Instant Pot Water Test

If you’re looking for how to use Instant Pot for the first time, start with the Instant Pot Water Test! This initial test run helps you familiarize yourself with how the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker works. We’ll show you how to do the water test for Instant Pot Duo and Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus.

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Click on the Instant Pot Water Test Video below to see it in full action or follow the step by step instructions. 🙂

Let’s Start the Instant Pot Water Test!

Start off with the Instant Pot Water Test: Includes Demo Video + Step-by-Step Instructions.

Step 1: Water Test Safety Checkup

Before we start the Instant Pot Water Test, we’ll do a safety checkup on the Instant Pot Lid. Check to make sure the silicone sealing ring is seated correctly on the lid.

Instant Pot Silicone Ring

Make sure nothing is blocking the venting knob and floating valve.

Venting Knob and Floating Valve


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Step 2: Add Water

Always make sure the stainless steel inner pot is inside the cooker base. 

Now, pour 2 cups (500ml) – 3 cups (750ml) of cold water in the Instant Pot.

Water Test Pouring Water

Step 3: Close Instant Pot Lid

Instant Pot Water Test Close Lid

You can close the Instant Pot lid by lining the two arrows (see picture below) and turn the lid in a clockwise direction.

Step 4: Seal Instant Pot Lid

Instant Pot Duo: Turn venting knob from Venting Position to Sealing Position.

Water Test Sealing Position

Instant Pot DUO EVO Plus: The newer Instant Pot lids will automatically seal on its own.

Step 5: Initiate Test Run – Set Cooking Time

Instant Pot Duo

Press the “Pressure Cook” Button (“Manual” button for older models). 

Adjust the cooking time by pressing the + or – buttons until the indicator says “5”. This means we’re setting the pressure cooking time to 5 minutes.

The indicator will change from “5” to “On” in about 10 seconds.

*Pro Tip: You can press and hold the + or – buttons.

See the red light under High Pressure? High Pressure is the default pressure setting.

Instant Pot DUO Water Test Set to 5 Minutes

Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus

Press the “Pressure Cook” button.

Choose “Custom” mode by pressing on the dial.

Adjust the cooking time to 5 minutes by turning the dial until the indicator says 5. It means we’re setting the pressure cooking time to 5 minutes. Then, press the “Start” button.

Instant Pot DUO EVO Plus Water Test Set to 5 Minutes

Step 6: Preheat Cycle

Instant Pot Water Test Preheating Cycle

When the Instant Pot indicator says “On”, It means the Instant Pot has started the preheating cycle. Water is heating up to generate steam.

For this Instant Pot Water Test, it’ll take roughly 13 minutes to reach High Pressure.

Step 7: Generate Steam

It’s normal for steam to come out of the floating valve during the preheating cycle.

Instant Pot Water Test Steam

Once there’s enough steam in the Instant Pot Duo, the floating valve will pop up and seal the Instant Pot. It’ll begin to build pressure inside the Instant Pot.


This is what it’ll look like for the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus Model.

Instant Pot Water Test Sealing Lid for Duo Evo Plus

Step 8: Pressure Cooking Cycle

Once the Instant Pot has reached High Pressure, the indicator will change from On to 5. This means the pressure cooking cycle has started and it will pressure cook for 5 minutes.

Instant Pot Water Test Countdown Timer

Step 9: Keep Warm Mode

After the 5-minute pressure cooking cycle, Instant Pot will automatically enter the “Keep Warm” mode.

Keep Warm Mode

Press the red Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot.

Finally, the indicator will switch to “OFF”.

Step 10: Release Pressure

At this point in the Water Test for Instant Pot, you’ll need to release the pressure before opening the lid. 

Instant Pot Duo: Turn the Venting Knob from the Sealing Position to the Venting Position.

Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus: Push the Quick Release Switch from the Sealing Position to the Venting Position.

Instant Pot Water Test Releasing Pressure

Once the floating valve has dropped, carefully turn the Instant Pot lid in a counter-clockwise direction to open.

You’ve passed the Instant Pot Water Test!

Instant Pot Water Test Video

Read Next: How to do Quick Release vs Natural Release?

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