How Do I Use An Instant Pot

Must Try

Best Instant Pot To Buy

How to Use an Instant Pot – Instant Pot 101 – Beginner? Start HERE!

The best Instant Pot to buy is one of the Duo or Nova models.; The Duo Plus 6-quart 9-in-1is what you will see pictured below.

I also recommend the newer Duo Nova and the Smart Wi-Fimodels.; They have a very similar control pad to one I use in this guide.

A 6-quart model is an adequate size for a family of 4-6.

An 8-quart model is great if you plan on making double batches of soups, or have more than more than 5 or 6 people in your family.

Since the sauté function, slow cook, and the manual cooking are the primary settings you will need, theres no need to splurge on extra functions.

Why Do Most Recipes Use Manual Settings Instead Of Smart Program Buttons

One size does not fit all in most scenarios. This is true of the smart one-touch buttons on the Instant Pot too. While some may come in handy down the line, you should learn more about specific recipes before you begin relying on them. Using Manual/Pressure Cook button and adjusting time and pressure level by yourself gives you more control. Having said that, you can also adjust time and pressure level once youve selected once of the Smart Program function.;

Yogurt In The Instant Pot

Have you ever realized that there’s a yogurt button on your Instant Pot? If you’re like us, you may have thought to yourself, hmmm, what does that do!? Well, we’re about to tell you just how magical that little button can be!

If you’ve ever had homemade yogurt, you know there really is no comparison to the stuff at the store. It’s creamier, sweeter, and it has way less sugar! Use the built-in yogurt setting to make the BEST yogurt you’ve ever eaten regular or greek!

Recommended Reading: How To Cook Brown Rice In Instant Pot

What Foods Are Best For A Pressure Cooker

Pressure cooking uses wet heat only. You gotta have liquid in the cookerthe steam creates the pressure. No liquid, no steam, no pressure.

Pressure cooking is for boiling, steaming, and braising. For example, you wouldnt cook French fries or make a crusty loaf of bread from start to finish by pressure cooking.

But anything boiled or steamed or simmered is ace in your Instant Pot.

Coco Morante

The Instant Pot Pasta Formula

Instant Pot Ultra 8 Qt 10

To cook any type of pasta perfectly in the Instant Pot :

  • Find the recommended cook time on any box / bag of pasta.;
  • Take the lowest, even number in the range.
  • Divide in half.
  • Use 5 minute natural release and then release any remaining pressure manually.
  • But theres no need to do all that math. Just use the chart below:

    **0 is a real setting on the Instant Pot / pressure cooker. For small pasta shapes with a short recommended cook time, set the timer to zero minutes. The pressure cooker will fully pressurize but wont hold for any amount of time.

    Don’t Miss: How To Cook Ribs In An Instant Pot

    How To Open & Close The Lid

    First Instant Pot setup skill you need to master is opening & closing the Instant Pot Lid with ease.

    As shown in photo below, the black markings on the lid & pot may not be easy to spot at first.

    • Markings on lid: Close Inverted Triangle Open
    • Markings on exterior housing:;Locked Triangle Unlocked Triangle
    • Open Lid : twist counter clockwise until Inverted Triangle is aligned with the Unlocked Triangle sign, then lift the lid.
    • Close Lid : align the Inverted Triangle with the Unlocked Triangle, then twist clockwise to lock the lid.

    The Two Most Important Safety Instructions For Your Instant Pot

    The Instant Pot manual is filled with safety instructions, but these two are the critical ones to remember:

    First, never put your face near the steam release valve or float valve while the Instant Pot is on. When I toggle the steam release valve, I use a long handled wooden spoon so my hand and arm are not near the valve opening. ;Any kitchen utensil with a long handle will do. Alternatively, you can use an oven mitt to carefully turn the steam release valve to the venting position when you are ready to release the pressure in your Instant Pot.

    Second, never open the Instant Pot lid until the pressure has been released through the steam release valve. You will know that all the pressure has been released when the float valve drops down.

    Depending on which Instant Pot model you have, the float valve may be red or silver. It may pop up above the level of the lid when the pot is pressurized, or it may pop up to be flush with the level of the lid. In my 6 quart LUX, the silver float valve is below lid level normally and pops up to be flush with the level of the lid when pressurized. You will get to know how your Instant Pot model works.

    These photos show my 8 quart DUO and you see that the float valve is above the lid level in the left photo, which shows a pressurized pot.

    Never attempt to open the lid of your Instant Pot while it is pressurized.

    Also Check: How To Cook Chicken Tenders In Instant Pot

    How To Wash Your Instant Pot

    When you’re doing dishes after dinner, be sure to remove and thoroughly clean the sealing ring to ensure it doesn’t hold onto flavors. You can do this quickly by hand-washing using a mild detergent.

    For a deeper clean, add a cup of water, a cup of white vinegar, and a few lemon peels to the clean inner pot and run the unit on Steam for two minutes. Release the pressure naturally and let the lid and ring air dry.

    How To Use Instant Pot For Dal

    How to Use Your Instant Pot | A First Timers Guide | Well Done

    Youre probably wondering why use the instant pot for dal? after all, you could be making dal on the stovetop or using another kitchen gadget.

    Well, my opinion is always the same.

    The instant pot cooks red lentils fast, you dont have to soak your red lentils first and you can store the inner pot in the fridge for a couple of days as you get through your dal.

    Or another reason why I love instant pot dal, is that I can sauté first and then pressure cook.

    You May Like: How To Use Instant Pot As Crock Pot

    Familiarize Yourself With The Panel

    The panel with all the buttons can be intimidating, but you actually only need to use a few settings.

    • Pressure Level button make sure it is set to high
    • Pressure Cook button use the up and down arrows to set the time
    • Cancel button if you need to cancel the program

    Just forget about all those other buttons on the panel for now. And, just in case you were wondering, there is no Start button. Once youve pushed the Pressure Cook button and set the time using the up and down arrows, then the Instant Pot will start by itself.

    The LED screen will show you the time youve set, and the time will count down once the post has come up to pressure.

    How To Cook Dal In Instant Pot

    • Sauté. Add garlic, ginger, and onion into the instant pot and saute with some extra virgin olive oil.
    • Prep. As the instant pot warms up, use this time to chop up your tomatoes, remove the cores and to get your tomato sauce ready.
    • Sauté. Next add in your tomatoes and sauté until they start to soften, then use the tomato sauce to deglaze the instant pot.
    • Dump. Load everything else into the instant pot and cook for 5 minutes on manual/pressure cook. Then once the pressure has been released, stir before serving.

    You May Like: How To Sterilize Bottles In Instant Pot

    How To Store Your Instant Pot

    Store your cooker like this, with the lid upside down and the gasket loose. Condensation builds up in the gasket, which can become moldy if you lock a damp lid on the cooker.

    This method allows for lots of air circulation. Its not so pretty on a countertop, I know. If nothing else, make sure you at least never store your cooker with a damp lid.

    A Quick Recap Of Key Cooking Stages

    How Do I Know Which Instant Pot Button To Use?

    As we discussed in this post, there are three key phases to cooking in the Instant Pot. Once you add all ingredients and liquids, secure and lock the lid and choose your setting and time, the following things happen:

  • Preheating & pressurizing stage the pot heats up creating steam and pressure inside. This takes 5-20 minutes depending on how much food and liquid you add. Note: food starts to cook during this stage, kind of like when you boil potatoes on the stove they start to cook even before the pot comes to a boil, although most of the cooking happens once the water is super hot.
  • Cooking stage the built-up pressure pushes all the heat and steam inside the pot into the food, cooking it rather quickly. This is when the time youve selected for cooking under pressure starts counting down.
  • Depressurizing stage once cooking under pressure is done , the pot stops heating allowing the steam and pressure inside to escape through the release pipe. If you leave the pot alone, the pressure will release naturally but this can take 10-20 minutes depending on the volume of food inside. During this time, the food continues to cook at a slower rate. If you want to stop the food from cooking right away or you want to eat asap, you can release the pressure manually, which is known as the quick release .
  • Don’t Miss: How To Cook Black Beans In Instant Pot

    How To Cook With The Instant Pot

    How you use your Instant Pot depends on what you’re cooking. But, many recipes — especially those involving meat — tend to follow this formula:

  • Set the Insant Pot to Saute mode. Add oil and brown your protein, like beef or chicken. Aromatics, like garlic and onion, are browned in this step, too.
  • Hit the Cancel button. Now tap Manual, followed by Pressure. Tap it again to go into High Pressure mode Use the plus and minus buttons to set the cook time.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock it into place. You should hear a lovely little sound letting you know it’s locked.;
  • Make sure the valve built into the lid is in the Sealing position.;
  • When the Instant Pot builds enough pressure, the red button will pop up. Now the cook time will officially begin.
  • The above steps can vary quite a bit, depending on the recipe, but most of what I cook in my Instant Pot follows that sequence.;

    Here, the Instant Pot’s valve is in Sealing position.

    Take Your Instant Pot On Trips

    Because this handy dandy appliance is so incredibly versatile, you can cook virtually anything in it! That’s exactly what makes it the perfect thing to take on a trip! As long as you’ve got an outlet and an Instant Pot, you’ve got a sauté pan, slow cooker, pressure cooker, and a great re-heating tool all in one magical device! Who needs to lug around all the pots and pans when you’ve got this life-saver?!

    Not only is it convenient, but it can also save you TONS. Eating out can be so expensive and is honestly a total waste of money most of the time. Unfortunately, most people think cooking while traveling is not an option because they don’t have access to a stove or oven.

    Well, Instant Pot to the rescue yet again! You literally only need an outlet for a delicious made-from-scratch home-cooked meal!

    You May Like: How To Cook An Artichoke In An Instant Pot

    I’m Not Sure I Can Blindly Steam My Food In The Instant Pot What’s The Traditional Way

    It’s completely understandable if you’d still prefer the old-fashioned way, since you can’t check on the food while it’s steaming with the Steam button. Figuring out the right cook times without ruining the food can be frustrating if you don’t have the patience for it, here’s how to do it the traditional way, except still in the Instant Pot.

    Please keep in mind that this method does require a glass lid that fits over the Instant Pot. It can be any glass lid you already have in the kitchen, but Instant Pot does sell its own glass lid if you need to buy one.

    To use your Instant Pot as a traditional steamer, just pour in at least one cup of water into your liner. Then place the trivet at the bottom, and set a steamer rack or basket on top of the trivet. Place the food you want to steam inside the basket or rack, and then push Sauté. You can adjust the temperature of Sauté mode by pressing the More button after initiating Sauté. Then just wait for the water to start boiling to create steam, and then place the glass lid on top. Allow the food to cook, though you can lift the lid off to check up on the food periodically. Once the food has reached your desired doneness, push the Cancel button to stop cooking.

    Like the traditional stovetop method, this does require a bit of babysitting, which is one reason why I prefer the Steam function.

    How To Start The Instant Pot

    HOW TO USE Instant Pot for the FIRST TIME | Unboxing Water Test

    Step 1. Place the Instant Pot on a sturdy countertop or a table close to a power socket. Make sure there is plenty of open space above the pot as you will have steam eject from the lid up in the air if you quick release the pressure.;

    Step 2. Make sure the inner pot is inside the cooker base and is clean. Plug the power cord in. Instant Pot will switch on and the OFF status symbol will appear on the control panel. This is called a standby mode.

    Step 3. Decide on which cooking method you want to use from the below scenarios. This will depend on what you want to cook. Usually, recipe instructions will guide you along here.

    In general, your choices will come down to whether you want to Sauté food first and then whether you want to use a manual setting or one of the smart programs.

    Recommended Reading: How Long To Cook Pre Cooked Ribs In Instant Pot

    But If I Can’t See The Food As It’s Steaming How Do I Know How Long To Cook Or Steam It For

    When it comes to using the Steam function, it’s best to have done some research on cook times, especially when it comes to delicate vegetables and seafood.

    A lot of your experience with an Instant Pot, or pressure cooker in general, will require experimentation. Don’t be intimidated! It’s a kitchen tool, like everything else, and takes some time to master it.

    If you use the “Steam” button, it’s essentially going to be pressure steaming, not just regular steaming.

    Fortunately, the Instant Pot company knows that it can be a bit overwhelming, so it’s provided some useful cooking timetables on its website.

    Personally, I love using my Instant Pot to steam broccoli on a regular basis. I always steam it at 0 minutes , Quick Release the pressure, and voila! Some vegetables, like broccoli, just need 0 minutes because it’s already cooking while building up pressure for steam. Anything more than 0 results in mushy broccoli, and no one wants that.

    The Three Most Important Instant Pot Buttons

    There are really only three buttons you need to know when you are just starting out with pressure cooking:

    Manual/Pressure Cook. This button is where the magic happensif a recipe says to cook at High Pressure, this is the button you need. Just press it, then use the and buttons to change the cook time. After a brief pause, the Instant Pot will beep to tell you its beginning the pressure cooking process. Some Instant Pots, such a the Duo Evo Plus have a start button that youll need to press to start the cooking process.;

    Sauté.;Press the Sauté button to brown meats, sauté vegetables, and simmer ingredients in the pressure cooking pot. Adjust;Sauté to less for simmer, normal to sauté and more for browning.

    Keep Warm/Cancel.;Use this button to cancel a function or to turn off your Instant Pot.

    Honestly, thats it! I recommend beginning with some easy, tried-and-true recipes before branching out into converting your old favorites. Since I write my recipes so they can be made in any electric pressure cooker, I rarely use the preset Instant Pot buttons.

    Also Check: How To Cook Tapioca Pearls In Instant Pot

    Instant Pot Is Not Instant

    One of the most common questions I see in the Instant Pot communities is: What brand of Instant Pot should I buy? This question actually does not make sense because Instant Pot is a name of a brand.

    What people actually mean is: What brand of an electric pressure cooker should I buy? However, Instant Pot brand is now one of the most popular on the market so it became almost synonymous to saying electric pressure cooker.

    Now, is Instant Pot instant? No! BIG NO! But naming the brand Not too quick but faster than average cooking pot wouldnt be a good marketing decision so its called Instant Pot.

    My Top 5 Instant Pot Recipes For Beginners

    A Guide to the Instapot or Instant Pot
  • Instant Pot Strawberry Chia Jam
  • So, here you have it:;7 Things You Need To Know About Instant Pot . Would I recommend buying one? Absolutely! As long as you realize that it is not a magical appliance and dont expect your life to change while using it.

    Do you love your Instant Pot? Were you disappointed at first with the actual cooking time? Id love to hear from you! Comment below!

    Recommended Reading: How To Meal Prep With Instant Pot

    Latest Recipes

    More Recipes Like This