Learn the meanings of the acronyms and abbreviations people use in Instant Pot recipes. This Instant Pot vocabulary glossary is very helpful!
If you have ever tried to read a recipe only to be confused about what all these words and abbreviations mean, you are not alone. Using an Instant Pot comes with its own language almost.
Instant Pot Terminology & Abbreviations
I compiled the most frequently used terms for you. Now you won’t just know what they stand for, but you’ll understand what they mean too.
This is the round with 5 holes underneath the lid. It should be removed and cleaned after each use, especially if you used food that splattered.
If there wasn’t enough broth or liquids in the bottom of the inner pot, or if food is stuck to the bottom of it with the liquid on top of it, the IP will show a BURN error on the screen.
This is also called the exterior housing or the cooker base. This is the large outer brushed stainless steel base of the Instant Pot. It’s the part with all the buttons on it. The inner pot goes inside of it.
Never immerse the exterior pot in any type of liquid.
Float Valve or Pin
The silver or red pin next to the steam valve. When it is up, the cooker is reached the preset pressure. When it drops, it is no longer pressurized and is safe for you to open the lid.
HA = High Altitude
The altitude affects your pressure cooker’s cooking time. If you live in a high-altitude city (higher than 3,000 feet above sea level) you will have to adjust the cooking times. This chart is very helpful.
HP = High Pressure
Most recipes are cooked at high pressure. High pressure cooks at 10.2-11.6 psi.
The Instant Pot comes with a stainless steel inner pot. You can also purchase a ceramic inner pot. This is the pot in which you will do all your cooking. It is dishwasher safe.
This stands for Instant Pot. Some people online might even shorten it to Instapot.
This is a button on the Instant Pot that keeps the Inner Pot at low heat. If it is pressed while you are doing a natural pressure release, it will take much longer for all the pressure to decrease low enough to safely open the lid.
You can also use the keep warm function if you are sauteeing and need to lower the heat so the food doesn’t burn.
LP = Low Pressure
Low pressure is another way to cook food. This method cooks food at 5.8-7.2 psi. There is usually a way (on most IPs) to select high or low pressure. If there isn’t, the food will always cook at high pressure.
Whenever people say to use manual mode, that refers to the basic setting that you can use for any high-pressure cooking. In other words, instead of using a programmed setting, you will just set it at high pressure for the recipe’s recommended time.
NR, NPR = Natural Pressure Release
This is a way of depressurizing the Instant Pot after the cooking time completes. Hit the “Cancel” button and allow it to release the steam slowly on its own. You literally let it sit until the Floating Valve completely drops. This usually takes about 30 minutes.
PIP = Pot In Pot or Pan In Pot
This method makes it possible to cook more than 1 dish separately in the same pot at the same time.
This is how it works. You place the ingredients in an oven-safe container on a rack inside the pressure cooker, keeping them separated from the liquid and/or ingredients that are already in the pot.
These are my favorite Pot In Pot recipes:
QR, QPR = Quick Pressure Release
This is how to quickly allow the Instant Pot to release all the steam it has built up. Move the Venting Knob from the sealing position to the venting position. This will cause a bunch of steam to be released very quickly. When the floating valve completely drops, you may open the lid.
Sealing Position / Venting Position
Some models have a venting knob that actually points to which position it is in and these words are on the lid. Other models just have a venting knob that you press down to do a quick release.
The sealing position is where the IP needs to be in order to cook the food. This allows it to trap the steam and build up the pressure.
The venting position allows you to release the steam inside the pressure cooker.
If your model doesn’t have the words “sealing” or “venting” on it, it might say “press to vent.” This means if you need to do a QR, press this down. It will automatically go into the sealing position when you cook.
The sealing ring is made of silicone and belongs underneath the lid, around the rim. This must be correctly in position for the IP to seal correctly and come to pressure.
This is not the same thing as the trivet. It is a separate accessory that you can use to steam veggies inside your Instant Pot.
This is also called a rack or steam rack. This is the collapsible stainless steel rack that comes with the Instant Pot. It’s great for cooking Pot In Pot meals and steaming veggies. I used it to hold the chicken for my Chicken Tikka Masala.
Everyone should do an initial water test before they use their Instant Pot to make a recipe. I shared more information about it in my water test guide.
When you do a water test, you learn how to use all the buttons and settings on your device and it helps you see if it is running properly too.
Instant Pot Vocabulary: Always Growing
As more and more people use this appliance, and as they create more accessories for it, this list will continue to grow. Keep checking back, I’ll keep this updated. If you have any questions about a term or abbreviation that isn’t on this list, please let me know.