How Does Instant Pot Work

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What Does The Instant Pot Do Exactly

What is the Instapot and How Does it work?

If this programmable countertop multi-cooker earns a spot in your kitchen, youll probably start relying on it more than any other cooking appliance. The specific functions of your Instant Pot will vary based on which model you purchase, but these are the basic programs that will be present in most models:

  • Slow cooker
  • Pressure cooker
  • Rice cooker
  • Yogurt maker
  • Warmer

Many models also come with additional programs, including sous vide machine, egg maker, cake maker, and sterilizer. You can even purchase an air frying lid for your pot.

Depending on the size and type of your model, you can insert certain types of dishes directly into the appliance, including cupcake molds or springform pans. You can also use aluminum foil to separate certain ingredients in your instant pot, which allows you to cook veggies and meats at the same time for recipes like fajitas. You can find lots of different Instant Pot recipes online.

The device also features a timer and various settings for whether you want to set to cook on low, medium, high, or keep warm.

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How To Use A Pressure Cooker

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If youre wondering How to use a Pressure Cooker, this simple guide is for you!

What comes to mind when you think about cooking with a pressure cooker?

Moms exploding chickens or grandma blowing food up the ceiling? It seems crazy that one would want to challenge that steamy, noisy beast in the kitchen.

But hey, those terrifying dinosaurs are long gone!

Modern day pressure cookers are quiet, very safe, and easy to use.

Weve been using our Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cookers heavily the past years and the kitchen has never been this peaceful.

We want to get YOU excited about pressure cooking because we totally are!

If you havent started cooking with a pressure cooker, youre totally missing out. Its never too late to start NOW.

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But What About Those Explosions

Legends of exploding pressure cookers aren’t entirely unfounded. As the US entered World War II, the government promoted self-sufficiency programs, which encouraged canning home-grown produce. Steel was allocated for the production of pressure canners, and the popularity of pressure cookers rose as well. After the war, demand for pressure cookers was at an all-time high, precipitating a boom in production. Manufacturers began pumping out pressure cookers, but at the expense of materials, construction, and overall safety. For instance, models from the ’50s had a single, poorly constructed weighted valve that easily clogged with debris. As pressure built to an extreme, the gasket would blow, and water or steam would spew from the top in some cases, the lid would just fly right off.

Fortunately, manufacturing and design practices have improved considerably, and todays pressure cookers feature several fail-safe mechanisms to ensure safety, such as multiple valves, dual pressure regulators, and spring-loaded lid locks. No more sketchy deathtraps.

Whats Pretty Great About The Pressure Cooker

How Electric Pressure Cookers Work

But is it worth it? I think so, for many people. The pressure cooker is highly efficient it uses far less energy than many other appliances, since it cooks so quickly and leverages the pressure powers of steam. Last week I made the most tender, falling-apart lamb curry Ive ever had, with the flavors of the spices saturating the meat. I also made chickpeas from scratch in 45 minutes, and spiced rice in 6 minutes.

And now, with electric pressure cookers, like the Instant Pot, pressure cooking is even simpler. These types of pressure cookers have built-in safety mechanisms that take a lot of the anxieties you may have about pressure cooking out the equation. They also have presets options for rice, beans, and broth, so you dont have to guess or even look in the manual for how long to cook things.

Both stovetop and electric pressure cookers really should be called fast cookers theyre fascinating tools and good for many, many dishes in the kitchen.

What questions do you have about pressure cookers? Leave them in the comments below!

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Does Instant Pot Make Any Other Products

Well, funny you ask: The brand launched an air fryer , and just like the company’s original product, this one’s got multiple functions: air fry, roast, broil, bake, reheat, and dehydrate preset smart programswith an option to rotate for rotisserie-style cooking. All that to say, you can basically cook your food any way you want, using less oil, therefore resulting in a healthier dish.

But for folks who don’t want to massive machines taking up their pantry or counter top space, Instant Pot also launched the Instant Pot 8-quart Duo Crisp Combo Pressure Cooker Air Fryer. It’s both productsa pressure cooker and an air fryer, as the name alludes toin one. They’re not cheap , but the reviews are wonderful.

What Can You Make In The Instant Pot

The real question is: what cant you make?You can pretty much cook anything that you can think of, whether its steaming, roasting, slow cooking or canning. Many recipes are adaptable to the Instant Pot, even if they take a bit of trial and error. If youre an experimental cook, this pressure cooker will be one adventure after another. Here are some common recipes that can easily be made in this pressure cooker, and a few additional functions:

Recommended Reading: How To Defrost Ground Beef In Instant Pot

Lets Put This Thing Together

First, wash and dry the lid, gasket, and metal insert. Now youre ready.

On the back of the cooker, youll see a spot where the drip catcher goes. Slide it right in. Its made to remove easily, so you can empty it. Without the catcher, youd wind up with small puddles on your counter.

Pop the insert in the cooker. Now insert the power cord into the cookers socket. Plug it in. The digital display on the front should now read OFF. Your cooker is now in standby mode.

Slide the rubbery gasket ring under the lid there’s a bracket where it will snap into place. The gasket helps seal the pot, allowing it to come to pressure.

Alison Conklin

On the underside of the lid is also a small metal cage. It will be round or rectangular, depending on your Instant Pot model, and it helps keep the valve from getting clogged with bits of food. Its removable so you can clean it out if necessary, but you probably won’t need to do this very often.

Alison Conklin

Look for arrows on the top of the lid and side of the cooker. Line these up to get the lid on and off. The first dozen or so times you use your IP, this whole getting-the-lid-on-and-off will feel unnatural, because your cooker is new and so are you. Itll eventually become second nature. If the cooker is plugged in, it bleeps cheerfully when you open and close it.

Next to the steam release is the pressure indicator. This is a little metal cylinder that the steam pushes up its a manual indicator that the unit has attained pressure.

Third Generation Electric Pressure Cookers

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

After the stove-top pressure cookers, in 1991 came the electric pressure cookers, called the “third generation” pressure cookers.

These include an electric heat source that is automatically regulated to maintain the operating pressure. They also include a spring-loaded valve .

An electric pressure cooker integrates a timer. Depending on cooking control capability, there are three generations of electric pressure cookers:

  • First-generation electric, with mechanical timer. There is no delayed cooking capability.
  • Second-generation electric, with digital controller. Delayed cooking becomes possible and the controller shows a countdown timer when working pressure is reached.
  • Third-generation electric, with smart programming, which includes pre-set cooking times and settings based on heating intensity, temperature, pressure and duration.
  • The first configuration consists of the air fryer lid hinged to the main unit, and is non-removable the air fryer lid flips up when using the removable pressure cooking lid, and then after the pressure cooking lid is removed, the air fryer lid flips back down. This is the configuration used by the Ninja Foodi line of pressure cookers.
  • The second configuration consists of a completely removable air fryer lid, with a protective pad for storage. This is the configuration used by most other pressure cooker manufacturers, including Instant Pot.
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Everything You Need To Know About How Pressure Cookers Work Including Answers To Such Questions As Who Invented Them Will They Explode And What’s Up With Cooking At High Altitudes

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Say the words pressure cooker to someone whos never used one, and theyll probably think danger. It isnt hard to imagine whats going through their headsvisions of flying lids, exploding kettles, or much, much worse. Even people who have used a pressure cooker will sometimes get a little leery around one.

But while such hazards may have been possible in the past, theyre practically fiction today. Pressure cookers are safe to use. More than that, theyre incredibly useful. In this age of speed, efficiency, and optimization, there are few tools in the kitchen more suited to cooks who demand good food quickly. If youre on the fence about buying a pressure cookeror if youre an especially obstinate hater, this article is for you.

Why You Should Not Use Your Instant Pot As A Slow Cooker

Yes, there’s a setting, but your slow-cooker recipes aren’t going to work as well in it.

Editor’s Note: The Instant Pot is great for making a lot of amazing things, from perfect stuffed peppers, to delicious deviled eggs and more. But most of the time, we love it for its speedy pressure-cooking capabilities. So what about that other button, the one that says “slow cook” on it?

Also Check: Frozen Ground Beef Recipes Instant Pot

Whats Up With All Those Knobs And Buttons

I know, there are so many. Good news! You can ignore most of them. I use my Instant Pot nearly every day, and Ive never touched the Rice, Porridge, or Soup buttons. I do, however, make rice, porridge and soup in my IP all the time, just by programming it manuallywhich you need to know in any case.

For now, were focusing on the buttons you need for most pressure cooking recipes. If it helps, just get masking tape and cover up those other buttons so that you only focus on the buttons needed for our test drive:

  • On the Instant Pot Duo: the Low Pressure and High Pressure buttons, the +/- Cooking Time buttons, the Manual button, and the Keep Warm/Cancel button.
  • On the Instant Pot Ultra: Cancel and Start buttons and the central knob

Alison Conklin

What Comes In The Box

How Does The Instant Pot Work?

Depending on your specific model of Instant Pot, in the box you should generally find:

  • An owners manual, for one. Its boring and confusing, which is why you are reading this. But dont get rid of it!
  • A recipe booklet. Some of these recipes are good, some arent so hot, but they all work. Still, hang onto this, too.
  • A big ol lid.

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What Should I Make First

For your Instant Pots maiden cooking voyage, I recommend keeping it simple by choosing one of these five basic and beginner-friendly pressure cooker recipes. Cooking something basic like pasta or potatoes will help you get a feel for how it all works, without the added risk of potentially messing up a whole meal.

How To Do An Instant Pot Water Test

  • Make sure that the power cord is firmly connected to your Instant Pot. Plug it into a power outlet in your wall.
  • Place the stainless steel inner pot in the base unit. Add 3 cups of cool water to the inner pot.
  • Check that the silicone sealing ring is fitted properly into the Instant Pot lid. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn it clockwise until it is in the closed position. Your Instant Pot will chime each time you close and open the lid .
  • Turn the steam release valve to the sealing position.
  • Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button.
  • Use the +/- buttons to set the time to 5 minutes. Wait for 10 seconds and the Instant Pot display will say On and the cycle will begin.
  • The Instant Pot will take anywhere from 5-15 minutes to reach pressure. Once it reaches pressure the float valve will pop up, the Instant Pot will beep once, and the cook time will begin to count down from 5 minutes. You might notice hissing sounds and some steam escaping from the steam release valve or float valve hole while the pressure builds this is normal. You may also notice a plastic smell the first time you use your Instant Pot. This is also normal and shouldnt happen again.
  • When the float valve drops down remove the Instant Pot lid.
  • Now that you have completed the water test, you are ready to cook in your Instant Pot!

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    What Accessories Should I Buy

    While you can already do a lot with just your Instant Pot and the tools that come with it, theres a whole world of useful Instant Pot accessories out there too! Some are helpful for making a specific type of food , while others can be used in a variety of different ways

    Check out this post to learn about all of my favorite Instant Pot accessories!

    Release The Pressure Safely

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    When you release the pressure, the escaping steam will be very hothot enough to burn you. So make sure the hole on top of the steam release is facing away from you before pressing the release button. Also, the quick-release method is not suitable for soups or cereals , because quick release may cause food to splatter out with the steam.

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    Introduction To Sous Vide What Is It

    There are two important factors when it comes to cooking foodtime and temperature.

    As a general rule of thumb, if youre cooking for a shorter period of time, youll use a higher temperature, which is the case with a pressure cooker. Likewise, if youre cooking at a low temperature, it will take more time, such as with a slow cooker.

    Sous vide , which in French means under vacuum, is a cooking method where food is typically vacuum-sealed in a bag, then cooked for a specific amount of time in a temperature-controlled water bath. The food will eventually reach the same temperature as the water.

    Because the temperature never fluctuates to extremes, the cooking process is gradual and controlled.

    This is a slow method of cooking, but it is well-loved for cooking proteins, tender vegetables, potatoes, and eggs, because the food wont accidentally be overcooked.

    Who Invented The Instant Pot

    After being forced out of a startup he had co-founded, entrepreneur and doctor Robert J. Wang teamed up with two tech-savvy friends in 2008 to simplify the process of pressure cooking. Putting in more than $300,000 of his own money, Dr. Wang and his team spent 18 months perfecting a device with the same “set it and forget it” attributes of a Crock-Pot. The first iteration of the Instant Pot was released on Amazon in October 2010.

    As of 2018, the Instant Pot has made more than $400 million, while inspiring hundreds of cookbooks and . So, how does this miracle machine differ from a standard pressure cooker and why has it achieved cultlike status throughout North America? To get to the bottom of these questions, one must go back almost 400 years to the year 1679.

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    How Instant Pots And All Other Pressure Cookers Transform Low

    Weve been talking a lot about Instant Pots these days, and theres good reason for that all of yall are also talking about Instant Pots a lot. It seems that everyone has one of these electric pressure cookers hanging out on their counters, and theyre using them to make everything from chili to spinach-artichoke dip.

    But what even is an Instant Pot? And how does it take a big hunk of chuck roast and break it down into gloriously tender, gelatin-rich stew in less than an hour? The answers, of course, come down to science.

    Lets Try The Quick Release

    How does an Instant Pot work?

    Back to our pot of water: Push the steam release valve to the venting position using a long-handled spoon or your finger. Just keep your fingers to the side and away from the top of the knob where the steam vents.

    This valve should stay open on its own once you nudge it. The steam will come shooting up and be a little noisy.

    Releasing all of the steam can take a minute or more. The more liquid in the cooker, the longer the release will take. With the 3 cups of water, it took mine 45 seconds.

    Coco Morante

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