Instant Pots are amazing new appliances for home cooks everywhere. This appliance can pressure cook, broil, bake, and more. As people use their Instant Pot, they often lose or break pieces. This may lead them to wonder, can I use my Instant Pot without the steam release valve?

You cannot use an Instant Pot without the steam release valve if using it as a pressure cooker. You can use it without the steam release valve if you will use it as a slow cooker, saute pot, or in another way where no pressure will be created. 

Now that you know it is acceptable to use the Instant Pot without the steam release valve keep reading to learn more about which settings can and cannot be utilized.

Instant Pot Without the Steam Release Valve

It can be hard to determine all of the amazing uses that can be utilized when cooking with an Instant Pot. This is especially true if you have managed to break your Instant Pot’s steam release valve. Determining how essential this piece is to the Instant Pots functionality can be hard.  Keep reading to learn what it is essential for and what settings can do without it.

Instant Pot SettingDoes it Use Pressure?
Slow CookNo
Keep WarmNo

Disclaimer: If you do not have a working steam release valve on your Instant Pot, you must replace it immediately before using most of the functions. Without it, cooking can cause serious injury or damage.


This is the ideal setting for cooking soups and chilis. It also cuts the time it takes to cook beans in half fully. This setting features a normal, high, and low setting. Each setting requires pressure to cook the pot’s beans, soup, or chili.  This means having the steam release valve when using this setting is essential.

Without the steam release valve, the pressure inside the pot will increase during cooking, and the top of the pot will likely come flying off and can cause serious injury or damage. 

Do not use this setting if you do not have the steam release valve.


This setting is ideal for cooking tough or large cuts of meat. It is usually utilized in the high setting. It can occasionally be used for cooking beef stew and other similar meat stews to get tender meat. You can do other things when cooking meat in an Instant Pot to keep it from being tough.

Less mode, normal mode, and more mode are the three options you can use when cooking with this setting. All three settings require pressure to be successful.

Since this setting requires pressure to cook, it is essential that the steam release valve is present and functioning properly.


This setting is for beans, chilis, and chowders. It also features a less normal and more mode that adjusts the length of time the beans, chili, or chowder is subjected to pressure cooking. 

Most beans, chilis, and chowders work well in the normal setting. This setting requires pressure to cook the food within the Instant Pot properly.

Poultry (AKA Chicken, Turkey, Quail Etc)

If you want to cook some tender and juicy duck, chicken, turkey, or other types of poultry in your Instant Pot, this is the best setting. Additionally, it uses high, low, and normal pressure cooking modes to ensure the meal is tender and tasty.

Because it uses pressure to cook with, it is also on the list of settings you cannot use without the steam release valve intact.


Instead of having a rice pot and an Instant Pot, you can use the Instant Pot for cooking your favorite long-grain rice. Rice is best cooked in the Instant Pot in a low-pressure setting. This ensures that the moisture does not disperse too quickly, which results in tough, undercooked rice. 

Using this function also requires pressure cooking which needs a steam release valve. It may be wise to keep your rice pot handy a little longer just in case you find yourself in this situation. After all, many dishes in many cultures consider rice to be an important mealtime staple.


This setting is ideal for cooking millet, dry beans, steel-cut oats, and farro. There is a low, normal, and more mode for this setting. 

Times will vary depending on the grain you choose. Each mode will use pressure to cook the grain.


Porridge or oatmeal are great meals to make using this setting. This setting is intended to cook these meals very quickly, especially when placed on low mode. It utilizes pressure to soften the porridge and oatmeal quickly to make it edible within five minutes.

Yet again, this means that this setting cannot be used when cooking without a steam release valve as it will pose a safety issue.


This function is great for cooking vegetables, tofu, or seafood. This function utilizes low pressure throughout the cooking process, so the steam release valve needs to cook the food properly. 

Slow Cook

When using the Instant Pot as a slow cooker, you can use the normal lid and open the vent. If you do not have the vent, ensure the cover has a venting hole. 

This setting uses low temperatures to cook food over long periods. It does not utilize pressure. This is an acceptable setting to use without a steam release valve.


The saute setting essentially takes the place of a frying pan and stovetop. It can brown meat, soften vegetables, or add color to other dishes. This does not require a lid or a steam release valve to function properly.


This setting is used when making homemade yogurt out of milk or other dairy products. It requires a cover that has the vent built in. The vent should be set to open, releasing steam and pressure as the cooking occurs. 

If you have a regular cover with a vent built in ( a small hole on the top), you can safely use this setting without the steam release valve.

Keep Warm

This setting is essentially a food warmer. After the food is cooked, it can be set to keep warm so that it does not cook any longer but does not get cold simultaneously. 

This is ideal when entertaining guests. This is a great alternative if you do not want to cook food in the pot and use it as a warmer. This setting does not require the use of a steam release valve.

A Necessary Investment

When the steam release valve is malfunctioning on an Instant Pot, it can cause a lot of disarrays. This is especially true because it renders almost every pot function useless. The Instant Pot can still function in a very limited capacity without its lease valve, but it is not an ideal scenario. Invest in a new Instant Pot or get it fixed; it is worth the investment.