Instant Pot Slow Cooker Stuck on Preheat: Causes & Solutions

Last updated on May 15th, 2024 at 06:00 pm

The Instant Pot has revolutionized the way we cook, offering convenience and speed to busy households. However, occasionally you may encounter issues with your Instant Pot, such as it getting stuck on the preheat function. This can be frustrating, especially when you’re looking forward to a delicious slow-cooked meal.

In this article, we will delve into the common causes behind the Instant Pot slow cooker getting stuck on preheat and provide you with effective troubleshooting steps to resolve the problem. Let’s dive in!

Instant Pot Slow Cooker Stuck on Preheat

Understanding the Issue

When your Instant Pot slow cooker gets stuck on the preheat mode, it means that the appliance is unable to reach the desired cooking temperature. The preheat function is essential for the Instant Pot to prepare the pot for pressure cooking or slow cooking. If your Instant Pot remains stuck on preheat, it prevents the cooking process from proceeding and may leave you with an uncooked meal.

Possible Causes of Instant Pot Stuck on Preheat

There can be several reasons why your Instant Pot slow cooker is stuck on preheat. Understanding these causes will help you diagnose and resolve the issue more effectively. Here are some common culprits:

  1. Insufficient Liquid: The Instant Pot requires a minimum amount of liquid to build pressure and heat up properly. If there isn’t enough liquid in the pot, it may struggle to reach the desired temperature, resulting in it getting stuck on preheat.
  2. Improper Sealing: A faulty or improperly sealed lid can prevent the Instant Pot from building pressure, causing it to remain in the preheat stage indefinitely.
  3. Burnt or Sticky Bottom: A burnt or sticky bottom of the inner pot can interfere with the heat distribution and prevent the Instant Pot from reaching the necessary temperature for cooking.
  4. Faulty Temperature Sensors: The Instant Pot has temperature sensors that monitor and regulate the cooking process. If these sensors malfunction, the cooker may get stuck on preheat.
  5. Overheating Protection: The Instant Pot is equipped with safety features to prevent overheating. If the internal temperature exceeds the safety limits, the cooker may enter a self-protection mode and remain on preheat until it cools down.

Now that we’ve explored the potential causes, let’s move on to the troubleshooting steps to fix the Instant Pot slow cooker stuck on preheat issue.

Instant Pot Slow Cooker Stuck on Preheat

Troubleshooting Steps

Follow these steps to troubleshoot and resolve the issue of your Instant Pot slow cooker being stuck on preheat:

1. Check the Liquid Level

Ensure that you have added enough liquid to the Instant Pot. Consult the recipe guidelines to determine the appropriate amount of liquid required for your specific dish.

2. Verify Proper Sealing

Check if the Instant Pot lid is properly sealed. Make sure the sealing ring is in good condition, clean, and correctly positioned. Also, ensure that the steam release valve is set to the sealing position.

3. Clean the Inner Pot

Inspect the inner pot for any burnt or sticky residue. If you find any, thoroughly clean the pot to ensure proper heat distribution.

4. Examine the Temperature Sensors

If you suspect a malfunctioning temperature sensor, contact the Instant Pot customer support for assistance. They can guide you on how to diagnose and resolve any sensor-related issues.

5. Allow Cooling Time

If your Instant Pot is in a self-protection mode due to overheating, let it cool down naturally. Leave the cooker unplugged and wait for approximately 30 minutes before attempting to use it again.

6. Perform a Reset

If none of the above steps resolve the issue, you can try performing a reset on your Instant Pot. To do this, unplug the cooker from the power source, wait for a few seconds, and then plug it back in. This simple reset may help clear any temporary glitches and get your Instant Pot back to normal functioning.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Why is my Instant Pot slow cooker stuck on preheat?

A: The Instant Pot may get stuck on preheat due to insufficient liquid, improper sealing, a burnt or sticky bottom, faulty temperature sensors, or overheating protection.

Q: How much liquid should I add to the Instant Pot?

A: It’s important to consult your recipe for the recommended amount of liquid. As a general rule, the Instant Pot requires at least one cup of liquid for pressure cooking and slow cooking.

Q: Can a faulty sealing ring cause the preheat issue?

A: Yes, if the sealing ring is damaged or improperly positioned, it can affect the Instant Pot’s ability to build pressure and reach the desired cooking temperature.

Q: How often should I clean the inner pot of my Instant Pot?

A: It’s a good practice to clean the inner pot after each use to prevent any residue buildup that can interfere with the cooking process.

Q: What should I do if the temperature sensors are malfunctioning?

A: If you suspect a problem with the temperature sensors, it’s best to contact Instant Pot customer support for guidance on how to diagnose and resolve the issue.

Q: Why does the Instant Pot enter self-protection mode?

A: The self-protection mode is triggered when the Instant Pot’s internal temperature exceeds the safety limits. It allows the cooker to cool down and prevents any potential damage.

Also Read: Electric Blanket Troubleshooting Guide


Encountering an issue with your Instant Pot slow cooker being stuck on preheat can be frustrating, but with the right troubleshooting steps, you can resolve the problem and get back to enjoying delicious meals. Remember to check the liquid level, ensure proper sealing, clean the inner pot, and contact customer support if needed.

By following these steps, you can troubleshoot and fix the issue, ensuring that your Instant Pot works flawlessly for your cooking needs.