I thought it would be a good idea to have a post dedicated to the Instant Pot Filling Rules as I do go on about them A LOT!
I go on about the filling rules a fair bit because, at the end of the day, when pressure cooking they are a safety measure.
It’s super important to know how much to fill up your Instant Pot for pressure cooking.
And how different ingredients affect those filling rules.
Also great for when you want to double up a recipe or make up your own recipes.
Because knowing the filling rules will help massively with that.
There are TWO basic Instant Pot Filling Rules:
Always fill up to two thirds of capacity maximum with most ingredients with the exception of…
Ingredients that expand or foam up, in which case only fill up to half way with all ingredients.
Newer inner pots actually make this really easy now as they have the ⅔ (two thirds) and the ½ (half) way lines clearly marked.
Why only up to two thirds?
You know when you fill up a pan for pasta way too high and as soon as it reaches boiling point it spills everywhere?
Well, it’s the same basically.
Except your Instant Pot cooks at pressure and the liquid and ingredients would go up your valves causing a mess.
Put it this way, you only want steam going up your valves.
Also, a lot of ingredients release liquid when cooking.
So what starts at the ⅔ line can increase beyond it during pressure cooking.
A few examples of ingredients that release liquid when cooking:
- Meats like chicken (which is why my Baharat Chicken recipe works with no added liquid)
- Vegetables like courgettes and mushrooms
What ingredients foam up or expand?
Oats, pasta, rice, grains, pulses… all foam up and expand as they absorb the liquid.
This also applies to dehydrated foods.
But it can take it!
But it can take it. I've filled up beyond the ⅔ line before and it's been fine.
One day it might not be so, from now on, fill it as per the filling rules and, before you continue pressure cooking with it, give it a good deep clean, the proper way, follow this link.
Keep your Instant Pot in good working order
As well as knowing the filling rules, it's important to keep your Instant Pot in good working order and I have just the videos you need right here.
Is this in my instruction manual?
Yes, yes it is! Make sure you read it!
Do I have to read the instruction manual?
Yes, yes you do! In full.
And every so often, read it again, it will make more sense each time you read it.
Not just that, once your brain assimilates some of the information through use, it will have less anxious space for new information to be retained.
Go on, give it a go.
And, while at it, read the Beginners' Guide too, of course. Find it here.
Want more Instant Pot tips?
Check out my Instant Pot Tips and Tricks section here.
And sign up to my newsletter
And, of course, join my Pressure Cooking group over on Facebook.12