Why Is Instant Pot Slow Cooker Not Hot Enough – What To Do?

Isn’t it great to have a hot meal waiting for you when you return home after work? I know, that feels wonderful. However, if you live alone, this is like a dream. But do you know it can be possible with the Instant Pot you have in your kitchen?

With an Instant Pot, you can make instant meals within an hour. But did you know that Instant Pots also have a slow cooking feature? You can put all the ingredients before leaving and set the cooking mode. Later on, when you return, food will be ready for you!

But that can still be a dream when you have an Instant pot slow cooker; not hot enough. Imagine putting all the ingredients and checking the hours’ letter only to find it uncooked. That will be frustrating, right?

So, why is an instant pot slow cooker not hot enough? Multiple problems may arrive, not letting your Instant Pot heat up properly. We will try to point out all of those in today’s article. We will also try to give solutions that will help you get rid of the matter.

What Are Instant Pots?

Instant Pot has two reasons to earn its name. Firstly, it is a brand of multi-cooker manufactured by Instant brand. And secondly, it cooks food fast, within a short time. But let me clear up the confusion here. By the short time, we don’t mean 10-15 minutes. It takes around half an hour to cook a complete meal for lunch or dinner.

It is an electric-controlled kitchen appliance made precisely as a pressure cooker and slow cooker. As time went by, it gradually evolved with new features like rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan, air fryer, etc. Surely enough, it is a single gadget with all regularly needed cooking functions that aim to make your life easier.

How To Use Instant Pot As A Slow Cooker?

Many users are unaware that their instant pot can be used as a slow cooker, let alone know how to use Instant Pot as a slow cooker. Well, nothing to worry about it. We have got your back.

We will tell you how to do it properly without messing up your meal.

  • First, decide on which recipe you are going to try out. Prepare the ingredients according to it.
  • Now, get a glass lid. You can use the one that comes with your Instant Pot or any other regular class lid. But make sure it adjusts well with the pot. The last thing you would want is the food to split out of the cooker.
  • After putting all the necessary ingredients in the pot, seal it with the glass lid.
  • Plug on the Instant Pot and press the slow cook button.
  • Remember to set the temperature to either ‘normal’ or ‘high’ with the help of the adjusting button. When you set it on ‘low,’ the pot doesn’t get enough heat to slow cook a dish properly.
  • Now, adjust the time. It is standard to set the time between 4 hours to 20 hours for slow cooking. It depends on which dish you are cooking.
  • After giving all the instructions and pressing the last button, the Instant Pot will start cooking within 10 seconds.
  • The Instant Pot will automatically switch to its ‘less’ mode to keep the food warm when your meal is ready. It can keep the dishes warm for 10 hours.

And that’s it. You can slow cook any dish on an instant pot by following the upper-mentioned steps. That was pretty easy, wasn’t it?

Why Is Instant Pot Slow Cooker Not Hot Enough?

Is your Instant pot or slow cooker not hot enough when you set it to slow cooking mode? There may be a couple of reasons for that. No matter how well your instant pot aims to serve as a slow cooker, your meal won’t cook properly if it is not hot enough or stuck on preheat.

We have tried to do some research to determine the possible causes for instant pot not heating. Let’s check them out with the solutions, shall we?

instant pot not hot enough

Reason 1: Distribution Of Heat

It is a manufacturing cause for being Instant Pot slow cooker not hot enough. The slow cookers are specially made for slow cooking only. So the makers designed it to heat up from the bottom.

And then gradually, the heat spreads all over, in all areas, due to the heavy inner Ceramic Pot. We know ceramic is good at soaking up the heat. That’s why there’s even heat distribution in all parts of a slow cooker.

However, instant pots are mainly designed to be pressure cooking efficiently. The primary heat source is the steam/water vapors created and trapped inside the lid due to pressure. Heating up from the bottom but not spreading all over can be why it is not hot enough.

But what’s the solution to it?

Solution 1: Cooking Setting

If you want your Instant Pot to heat up properly for slow cooking, do not ever set it on ‘less .’Set it either on ‘normal’ or ‘more .’ When you put it on less, it barely gets heat to keep good warm, not enough to slow cook any food.

Instant Pot’s ‘normal’ or ‘medium’ mode is equivalent to a crockpot’s ‘low’ temperature setting. Keep that in mind when you set the gadget.

Solution 2: Add Water

Adding 1 or 2 cups of water can help when the pot is not hot enough despite setting it to the slow cooking mode. Water is a good conductor of heat. When you put water in the pot, its thin walls are in contact with water. So when heat passes through water, the pot also heats up better.

However, this process may not help in all recipes. After all, not all of them need too much water.

Reason 2: No Stable Connection

Your Instant Pot may have trouble heating up properly if there is a connection issue at the bottom of the central connection unit. There will be insufficient heat production if the bottom solder connection fails to provide a necessary signal to the heating element. And it will lead to having an Instant Pot slow cooker being not hot enough.

Solution: Check For Cracked Cable

Despite setting it to correct cooking mode, and adding water, if the instant Pot doesn’t heat up nicely, there may be a connection problem somewhere in the cable. Flip the Pot and check the wires thoroughly. It is better to remove the plastic cover and look for the cracked part. And when you find it, repair it, and probably you won’t have any more ‘not heating enough’ issues.

By the way, make sure to turn off all the power sources while doing this. It would be best if you didn’t harm yourself.

Read More: How Many Watts Does A Crock Pot Use? You May Be Surprised!

Is Instant Pot Better Than Slow Cooker?

You already know how to solve the problems with your Instant Pot and turn it into a slow cooker. Now, the next question which comes into mind is, is Instant Pot better than a slow cooker? Despite the manufacturer’s promotion, how does it perform in real? Is it worth the money?

instant pot heating element

1. Cooking Time

With an instant pot, you can drastically change your cooking time. You can cook fresh meals within half an hour using the pressure cooker mode. But at the same time, you can extend the cooking time up to 20 hours or more if you choose the slow cook function.

As slow cookers are only for slow cooking purposes, they can not do instant cooking. You need to give them at least 4 hours to cook you a meal.

2. Distribution Of Heat

When it comes to heat distribution, slow cookers win the game. Slow cookers have a heavy ceramic inner Pot that is highly capable of soaking heat. Even on low mode, the whole pot heats up evenly, enough to cook any dish.

On the other hand, instant pots come with a metallic inner Pot. As it is mainly designed to perform as a pressure cooker, it uses steam and water vapor to create sufficient heat to cook food. So, the manufacturers didn’t prioritize the heat-conducting capability of the metallic pot.

That’s why users face troubles with their instant pot during slow cooking and complain about having an instant pot or slow cooker not hot enough. But yes, if you can set it up to correct mode and add a bit of liquid, it can work decently as a slow cooker.

3. Quantity Of Liquids

Slow cookers can cook with a very minimal quantity of liquids. Traditional slow cookers are ideal for thicker meals like gravy, thick soup, stew, or any other meal that doesn’t need much water. Despite the amount of liquids, they can prepare any meal within 4 to 20 hours according to what time you set.

By now, you already know that Instant Pot faces issues with heating up properly when used as a slow cooker. As water has good heat conductivity, you need to put more volume of liquids for decent slow cooking on an instant pot. It can be problematic for recipes that don’t need much liquid.

3. Confusing Settings

Getting confused between the settings of Instant Pot and the slow cooker is nothing new. Both of them have three cooking modes makes users more puzzled.

A traditional slow cooker has ‘low,’ ‘high,’ and ‘warm’ settings that let you decide on the temperature. On the other hand, an instant pot features three cooking settings, ‘less,’ ‘normal,’ and ‘high.’

Users are often confused between the ‘low’ and ‘less’ mode between slow cooker and Instant Pot. If a dish needs to be cooked on ‘low’ heat on a slow cooker, you need to put it in an Instant pot on ‘normal’ mode. It’s because instant pots less mode is not as powerful as slow cookers’ low settings.

When you set the pot in less mode, it will be getting 170°F to 190°F. This temperature is enough to keep your dishes warm but not thoroughly cook them. With normal mode, you will get around 200°F temperature that can properly slow cook.

4. Multiple Features

If we are talking about features, the slow cooker lags a lot behind. They don’t have any additional features or technology with the sole purpose of slow cooking. Thus, we can not categorize it as a versatile cooking appliance.

Instants pots, however, are a renowned multi-cooker. They can be used as a pressure cooker, sauté pan, slow cooker, yogurt maker, etc. If you are looking for an ‘all-in-one’ appliance for your kitchen, getting an instant cooker will be wise. It saves space in your kitchen and cuts off the cost by doing the jobs of other gadgets.

5. Size

The size of kitchen appliances matters a lot. Having a large cooking gadget is out of the question if you have a small kitchen with a tiny counter. Instant Pot is available in three sizes, 3, 6, and 8 quarts. For a person living alone, 3 quarts should be enough. Also, as it is a versatile cooker, it can keep your kitchen less crowded by doing the job of other appliances.

Slow cookers have a wide range of sizes. You can get a mini cooker that is only 1.5 quart if you think that is sufficient. And the most extensive option you will get is 8 quarts, which is enough for a large family.

slow cooker not hot enough

6. Energy Usage

As both instant Pot and slow Cooker runs on electricity, knowing which uses more power is a must when we compare them. As instant pots are made for instant cooking within 15 minutes to 1 hour, it runs for less duration than any slow cooker. A typical slow cooker takes at least 4 hours to cook a decent meal.

When the time duration is less, the energy usage is also less. In that sense, instant pot saves energy to a great extent. However, if you use an Instant Pot as a slow cooker, the difference is not that huge.

More Read: Can Food Burn in a Slow Cooker? Causes and How to Prevent!

Is Instant Pot A Good Slow Cooker?

The instant pot is a multi-cooker that has the primary slow cooking feature. It can save money and serve you a somewhat slow-cooled meal. However, a question still may arise in your mind ‘is Instant Pot a good slow cooker?’

Mainly designed as a pressure cooker, an Instant Pot may work as a slow cooker. It can slow cook various dishes pretty well. But, if you expect it to be as good as a slow cooker, that won’t be very smart. It can not outturn the capability of a traditional slow cooker.

Slow cookers or crockpots are made solemnly for slow cooking purposes. As no other features are involved, the manufacturers have designed it for slow cooking in the best possible way. It is made to be the best at what it does.

Some Questions and Answers (FAQ’s):

How do I make my instant pot hotter during slow cooking?

If your instant pot is not getting hot enough during slow cooking, you are probably setting it to less mode. Try switching to the normal or high mode for a better-heated Pot.

Does instant pot work well for slow cooking?

Instant Pot features basic slow cooking settings. It can work as a decent slow cooker if you can set it up properly to the correct mode. Remember to keep the mode at normal or high for the best result.

How hot is the slow cook setting on Instant Pot?

In a standard instant pot, you will get the 170-190°F temperature on the ‘less’ setting, 190-200°F on ‘normal,’ and 200-210°F on ‘high’ cooking mode.

Why my instant pot doesn’t heat up?

If your instant Pot is not heating up despite setting on high mode, try putting in 1-2 cups of water. Water conducts heat well. If it still doesn’t work, check whether you have a stable connection.

Which lid should I use for slow cooking?

Manufacturers provide a glass lid along with the Instant Pot in the box. It is best to use that lid when you slow cook. But you can use any regular glass lid; better if it’s a tempered one.

Do you seal the instant pot when slow cooking?

There is no need to go for complete sealing when using the Instant Pot for slow cooking. But yes, you need to cover the pot properly with a glass lid. It can be the one that comes with the pot or any standard one.


It’s frustrating when you open the lid of your Instant Pot only to find that the dish is undercooked or uncooked. Most of the time, it is because the pot didn’t heat up well. But why is your instant pot slow cooker not hot enough even though you set it slow cooking mode?

If you have read the article, you have gotten your answer by now. Hopefully, the problems we have pointed out and the solutions to handle them will be helpful for you. We hope you have a smooth time with your Instant Pot for instant and slow cooking. Happy cooking!

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