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Can You Boil Water In an Instant Pot? (How to Guide)

There’s a crazy viral video that shows someone using an Instant Pot to boil water. Now why that video went viral, I don’t know. Was the video faked or can you boil water using an Instant Pot?

As a general rule, you can boil 1-2 cups of water in an Instant Pot using the sauté function in approximately 3 minutes. Larger volumes of water can be boiled in an Instant Pot using pressure cooking for 5 minutes and then doing the quick-release method.

An electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot is really useful and is great for cooking food super quickly. And stuff like dried beans or pulled pork, which used to take hours, can be done in under 1 hour.

But I’ve honestly never thought of using one to boil water!

So in this article, we’ll explore both how to boil water in an Instant Pot, whether it’s faster than just using a regular pot on the stove, and WHY you might want to do that.

But we’ll also cover which program to use to boil water, and how long to set the timer to.

Let’s get into it!

Can You Boil Water Using an Instant Pot lg

Why Is Boiling Water In An Instant Pot So Smart?

Boiling water in an Instant Pot is a stroke of genius for several reasons. First and foremost, it saves you time.

If you’re like me, waiting for a pot of water to boil on the stovetop can feel like an eternity, especially when you’re in a rush or starving. The Instant Pot, on the other hand, works its magic by harnessing the power of pressure cooking to speed up the process.

With just a few taps on its sleek digital display, you can have boiling water in no time. Another reason why using an Instant Pot for boiling water is so smart is its versatility.

Not only can it be used to boil water quickly and efficiently, but it also offers different methods to cater to your specific needs. For instance, if you want to achieve higher pressure and faster results, using the pressure cooking function would be your go-to choice.

On the other hand, if you prefer a gentler approach or need less water for something like steaming vegetables or poaching eggs, utilizing the sauté mode with its higher temperature setting would be ideal. When it comes to adding water into the Instant Pot for boiling purposes, there are a few things to consider.

Firstly, determining how much water you need depends on what you intend to use it for. If it’s just for a cup of tea or coffee, 1-2 cups of water should suffice.

However, if you’re planning on cooking rice or making soup stock that requires more liquid volume, adjust accordingly based on your recipe or desired amount. In terms of temperature preferences when adding water into the Instant Pot, some argue that starting with hot tap water can expedite the boiling process due to already being closer to boiling point than cold tap water.

However, from personal experience and expert advice I’ve come across during my research (yes I do thorough research!), starting with cold tap water works just fine too! Remember that once the Instant Pot reaches its high temperature and pressure, it will bring the water to a vigorous boil regardless of its starting temperature.

Ultimately, boiling water in an Instant Pot is not only a time-saving technique but also an energy-efficient way to accomplish this simple yet essential task. Gone are the days of waiting around for that pot of water to reach a rolling boil while watching precious minutes tick away.

With the Instant Pot’s intelligent design and innovative technology, you can expedite your cooking time for different types of dishes, from hard-boiled eggs to a hearty pot of soup. Stay tuned as we dive deeper into the different methods for boiling water using an Instant Pot in the upcoming sections!

Instant Pot Seal

How To Boil Water In The Instant Pot Using Pressure Cooking

To begin, make sure your Instant Pot lid is securely in place. This is crucial for creating the necessary pressure to bring the water to a boil.

Next, measure out the desired amount of water you’d like to boil. A standard measurement is 1 cup of water, but feel free to adjust according to your needs.

Once you have your water measured out, pour it into the inner pot of the Instant Pot. It’s important not to exceed the maximum fill line indicated on the pot to prevent any overflow during the boiling process.

With everything set up, it’s now time to select the appropriate settings on your Instant Pot. Locate and press the “Pressure Cook” button on your control panel.

This function allows you to cook food under higher pressure and achieve faster results. Adjusting the cooking time may be necessary depending on how much water you’re boiling.

Once you’ve selected “Pressure Cook,” use the “+” or “-” buttons to adjust the cooking time as needed. Keep in mind that boiling water typically takes less time than cooking other dishes, so a shorter duration might be sufficient.

Now that all settings are configured, wait for your Instant Pot pressure cooker to build up pressure inside before it starts counting down from your chosen cooking time. The appliance will emit a gentle hissing sound and display “On” until it reaches full boil temperature inside.

As soon as your Instant Pot reaches full pressure and begins counting down, sit back and relax! Unlike traditional methods such as using an electric kettle or stovetop burner, there’s no need for constant monitoring or worries about overflowing pots.

After completion of the designated cooking time, carefully release any remaining pressure by turning the vent knob to “Venting.” This step is crucial to ensure a safe opening of the Instant Pot lid. Once the pressure has been fully released, and it’s safe to do so, open the lid of your Instant Pot.

Voilà! You’ll be greeted with steaming hot, perfectly boiled water ready for use in your favorite recipes or refreshing beverages.

How To Boil Water In An Instant Pot Using the Sauté Function

To get started, the first thing you’ll need is your Instant Pot with its inner pot securely in place.

Unlike a regular pot on the stove or a water kettle, using the sauté function on an Instant Pot offers convenience and efficiency. The process is straightforward – simply pour 1-2 cups of water into the inner pot and turn on the sauté function.

Within moments, you’ll notice small bubbles forming as the water begins to heat up. As it reaches its boiling point, those bubbles will turn into fast-flowing waves of bubbles indicating a rolling boil.

It’s important to note that unlike pressure cooking, where you can handle large amounts of food or liquid, when using the sauté function for boiling water, it’s best to stick with smaller quantities such as 1-2 cups. This ensures a faster boiling process and requires less energy consumption.

As with any boiling method, keep an eye on your Instant Pot as it heats up. The float valve will rise as pressure builds inside the pot.

Once this happens, it’s an indication that your water has reached its boiling point. With just these easy steps and a few minutes of waiting time, you can have boiling water ready for various purposes like making tea or coffee or even blanching vegetables before cooking them further.

Float valve in Instant Pot

How Much Water Do I add to the Instant Pot?

When it comes to boiling water in an Instant Pot, the amount of water you add plays a crucial role in achieving the desired results. Whether you’re boiling water for cooking rice or preparing a hot beverage, getting the right amount is important.

For smaller amounts of water, such as one to two cups, it’s recommended to use at least 1 cup of liquid in order to maintain proper pressure and ensure efficient cooking. This also helps prevent any potential burning or scorching of the bottom of the pot.

On the other hand, when dealing with larger volumes of water, like when making soups or stews, you’ll want to add enough liquid to cover the ingredients while still leaving some space for expansion during the cooking process. It’s important not to fill the pot beyond its maximum capacity indicated by safety markings.

When measuring out your water, keep in mind that different dishes may have specific requirements. For instance, cooking rice typically requires a ratio of 1:1.5 (water to rice), so adjust accordingly based on your recipe.

In terms of temperature, using tap water is generally sufficient for most recipes. The Instant Pot’s sauté function can help bring cold tap water up to temperature quickly before transitioning into pressure cooking mode.

The sauté function applies heat directly to the pot and brings about fast-flowing waves of bubbles on the surface of the water. However, if you prefer starting with hot or boiling water from an external source (such as a kettle), this can also work well and save some time during preheating.

Remember that when using pressure cooking mode, reaching a full rolling boil temperature isn’t necessary since pressure will build up inside and raise temperatures beyond 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s essential to ensure that there is enough liquid present for steam generation and maintaining proper pressure levels throughout cooking.

In terms of specific Instant Pot models and functions like yogurt makers or float valves, the process remains the same regarding adding water. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and safety precautions provided in the user manual for each specific function.

Does the Temperature of the Water Being Added to the Instant Pot Matter?

The temperature of the water being added to your Instant Pot does indeed have an impact on how quickly it will reach boiling point. To understand why, let’s take a closer look at what happens when we heat water.

At a molecular level, water consists of tiny particles known as molecules. These molecules are in constant motion, buzzing around and colliding with one another.

When we apply heat to water, it causes its molecules to gain energy and move even faster. So, if you start with hot water from your tap rather than cold water from the refrigerator, you’re already providing a head start by giving those molecules a little extra energy.

This means that hot water will generally reach boiling point faster than cold water. However, it’s important to note that regardless of whether you use hot or cold water initially, once placed inside the Instant Pot and subjected to heat, the process will be similar.

The Instant Pot utilizes high pressure and intense heat generated by its cooking appliance design to bring large amounts of liquid to boiling point efficiently. Furthermore, keep in mind that while starting with hot water may help save some time when it comes to reaching boiling point in your Instant Pot, the difference is often marginal.

The key factor determining how long it takes for your pot of liquid (whether hot or cold) to boil is primarily influenced by other variables such as atmospheric pressure and the specific model and size of your pot. So go ahead and use either hot or cold tap water when boiling in your Instant Pot depending on what suits your needs best—there’s no crucial disadvantage either way.

Just remember that regardless of initial temperature choice, once you pressurize your pot with its lid securely closed, the water will inevitably reach boiling point, resulting in those fast-flowing waves of bubbles we all associate with a rolling boil. The temperature of the water being added to your Instant Pot does make a slight difference in terms of how quickly it will reach boiling point.

However, due to the efficient design and high temperature capabilities of the Instant Pot, this variance is generally minimal. So feel free to use hot or cold water based on your preference and convenience, knowing that both options will ultimately lead you towards a steaming cup of liquid or a simmering pot for your cooking adventures.

How long does it take to boil water in the Instant Pot?

For small amounts of water, such as filling a cup or two for a hot beverage, the Instant Pot can bring it to a boil in just a few minutes. The sauté function is particularly handy for this task.

Simply pour a little bit of cold water into the inner pot, select the sauté function, and within moments, you’ll see tiny bubbles forming at the bottom of the pot. As these bubbles increase and rise to the surface, you’ll know your water is reaching its boiling point.

When dealing with larger amounts of water, like when filling up a pot for pasta or soup, you might need to adjust your expectations slightly. While still faster than traditional stovetop methods, boiling larger quantities will naturally take longer.

Add much water to your Instant Pot’s inner pot without exceeding its maximum fill line and close the instant pot lid securely. The pressure cooking mode is ideal for boiling larger amounts of water efficiently.

Once all set up and sealed properly, heat begins building inside creating an environment where water boils more quickly than usual due to increased pressure. This translates into fast-flowing waves of bubbles rushing through your liquid in no time.

It’s important to note that cooking time will also be influenced by factors such as ambient temperature and altitude. For example, if you’re at higher altitudes where atmospheric pressure is lower, it may take slightly longer for your water to reach its boiling point even with an Instant Pot.

Whether you need just a little bit or larger amounts of boiling hot water swiftly; an Instant Pot can be a great way to accomplish this task efficiently. By utilizing either the sauté function or pressure cooking mode, you can bring your water to a rolling boil in no time, making your Instant Pot a reliable and convenient tool in the kitchen.

Water boiling times by heating method

Water Boiling Method Time to Boil
Instant Pot 4-8 minutes
Stove Top Pot of Water 4 minutes
Electric Kettle 4 1/2 minutes
Rice Cooker 20-25 minutes
Keurig 3 minutes, but only reaches 192° F

Of course, atmospheric pressure and sea level do affect the boiling point of water and how long it will take to get there.

After all, in many places like Colorado, when you’re at or above 8000 feet above sea level, water’s boiling point drops to 198 °F rather than the normal 212 °F where I live in Texas.

So the boiling process can vary depending on where you live.


Boiling water in an Instant Pot is not only possible but also a smart and convenient option. Whether you use the pressure cooking function or the sauté function, the Instant Pot can quickly bring a small amount of water to a full rolling boil. With its high pressure and efficient heating element, this versatile cooking appliance can achieve the desired boiling temperature faster than a regular pot on a stove or even an electric kettle.

When using the pressure cooking function, simply add 1-2 cups of water to the bottom of the pot, seal it with the lid, and set it to high pressure for a few minutes. The Instant Pot will work its magic and bring your water to a full boil in no time.

On the other hand, if you prefer using the sauté function, follow these easy steps: pour a small amount of water into the pot (enough to cover the bottom), select high temperature, and let it heat until it reaches boiling temperature. The beauty of using an Instant Pot to boil water is not just its speed but also its versatility.

You can add flavorings like herbs or spices directly to your pot of water for infused beverages or even cook delicate items like hard-boiled eggs with precision. So next time you need boiling water for your favorite hot beverage or quick-cooking recipes, don’t overlook your trusty Instant Pot as an alternative to traditional methods.

With its ability to reach full boil temperatures faster and more efficiently than other appliances or methods, you’ll have that hot cuppa or steaming pot in record time. Embrace this modern cooking marvel and elevate your culinary adventures with ease!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you boil water in an Instant Pot without a lid?

Yes. You can boil 1-2 cups of water in an Instant Pot using the sauté function with the lid off. Larger amounts of water will boil faster using the lid on and utilizing the pressure cooking function.

But with the lid off, the sauté function works great for small amounts of water. And it will take about 3 minutes to boil water this way. And obviously, this will not use high pressure.

But how does that compare to other methods of boiling water?

It takes 8-10 minutes to boil 1 quart of water on a stovetop in a pot. Using an electric tea kettle, 1 quart of water will boil in 4-5 minutes, and in the microwave, 1 quart of water will boil in 3-4 minutes.

So as you can see, for small amounts of water, the Instant Pot is the clear winner. But even for large amounts of water, the Instant Pot still beats the stovetop.

What program should I use to boil water in an Instant Pot?

Use the saute function on an Instant Pot when boiling 1-2 cups of water, leaving the lid off. When boiling more than 2 cups of water, use the high-pressure setting for 5 minutes with the lid tightly sealed.

Instant Pots, especially the fancier more expensive ones, come with a ton of different program options. Those can include, depending on your model:

  • PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL – This is the most commonly used setting on all Instant Pots for traditional pressure cooking. Older models allow you to adjust the pressure level and then just use the +/- keys to change the cooking time.
  • SAUTÉ – This mode allows you to brown food in oil just as you would in a skillet. It heats up the insert quickly, so make sure to add oil and stir frequently. This mode always is used with the lid off.
    The maximum sauté time is 30-minute intervals just as a safety precaution
  • KEEP WARM – A low heat setting to hold food in the temperature safety zone once it’s been cooked using one of the other programs. Most Instant Pot cooking programs will automatically switch to keep warm once they have cooked for their set amount of time.

Other functions that are less used include:

  • CAKE
  • EGG
  • RICE

Can I add flavor to the water?


One of the great things about using an Instant Pot to boil water is that you can easily infuse it with flavors. From herbs and spices to fruits and vegetables, the possibilities are endless.

Adding flavor to your boiling water can enhance the taste of various dishes you’re preparing or simply create a delightful infused water for drinking. When it comes to infusing flavors, there are a few methods you can try in your Instant Pot.

First, you can add herbs and spices directly into the water before boiling. For example, if you’re making a broth or soup, adding aromatic herbs like thyme or rosemary can impart a lovely fragrance and taste.

Another option is to use a special insert designed for infusions. These inserts typically have small compartments where you can place fruits or vegetables that release their flavors into the boiling water.

This method works well if you want a subtle infusion without any solids floating around. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you could even experiment with adding citrus peels, vanilla beans, or even tea bags to your boiling water for an instant burst of flavor.

It’s important to note that when adding flavorings to your boiling water in an Instant Pot, be mindful of the amount you use. Since an Instant Pot requires less liquid than a regular pot due to its sealed environment during cooking, using large amounts of flavorful ingredients might overpower your dish.

Also remember that certain ingredients may affect cooking times or contribute excess moisture that could impact the texture of your dish. For example, if you add too much liquid while cooking rice in your Instant Pot, it might become soggy instead of fluffy.

So go ahead and get creative with adding flavors to your boiling water in an Instant Pot! It’s just another way this versatile cooking appliance allows you to elevate your culinary creations with ease and convenience.

Image which requires attribution:

Still video frame is taken from video – DO THIS FIRST! How to Use and Instant Pot – Instant Pot 101 by Six Sisters’ Stuff is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped and had a text overlay added.

Jeff Campbell