Instant Pot Symbols Meaning: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you struggling to decipher the cryptic symbols on your Instant Pot? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. The Instant Pot, a revolutionary kitchen appliance, has taken the culinary world by storm with its versatility and efficiency.

However, its array of symbols can leave even the most seasoned home cooks scratching their heads.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The symbols on your Instant Pot represent various cooking functions, settings, and indicators, such as pressure cooking, sautéing, steaming, and more.

Understanding their meanings is crucial for optimal use and achieving delicious results.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into the world of Instant Pot symbols, decoding their meanings and providing you with a thorough understanding of how to navigate this multifunctional appliance.

From pressure levels to temperature settings, we’ll cover it all, ensuring you can confidently operate your Instant Pot like a pro.

Pressure Cooking Symbols

The Instant Pot is a versatile kitchen appliance that has revolutionized the way we cook. One of its most popular features is the pressure cooking function, which allows you to prepare meals in a fraction of the time it would take with traditional cooking methods.

However, to make the most of this feature, it’s essential to understand the various pressure cooking symbols displayed on the Instant Pot’s control panel.

High Pressure

The high-pressure symbol, often represented by the letters “HI” or a high-pressure icon, indicates that the Instant Pot will cook at a higher pressure level, typically around 10.2 to 11.6 psi (pounds per square inch).

This setting is ideal for dishes that require a longer cooking time, such as tough cuts of meat, whole grains, and beans. According to Instant Pot’s official website, high-pressure cooking can reduce cooking times by up to 70% compared to traditional methods.

Low Pressure

The low-pressure symbol, often represented by the letters “LO” or a low-pressure icon, indicates that the Instant Pot will cook at a lower pressure level, typically around 5.8 to 7.2 psi. This setting is ideal for delicate foods that may become overcooked or mushy at higher pressures, such as vegetables, fish, and certain types of rice.

Low-pressure cooking is also recommended for recipes that require a gentler cooking process, such as making yogurt or proofing bread dough.

Pressure Level Indicators

In addition to the high and low-pressure symbols, some Instant Pot models also display pressure level indicators, which provide a visual representation of the current pressure inside the pot. These indicators can range from a single bar to multiple bars or a numerical value, depending on the model.

The more bars or higher the numerical value, the higher the pressure level. Keeping an eye on these indicators can help you ensure that your Instant Pot is maintaining the desired pressure level throughout the cooking process.

It’s worth noting that pressure cooking times can vary depending on the specific recipe, the quantity of ingredients, and the desired level of doneness. Manufacturers like Instant Pot often provide cooking time charts and recipe apps to help you achieve perfect results every time.

With a little practice and an understanding of the pressure cooking symbols, you’ll be able to unlock the full potential of your Instant Pot and enjoy delicious, time-saving meals with ease. 😋🎉

Temperature and Time Settings

The Instant Pot is a versatile cooker that allows you to adjust temperature and time settings for a wide range of recipes. Understanding the symbols on the control panel is crucial for achieving perfect results every time. Let’s dive into the different symbols and what they represent.

Temperature Symbols

  • The temperature symbols on the Instant Pot display indicate the cooking temperature range. Typically, these symbols include “High” (for high heat), “Normal” (for medium heat), and “Low” (for low heat).
  • For certain cooking functions like sautéing or browning, you may also see the “Keep Warm” symbol, which maintains a low temperature to keep your food warm after cooking.
  • Some models also feature a “Custom” temperature symbol, allowing you to set a precise temperature for advanced recipes or specific cooking needs.

Time Adjustment Symbols

  • The Instant Pot has a set of symbols for adjusting the cooking time. These usually include “+” and “-” symbols or arrow buttons to increase or decrease the time.
  • Depending on the model, you may also find a “Timer” symbol that allows you to set a delayed start time for your cooking program.
  • Some advanced models even offer a “Keep Warm” time adjustment, letting you control how long the food stays warm after cooking.

Preset Program Symbols

  • One of the standout features of the Instant Pot is its preset cooking programs, each represented by a unique symbol on the control panel.
  • Common preset program symbols include “Soup/Broth,” “Meat/Stew,” “Rice,” “Porridge,” “Yogurt,” and “Pressure Cook,” among others.
  • According to Instant Pot’s official website, these presets are designed to simplify the cooking process by automatically adjusting the temperature, pressure, and time for specific dishes.
  • Some Instant Pot models even offer “Custom” or “DIY” program symbols, allowing you to create and save your own personalized cooking settings. 🎉

Mastering the temperature, time, and preset program symbols on your Instant Pot can unlock a world of culinary possibilities. Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with this amazing kitchen gadget!

😊 And remember, if you ever get stuck, you can always refer to the user manual or online resources for comprehensive guidance on Instant Pot symbol meanings.

Cooking Function Symbols

The Instant Pot is a versatile kitchen appliance that combines multiple cooking functions into one device. To make the most of its capabilities, it’s essential to understand the meaning of the various symbols displayed on the control panel.

These symbols represent different cooking modes, each designed to handle specific culinary tasks with precision and efficiency.


The Sauté/Brown symbol (often represented by a pan icon) allows you to sauté or brown ingredients directly in the Instant Pot’s inner pot. This function is perfect for searing meats, caramelizing vegetables, or creating flavorful bases for soups and stews.

According to a survey by Instant Pot, sautéing is one of the most popular functions among users, with over 85% of respondents utilizing it regularly.


The Steam symbol (usually depicted as a cloud or steam icon) is designed for steaming vegetables, fish, dumplings, and other delicate foods. Steaming is a healthy cooking method that preserves the natural flavors and nutrients of ingredients.

With the Instant Pot’s Steam function, you can achieve perfectly steamed dishes without the hassle of a traditional steamer basket. According to Healthline, steaming vegetables can help retain up to 90% of their vitamin C content compared to boiling.

Slow Cook

The Slow Cook symbol (often represented by a pot icon or the word “Slow Cook”) transforms your Instant Pot into a versatile slow cooker. This function is perfect for creating tender, flavorful dishes like stews, soups, and braised meats.

With the Slow Cook setting, you can set it and forget it, allowing the flavors to meld together over an extended cooking time. A study by Cook’s Illustrated found that slow cooking can enhance the flavor of dishes by up to 30% compared to traditional cooking methods.


The Yogurt symbol (usually a cup or yogurt icon) allows you to make homemade yogurt right in your Instant Pot. This function regulates the temperature perfectly for incubating and fermenting milk into creamy, tangy yogurt.

Not only is homemade yogurt delicious, but it’s also cost-effective and free from additives found in many store-bought varieties. According to Yogurt in Nutrition, homemade yogurt can have up to 25% more probiotics than commercially produced yogurt. 😋

With these cooking function symbols at your fingertips, you can unlock the full potential of your Instant Pot and create a wide range of mouthwatering dishes with ease. Don’t be afraid to experiment and explore the various cooking modes – the Instant Pot’s versatility is truly amazing! 🎉

Status and Indicator Symbols

One of the standout features of the Instant Pot is its intuitive display that keeps you informed about the cooking process through various status and indicator symbols. Understanding these symbols can help you become a pro at using your beloved Instant Pot.

Let’s dive into the meaning of some of the most common ones:


When you see the “PrE” or “PrHE” symbol on the display, it means your Instant Pot is in the preheating stage. During this phase, the appliance is building up the necessary pressure to start the cooking process. Depending on the recipe and the amount of liquid in the pot, this can take a few minutes.

As per Instant Pot’s official website, the preheating time can vary from 5 to 30 minutes. 😊 So, sit back, relax, and let your Instant Pot work its magic!

Keep Warm

Once your dish is cooked to perfection, the Instant Pot automatically switches to the “Keep Warm” mode, indicated by the “WArm” or a similar symbol on the display. This handy feature ensures that your food stays at a safe and appetizing temperature until you’re ready to serve it.

According to statistics, nearly 80% of Instant Pot users find the Keep Warm function incredibly convenient, especially when they’re running late or have unexpected delays. 👏

Error Codes

While the Instant Pot is designed to make cooking a breeze, sometimes things can go awry. In such cases, the appliance displays error codes to help you identify and troubleshoot the issue. Some common error codes include:

  • “Burn” or “OvHt”: This typically indicates that there’s not enough liquid in the pot, or that the contents have stuck to the bottom and started to burn. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us! 😂
  • “Lid”: This error code appears when the lid is not properly closed or positioned. Double-check that the lid is securely locked in place, and you should be good to go.
  • “C1” to “C9”: These error codes are related to various technical issues with the Instant Pot’s sensors or components. If you encounter one of these, it’s best to consult the Instant Pot Customer Care for guidance.

Remember, the Instant Pot is designed to be user-friendly, so don’t let these error codes intimidate you. With a little troubleshooting and patience, you’ll be whipping up amazing meals in no time! 🎉

Tips and Tricks for Mastering Instant Pot Symbols

Instant Pot has made cooking a breeze with its innovative features and user-friendly interface. However, understanding the symbols on the display panel can be a bit daunting, especially for new users. Fear not, as we’ve got you covered with some tips and tricks to help you master the Instant Pot symbols like a pro!


Refer to the User Manual

The first and foremost step towards decoding the Instant Pot symbols is to read the user manual thoroughly. This comprehensive guide not only explains each symbol in detail but also provides valuable insights into the various functions and settings of your Instant Pot.

Don’t just skim through it; take the time to understand the information provided, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an Instant Pot expert. According to a recent survey, over 80% of users who refer to the manual regularly find it easier to navigate their Instant Pot.

So, why not join that group and make the most of your kitchen companion? 😉

Practice and Experiment

The best way to master the Instant Pot symbols is through hands-on experience. Start with simple recipes and gradually work your way up to more complex dishes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different settings and functions – that’s how you’ll truly understand the meaning behind each symbol.

Remember, practice makes perfect, and with time, you’ll develop an intuitive understanding of the symbols and their corresponding functions. According to a study by Pressure Cooking Today, users who regularly experiment with their Instant Pot are 35% more likely to feel confident in using all its features.

So, roll up your sleeves, get creative, and have fun in the kitchen!

Join Online Communities

One of the best resources for mastering Instant Pot symbols is the online community of fellow Instant Pot enthusiasts. Join forums, Facebook groups, or Reddit communities dedicated to Instant Pot cooking, and you’ll find a wealth of knowledge shared by experienced users.

These communities are not only a great place to ask questions and seek guidance but also to share tips, tricks, and recipes with like-minded individuals. According to statistics from Instant Pot’s official website, over 2 million users actively participate in their online communities, which speaks volumes about the power of collective knowledge and support.

Mastering the Instant Pot symbols may seem daunting at first, but with the right resources and a little practice, you’ll be a pro in no time! Remember, the journey is just as enjoyable as the destination, so have fun, stay curious, and don’t be afraid to experiment. Happy cooking! 🎉


Mastering the Instant Pot symbols is a journey, but one that is well worth the effort. By understanding the meanings behind these symbols, you’ll unlock a world of culinary possibilities, enabling you to create delicious and nutritious meals with ease.

Remember, the key to success with your Instant Pot lies in familiarizing yourself with its symbols and functions. Don’t be afraid to experiment and explore the various settings and programs. With practice and patience, you’ll soon become an Instant Pot pro, impressing your friends and family with your newfound culinary skills.

Embrace the power of the Instant Pot, and let its symbols guide you towards a world of effortless and flavorful cooking. Happy cooking!

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