How Long Will Instant Pot Keep Warm? (Instant Pot Keep Warm Setting)

How Long Will Instant Pot Keep Warm

When you’re cooking for a large family, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your food will stay warm. That’s where the Instant Pot comes in! With its ability to maintain food at a safe temperature for hours long after cooking, the Instant Pot is a game-changer for busy families. But how does it work? And how long will it actually keep your food warm? We’ve got the answers to all your questions in this article.

Summary – The Instant Pot can keep your meal warm for up to 10 hours. Although most chefs advise against leaving food in an instant pot for that long since it may damage the texture, taste, or flavor of the food. We recommend using the Instant Pot “Keep Warm” option for no more than 5 hours.

How Does The Keep Warm Button Work?

How the instant pot keep warm button works

The instant pot is a versatile cooking appliance that can cook your food fast (as a pressure cooker) or slow (as a slow cooker), depending on the recipe and your settings. It can also be used to sauté and bake although with the help of some additional accessories. 

However, the Instant Pot does more than simply cook. An instant pot can also help to keep your food warm until you are ready to serve it. 

  • To use the keep warm mode, simply press the keep warm button before setting your instant pot to cook. The instant pot will automatically switch to keep warm mode when it’s done cooking.

Another method is to manually activate the keep warm mode while the instant pot is already turned off or in standby mode. 

  • Simply press the keep warm button to activate the function, and the instant pot will preserve your food at a safe temperature for up to 10 hours without overcooking it.

For more tips on the different modes of instant pot cooking, read through your  Instant Pot manual.  

When Should You Use The Keep Warm Setting?

I especially like the Instant Pot’s keep warm function. It is useful for keeping my meal hot on days when my kids are not ready to eat straight away. Instead of reheating the food in the microwave before serving them, I just serve myself and the kids while leaving their portion in the pot until they arrive.

The Instant Pot Keep Warm mode will come in handy if you are preparing for a large company and want to ensure that everyone may eat at their leisure. For example, while organizing a dinner party with friends or a family event.

What is The Instant Pot “Keep Warm” Temperature?

Instant pot keep warm temperature

The Instant Pot Keep Warm mode may keep your meal at a temperature ranging from 140°F to 172°F after cooking. There are 3 levels of Keep Warm: low, medium, and high.

  • Set the warm button to “low” if you’re keeping a meal warm overnight or using the Instant Pot setting for a breakfast recipe like yogurts. And at this level, your food will be maintained at around 140°F.
  • Use the high setting if you prefer your meal really hot. When set to “high,” keep warm mode; your food is maintained at 172°F. I’ll recommend using this option if you’re only going to retain your meal for a few minutes. For example, if you want to keep your rice warm until the chicken stew is done.
  • Use the “medium” keep warm setting if you want to keep your meal warm for a longer period, perhaps a few hours. The medium temperature setting maintains your meal at around 158°F. And this prevents the food from drying out or becoming mushy.

Changing the Keep Warm setting on your instant pot may differ depending on the model. It basically involves repeatedly pushing the “Keep Warm” button to switch between Low-Medium-High or using the Adjust button.

Also, since it is recommended to keep meals at 140°F or greater to reduce the danger of contamination and bacterial development, the Keep Warm option on the Instant Pot appears to be safe enough to keep your food warm until you are ready to eat.

How Long Does The Instant Pot Keep Warm Mode Last?

The Instant Pot website claims that the keep warm setting may keep your meal warm for up to 10 hours. That means you may use the instant pot timer to select the duration of your keep warm from 10 minutes to 10 hours.

However, most chefs advise against using the keep warm mode for more than 5 hours, as holding a meal at a heated temperature for longer than this duration may damage the texture and flavor of the food.

Can I Leave The Keep Warm Setting On Overnight?

You can leave your instant pot in a warm setting overnight, but I wouldn’t encourage it. This is because most meals will thicken or entirely dry up if stored at a high temperature for so long. While others may lose their texture and flavor.

Also, your appliance stays on when you use the keep warm setting. This can increase the amount of electricity you use, causing a higher utility bill.

However, if you must use the keep warm mode overnight, make sure to read your instant pot handbook and the recipe you are cooking for the necessary heating instructions.

Also, ensure to take the appropriate safety precautions, such as placing your Instant Pot in a well-ventilated place that is free of obstructions.

What Types of Food Can You Keep Warm in the Instant Pot?

The Instant Pot Keep Warm mode is suitable for all kinds of food. However, while certain foods may be kept warm for an extended period, others cannot.

For instance, soups, stews, and other dishes that would ordinarily simmer for a long time on the stove can be kept warm on the keep warm setting for up to 5 hours. Whereas more delicate meals, such as leafy greens and pasta, might turn mushy and lose their appeal if kept for so long.

Also, some foods, such as rice, might dry out or lose their texture if kept heated for a lengthy period. 

To keep such food for a longer duration, pour them into a separate dish that can fit snugly inside the instant pot and set the dish into the pot before activating the keep warm mode. Then, add some water to the Instant Pot to generate steam.

Already cooked food in Instant pot to keep warm

Can I Pour Already Cooked Food into the Instant Pot to Warm it?

Yes, you can put already cooked food into your instant pot and use the keep warm mode to maintain it at the proper temperature.

  • Simply place the meal on an Instant Pot-compatible heatproof plate. Next, insert the trivet into the Instant Pot and place the dish on top of it.
  • If the food is likely to dry out over time, add a small amount of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot to generate steam and keep the food moist.

FAQs On How Long Will Instant Pot Keep Warm

Can I use the Instant Pot Keep Warm Mode to Cook Food?

The Instant Pot Keep Warm option can only help keep your meal warm until you’re ready to serve. It will not cook your meal. 

How Do I Turn Off the Keep Warm Mode?

Simply press the cooking command twice to switch off the keep warm function. For instance, if you use the “manual button” for pressure cooking, press the “manual button” twice to deactivate the keep warm mode once the cooking is complete. 

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