow the directions about how to open the lid.

  10. #10
    basil is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    I had that happen (overheating thing) when I made a rice dish (chicken biryani). In retrospect, it probably could have used a little bit more liquid. It actually didn't burn, though. And I actually didn't do anything when it started beeping that it was overheating. I just let it go. Eventually it moved on (I guess it turned off the heat or something on it's own).

    I have found that it's a little tricky to control the heat while browning things, especially things that burn easily like garlic. I'm used to a gas stove where I do many little adjustments, and the Instant Pot only has 3 levels. Also, because (I think) of the insulation, it takes a while for it to cool down when it's in the housing even after you cut the heat.

    Has anyone tried putting the inner pot on their stove to brown/sear/saute something? I feel like this would be easier. Would have to use a potholder as there is obviously no handle, but I feel like it may be easier.

    ETA: did your food actually burn? or did you just turn it off when you got the warning?

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