Instant Pot Water Test

August 8, 2018 (Updated: April 18, 2019) By Aneesha |

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If you just got a brand new Instant Pot and are wondering why and how to do the much talked about WATER TEST, you’ve come to the right place!  In this post for Instant Pot Water Test, I’ll walk you through easy step-by-step instructions for your Instant Pot DUO or Instant Pot ULTRA.  I also have a helpful video, that will add clarity and get you started in no time!

Instant Pot Water Test by Spice CravingsWhy do the water test?

I get that question a lot!  A lot of first time Instant Pot owners wonder why they should do this water test.  Here is why I think it is important:

  1. The Instant Pot is a pressure cooker that works by building steam in a ‘sealed’ pot. So, it makes sense to test out that very essential “steam building system”. It also ensures that the sealing ring is working, the pressure valve is working, and the cooker is fully sealed when at “Sealing mode”, and finally, the cooker is able to build steam.
  2. It “deep cleans” your Instant Pot inside out, so it’s safe for you to use.  The water test removes any odors or the funny plastic smells that we get when we first hook up an electrical appliance.

Here’s how to do the Instant Pot Water Test in 5 Easy Steps:

Step 1

Place the liner in the base unit

Instant Pot Water Test by Spice Cravings

Step 2

Add 3 cups of water

Instant Pot Water Test by Spice Cravings

Step 3

Close the lid by aligning the arrows in the lid and base unit.  

Instant Pot Water Test by Spice Cravings

Like this…..

Instant Pot Ultra Unboxing and Getting Started y Spice Cravings

In DUO, turn vent to SEALING position

Instant Pot DUO Water test

Step 4

DUO: Press ‘steam’ and select 2 minutes using the +/- buttons; ULTRA– Select ‘steam’, 2 minutes, Press START

Instant Pot DUO Water test

Duo- Press STEAM

Instant Pot DUO Water test

DUO- Select 2 Minutes

Instant Pot Water Test by Spice Cravings


Instant Pot Water Test by Spice Cravings

ULTRA- Select 2 Minutes

Instant Pot Water Test by Spice Cravings


When the pressure builds up, the float valve, or the ‘Pin”, pushes up, like this:

Instant Pot Ultra Unboxing and Getting Started y Spice Cravings


After 2 minutes, the cooker switches to KEEP WARM mode.  The timer will now start counting UP as L0:00, L0:01, L0:02 and so on.  The test is now SUCCESSFUL and complete.

Pressure Release after Water Test

You can let the pressure release slowly and naturally, which is called ‘Natural Pressure Release’ (NPR), or, you can manually release pressure, also referred to as Quick Release (QR).

Quick Release in Instant Pot DUO

To do a quick release (QR), in DUO, turn the vent to VENTING position.

Instant Pot DUO Water test

Quick Release in Instant Pot ULTRA

In ULTRA, press the ‘steam release button’:

Instant Pot Ultra Unboxing and Getting Started y Spice Cravings

When the pressure has released, the float valve (pin) drops down to its default position.  Like this…

Instant Pot Ultra Unboxing and Getting Started y Spice Cravings

Congratulations! You have successfully cooked water 🙂 Now that you are done with the Water Test, let’s get started.

Instant Pot FAQ & Terminology

For beginners, I recommend reading my Instant Pot FAQ & Terminology post.   I gather frequently asked questions across different support forums for Instant Pot, and address them on this page.  I keep updating this information, so it would be a good idea to bookmark this page.  I also explain the most commonly used Instant Pot TERMINOLOGY here.

100 Tried and Tested Instant Pot Recipes

Let’s get cooking now!  I have close to 100 tried and tested Instant pot recipes on this blog.  But I always recommend, starting with something easy.  Reason being, that these recipes have very little room for error, and they help you get comfortable with the pot in no time.  You’ll also find some more Beginner Recipes on this link:

Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard Boiled Eggs

Jeera Rice or Cumin Rice, is a popular Indian side dish where delicious and aromatic basmati rice is cooked with the nutty and earthy cumin seeds. It is one of the most popular accompaniment with Indian curries. Quick and easy recipe by Spice Cravings. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #basmati #rice

White Rice

Instant Pot Chicken Chili, By Spice Cravings. This is a spicy, tasty, quick 'n' easy, and healthier chicken chili recipe. Made with ground chicken, taco seasoning and creamy pinto beans, you'll love this protein and fiber packed warm bowl of goodness, on a cold, winter night too. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty


Toor Dal tadka, Split Pigeon pea soup, lentil soup, Instant Pot Soup by Spice Cravings. Toor Dal, also known as Arhar Dal or split yellow pigeon peas, is the most popular lentil all over India. Made with mustard seeds, onions and curry leaves. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian

Dal (lentils)

3 ingredient instant pot salsa chicken, pressure cooker salsa chicken

Salsa Chicken

Instant Pot Fudgy Brownies by Spice Cravings. If you're into fudgy brownies, these Instant Pot Fudgy Brownies are the BEST brownies ever! They are delicious, moist, chewy and super fudgy on the inside! #SpiceCravings #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #brownies #dessert #chocolate

Fudgy Brownies

Happy Cooking! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out here, or on my Facebook page for Spice Cravings.

Instant Pot Information and Links:

Instant Pot FAQ & Terminology

Tried & Tested Instant Pot RECIPES (close to 100)

Instant Pot Ultra Review

Instant Pot ULTRA- Unboxing & Getting Started


Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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