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Can I Leave Food In Instant Pot Overnight? (A Simple Trick Using The Keep Warm Settings)

You can keep food such as stews and soups warm in an instant pot overnight by using the “Keep Warm” settings on your instant pot.

When it comes to cooking, it’s no secret that there are plenty of ways to screw up a meal. But, with the Instant Pot, you can almost guarantee your meals will turn out perfectly. However, the question remains: can you leave food in the Instant Pot overnight?

Well, since my husband got a new job, that gets him up way too early than my body can handle. So I have had to improvise by getting our breakfast ready the previous night.

Previously, I would always microwave the food in the morning. However, since I got an instant pot, I no longer have to deal with that every morning. The Instant Pot simply maintains the ideal temperature of our meal overnight until we are ready to eat.

If you are wondering how I safely leave food in my instant pot overnight without any problems. Keep reading to get the answers you need.

Below is a trick I have used with soups and even desserts. And I found that everything was just as delicious the following day as it was the night before!

can i leave food in instant pot overnight

How To Keep Food Warm In An Instant Pot

An instant pot is a more innovative version of a pressure cooker. Aside from being a fast cooking appliance, it also has a variety of other functions such as slow cooking, steaming, searing, ‘’keep warm’’, and much more.

The “Keep Warm” mode is a unique feature of an instant pot designed to keep your food at a consistent temperature of 140°F – 172°F until you are ready to serve it. This ensures that bacteria do not contaminate your food because most of them die at 140°F.

How To Use ‘’Keep Warm” Settings

To use your ‘’keep warm’’ settings;

  • Simply set your instant pot to the “Keep Warm” mode before hitting the cook button. Then, when the cooking is finished, the instant pot automatically switches to the keep warm mode.


  • After cooking, press the “Keep Warm” button and set your instant pot to the desired temperature. The food will stay warm until you need to serve it.

You should know the Keep Warm mode has three temperature settings you can choose from, depending on your meal type;

  • Low Mode: 56°C/133°F
  • Medium Mode: 63°C/145°F
  • High Mode: 75°C/172°F

Changing the temperature varies slightly depending on the model, and it would be best to check your product manual. However, it usually entails;

  • Pressing the “Keep Warm” button repeatedly until it gets to your desired temperature
  • Use the “Adjust” button to change the temperature mode.
How To Use ‘’Keep Warm” Settings

Precautions To Take When You Leave Food In Instant Pot Overnight 

  • Put your instant pot in a well-ventilated area.
  • Do not use the keep warm setting for more than 5 hours.
  • Check the food recipe to see how long it can be exposed to high heat before drying out or becoming sticky.
  • From my experience, I’ll recommend that you should never leave your food unattended until you know how long the recipe will be under pressure.

So, what type of food can you safely keep overnight?

What Type of Food Can I Leave in An Instant Pot Overnight?

Certain foods are unquestionably better suited to storage in an instant pot than others. According to manufacturers, foods such as stews, and soups, can be kept warm in an instant pot for a longer period.

However, if you’re leaving perishable food in the Instant Pot for more than 12 hours, you could potentially cause damage. 

Here are a few perishable foods that may react and why you should not leave them overnight.

cooking foods in instant pot

Starchy Foods: Okay, this one isn’t really a tip but rather a warning. When cooking starchy food like pasta and rice, don’t leave them in an instant pot overnight. They cook very quickly, lose flavor, and tend to stick together. So, instead, wait until it’s finished cooking and then serve it immediately.

Meat and Fish: The ambient temperature of your instant pot is not safe for preserving your fish overnight. You will notice bacterial growth after a while, which is not safe. 

FAQs On Can I Leave Food In Instant Pot Overnight

Does The Instant Pot ‘’Keep Warm’’ Setting Cook Food?

No, the keep warm function is not meant to cook your meal. Instead, it maintains the internal temperature of the food when you turn off the cooker. This is a perfect setting for cooking food that will not be served for at least 4 hours.

Should I Be Worried My Instant Pot Timer is Counting Up?

When your instant pot is set to ‘’keep warm’’, you may notice the timer counts up instead of down. This is just the configuration of the keep warm function and will not affects its performance.

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