For Models: IP-ULTRA

Review

Instant Pot’s newest model, ULTRA, not only re-designs the way we interact with a pressure cooker – but it puts the power of creating a nearly unlimited number of programs right in your hands. In this review we reveal what the new functions do, take an ULTRA for a spin and solve the riddle about why some people can’t brown in their Instant Pot ULTRA.

Read more: Instant Pot ULTRA Pressure Multi Cooker Review

User Manual

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Hip Notes

This cooker has two pressure settings (high and low). Maximum operating pressure (high pressure) is 11.6 psi or 80kpa – some recipes and ingredients will require time adjustments for non-standard cookers.  The minimum liquid requirement is two 180 ml measures ( the plastic cup that comes with the cooker) or 1 1/2 standard (8oz) measuring cups.

Steam is released vertically from the steam handle. Release pressure when the cooker is not underneath upper kitchen cabinets.

Program Guide

Unfortunately, the manual does not include any information on how to use the included programs.  Here are the tutorials that will guide on how to use each program.

Pressure Cook Program

This function should be used when following a recipe that asks for a specific pressure cooking time.  After selecting the program, tap the knob again to adjust the cooking time according to the recipe. Make sure to use the minimum required amount of liquid and not to fill the pressure cooker more than the 1/2 full mark if the recipe is primarily rice, grains or beans or more than the 2/3 full mark for any other ingredient. If you’re new to pressure cooking, we highly recommend watching the Pressure Cooking School video series.

Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili Programs

These are pre-set pressure cooking times for these kinds of recipes.  Simply select the program and press “start” to use, or tap again to change the cooking time according to the recipe or the main ingredient’s cooking time (see our ingredient cooking time chart).

Steam Program

This program can steam food conventionally or using high or low pressure.  This program should be used with at least two cups (8oz) of water and any steamer basket (see our steamer basket recommendations) or directly on the provided rack (if it is one large item).  Select the steam program and then scroll (twist) through the options as needed.

Slow Cook Program

This program can be configured t slow cook at low, medium or high-temperature settings.  Because this is a thermostat-controlled slow cooker (not voltage as the traditional crock-pots) in order to reach and maintain temperature we recommend bringing the contents to a boil using Saute’ setting (see below) before starting the desired Slow cooking program. This can be used with or without the lid.  To preserve the most heat use the pressure cooking lid with the valve closed.  Be aware that there will be less evaporation as compared to a traditional slow cooker.

Saute’

This program is designed to sear, brown, saute’, simmer and reduce.  To start the default program simply select it and then press start.  To adjust the temperature up “to sear and brown” or down “simmer and reduce”, after selecting the program push on the knob again to choose the correct option.  When the screen displays “Hot” it means that the cooking surface has been pre-heated.

Warm

This program is designed to keep food, or beverages warm during a party or event -the settings are the same as in the Slow Cooking program so remember that while the food is going to be kept warm it will continue cooking on this setting.

Rice and Multigrain

Pressure programs designed to cook rice and grains.  Because of the decreased evaporation, conventional rice recipes (water to grain ratios) will need to be updated for use in the cooker.  We have written a comprehensive guide for pressure cooking rice and grains with the appropriate ratios and cooking times.  If the “Rice” setting won’t let you adjust the cooking time, use the “Pressure Cook” setting and adjust the pressure to Instant Pot’s recommended “low” following the same cooking times and ratios recommended in our guide. Remember not to ever fill the inner pot more than the 1/2 full mark with rice/grains and their cooking liquid.

Porridge

This is a pressure program designed to pressure cook oatmeal and other mush.  It is not safe to pressure cook oatmeal directly in the pressure cooker because foaming could gum-up the valves and safety systems.  However, it can be cooked directly in a bowl – which reduces foaming and makes clean-up a snap.  Here are our directions for safely pressure cooking oatmeal.

Cake

Pressure program to steam cakes.  This requires at least 1 1/2 cups of water in the base fo the cooker, the steamer rack and a small heat-safe container (see our heat-proof container recommendations) containing a cake batter. The size of the container typically dictates 1/2 of a conventional cake recipe or you can follow one of our pressure cooker cake recipes.

Egg

Pressure cooker program to steam eggs, please watch our pressure cooker egg video tutorial on how to do this.

Sterilize

A program designed for a variety of tasks including boiling-water canning, milk-scalding, and steam cleaning baby bottles.  At the time of this writing, Instant Pot could not cite based on what data, sources or processes they designed the proposed processing timings and temperatures.  Hip Pressure Cooking does not recommend using this setting until more information becomes available (see the ULTRA Revie for details and updates on this issue).

Yogurt

A program designed to scald milk, make yogurt – or another ferment (though it is too hot to ferment Kefir in our experience). Please read our detailed guide and video on how to make yogurt using the Instant Pot.

Ultra

A program that can be set to be used with high pressure, low pressure for up to six hours or no pressure with custom temperatures (104 to 208°F) from 0 minutes to  99.5 hours.  Because of the 5° temperature fluctuation, Instant Pot does not recommend using this setting – or any setting – for sous vide.

How To Use The Delay Option

Each program will offer the additional option to “delay” cooking and allow you to enter a specific time.  Keep in mind that this setting delays the start of cooking.  So if, for example, you’re going to be home in four hours and the recipe requires 45 minutes to cook, you’ll want to delay the cooking time for three hours – otherwise, the cooking will start when you get home!

For any program, the cooker will need to pre-heat before the cooking time starts counting down, so add an extra 15 minutes of delay for non-pressure programs to pre-heat and an extra 30 minutes of delay time for pressure programs to pre-heat and begin releasing pressure (the actual pre-heat and release times will vary depending on how full the pressure cooker is).

So, to figure out how long to delay cooking:

  1. Decide how long from now you want the meal ready (i.e. four hours),
  2. Subtract from that time the cooking time (i.e. 45 minutes),
  3. Also, subtract any pre-heat (approx .15min) and pressure release (approx. 15min) time.
  4. To ensure the meal is ready on time, over-estimate how long it will take to preheat, cook and release – and ensure that the automatic “Keep Warm” is set to be on so it remains hot until it is time to serve.

 

Instant Pot ULTRA Error Messages & Codes

Error CodePossible CauseRecommended Actions
Lid- lid not in correct position for chosen program
- lid not properly placed
- Close and twist the lid locked lid for pressure cooking programs
- Open the lid completely for Saute' program
noPr- pressure not reached during the pre-heating phase
- gasket not correctly placed or warn
- gasket has food debris attached that is preventing a seal
- not enough liquid to reach pressure
- place the gasket in the correct position or order a replacement (they generally last 12-18 months)
- clean the gasket and lid thoroughly
- add more liquid to the pressure cooker
Ovht- overheating detected by sensors
- food too thick and stuck to bottom of pot
- open the pressure cooker and check on the food
- thin-out food with more cooking liquid
(blank screen)- bad connection to the power outlet
- electrical fuse blown
- check that the power cord is connected well to the pressure cooker and outlet
- contact Instant Pot support
C1- faulty temperature sensor (it cannot be detected)- contact Instant Pot support
C2- faulty temperature sensor (short circuited)- contact Instant Pot support
C5- inner pot not in place
- temperature too high
- ensure the inner pot is inside the pressure cooker
- add food an water to the insert
C6- faulty pressure sensor- contact Instant Pot support
C6H- faulty HIGH pressure sensor- contact Instant Pot support
C6L- Faulty LOW pressure sensor- contact Instant Pot support

Manufacturer Website

InstantPot Electric Pressure Cooker

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6 Comments

  1. I lost my instruction manual that lists the times for meats, vegetables., etc. I have been online and cannot find it. I have a recipe book but am at a loss for easy reference to cooking times. It was such a quick easy reference. How can I find another one?

    1. Hi Elaine, you can click on the “download” link above where you left your comment, or follow my recommended pressure cooking times. You can get to it from the menu, and then clicking “Pressure Cooking Times” or just follow this link:
      https://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooking-times/

      Ciao,

      L

  2. I have a new CROCK POT AND AM FOLLOWING BEEF STEW RECIPE ON page 82 of The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook by Laurel Randolph which suggest using manual setting of high Pressure for 25 minutes.

    I pressed the button for meat/stews then selected high pressure turned pressure switch to sealed position , set time to 25 minutes AND PRESSED START. iT SEEMED TO RUN FOR ONLY 5-7 MINUTES AND THEN GAVE ME AN E6 CODE.
    WHAT AM I DOING WRONG ?

    1. Joe, according to my notes on the crock-pot instruction manual, E1 means the circuits are disconnected and that you should call their Customer Service. Here’s all the info:
      https://www.hippressurecooking.com/crock-pot-express-crock-multi-cooker-owners-guide/

      Ciao,

      L

  3. My instantpot ultra does not ha e a “normal” setting for yogurt. What heat do I use for fermentation time?
    Your user manual is vague.

    1. Chuck, I didn’t write your manual as this website is only marginally affiliated with Instant Pot. However, I have a yogurt tutorial that tells you exactly how to make the yogurt in your ULTRA. You can find it here:
      https://www.hippressurecooking.com/video-how-to-make-yogurt-in-instant-pot-duo/

      Ciao,

      L

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