How Does The Instant Pot Work

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Instant Pot Water Test

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

Before you use your Instant Pot for the first time, you should perform a water test. The Instant Pot water test is like an initial test run for your Instant Pot.

The water test will both ensure that your Instant Pot is working properly and will familiarize you with using your Instant Pot.

One of the Instant Pots that I purchased was defective. A water test helped me to determine that the Instant Pot wasnt working properly. I was able to contact Instant Pot support and get a replacement.

Note: If you have the Instant Pot Ultra, you will use the dial to select cooking programs and change the cook time and then press start. Instead of a steam release valve that you turn, the Instant Pot Ultra has a steam release button that you will press if you want to manually release the pressure. The steam release valve will seal automatically on the Ultra, whereas on other models you turn the valve between a venting and a sealing position.

How The Instant Pot Timer Works

Like with most timers on kitchen appliances, the timer on an Instant Pot basically counts down from a certain time.

When the timer reaches the end of the countdown, it shuts off. Alternatively, if you have the keep warm setting on, it simply lowers the heat and pressure to the right setting to keep your food warm.

But as youll learn in this article, Instant Pot timers are slightly different than those on other appliances.

How Is Instant Pots Cooking Pot Made

Instant Pots cooking pot starts with a sheet of 18/8 food grade 304 stainless steel. Then, an aluminum disc and a cover disc of stainless steel bottom are fused on. The aluminum disc is not exposed to food or any exterior part of the cooker. The fusing process leaves some soldering marks on the inside of the cooking pot. These soldering marks are polished away to create a highly polished inner surface, making the cooking pot less sticky to food and easier to clean. The cooking pot is then sprayed with mineral oil for better presentation.There is no metal coating on the surface of the cooking pot.

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How To Store Your Instant Pot

Store your cooker 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 sealed with a damp lid.

Alison Conklin

Get To Know The Design

How does an Instant Pot work?

Electric pressure cookers come with an inner pot and an outer pot , as well as a lid that creates an airtight seal.

The airtight seal is what creates the pressure, which will eventually need to be released, and to do so safely, youll need to read the directions that come with your pot. But generally speaking, youll either use the quick-release method , or the natural-release method .

Test Kitchen tip: A cool, wet towel placed on the lid can help speed up the release process.

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How To Cook Anything In The Instant Pot

Before you try braising chicken thighs or making pulled pork in the Instant Pot, try out the multicooker using the water test. This is an initial test run that will allow you to familiarize yourself with the Instant Pots functionality. First, plug the pot into an outlet. Seems obvious but hey, I want to make it clear! Add three cups of water to the inner pot. Twist the lid onto the cooker and lock it into place. Select Manual or Pressure Cook and adjust the cook time to five minutes. Once the cooking cycle has completed, the cooker will beep and switch to Keep Warm. At this time, use the quick release method to switch the valve to the Venting position, which will force release the pressure. Do this carefully, using an oven mitt or pot holder. The hot steam will quickly shoot straight from the vent into the air and you presumably dont want to burn yourself.

Once all of the steam has fully released from the pot, you can dump the water out and get cookin!

How Does The Instant Pot Work / What Does The Instant Pot Do

The Instant Pot consists of three basic parts: the base unit, the inner pot, and the lid. When using the basic Pressure Cook program , you start by locking the lid onto the base unit to form an airtight seal.

The heating element in the base unit warms the inner pot, creating steam and building pressure inside the pot.

In the Instant Pots heated and pressurized environment, foods cook faster than they would otherwise. Foods are also less likely to dry out because of the presence of all that steam. Neat, right? 🙂

But other Instant Pot programs are designed to be used without the locking lid, or with a different lid that wont form an airtight seal. Using these sorts of programs , the base unit heats the food inside the inner pot, but the steam is allowed to escape and pressure never builds.

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What To Do If Your Instant Pot Timer Isnt Working

Before you go looking for solutions because your timer isnt working. Make sure to wait. This is because the timer only starts when the desired heat and pressure inside the pot is reached.

This can take some time, so be patient and wait it out to really see if the timer isnt working.

While that is the most common solution to a timer not working, if the timer really is busted, its best to go to a professional to fix it.

This is because fixing it without experience or the right knowledge on Instant Pots can actually lead to your pot being damaged even further.

So there you have it, all the basics of an Instant Pot timer. An Instant Pot is one of the greatest kitchen tools of its time. It allows people to cook great tasting, nutritious meals without having to wait hours on end.

Theyre also generally safer than standard pressure cookers and much more convenient. So now that you know how the timer works and how to use it properly, all thats left to do is get cooking!

Why Does Pressure Cooking Cooks Faster Than Most Other Methods

What is the Instapot and How Does it work?

Pressure cooking cooks faster because of high pressure:

  • Increases the liquids boiling point At standard pressure, when the liquid boils and turns into steam, the liquid will stay at the same temperature no matter how long you continue to boil it. However, you can increase the temperature past the boiling point by adding pressure. So, food cooks faster under pressure using the extra hot steam.
  • Forces the extra hot liquid into the food Imagine putting your hand over the boiling water compare to putting your hand in the oven. The steam is the one that immediately burns because steam is very efficient in transferring heat. With pressure cooking, its like theres an extra force pushing this extra high and fast heat energy into the food. Thats why the food cooks faster than usual.
  • Since you need a cooking liquid to create steam and pressure, this explains why cooking with a pressure cooker always requires some form of liquid.

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    Tips For Using Your Instant Pot As A Slow Cooker

    • Always make sure there is a minimum of 1 cup of liquid in the recipe.
    • Choose the Slow Cooker setting on your Instant Pot, then select the Adjust button to choose normal or high.
    • If you set the slow cooker function to normal and follow the recipe instructions, then you can cook a recipe on low in a slow cooker.
    • The same way you would cook a recipe in a slow cooker on high, set the slow cooker to high on the slow cooker function, and cook it for as long as the recipe specifies PLUS 15 minutes more for every hour.
    • Even though this post is designed to teach you how to use your pressure cooker as a slow cooker, the whole point of the Instant Pot is to speed up cooking.

    Features Of Instant Pot

    It has an in-built 3D technology microprocessor that monitors temperature and pressure, keeps time and adjusts heating duration and intensity.It also has 10 safety features, which are designed to stop errors, which cause harm. They include:

    • Pressure regulator Ensures pressure is at safe limits
    • Anti-blockage vent Prevents the vent from being blocked by food particles.
    • Safety lid lock Tightly locks the lid preventing accidental opening
    • Sensor Detects lid position

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    What Size Instant Pot Should I Buy

    The size of the Instant Pot you need depends on how many servings you plan on making. If you usually prepare food for two people or fewer, a smaller, four-quart size may be all you need. However, a six-quart Instant Pot is a good size because it can fit a whole chicken or make enough stew or chilly to share. For families of four or more, an eight-quart instant pot is the best option.

    How To Use Your Instant Pot: Everything You’ve Wanted To Know

    How Electric Pressure Cookers Work

    It’s not just a supercharged pressure cooker — it’s a way of life.

    Like a microwave or an electric kettle, the Instant Pot has become a kitchen staple. This versatile pressure cooker replaces so many countertop appliances, from rice makers to slow cookers. It’s introduced a new generation to pressure cooking, and shown us just how quickly it can cook a healthy meal.

    Whether you’re a new Instant Pot owner or it’s long been stored away in a cabinet, this guide is for you. A longtime Instant Pot owner myself, I’ll guide you through the basics, including explaining those strange buttons and some basic recipes.

    To kick things off, let’s walk through Instapot basics. Even if you’ve owned yours for a while, there’s something here for you, too. Let’s get started.

    More tips:15 healthy Instant Pot recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner | Does the Instant Pot destroy nutrients in your food while cooking? | The best paleo Instant Pot recipes | Best Instant Pot accessories you need right now | Best air fryers of 2020

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    Everything You Need To Know About The Instant Pot

    Have questions about the Instant Pot? You’ll find the answers here!

    If youre a regular reader of my blog, then youre probably already familiar with my obsession with the Instant Pot! Ive written quite a few posts about the Instant Pot over the past few years, and I even centered my very first video course around it.

    While I cant say enough about this magical kitchen appliance, I do know that it can be a little intimidating at first for new users, and even a little confusing at times But the purpose of todays post it to clear up any confusion or apprehension you may feel by answering all of the most important questions about the Instant Pot.

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    Were going to cover a lot of ground in this post, but dont worry! Ill explain everything as simply as I can, so that you leave this post with all the information you could possibly need about what the Instant Pot is, what it does, and how to get started cooking delicious meals of your own!

    Should I Use Quick Release Or Natural Release

    After cooking something in your pressure cooker, there are two basic ways to safely release the pressure from the pot:

    • Quick Release: The Quick Release method involves turning the steam release handle on top of the lid to Venting. This opens a valve and allows steam to escape rapidly out of the holes in the release handle.
    • Natural Release: The Natural Release method is simplejust leave the pot alone! The pressure inside the pot will drop over time as the steam and liquid cool. This take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes for the pot to depressurize naturally, depending on how full the pot is.

    Which method you should use depends entirely on what youre making. Quick Release is a good choice when cooking vegetables, seafood, and other foods that are likely to overcook, while Natural Release is good for red meats, stews, and other foods that benefit from a rest period.

    Whenever Im not sure which method to use, I like to split the difference by using a combination of both! Ill do Natural Release for 10 minutes, then Quick Release the remaining pressure.

    To learn more about the different pressure release methods, and which one to use when, check out this post.

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    It Can Reach A Higher Psi

    The biggest difference between a traditional pressure cooker and an Instant Pot is the level of PSI or pressure that can be reached. A traditional pressure cooker can reach a PSI of 15 on the stove top, while most Instant Pot models , can only reach a PSI of 12.

    What this means is that the traditional cooker actually cooks faster than the Instant Pot. If time is your main concern, the traditional cooker wins.

    Natural Vs Manual Pressure Release

    Instant Pot Review – How to Use an Instant Pot

    When the cook time is up on your Instant Pot, there’s still one more step — releasing the pressure.

    There are two ways the pressure can be released. With natural pressure release, the valve on the lid stays in Sealing position and the pressure dissipates naturally over time. This can take anywhere from 20 minutes to more than an hour, depending on what you were cooking. Low-liquid meals take much less time than high-liquid meals, like soup or chili.

    The other option is manual pressure release . Here, you’ll carefully move the valve into Venting position and watch as steam shoots out of it, releasing the pressure. This method is much faster, but very high-liquid meals, like soup, can still take about 15 minutes to release pressure manually.

    So which one should you use? Consider that with natural pressure release, the Instant Pot is still full of pressure, so the food will continue cooking while the Instant Pot is in Sealing mode. Manual pressure release is useful — and necessary — when you’ve built in enough cooking time and cooking needs to be stopped as fast as possible.

    If the goal is to cook a meal quickly, set enough time on the Instant Pot to cook your food and release the pressure manually when the time is up.

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    Instant Pot Vs Slow Cooker

    Theres also a heat source at the bottom of the Instant Pot

    But a ceramic inner pot will not hold heat in its walls

    for a very long time . Also, the heat is generated

    by the steam trapped in the pot, which is great for quick cooking

    but not so great for slow cooking. Heat is distributed unevenly during cooking

    which results in uneven textures and a slight change in taste. Therefore

    professional chefs and foodies may know you cheated

    and used an Instant Pot instead of a traditional slow cooker.

    The difference is likely to be incomprehensible to you and me

    Therefore, we find the Instant Pot to be a great option for slow cooker recipes

    Enjoy a variety of cuisines in the pot 3L multi-function electric hot pot. With a rustic design, white simple lines integrate with the home space without violation. Multi-meal is delicious and not heavy!


    Turning your favorite all-day slow cooker dish into

    a 30-minute pressure cooker special is simple and straightforward

    if you follow a few basic criteria, such as how much liquid to use

    and how to change the cooking time. You may use an Instant Pot as a slow cooker

    in two ways. You can either use the Slow Cook mode

    or the Pressure Cook option to produce the recipe.

    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 programsâ¯with 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 productsâa pressure cooker and an air fryer, as the name alludes toâin one. They’re not cheap , but the reviews are wonderful.

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    Setting Up Your Instant Pot

    I hate instruction manuals. I get bored after the cover page, quickly skim the steps for setting up any new device, and assume that Ill just figure it out as I go. Of course, that never works and I end up begging my fiancé or parents to read the booklet for me and tell me what I need to do. This is not a great way to set up your Instant Pot, or any other new gadget for that matter. You should take the time to read the instruction manual thoroughly before playing around with your new toy, especially when heat and high pressure steam are involved. But if you too want to immediately recycle the manual, heres what you need to know about setting up your Instant Pot.

    Instant Pots contain a few different pieces of equipmentthe cooker base, which is the exterior pot that has the control panel and power cord the stainless steel inner pot, which is what you actually use to cook the food and the lid. You may also find a stainless steel round rack inserted into the inner pot, but you can put that aside for now. You dont need it unless youre boiling eggs. Insert the inner pot into the cooker base, place the lid on top, and then twist the lid clockwise to lock it into place. When youre done cooking, open the lid by turning it counterclockwise to unlock and remove it.

    The Instant Pot also includes a small plastic drip cup that locks into the back side of the cooking base. This catches any excess steam or moisture and prevents it from dripping on the counter .

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