An Instant Pot is a multicooker that combines a pressure cooker and a slow cooker. They have a condensation collector, a small plastic cup that attaches to the Instant Pot Multicooker and catches any excess liquid the Instant Pot expells during the cooking process. Since not all parts are mandatory, can you use the Instant Pot without the condensation collector?

You can operate your Instant Pot without the condensation collector, but it will pour its excess liquid onto your counter while it goes through its cooking process. If you want to use your Instant Pot without the collector, you should place your Instant Pot in a shallow pan to collect the liquid.

A metal shallow sheet pan can work as your condensation collector in a pinch if your plastic condensation collector is damaged or missing. The metal sheet pan will collect the liquid spilling out during the cooking process. No pan is needed if you are ok with the liquid spilling out.

Can You Use Instant Pot Without Condensation Collector?

When an Instant Pot uses its pressure cooking function, it expels steam and various cooking liquids that can overflow from the Instant Pot. The condensation collector is a small plastic cup attached to the Instant Pot’s side that collects this excess liquid.

The condensation collector on Instant Pots is more of a quality of life feature than a requirement. It is a small plastic cup that catches excess liquid that spills out during the cooking process. You can cook in your Instant Pot without it, but it will spill liquid all over your cooking surface.

The condensation collector isn’t only saving your counter from excess liquid, even though that is its main job. It also helps siphon the excess liquid from what you are cooking and allows the food to cook more evenly. This improves the overall results from using the pressure cooker or slow cooker settings on your Instant Pot.

Even though the condensation collector isn’t mandatory, the steam release valve is another story.

Do All Instant Pots Come with a Condensation Collector?

Most Instant Pot models come with some form of condensation collector. The excess liquid expelled during the cooking process has to go somewhere. Not all the cups are equal, however. The many different models of Instant Pots have created an equal number of styles and models of condensation collectors. 

Check the make and model of your specific Instant Pot, and then check your manual or the manual on Instant Pot’s Support site to check and make sure that your model is supposed to have a condensation collector. 

If it is supposed to have one and you didn’t get one, then you can get a replacement from Instant Pot. You can also purchase a replacement from Amazon.

Contact Instant Pot Support for Missing Condensation Collector

If your condensation collector was missing from your Instant Pot when you bought it, you can contact Instant Pot Support and request a replacement. 

Purchase a New Condensation Collector

It is also possible to purchase a replacement condensation collector if yours has been damaged or gone missing. There are many different versions available on Amazon. You need to make sure you match the condensation collector to your make and model of Instant Pot.

You can find the make and model of your Instant Pot on the metal label usually located on the back of every Instant Pot.

Make Sure Your Condensation Collector Is Installed Correctly

You should also make sure that your Instant Pot condensation collector is installed properly. A poor fit when installing your condensation collector can cause the excess liquid to find its way to your counter, even if you are using a collector. 

Follow These Simple Steps to Ensure Condensation Collector is Installed Properly

  1. Check that your condensation collector is installed tightly and correctly. You shouldn’t have to force it.
  2. While cooking, your condensation collector should not leak liquid onto your cooking surface.
  3. Wait until your Instant Pot has cooled before attempting to empty the condensation collector.
  4. Make sure to clean out your condensation collector after every cooking session. Grease and mold could build up.

If you install your condensation collector correctly, you will yield much better results while you are cooking with your Instant Pot. A metal sheet pan is a solution in a pinch, but a small plastic cup is a lifesaver.


It is possible to cook with the Instant Pot without the condensation collector, but it is going to make a mess. If you are ok with spilling liquid all over your counter or cooking surface, then it will not affect the cooking process at all. But if you want to avoid the mess and don’t have a collector try putting a shallow pan under the Instant Pot while it cooks.