Should I Use The Rice Button On My Instant Pot
The Instant Pots rice button is best used for white rice, as it is specifically calibrated to weigh white rice and water and cook the rice accordingly. This is ideal for weeknights when you truly want to set and forget your rice, but not great for cooking different varieties of rice on the fly.
Luckily, you can use your Instant Pots manual pressure function to cook white, brown, or wild rice on high pressure in just a few minutes. Heres how to do it.
How To Keep Food Warm In The Instant Pot
Maybe youve already reheated the food, or just cooked it, and you want it to stay warm until its time to serve it.
The fabulous thing about the Instant Pot is that there is a button exactly for that! The Cancel/Keep Warm button is your best friend in this case.
If you press the Keep Warm button, it will default to a 2 hour time frame where it will keep the contents of the pot warm. I use this button all the time! For instance, if I make an Instant Pot soup recipe, I can use this function to keep it warm until dinnertime.
The Keep Warm button can also be used to reheat food slowly. Just add the leftovers to the insert pot and press the Keep Warm button, and it will gradually warm the food. You may need to stir every so often, just to distribute the heat more evenly, but it works like a charm if you dont need to reheat quickly!
What Is Instant Pot Natural Release
Natural Release is as it sounds: a method that allows steam to leave the Instant Pot via the small floating valve at its natural rate of venting into the air. Its a slower way of letting off the pressure, so its more suitable for meals with a lot of liquid that might otherwise rise with the steam and splatter.
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How To Convert A Slow Cooker Recipe To An Instant Pot Recipe
Since the Instant Pot exploded onto the home cooking scene a few years ago, many people have chosen to get rid of their slow cooker in favor of the multi-functional appliance. You can cook your favorite recipes no matter which setting you’re using, but you’ll need to adjust the cook time.
- To convert a slow cooker recipe for the Instant Pot: Multiply the High setting cook time by 60, then divide by 10.
- To convert an Instant Pot recipe for the slow cooker: Multiply the Instant Pot cook time by 10, then divide by 60.
Is This Thing Safe
Its actually safer than conventional cooking or stovetop pressure cooking. Everyone has heard stories about old-time pressure cookers exploding. Your Instant Pot wont do that because the temperature and pressure inside the pots is carefully monitored and regulated through its internal programming.
Remember: Its your trusty cooking robot.
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Instant Pot Parts And Accessories
The first thing youll want to do is wash the parts of your Instant Pot. The Instant Pot lid, steam release valve and stainless steel inner pot are dishwasher safe however, I wash mine by hand. The base unit is not dishwasher safe never immerse the base unit in water.
This Sounds Too Good To Be True
I wouldnt lie to you. Instant Pot is a misnomer. Its not a miracle, and it does not cook food in an instant. Nothing does, unless you live on Cup Noodles.
Here’s the catch: It takes time for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.
Typically, the time it takes the cooker to get to pressure is not part of that cooking time. For instance, if a pot roast cooks for 30 minutes at pressure, the total time from start to finish for a recipe like this might be more like 45 minutes or more. An Instant Pots heating element has less juice than the burners on your range, so it takes longer to heat food enough to get to pressure.
BUT! The ease of use frees you up to do other things. With most recipes, Instant Pots truly are set it and forget it. Lets say youre making a stir-fry, and youd like brown rice to go with it. Before you start prepping the stir-fry, put the rice and water in the Instant Pot, program it to cook for 22 minutes at pressure, then go about your business.
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Dont Get Too Caught Up In What All The Buttons Mean
For the most part, the buttons on the control panel are there to help you decide on your cooking time. For example, if there is a fish button, pressing it will likely mean that your food will cook for a short time . The chicken button will be slightly longer . Some electric pressure cookers have a saute feature, which comes in handy to pre-caramelize your mirepoix, if youre making soup or stew . New models have a sterilize function , and most come with a slow cook option, which means exactly what you think it means: slow cooking without pressure. When it comes to frozen food, learn if you can cook frozen meat in an Instant Pot.
Keep A Positive Mindset
When we surveyed our readers about their initial experience with the Instant Pot, many users had the advice to just have fun with the pressure cooker! Set aside any expectations, know the Instant Pot is an exceptionally safe kitchen device, and try something new. Even if it doesnt go according to plan, it should boost your confidence.
Over to you! Do you have any further questions about how to use the Instant Pot as a beginner? What foods or recipes do you plan to cook first? Anything else we can help you with? Leave your feedback and comment below!
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How To Use The Instant Pot For Beginners
Learn how to use the Instant Pot with step-by-step instructions and photos for manual or smart program pressure cooker settings, how to sauté foods, and how and when to select a natural release or quick release options. Plus, we cover some Instant Pot FAQs and general tips to make your learning curve as the Instant Pot beginner less steep. Lets get started!
Looking at your shiny new Instant Pot box and wondering where to start? Dont panic! This wonderful kitchen gadget might seem intimidating but its actually very friendly once you get to know it. Lets unpack the box, its time to learn how to use the Instant Pot.
As part of our Instant Pot For Beginner series, we have also covered what the Instant Pot is and how it works with its key features and cooking stages. Make sure to check them out!
Things To Keep In Mind
I think food tastes better when its slow cooked in an actual slow cooker rather than an Instant Pot. There are a few other factors that play into why:
- Slow cooker pots are usually made of ceramic or porcelain. Instant Pot pots are stainless steel.
- Slow cookers cook from all sides and the bottom. Instant Pot heats from the bottom only.
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What Is Pressure Cooking
The primary function of most Instant Pot models is pressure cooking. The pressure is what allows the Instant Pot to be such a versatile cooking appliance. But what exactly is pressure cooking? Its a food-preparation method that seals the food inside a vessel with liquid, using heat to create steam, which increases the pressure in the vessel.
The appliance then traps or releases steam to control the level of pressure. With more pressure, the boiling point of the liquid rises, and the food cooks faster at a higher temperature. Pressure cooking retains the flavors and nutrients of your food while also creating moist and delicious results and saving energy in the process.
Why Do You Quick Release Outside
See my Instant Pot is venting outside? I do it often.
Why? To avoid house smell like food for days. Especially with high liquid volume meals like soups, steam can be coming out for 3-5 minutes. And 8 quart Instant Pot has more pressure inside than 6 quart.
It literally takes seconds to move Instant Pot on the patio. If you have one. But you can totally do Quick Release inside your kitchen.
Also, with high liquid Instant Pot recipes like soups, there is a lot of splattering. Keeps countertop clean and then rain cleans the patio. Ha!
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Quick Release Vs Natural Release
In all Instant pot recipes, it should tell you how to release the pressure from your instant pot after cooking. There are only two ways, and each has its own benefits.
Natural Release This means that you are allowing the pot to naturally release pressure all on its own. Natural release takes longer, but its often beneficial to allow the food to continue to cook a bit while the pot pressures down. Its also necessary for things like soups, becaue if you quickly release the steam while the soup is in a rapid boil, you are likley to get spills out of the pressure valve.
While waiting for a natural release, youll see the floating valve start to lower. Once its all the way down you will know that all the pressure is gone and you can open the lid.
Quick Release This release method requires you to manually release the pressure by turning the venting knob on the instant pot. You will use this method when cooking things that you dont want to overcook, such as a tenderloin or a pasta dish. Quick release is the best way to end the cooking process quickly.
TIP: Be Careful! With the quick release method, steam will shoot out of the vent quickly. Liquid may even sputter and squirt out. I like to use a thick towel or oven mitt to be safe and keep my hands from getting burned by steam.
Can You Reheat Food In The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
As Ive been learning just how versatile my Instant Pot pressure cooker is, I decided to do some research to figure out if I could use it to easily reheat food.
And I found out that YES, you CAN reheat food in the Instant Pot! Not only does the Instant Pot help me make easy pressure cooker recipes, but it also reheats my leftovers!
In my case, this was a huge discovery in terms of kitchen convenience. I know there are other people who avoid using microwaves due to health concerns. The Instant Pot is a viable option for reheating food for anybody who doesnt have access to or desires not to use a microwave!
Keep reading to find out how to reheat food in the Instant Pot!
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How To Reheat Leftovers In The Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
Looking for ways to make smaller batches of food in your Instant Pot? Check out Instant Pot Cooking for Two!!
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How To Adjust And Set Cooking Time On Instant Pot
If you own an Instant Pot or are thinking about investing in one, they are a great and very useful tool to add to your collection.
Once you own one, you will find yourself using it all of the time, especially when the holidays roll around.
With that being said, however, the buttons on the Instant Pot can become quite confusing. There are so many settings, options, and buttons, so you can easily become lost on what to do and how to do it.
This is especially true when you are trying to set or simply adjust the cooking time on your Instant Pot.
In this article, we are going to outline just how you can adjust or set the time on your Instant Pot so that your food is prepared exactly how you want it.
Settings on Your Instant Pot
While the Instant Pots normally have set times for each type of food, the actual cooking time often varies.
Below are some of the most commonly made foods and their proper cooking times .
- Soup: 30 mins on high pressure
- Meat or Stew: 20 mins on high pressure
- Beans or Chili: 30 mins on high pressure
- Chicken or Turkey: 12-25 mins on high pressure
With these being noted, there are various ways to set the time on your Instant Pot depending on how you want to cook and prepare your food. Below are some of the settings that you can choose from:
- Slow Cook: This can be set from 30 minutes to 20 hours depending on when you want it to be done.
- Sauté: This will depend upon what you are preparing.
How to Set the Time on Your Instant Pot
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Instant Pot Steam Setting
The Steam setting on the Instant Pot is perfect for cooking vegetables, fish and seafood, tofu and any other food that is suitable to steaming. This function uses Low pressure, which helps to avoid overcooking the food and means that the Instant Pot will come to pressure quicker. You need to use the trivet/steam rack provided to elevate food from cooking liquid. Always use QR to prevent food from overcooking. Below is how to use the Steam setting on Instant Pot.
- Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add a cup of water to the inner pot and place the trivet on top. You can place the vegetables or a piece of fish or thinly sliced chicken on top of the trivet OR you can use an additional steam basket or a round pan with holes that fits inside the pot. A steamer basket might be useful for smaller-sized vegetables or cut-up vegetables to prevent them from falling into the water.
- Secure and lock the lid. Press the Steam button. The default setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at Low pressure for 10 minutes. If you press the Steam button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More.
What Is The Instant Pot
Instant Pot is a pressure cooker — and then some. It also sautés, slow cooks, makes rice and steams veggies and poultry. It’s an all-in-one device, so you can, for instance, brown a chicken and cook it all in the same pot. In most cases, Instant Pot meals are ready to serve in less than an hour.
Its quick cook times are thanks to its pressure-cooking function, which locks steam created by liquid , building pressure and pushing steam back into the food.
But don’t confuse it with a stovetop pressure cooker. Unlike your grandparents’ pressure cooker, this Instant Pot eliminates safety concerns with a lid that locks, and stays locked, until the pressure is released.
Yes, you can cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot.
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Using The Instant Pot As A Pressure Cooker
The main function of the Instant Pot is pressure cooking, which is used to cook meats, meals and grains.
Pressure cooking uses steam pressure to raise the boiling point of water above what it is normally. This is why it cooks things so quickly. There are three stages to the pressure cooking process: Pre-heating and pressurization, Cooking, and Depressurizing.
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