Steam Coming Out Around the Edges of Your Instant Pot? This May Be the Cause!

What is an Insta Pot?

An “InstaPot” is a brand name for a popular multi-functional electric pressure cooker. The correct term for this appliance is “Instant Pot.” Instant Pot is a registered trademark of Instant Brands Inc.

The Instant Pot is a versatile and convenient kitchen appliance that combines the functions of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté pan, steamer, yogurt maker, and warmer all in one. It is designed to save time and space in the kitchen by streamlining the cooking process for a variety of dishes.

The key features of an Instant Pot typically include:

  1. Pressure Cooking: The Instant Pot can cook food quickly under high pressure, significantly reducing cooking times compared to traditional stovetop methods.
  2. Multiple Cooking Programs: It comes with various preset cooking programs for specific dishes like rice, soup, stew, chili, yogurt, and more.
  3. Slow Cooking: The Instant Pot can be used as a slow cooker for recipes that require longer cooking times at lower temperatures.
  4. Sauteing: The appliance has a sauté function, allowing you to brown or cook ingredients directly in the pot before pressure cooking.
  5. Steaming: The Instant Pot comes with a steamer rack for steaming vegetables, fish, and other foods.
  6. Keep Warm Function: After cooking is complete, the Instant Pot can keep the food warm until you are ready to serve.
  7. Delayed Start: Some models offer a delayed start option, allowing you to set a timer for the cooking process to start later.

Instant Pots have become very popular due to their versatility, time-saving features, and ability to prepare a wide variety of meals with minimal effort. They are especially favored by busy individuals or families looking for quick and easy cooking solutions without compromising on taste and nutrition.

Homemade Instant Pot Cottage Cheese (Non-Insta Pot Cottage Reciepes)


  • 1 gallon (4 liters) whole milk
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional, adjust to taste)


  1. Pour the whole milk into the Instant Pot insert.
  2. Close the lid of the Instant Pot and make sure the pressure release valve is in the “Sealing” position.
  3. Set the Instant Pot to “Yogurt” mode. If your Instant Pot doesn’t have a “Yogurt” mode, you can use the “Manual” mode and set it to low pressure.
  4. Heat the milk in the Instant Pot until it reaches a temperature of about 180°F (82°C). You can use a kitchen thermometer to check the temperature.
  5. Once the milk reaches the desired temperature, turn off the Instant Pot and let it sit undisturbed for about 5 minutes.
  6. After 5 minutes, add the white vinegar or lemon juice to the milk. Stir gently to combine.
  7. Allow the milk to sit undisturbed for another 10-15 minutes. During this time, the milk will curdle and form curds.
  8. Line a large colander with cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel. Place the colander in the sink or over a large bowl.
  9. Carefully ladle the curdled milk (cottage cheese) into the lined colander to separate the curds from the whey. The whey will drain away, leaving you with the cottage cheese curds.
  10. If desired, sprinkle the cottage cheese with salt and gently toss to incorporate. You can adjust the amount of salt according to your taste preference.
  11. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth or kitchen towel and gently squeeze to remove excess whey and further shape the cottage cheese.
  12. Transfer the cottage cheese to a container and refrigerate until chilled. It’s now ready to enjoy!

Homemade Instant Pot cottage cheese is not only fresher and tastier than store-bought versions but also allows you to control the ingredients and customize the flavor to your liking. You can use this cottage cheese in various dishes, salads, or enjoy it on its own as a healthy snack.

Today our culinary staff takes on another common Instant Pot question:

Q. Is it normal for steam to come out around the edges of the Instant Pot lid while it’s cooking?

A. While it’s not unusual for a little steam to come out around the edges when the pot is first warming up, if there’s steam coming out after the pot has come to pressure, or if the pot just won’t come to pressure at all, you may have a problem. Read more below to find out the best answers from our culinary experts!

Insta Pot Air Fryer

Converting an Instant Pot into an air fryer may seem not possible because these are two different kitchen appliances with distinct functions and mechanisms. The Instant Pot is a multi-functional electric pressure cooker, while an air fryer is designed specifically for air frying or cooking food with hot air circulation, similar to deep frying but with significantly less oil.

If you want to achieve air frying capabilities in your kitchen, you’ll need to purchase a separate air fryer. Air fryers come in various sizes and models, and they are widely available in kitchen appliance stores and online retailers.

Here are some considerations when choosing an air fryer:

  1. Capacity: Select an air fryer size that fits your cooking needs and the quantity of food you plan to prepare.
  2. Features: Look for an air fryer with adjustable temperature settings, cooking presets, and a timer for precise cooking control.
  3. Brand and Reviews: Research different brands and read customer reviews to find an air fryer that suits your requirements and has a good reputation.
  4. Maintenance and Cleaning: Consider the ease of cleaning and maintaining the air fryer, as some models have dishwasher-safe components.

By purchasing an air fryer, you can enjoy the benefits of healthier cooking with less oil while still keeping your Instant Pot for pressure cooking, slow cooking, and other functions it offers. Both appliances can complement each other well in your kitchen, providing you with a wide range of cooking options and convenience.


Insta Pot Air Fryer Lid

How the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid Works

If you’re used to Instant Pot’s multi-cookers, cooking with this lid will feel pretty comfortable. It doesn’t lock onto the base like the pressure-cooking lid, but you will still get the same musical alert when it is placed on the base correctly. When cooking you won’t be able to see into the base of the pot, but you are able to take the lid off to check on the progress of your food mid-way through. The lid is a little heavy (just under six pounds, according to the manual), so you don’t have to worry about it moving around during cooking. It’s important to note that you cannot turn on the air fryer lid and Instant Pot base at the same time (and the plug has an extra wide surface to ensure you don’t make that mistake). Temperature, time and cooking features are all programmed through the lid. Make sure you have a stainless steel inner pot to place the air fryer basket into — the air fryer lid is not compatible with a nonstick ceramic insert. Air Fryer Conversion Lid


Why Steam is Coming from Your Instant Pot

1. It can take up to 30 minutes for an Instant Pot to come to pressure.

During the pressurization time, you may see steam coming from under the edges of the lid or through the black pressure valve on the top of the lid. This is perfectly normal! Factors affecting the pressurization time include how full the pot is and how cold the ingredients are.

Instant Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes
Instant Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes

2. Is the pressure valve set to “Sealing”?

Some Instant Pot models automatically set the pressure valve to “Sealing” when they close, and some need to be set manually. If you forget to set the pressure valve to “Sealing,” you will continue to see steam coming from the pressure valve and possibly from under the edges of the lid as well.

Instant Pot Valve Styles
Manual valves (left) must be set to “Sealing”. Automatic valves (right) seal themselves.

3. Could it be the Instant Pot sealing ring?

If there’s steam coming out after the pot has come to pressure, or if the pot just won’t come to pressure at all and you’re sure the pressure valve is set to “Sealing”–then it probably means your seal is either missing or not seated correctly. 

What to Do if Steam is Coming from Your Instant Pot

If your pot has already come to pressure and there are just a few minutes remaining, then let your food finish cooking. Follow the directions below once the program is complete. If there are more than 5-10 minutes left in the cooking cycle, then release the pressure, follow the instructions below and resume the cycle where it left off. 

Learn the Instant Pot and how to cook our favorite recipes in the new Instant Pot Master Class.

Is the sealing ring there?

First, check that the silicone seal inside the edge of the pot is there. Putting on a lid without having replaced the seal is a rite of passage for most Instant Pot cooks, so if it happens to you, consider it a badge of honor!

Instant Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper
Instant Pot Homemade Hamburger Helper

Is the sealing ring seated properly?

Second, check that the sealing ring is evenly seated under the wire all the way around the edge of the lid. An unevenly set ring can create a partial seal that allows steam to come from the edges of the lid. This can happen even when the pot is pressurized. If you continue to have the same problem, then you may need a new ring or you may be trying to use an off-brand ring that just isn’t working properly. 

The ring must be fully seated on the wire to seal.

Can I keep cooking after I fix an Instant Pot sealing issue?

Generally speaking, if you catch it early, the answer is yes. After replacing or reseating the seal, rinse the inside of the lid with cold water–this will help it come back to pressure more quickly–and reset the lid. Resume the cooking cycle where you left off. And always be sure to use a good quality food thermometer to ensure you’ve reached a food-safe temperature before serving.

Instant Pot Sealing Ring and Burn Notices

If you didn’t catch this issue early on, you may have boiled off a lot of the liquid in your pot. If you’re cooking a soup, this probably isn’t an issue, but if you’re cooking a relatively low-liquid dish, you’ll need to replace that liquid before you resume cooking in order to avoid a burn notice. Check your pot and add ½ – 1 cup of additional liquid to the pot before resealing, being sure to scrape any accumulated bits off the bottom of the pot.

And that’s it! Now you can get back to enjoying some fantastic Instant Pot cooking.

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