The goal of this page is to host an all-in-one glossary of the most common Instant Pot terms. Let us know if we missed anything!
5-5-5 or 6-6-6: A method for preparing eggs in your Instant Pot. “5-5-5” refers to 5 minutes of pressure, 5 minutes of natural release (NR), and 5 minutes of ice bath before peeling. (6-6-6 meaning the same progression in intervals of six minutes.)
Anti-Block Shield: The anti-block shield refers to the round metal part with five holes underneath the lid. It is intended to keep food particles from clogging the steam release valve. It should be removed and cleaned after each usage, particularly after preparing foods that may splatter. To remove, use your thumb to push the anti-block shield side towards the lid rim and lift up. The anti-block barrier will appear with a little effort.
Burn: Although this initially sounds obvious, “burn” carries some additional context with pressure cookers. In short, there may not be enough water/broth in the inner pot, or the food may be too close to the bottom of the inner pot, with all of the liquid on top.
Your Instant Pot might say, “BURN!” The burn notice on your Instant Pot merely signifies that the inner pot of your Instant Pot has become too hot. There might be some scorched food at the bottom of your pot, but not enough to destroy whatever you’re cooking.
If your Instant Pot detects burning food, it will beep! We wrote a full guide about the many beeps your instant pot can make.
Condensation Collector: The cup found at the back of your Instant Pot. It collects any condensation that forms throughout the pressure cooking process. Note: the Lux series does not feature a condensation collector.
Cooker Base: The base houses the heating element and electronics like the microprocessor. You should never put anything on the inside of the cooker base unless the stainless steel inner pot is in place! Keep the cooker base and lid away from any external heat source because this will harm the base and cover.
Delay Start or Timer (older models): The control mechanism for setting the time delay before a cooking program starts.
Dual Pressure: This signifies the pressure cooker features both low and high-pressure settings.
EPC: An abbreviation for “Electric Pressure Cooker.” The primary distinctions between a standard (regular) pressure cooker and the Instant Pot (EPC) are usability, technology, and safety. Instant Pots are significantly safer and more user-friendly than pressure cookers, which carry a danger of explosions that can result in damage and a mess. These qualities make Instant Pots considerably safer and easier to operate.
Float Valve (Pin): The float valve is the silver or red pin next to the steam valve. When it is “up,” the Instant Pot is fully pressurized; when it is “down,” your cooker is no longer pressurized, and you can open it. Therefore, the position of the pin is worth paying close attention to!
Also, note that there are various types of float valves for various Instant Pot models and sizes—so yours might not match photos of another model.
HP: An abbreviation for “High Pressure mode.”
LP: A common abbreviation for “Low Pressure mode.” HP and LP are commonly used on internet forums, Facebook groups, and recipes.
Manual or Pressure Cook (newer models): When pressure cooking, use the Manual/Pressure Cook program to define a custom time and/or pressure setting. This functionality is not available for older Instant Pot models.
Natural Release (NR or NPR): A natural pressure release allows the Instant Pot to “naturally” cool and release pressure until the float valve drops. NR is the most commonly utilized release method in recipes!
To execute a NPR, all you need to do is leave your cooker alone. Eventually, all of the pressure will release. Depending on the amount of food in your pot, this process could take anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes.
Note: If you turn your Instant Pot on post cooking, it will default into a “Keep Warm” mode.
PC: A commonly used acronym for “Pressure Cooker.”
PIP: An abbreviation for Pot-in-Pot and a popular cooking method. PIP is a technique where you place a second pot (smaller) inside your Instant Pot’s stainless steel inner pot to prepare a dish. One benefit of PIP is that you cook in an elevated dish. You might find this a valuable technique for preparing two dishes simultaneously, preparing smaller portions, or steaming dishes.
Quick Release (QR or QPR): QR is a method for rapid pressure release, also known as a manual or steam release. This rapid release occurs if you turn the Steam Release lever or push the “Quick Release Button” into the “Venting” position to allow steam to escape in a thin, controlled stream. This release takes anywhere from one to five minutes.
QR is most commonly used when cooking delicate items you don’t want to overcook. QR is not ideal for foods with a high starch content or significant liquid volume. For example, oats, porridge, beans, sticky liquids, and starchy soup may easily splatter during a QR. Instead, use NR/NPR.
Sealing Ring:The sealing ring is the silicone ring located beneath the lid. Sealing rings literally seal the flavor and nutrients of the foods in your pot while cooking. Furthermore, without the sealing ring, your Instant Pot cannot come to pressure.
Heat-resistant silicone of high quality. The sealing ring is essential to the efficient operation of your Instant Pot; it must always be securely positioned on the underside of the lid. Extremely important note: You must ONLY use Genuine Instant Pot brand sealing rings! The use of any other brand will void your warranty.
Sling: Used for Pot-in-Pot cooking (PIP) to effortlessly remove the pot from the inner pot. Slings should be either silicone or aluminum.
Stainless Steel Inner Pot: Sometimes abbreviated SSIP (especially in Facebook comments), this is the inner pot that sits inside the cooker base and holds the food and drink. Food grade 304 (18/8) stainless steel, 3-ply bottom for even heat distribution, no chemical coating, FDA food safety standards compliance. Your stainless steel inner pot is dishwasher-friendly!
Steam Rack (Trivet): A pressure cooker trivet is a steam rack—placed inside the inner pot. Trivets are useful for elevating food or your dish above the water while you cook.
Steam Release handle or Quick Release Button (Ultra): When you pressurize your cooker, this is the valve that locks in or releases steam. Verify that the valve is in the “Sealing” position before cooking (or else your Instant Pot cannot come to pressure). Note: It is typical for small amounts of steam to escape through the knob when building pressure. Easily release pressure by turning the knob to the “Venting” position.
Water Test (Initial Test Run): This is the christening process for your new Instant Pot! The water test is the fastest way to become acquainted with your Instant Pot and ensure that it operates properly. This test run aims to confirm that everything is working correctly with your new IP, and you will understand how the steam release process works (sometimes initially confusing). All you’ll need is 20 minutes and a few cups of water.