Spaghetti sauce is a staple in many households, and cooking it in an Instant Pot can be a convenient way to prepare a delicious meal. However, one concern that often arises is whether spaghetti sauce can burn in an Instant Pot. Let’s dive deeper into this topic and find out the truth.

Understanding the Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is a versatile kitchen appliance that combines the functions of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté pan, steamer, and more. It uses high pressure and heat to cook food quickly and efficiently. The sealed environment inside the pot helps retain moisture and flavors.

Factors that Affect Burning

When it comes to cooking spaghetti sauce in an Instant Pot, there are several factors that can influence whether it burns or not. Here are some key considerations:

  • Type of Sauce: Different types of sauces have different levels of thickness and ingredients. Thick sauces with high sugar content are more likely to burn compared to thinner sauces.
  • Cooking Time: Longer cooking times increase the chances of burning.

    It’s important to follow the recommended cooking time for your specific recipe.

  • Sauté Function: Using the sauté function on your Instant Pot before pressure cooking can help reduce the chances of burning. This step allows you to brown any meat or vegetables first, which enhances flavor and helps prevent burning during pressure cooking.
  • Liquid Content: Adding enough liquid to your spaghetti sauce is crucial for preventing burning. The liquid creates steam that builds pressure inside the pot and helps cook the food evenly without scorching.

Tips for Preventing Burning

To ensure your spaghetti sauce doesn’t burn in the Instant Pot, here are some helpful tips:

  1. Sauté First: Before pressure cooking, use the sauté function to lightly cook any meat or vegetables. This step will add depth of flavor and reduce the chances of burning.
  2. Add Sufficient Liquid: Make sure to include enough liquid in your recipe, such as water, broth, or canned tomatoes.

    The general rule of thumb is to have at least one cup of liquid for every cup of sauce.

  3. Deglaze the Pot: After sautéing, deglaze the pot by adding a small amount of liquid and scraping off any browned bits from the bottom. This step ensures that nothing is stuck to the pot, which can potentially burn during pressure cooking.
  4. Avoid Overfilling: It’s important not to fill your Instant Pot beyond its maximum capacity. Leave enough space for expansion and proper circulation of heat and pressure.

What if it Burns?

If you accidentally burn your spaghetti sauce in the Instant Pot, don’t worry! Here’s what you can do:

  1. Release Pressure: Carefully release the pressure using either the quick release or natural release method as recommended by your recipe.
  2. Avoid Scraping: Do not scrape off any burned bits from the bottom of the pot. Doing so may release a burnt taste into your sauce.
  3. Transfer and Salvage: Gently transfer your sauce into another pot using a ladle or spoon, being careful not to disturb any burned portions at the bottom. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning if needed.

Remember, practice makes perfect. As you become more familiar with your Instant Pot and the specific spaghetti sauce recipe you’re using, you’ll be able to fine-tune the cooking process to prevent burning.


Cooking spaghetti sauce in an Instant Pot can be a time-saving and convenient method. By following the tips mentioned above and understanding the factors that affect burning, you can confidently cook delicious spaghetti sauce without worrying about it burning in your Instant Pot. Experiment with different recipes, adjust cooking times and liquid content, and enjoy flavorful pasta dishes with ease!