What Does Auto Mean On Instant Pot?

Instant Pot is a versatile and convenient multicooker with many functions, including pressure cooking, slow cooking, rice cooking, steaming, yogurt making, warming, and sautéing.

Over the past couple of years, Instant Pots have become staple kitchen appliances that every homeowner desires to have. With that, busy parents can use them to prepare a versatile supper without keeping an eye on the stove while making some healthy yogurt for the mid-night snack.

However, if you’ve just bought an Instant Pot home and are still learning the ropes, this article is for you. Keep scrolling to find out your desirable answer to “What does auto mean on Instant Pot?”.

What Does Auto Mean On Instant Pot?

Actually, there is no “auto” button on an Instant Pot. However, regarding functionality and versatility, the “Rice” button can be considered a fully automatic cooking setting. Particularly, it cooks at low pressure and adjusts the cooking time depending on water and rice. 

Note that the cooking time often takes 10-12 minutes or shorter depending on the models. Additionally, it is designed specifically to cook white rice such as Jasmine, Basmati, or regular long-grain.

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Top 5 Necessary Buttons Of Instant Pot Settings

Besides the Rice setting, the Instant Pot also features several hassle-free buttons to make delicious recipes.

While there is a wide range of settings, including Yogurt, Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Multigrain, Steam, Porridge, below are the top 5 most crucial buttons that are commonly used. 

However, keep in mind that although most models have similar cooking functions and settings, they have slightly different buttons.

Manual/Pressure Cook

The Instant Pot manual setting button will either feature Pressure Cook or Manual depending on the model. It is probably the most utilized function to adjust the temperature, pressure level, and desired pressure cooking time.

  • ​​Select Pressure Cook button or Manual on some models. The default settings will be Normal mode (35 minutes cooking time) on High pressure.
  • Use the [-] or [+] buttons to increase or decrease the cooking time.
  • Use the Pressure Level button to adjust the pressure level from low to high level. For most recipes, it’s recommended to use high pressure except for delicate food like hard-boiled eggs or vegetables. 


The Sauté button is a great go-to choice to sauté or simmer food at the end of pressure cooking with the lid open. 

It has three different temperature ranges: 

  • “Normal” is around 320 to 349 degrees Fahrenheit (°F) for regular sautéing or browning. 
  • “More” is 347 to 410°F for stir-frying or browning.
  • “Less” is typically at 275°F for simmering or thickening sauces.

Slow Cook

The Slow Cook is a non-pressure cooking setting that works the same as a slow cooker.

Typically, a slow cooker’s temperature ranges from 190°F (low setting) to 300°F (high setting), regarded as “Low,” “Medium,” and “High,” depending on the type of slow cooker. On the other hand, the Slow Cook of the Instant Pot works with three different modes: “Less,” “Normal,” and “More” temperatures.

Timer/Delay Start

The Timer or Delay Start function comes in handy to delay cooking. This is superbly beneficial for busy parents to set the food to be ready at the preferred time. So, for example, you can prepare the ingredients in the morning and set the button to begin cooking before you get home from work.

However, keep in mind two things when using the Timer function on the Instant Pot:

  • This function does not apply to Keep Warm, Sauté, Yogurt, or Air Fryer Programs.
  • Don’t leave anything raw or spoil in the Instant Pot for an extended amount of time to avoid bacteria growth.

Keep Warm/Cancel

The Keep Warm setting is used to keep the contents of the pot at low temperature to maintain heat for serving. It will turn on automatically when the Instant Pot is done cooking on all Smart Programs (except Sauté and Yogurt) and stay there for a maximum of 10 hours, then automatically switch off. 

At any point, you can hit the button to cancel the Keep Warm mode or push the Cancel button to stop the Instant Pot immediately.

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Bonus Tip: How To Use Rice Setting On An Instant Pot?

As said, the Rice feature works significantly well on long-grain white rice, so remember to choose the suitable rice before you start.

Follow some foolproof instructions below for quick and perfect rice for your meal:

  • Firstly, measure the rice using the level cup that comes with the pot.
  • Then, rinse the rice under cool water to remove unnecessary surface starch. Carefully drain excess water and repeat the process.
  • Next, add the correct ratio of water. Unlike other recipes, the ideal ratio for the Instant Pot is 1:1.
  • Combine the water and rice into the pot. Add olive oil (or the same amount of butter) and salt if desired.
  • Then, close the Instant Pot lid and seal it by swiveling it close to its locked position. If the valve is in the “Venting” position, the rice won’t cook properly.
  • Press the “Rice” button and start. Once the pot comes to pressure, the front screen will show the determined automatic cooking time. 
  • Lastly, after the rice cooks, allow a natural pressure release for around 10 minutes. This lets the rice steam and prevents it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. 
  • Now, get ready to enjoy the smell and taste of fresh and fluffy cooked rice.

You need to know more:

5 Things Not To Do With Your Instant Pot

The Bottom Line

You’ve reached the end of the article. Hopefully, you now grasped all the necessary information relating to the question: “What does auto mean on Instant Pot?”.

In a nutshell, the Instant Pot is a superb kitchen gadget that avoids a lengthy cooking process while letting you bask in the glory of your free time.

If you find this article helpful, don’t forget to share it with your friends or loved ones. Also, feel free to leave us some comments or thoughts on your experience with the Instant Pot.

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