How To Cook With An Instant Pot

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What Size Of Instant Pot Do I Need


With 3 quart, a 6 quart and an 8 quart options, it can be difficult to know which is the right size.

The 3 quart Instant Pot is great for meals that feed one or two people. If you know youll never want to cook for more than that, then the 3 quart can be the perfect fit.

However, if you occasionally like to batch cook , its a good idea to start with the 6 quart.

With a family of five, we love our 6 quart and have an 8 quart that we use less often. For me, I like the smaller size of the 6 quart and I find that the capacity is enough for us.

I know that many people with large families love the 8 quart, especially if they batch cook for easy lunches or freezer meals.

Whole Wheat / Alternative Pasta

There is no need to make any adjustment to the formula if using whole wheat or alternative pasta. Because this method of cooking pasta is based on the recommended cook time on the package, any type of pasta can be cooked this way.

We tested this method with several varieties of whole wheat pasta and with several varieties of alternative pasta .

What Are The Best Cuts Of Meat To Use

The best cuts of beef for pot roast are tougher cuts of meat like chuck, brisket, and round. Traditionally, the beef cooks at a low temperature for a long time. Its because of this that tougher cuts of beef work so well. When I say tougher cuts of meat, Im talking about the leaner cuts with lots of connective tissue.

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Getting Started: How To Use An Instant Pot Or Electric Pressure Cooker

As an Amazon affiliate, and affiliate with other businesses, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Wondering how to use your new Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, Crockpot Express, Power Pressure Cooker XL, or other brand of electric pressure cooker? Let me help you get it out of the box and into your meal plans with this Getting Started Guide! I have all the details you need to get you cooking and loving your machine!

What Is Pot Roast

New Features Instant Pot Duo Version 2

Pot roast is more of a method than a specific cut of meat. To make it, sear a large cut of beef until browned on all sides, and then cook it with aromatics like herbs, onions, carrots, and broth until its melt-in-your-mouth tender.

You can make this in a Dutch oven on the stove-top, in the oven, in a slow cooker, and in a pressure cooker. In this recipe, we are using a pressure cooker to make the pot roast. A pressure cooker takes the cook time down dramatically.

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Happy Holidays And Welcome To Pressure Cooking Today

Here at Pressure Cooking Today, we post easy and delicious recipes and training guides for the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or any other brand of electric pressure cooker!

Interested in having us teach you how to start cooking in your Instant Pot?Our Instant Pot 30-Day Jumpstart beginners course is OPEN for new students until January 14th!

If youre just getting started with your electric pressure cooker or Instant Potwhether its new or or even if youve had it for a whileyou may have lots of questions!

Here are some quick answers to some of the most common:

Keep reading for a breakdown of the different pressure cooker parts and the nitty-gritty of making your first meal in the pressure cooker!

What Can You Cook In An Instant Pot

You’d be amazed at what you can cook in an Instant Pot with a little creativity. Most people will use the Instant Pot to make chili or stew. That’s just the beginning. Instant Pot cooking can be healthier since you don’t use much oil. You can steam rice, cook a whole chicken, boil eggs, sauté vegetables, make spaghetti and cook nearly anything you can think of. The best part is that cooking in an Instant Pot means faster cooking times and far less mess. Most recipes are ready in 30 minutes or less and make cleanup easier.

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Serving Instant Pot Pasta

After eight minutes on high pressure, release the pressure valve to do a quick release of pressure, carefully open the pot, and give the whole thing a swift stir. The pasta will be too hot to eat and will continue to cook as you remove the pot from your pressure cooker and get your bowls ready. A few minutes of cooling and a flurry of Parmesan cheese will make this the perfect weeknight dinner.

Getting Started Guide: How To Use A Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot

How to Cook with Instant Pot 101

Electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot Duo Nova or the Ninja Foodi make cooking faster and easier than ever before, so I know youre going to love it!

As with any new tool, there are a few things youll need to know before you get cooking!

For your convenience, Ive created a five-part getting started guide that will walk you through getting your pressure cooker out of the box and into your daily routine!

5. Easy Recipes to Make in Your New Instant Pot / Electric Pressure CookerIve compiled a list of easy-to-make pressure cooker recipes for you to start off with and build your confidence using your Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, Crockpot Express, or other brand of electric pressure cooker.

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A Beginner’s Guide To Instant Pot Cooking

Welcome to the wonderful, slightly wild world of Instant Pots, the multi-tasking devices that are designed to make your life a whole lot easier. The most popular brand, simply called Instant Pot, is an electric pressure cooker, steamer, rice cooker, yogurt maker, a saute pan that has a whole bunch of pre-programmed settings meant for the cooks who want to set it and forget it.

Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s a little bit more complicated than all that. In fact, the biggest complaint about this popular piece of kitchen equipment is that the manual is a tough read, which is one reason loads of community forums have popped up, offering great advice about how to approach this helpful tool instead of letting it gather dust in the cupboard. Here’s what we’ve learned from poring over user’s suggestions, hints, tips and advice.

1. Start Slowly

Because so many cooks feel right at home with a slow cooker, head that direction as way to become familiar with the various buttons and settings. The beauty of this high-functioning device is that it has the ability to saute, so braising is super easy. Press the saute button and wait for the display to read “hot” before adding food. Then, after the food has browned, hit the slow cooker button and set the timer, according to the recipe instructions. After cooking, the Instant Pot keeps the food warm for up to six hours.

Try testing your braising/slow cooker skills with this winner from Chef John:

2. Under Pressure

4. ALWAYS Pre-soak

Easy Instant Pot Recipes

Whether you need easy weeknight meals to new or an exciting cooking experiment, these are’s best Instant Pot recipes. Never used a pressure cooker before? No problem! From Instant Pot chili and soup to pot roast and chicken, these simple dishes make dinner a breeze.

“I loved this pot roast! It was practically falling apart from how tender it was! It took no time at all, which is a major plus!”

-Jonathan Melendez

Better than takeout and ready in minutes! Plus, you can make the rice ahead of time to save time on weeknights.

Make this versatile side dish for literally any meal. Cauliflower and potato are a winning low-carb combo. Plus, you can make it ahead in the Instant Pot and reheat in the broiler just before serving.

“OMG, what have I been missing! So fast, easy and peels like a dream. The perfect texture with no rubbery feel or that dreaded gray-green circle around the yolks.”

-Bonnie G 2

A great, flavorful alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. If you’re trying to be somewhat healthier, this is the side dish for you!

A healthy and fast Instant Pot chicken recipe for a weeknight meal. Serve with whole grain pasta or rice and steamed vegetables for a complete meal.

“Excellent! I’ll definitely make this again. I added the marinade to give more flavor and I’m so glad I did. The meat was tender and flavorful.”


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Types Of Lentils And How To Cook Them In The Instant Pot

Red Lentils: These are commonly used in Indian dal and soft dishes like soups and curries. Red lentils break down quickly and become creamy, making them the perfect thickening agent for stews, soups, and purées. If youre new to red lentils and open your pot to see a pile of mush, dont be alarmed. Thats exactly what red lentils do!

For a soup/stew/curry, I like cooking red lentils for about 10 minutes in the Instant Pot at high pressure. This gives them plenty of time to disintegrate and melt into the other ingredients, thereby naturally thickening the texture. But if youre just cooking red lentils in plain water, they need just 2-3 minutes. And theyll still get mushy in this short amount of time.

Note: At Indian grocery stores, you will also find split red lentils, AKA masoor dal. These are red lentils that have had their skins removed and therefore cook a bit more quickly. Youll also find split yellow lentils, AKA moong dal. If youd like to learn more about the varieties of lentils used to make Indian dal, check out this blog post on Restaurant-Style Dal Tadka.

Brown and Green Lentils

French Green Lentils: These lentils also hold their shape when cooked, making them perfect in salads. If you find brown or green lentils to be too mushy for your taste or use, try these French green lentils instead. They have a pleasant, peppery taste.

French green lentils take 6-8 minutes in the Instant Pot and will stay nice and firm. I prefer to cook them for 6 minutes.

The Very Best Instant Pot Chicken Recipes


Instant Pot plus chicken equals the simplest, no-brainer kind of weeknight meal. Quick, easy and pretty healthy, these Instant Pot chicken recipes are all winners:

  • Instant Pot Chicken Marinara. Instant Pot chicken marinara recipe is a 3-ingredient equation for dinner that goes something like this: chicken thighs + a jar of marinara sauce = dinners done.
  • Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken. A rich, bold homemade teriyaki is the secret to this delicious Instant Pot chicken recipe.
  • Honey-Balsamic Instant Pot Chicken. Chicken legs cook to tender perfection in a simple honey balsamic sauce, and the whole thing is ready in just 30 minutes!
  • Instant Pot Butter Chicken. Were big fans of Indian butter chickenthat tender, tomato-y takeout favoriteand this Instant Pot version really delivers!
  • Instant Pot Chicken. Say hello to the best Instant Pot chicken recipe ever! Whenever a recipe calls for perfectly juicy chicken, this is your go-to recipe!

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Why Cook Pasta In The Instant Pot

There are three reasons to cook pasta in the Instant Pot / pressure cooker.

  • Its a true one pot dish. No need to strain the pasta after its done because the pasta will absorb all of the water as it cooks.
  • Set it and forget it. Theres no need to keep an eye on the pot to make sure it doesnt boil over. Just turn the machine on and walk away.
  • Keep the starch Since the pasta isnt strained, all of the natural starch from the pasta stays in the pot and serves as a natural thickener for any type of sauce you add whether its marinara sauce or creamy cheesy sauce .
  • What Should You Not Cook In An Instant Pot

    Here are some of the food you shouldnt cook in an Instant Pot:

    • Deep-fried food such as fried chicken, french fries
    • Delicate food that requires quick & high heat
    • Milk-based or cream-based sauces shouldnt be pressure cooked directly in the inner pot
    • Food that uses puff pastry
    • Breaded meat, breaded vegetables
    • Pressure canning

    Which of the 50 Easy Instant Pot Recipes from this list are you going to try first?

    What are some of your favorite Pressure Cooker Recipes? Let us know in the comments.

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    Get To Know The Design

    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.

    How Do You Keep The Rice From Sticking To The Bottom

    Tech Tips: How to cook with your Instant Pot.

    If your rice is sticking to the bottom of your Instant Pot, this likely means there was either not enough water added or the rice is overcooked. To further prevent sticking, be sure to rinse your rice, stir the rice and water mixture before cooking, turn the Keep Warm function off, and use the Natural Release function when the rice finishes cooking. If following these steps still results in rice sticking to the bottom of the pot, add a tablespoon of oil before cooking.

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    What Comes In The Box

    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.

    Instant Pot Corn On The Cob

    No need to heat up a big pot of water and your kitchen in the process just to enjoy some fresh summer corn. Cooking corn in a pressure cooker with minimal water allows the flavor to shine through, and it couldnt be easier. Serve simply with butter, salt and pepper.

    Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Corn on the Cob

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    Pressure Cook The Cake

    Although the Instant Pot has plenty of fancy features I considered to cook the cake , to keep the recipe as simple as possible and accommodate different brands of electric pressure cookers, I went the simple route and cooked it on high pressure .

    • Add 1/2 cup water to the Instant Pot. This will prevent the dreaded Burn warning.
    • Lower the cake into the Instant Pot via either the foil sling or the trivet.
    • Seal and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes, then vent immediately.
    • Let the cake cool, then its time for

    Which Instant Pot Buttons To Use

    Video: How to Use an Instant Pot IP

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    SO MANY BUTTONS! How to use Instant Pot is a top Google search. If you own an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker and want to know what each button does and when to use it, my complete guide will tell you everything you need to know about using the Instant Pot buttons for every model and version!

    If youre just getting started with your Instant Pot, your first question might be How do I know which Instant Pot buttons to use? Heres a detailed explanation that will help.

    The most important thing to know is the buttons are just preset, suggested cook times for specific items. If you use the Poultry button, your Instant Pot will not know how much meat is in the pot or whether its frozen or fresh. Your Instant Pot CANNOT sense what you are actuallycooking and CANNOT tell you when the food in your pot is cooked through.

    So when youre cooking chicken soup, you can use the Soup button, the Poultry button, the Meat button, or the Manual button It really doesnt matter which button you use, just choose the button with the closest cook time to the time in the recipe youre using .

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    Dump And Start One Pot Spaghetti:

    Weve developed this spaghetti recipe with an option for those who want the quickest & easiest dump-it-all-in meal. You can get this spaghetti meal on the table in 30 minutes!

    *Note: Simply remember to break the seasoned ground beef into smaller chunks, then layer the ground beef, onions, garlic, dried herbs at the bottom of the pot before pressure cooking.

    How Do I Get Into This Thing When Its At Pressure

    Now you need to release the pressure. There are two ways:

    • Natural release: That means you do nothing but wait. The more food in the Instant Pot, the longer it takes for the pressure to come downas long as 30 minutes if you have, say, a big batch of chili. In a lot of recipes, this time is actually part of the cooking time, and the recipe will specify natural release in the instructions. Think of it as carryover cooking. Youll use natural release with dried beans, a lot of soups and stews, most meats, steamed desserts, and long-cooking vegetables.
    • Quick release: With this method, you use the quick release valve and steam shoots up out of it. Once again, the more food in your Instant Pot, the longer it takes for the steam to release. Youll use quick release for quick-cooking foods like tender vegetables and seafoods.

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