Why Is My Instant Pot Counting Up and Down – Beginner Hacks

In case you are thinking about why is my instant pot counting up or down. Well, it means the cooking cycle has begun or ended.

We are all familiar with the Instant Pot and love to use it for cooking meals in a jiffy. Therefore, the Instant Cooker is the most used kitchen appliance making our cooking fast and easy.

Well, when your Instant pot is counting up, it means that the cooking timer your set has ended, and the Keep Warm timer has started. On the other hand, when the Instant pot is counting down or backward, it means the cooking timer has started.

Further, there can be other reasons why the Instant pot is counting down or up when it is not supposed to. In this regard, I will explain everything you should know about Instant pot counting up and down.

Why Is My Instant Pot Counting Up?

When you start cooking, you will see that the timer you set for cooking is counting down. However, after the countdown reaches zero, it starts counting up to show how long the Keep Warm mode has started.

To be more elaborate, the main reason why your Instant Pot is counting up or not down is that the cooking timer you already set is over. And now the Cooking Mode switched to the Keep Warn Mode.

And that is why the Instant Pot starts counting the Keep Warm time to tell you that your food was cooked long ago. Therefore, it also lets you know how long ago the Keep warm mode started.

In addition, the Instant pot not counting up after cooking or the Instant Pot Keep Warm not working may be the result of some technical issues with your Instant Pot. You can try resetting the whole Instant Pot settings to see in case this solves the issue.

instant pot count up

Why Is My Instant Pot Counting Down?

The reason why your Instant Pot is counting down is simply that it is showing you the remaining time from the timer you set.

For example, if you set the cooking time in the Instant Pot as 20 minutes, when the process starts, it will keep counting down till it reaches Zero. And when the cooking time counts down till Zero, it means the cooking cycle is over.

Therefore, it is a very convenient mechanism letting you know the remaining time to utilize it wisely.

In case you are new to using the Instant Pot, you must follow through with this. And that is, although the timer reached zero showing cooking is over, you cannot open the Instant Pot till the pressure inside it vented.

Regarding the pressure release of Instant Pot, you can always rely on the quick-release method. And if the Instant Pot makes a hissing (natural release) right before the cooking cycle ends, you can open the lid with ease.

There are also some reasons that halt the Instant pot from counting down. Worry not; you can follow these quick methods below and fix the issue right away:

  1. Fix the inconsistent power supply of electricity as Instant Pot requires a proper flow of power outage to operate.
  2. Always ensure the power plugging connection is not loose or damaged. Fix the damaged power cords and outlets ASAP if necessary.
  3. Reset the Instant pot’s cooking mode every time after you finish cooking.
  4. Don’t add too much water exceeding the amount of max water level.
  5. Always close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot.
  6. Ensure to vent the steam pressure of the Instant cooker.

What Happens If Instant Pot Countdown Doesn’t Work?

If your Instant Pot’s Countdown is not working, this means it cannot cook any meals anymore.

Instant Pot’s countdown timer is an essential feature that controls how long the Instant Pot cooks food. Moreover, this feature also helps the user know the state of cooking and scheduled time.

Therefore, it is one of the main features that work to control when the steam pressure builds, pressure releases, cooking stops when Keep Warm mode starts, and Delay Start mode starts. So, if the instant pot timer is not starting, you can neither know when the Instant pot started cooking nor when it ended. Further, you will need to manually start or turn off the functions of the Instant Pot.

Regarding that, you don’t know when you should use or release pressure or how long to cook. As a result, you will miserably fail to cook any meal properly. Lastly, you don’t want to end up with overcooked or undercooked meals while serving your family.

Is It Safe to Use My Instant Pot If the Timer Isn’t Working?

Honestly, the answer is both Yes and No, which is very frustrating. Although the Timer of the Instant Pot is not working, it won’t affect the Instant Pot’s safety overall.

However, there is a catch. One of an Instant Pot’s most vital safety functions is the  Steam Valve on the Pot. Therefore, according to the Timer, this Steam Valve releases all the steam pressure accumulated inside the Instant Pot.

Moreover, you can use this Valve to quickly release steam from the Pot in an emergency and keeps things safe. However, since the cooker Timer isn’t working, you will need to do things manually and keep count of time all the time.

Why Does Instant Pot Take Too Long Build Pressure?

Well, Instant Pot cooks meals at a Hugh pressure. But the reason it takes a long time to come to pressure is that it builds up the steam slowly. Not that, the Instant Pot I’d slow to build pressure. The pressure is built slowly to avoid causing any sort of explosion. And that’s physics.

Therefore, the Instant Pot will not start cooking the ingredients till the pressure is high enough at a certain temperature. This process may take a significant amount of period but not that much.

In case you’re curious, the high pressure is created by using the steam pressure of water boiling at 212 °F – 250 °F. After that, the steam pressure will significantly increase the boiling point inside the Pot, and the food will start cooking fast.

Also See: Pressure Cooker Won’t Build Pressure – 7 Reasons & Fixes

Let’s learn to set an instant pot timer to easily cook food in different ways.

instant pot problem

How to Set Instant Pot Timer?

We can set the Instant Pot timers in three different ways for different purposes.

  1. Cooking Timer
  2. Keep Warm Timer
  3. Delay Start Timer

Here are the steps to easily set an Instant Pot cooking timer:

  • Turn your Instant Pot On.
  • Choose the cooking mode (for example, Pressure Cooking mode).
  • Use the (+/-) buttons/switches to set the cooking cycle time.
  • Toggle the Pressure Level button to adjust the pressure to Hugh/low.
  • Close the lid and click the Start button to start cooking.

Now, here are the following steps to set Keep Warm mode:

  • Turn on your Instant Pot.
  • Press the Keep Warm button.
  • Then, set the cooking mode.
  • Adjust the Timer and Pressure Level.
  • Lastly, close the lid and press Start for cooking.

Finally, here are the instructions to set Instant Pot Delay Start:

  • Switch on your Instant cooker.
  • Select any Cooking mode.
  • Adjust the Cooking Timer as needed.
  • Lock the lid, and instead of pressing the Start button press the Delay start button.

More Read: When Is It Safe To Open Instant Pot? Beginner’s Guideline

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Can I Still Use My Instant Pot If It Doesn’t Count Down?

Yes, you can still use your Instant Pot for cooking meals, even if it doesn’t count down anymore. However, you must keep track of time along with the state of the pressure and tweak some of the functions manually.

Is It Safe When Instant Pot Counts Up?

Yes, it is very safe when an Instant Pot counts up after the cooking time is complete. The Count Up in an Instant Pot means that the Keep Warm mode has been activated to keep the food inside warm and ready for you.

Why Is My Instant Pot Not Counting Down?

The Instant Pot will stop counting down when the timer is up. It also means the cooking is over, and you can take out your freshly cooked food. If the Instant Pot is not counting down the set timer from the start, there can be some underlying technical issues.

Is the instant pot timer in minutes or hours?

Yes, the Instant Pot timer is set in only minutes. Therefore, the pre-set time can be set from 10 minutes to 24 hours in the present time. For example, if you want to make broth for 2 hours, then you will need to set the timer for 120 minutes.


I am sure there are no concerns regarding why is my instant pot counting up or counting down anymore. Therefore, I told you everything you should know regarding an Instant Pot.

However, I also told you some great tips and benefits you can get from an Instant Pot. So, go ahead and enjoy cooking delicious meals in your Instant Pot effortlessly and without any worry.

Leave a Reply