Instant Pot Sputtering & Hissing While Cooking [Solved!]

For the first few minutes, your instant pot will hiss and sputter. After a while, though, the cooking resumes as usual. Does this sound familiar? So let us investigate the issue.

Key Takeaways:

As a general rule, if the hissing sound is noticed for the first few minutes and it goes away, it’s quite normal. However, if you frequently notice it for prolonged periods the reasons could be not having enough liquid, the sealing ring or lid is not correctly installed; the parts being clogged, worn out, or needing replacement.

Read on till the end to know all possible reasons and solutions to why your instant pot is hissing and sputtering and more.

Possible Reasons Why Instant Pot Sputtering And Hissing While Cooking

#1. Normal If Noticed Only For The First Few Minutes

A hissing sound comes from an Instant Pot when the excess pressure is released and until the pressure inside the cooker stabilizes. So if the sputtering or hissing occurs once in a while, for a short period in the initial cooking phase, that’s okay!

Solution:

Since noticing the hissing sound during the initial phase of cooking is not a big concern – nothing needs to be done on your part. Just ensure, all the parts and accessories are installed properly and cleaned.

#2. There Is A Lot Of Empty Space In The Pot

The instant pot hissing issue can occasionally occur with lower amounts of water.

The pot quickly reaches the desired temperature, but the heater remains 

on. So momentarily, the pressure in the vessel exceeds its threshold, and the safety valve opens as a result. 

But then, when the heat cycles and the pressure ceases to rise, normal cooking resumes.

Solution:

The most typical error when using an Instant Pot is forgetting to add liquid. To create pressure, a pressure cooker requires steam. So while cooking, you’ll need at least one cup of liquid.

Usually, it is recommended that the pot must have at least 1 cup (8 oz) of water to reach pressure.

That said, it is also essential to examine the contents of your pot. For example, pressure-cooked vegetables, such as cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, etc., release a great deal of water. Therefore, if you have those ingredients, you do not need to add a large amount of water.

In short, if you are suddenly noticing a hissing sound, it’s a good indication that you may not be using enough water – try adding more water, and hopefully, that should solve the issue. 

But caution – don’t overload the instant pot either. Instead, try the recommended level of liquid depending on the recipes you are cooking and the mode you have selected. 

Here’s what the Instant Pot Manual recommends:

  • For all pressure cooking procedures, the total volume of uncooked food and liquid should never exceed two-thirds of the inner pot’s capacity.
  • Preparing foods that expand during cooking, such as rice, beans, or dried vegetables, does not cross the inner pot’s capacity by more than half. 
  • The danger of blocking the pressure release valve and creating extra pressure is increased by overfilling. This might potentially result in injury, leakage, or unit damage. Therefore, for non-pressure cooking procedures, it is recommended not to cross the maximum fill line.

#3. Sealing Ring Is Not Present Or Clogged

Sometimes, if the sealing ring is absent, steam can leak from the side of the instant pot.

Sealing rings are a vital component of the Instant Pot safety system. It is developed and constructed using the ideal material to produce the requisite strength to endure high-pressure forces during electric pressure cooking.

Also, the steam can leak from the side of the sealing ring and is clogged with food debris.

Solution:

Ensure there is a sealing ring present in your instant pot. Watch the following video to learn more about the sealing ring in your instant pot:

YouTube video

And even if your instant pot does have a sealing ring, ensure that it remains free of any food debris. 

Unplug from the power outlet before cleaning and while not in use. Allow the unit to cool before installing or removing parts or cleaning it. 

To disconnect, switch off any controls on Instant Pot, and remove the plug from the electrical socket. (Learn more about the Instant Buttons In this complete guide.)

Use water to clean the lid, including the removable sealing ring, pressure release, and anti-block shield, then dry-wipe them with a soft cloth. Do not disassemble the pressure release handle.

For further reference, we highly recommend you check our Instant Pot Cleaning Guide.

#4. The Instant Pot Sealing Ring Needs Replacement

One of the reasons why you find hissing sound and leaking steam can also be that the sealing ring needs to be replaced. 

Those products can lose the capacity to function effectively with usage over time. As a general rule, changing the instant pot sealing ring is suggested every 12-18 months. The Instant Pot manual recommends replacing it every 18-24 months or whenever you notice any deformation.

Solution:

Replacing the sealing ring with a new one can solve the issue. Click here to check the instant pot sealing ring replacement (on Amazon)

Pull it outward from the sealing ring rack in sections to take off the sealing ring. Then, you can reinstall the sealing ring in the rack by pressing it down at intervals. 

It is okay to install the sealing ring with either side facing up. This small replacement could help your instant pot to function effectively as usual.

#5. Lid Is Not Closed Properly

It can happen that you have not placed the instant pot lid correctly, resulting in the steam leaking.

Solution:

Ensure the lid is installed properly in its place. Then, if needed, you can switch off the Instant Pot and try inserting the lid properly and see if it works.

#6. Float Valve Is Clogged Or Damaged And Needs Replacement

For safety, the lids of Instant Pot models are equipped with a pin lock mechanism called a float valve, which prevents the lid from being released mistakenly when there is a great deal of pressure building up within the pot. As long as there is enough pressure within the inner pot, the float valve will rise. 

Now, if you notice the steam leaking from the float valve (and thus making a hissing sound) for over two minutes – issues can be with the float valve. 

Either the float valve is clogged with food debris, or its silicone ring has worn out because of regular usage.

Solution:

If the clogging is the issue, try cleaning the float valve silicone seal and see if that fixes the issue. Otherwise, it could be possible that the float valve silicone ring has been there for enough, and now it’s time to replace it. Click here to check the float valve seal for Instant Pot (available on Amazon).

#7. Pressure Release Handle Not In Sealing Position

If the steam comes out from your instant pot exhaust valve non-stop, the pressure release handle may not be in the sealing position. 

The large knob on the lid of the Instant Pot is the pressure release handle. You can switch it between “Sealing” and “Venting.”

Solution:

It is essential to ensure that the pressure release handle remains in the sealing position for your every pressure cooking program. 

So turn the release handle into the sealing position, – and that should solve the issue. Watch the following video to learn all about the Instant Pot steam release handle:

YouTube video

#8. The pressure Control System Is Not Working

If no troubleshooting works and the steam constantly keeps coming out from the exhaust valve – the pressure control could have failed, unfortunately.

Solution:

Contacting Instant Pot customer support and seeking the necessary help will be the best option.

If you have a damaged Instant Pot, we highly recommend reading this guide to learn if it is safe to use it or not.

Should Steam Come Out Of My Instant Pot While It’s Cooking?

Despite its name, the Instant Pot does not provide truly immediate cooking results, but it helps reduce the time required to prepare a meal. An Instant Pot requires some preheating time to reach a boiling point higher than 212 degrees Fahrenheit (at sea level). 

Food within the Instant Pot releases steam while it cooks, and the device captures that steam as it warms. 

High pressure is created within the Instant Pot as steam accumulates; once the pressure has been reached, a pressure valve opens, and steam escapes via a vent in the lid. At that point, the clock starts ticking on the cooking time.

For first-time users, the steam is the most intimidating aspect of using an Instant Pot. As the pressure builds within the Instant Pot, steam rapidly escapes via a little vent on the lid, and the appliance produces a lot of noise. 

But don’t worry, this is normal, and if anything else goes wrong, the Instant Pot will turn off.

Safety is a common concern when considering whether or not to buy an electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot. But is it true? Let’s see!

Since you could easily remove the lids of stovetop pressure cookers before the pressure was released, this cooking method gained a negative reputation due to the risk of burns and spills. 

In contrast to pressure cookers that use a burner, electronic pressure cookers like the Instant Pot are extremely secure.

Pressure cookers used on the stove are also considerably safer now than they were in the past.

When something goes wrong, an Instant Pot or similar electronic pressure cooker will automatically turn off to prevent further damage. One of these safeguards is a burn alert that is activated if the Instant Pot overheats and food begins to burn, at which point the device automatically turns off.

Victoria Parkley

Hey, Vicky here. Writer and one of the product testers of simplelifesaver.com. I'm just your average girl that's overly obsessed with technology, time-saving tools, and food. Fun fact: I love Thai food!

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