When Should I Use Keep Warm Function
The Instant Pot can be kept on Keep Warm after cooking most foods. In fact, its very handy if you are finished cooking before youre ready to serve food. Some foods like rice, quinoa, or anything that has soaked up a lot of liquid should be monitored or warmed in a more moist environment to prevent dryness or burning. You can select Keep Warm cycle before you start cooking or after.
The Frustrating Thing Nobody Tells You About The Instant Pot
Im late to the Instant Pot craze. In fact I actively resisted it for as long as I could. Im an old-fashioned gal at heartI like slow cooking in my Dutch oven. But Id heard so many people gush about their Instant Pots that I was finally ready to be impressed by one, so I started experimenting with it. And I was disappointed to discover that it wasnt quite the magic, faster-than-light cooking machine I had thought it would be.
Part of the problem was, perhaps, my unrealistic expectations. Before using the Instant Pot for the first time, I expected to be blown away by its speed and efficiency. Of course I didnt read the manual just the recipe I was following. I set the Instant Pot to cook at high pressure for 12 minutes, closed and sealed the lid, and then waited. And waited. At first, it seemed like nothing was happening. The countdown clock wasnt ticking. But the machines digital screen read On, so I waited some more. It ended up taking 15 minutes for the pressure to buildbefore the 12 minutes of pressure cooking even began. No one had told me this would happen! And then when those 12 minutes were up, I had to be there to push the valve to quick release the pressure, which also took a few minutes longer than I had expected.
Dont be fooled by the one-minute cook time on this Instant Pot shrimp scampiitll actually take you longer than that.
Do You Need To Double The Cook Time For A Double Recipe
If you would like to double an Instant Pot recipe, you may double the ingredients . You do not need to double the cook time.
However, you may need to adjust the cook time based on the size/width of meat and vegetables. For example, a small 8 ounce chicken breast will cook faster than a large 12 ounce chicken breast and a small sweet potato will cook faster than a large sweet potato. Read all recipes and directions carefully to determine how long to cook your food.
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Are Instant Pots Dangerous
While pressure cookers of the past might have been dicey safety-wise, an Instant Pot is comprised of an outer pot , a stainless steel inner pot, and a lid, all of which have plenty of safety mechanisms built-in so that you don’t need to worry about them being dangerous. “They have a silicone gasket that prevents steam from escaping, which helps regulate pressure,” says Nicole Papantoniou, Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliance Lab Director. That said, “If your gasket is damaged or ruined, you should definitely replace it.”
As an added safety feature, the Instant Pot also features a floating valve, an indicator that pops up when it’s unsafe to open the lid while cooking foods. When the floating valve is raised, the lid will automatically lock when it’s at a pressure level that could be dangerous.
To release the pressure post-cooking, you can either use the quick release feature, which ejects steam from the pot quickly , or a natural release, which lets out steam over time. Your recipe will often indicate whether you should use quick or natural release, but as a rule of thumb, Papantoniou says natural release is best for stews and other foods that won’t overcook, while quick release is recommended for dishes like pasta that are at risk of overcooking. If you do use quick release, you should use tongs to move the nozzle and release steam.
When it comes to food safety, the Instant Pot’s automatic keep warm setting can also help keep your food out of the “danger zone” .
What Instant Pot Model Should You Buy
Ive been using the Instant Pot Duo 60 on a regular basis for a long period of time with no issues. . Its been awarded the Amazons choice badge and has received praise both on and offline.
The Instant Pot is automated and can regulate temperature and pressure levels when needed.
While I always stay close to the appliance while it runs a cooking cycle, I tend to take the opportunity to either relax or take care of other chores. The Instant Pot shuts off if it senses unsafe conditions, which is awesome.
Im using the 6 Quart model but you can go as big as 8 Quart or Plus 8 if you need a larger pot.
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Whats The Big Deal With Instant Pots Anyway
Instant Pots are multifunction, programmable electric pressure cookers. Think of them as little cooking robots.
If youre not familiar with pressure cooking, the entire point of an Instant Pot can be confusing.
The big sell here is pressure cooking is up to 70 percent faster than other ways of cooking. Pressure cookers reach higher temperatures because their lids lock into place without steam escaping, which creates a pressurized environment inside the pot. In this environment, the cooker reaches 250°F .
With pressure cooking on a stove, you have to keep a close eye on the cooker because you regulate the heat source. If you let the burner get too hot, the pressure builds up too much and the cooker spews out angry jets of steam .
But with an electric Instant Pot, the cooker regulates its own heat via sensors. Thats the other win. No need to carefully monitor it as your food cooks. Program the Instant Pot and once its going, youre free to go for a walk, vacuum the living room, check your emailyou get the idea.
Instant Pots can do other things besides pressure cook, too. With the lid off, you can sauté ingredients before pressure cooking. You can also use it as a slow cooker or make yogurt in your Instant Pot. Were not going to worry about doing those things here, though. This guide is all about pressure cooking.
How Do Instant Pots & Pressure Cookers Work
Instant Pots contain two main parts, the lid, and the main unit. Then there are other parts, such as the float valve, the sealing ring, the release hole, and the stainless steel insert.
The lid and the main unit are sealed shut once the ingredients have been added to the Instant Pot. Then, when the Instant Pot starts heating up, the liquid starts to heat up. When it comes to a boil it starts to produce steam.
Because the container is sealed shut, the steam has nowhere to escape this increase the pressure inside the vessel. The increased pressure increases the temperature at which water boils, this means that the water boiling inside the pressure cooker is boiling above 212 degrees Fahrenheit. If it wasnt for the increased pressure, the water would evaporate right away.
The increased pressure also forces the heat to penetrate the foods. This, in turn, causes anything inside the Instant Pot to cook much faster than it would otherwise.
Pressure cooking is very useful for those who live at high altitudes. You can read more about the benefits of high-altitude pressure cooking here.
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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!
What Can Be Cooked With The Instant Pot
With the Instant Pot, you can cook a hearty meal for a whole family in less than 30 minutes. Dishes like rice and chicken, beef stew, chili and even a whole-roasted chicken cook in 30 to 60 minutes, start to finish. And, yes, you can even bake bread with the Instant Pot.
Paleo and ketogenic diet followers love the Instant Pot for its ability to “braise” meats in such a short amount of time, but it’s also loved by vegetarians and vegans who can quickly cook dishes like butternut squash soup, sweet potatoes, chili, steel cut oats and mac-and-cheese.
Even dry beans that usually require overnight soaking can be cooked in about 30 minutes for dishes like chili and hummus.
Want more ideas? Check out these 5 unexpected things you can cook in the Instant Pot and the best Instant Pot paleo recipes.
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How To Safely Remove The Lid
Are you worried about your Instant Pot exploding? That was my biggest fear when I got started, too. Luckily, the Instant Pot is loaded with safety features to help prevent that from happening, but the best thing you can do is learn how to use it properly to avoid any user errors.
Its NOT safe to remove the lid from your Instant Pot until all of the pressure has been released from the pot. Youll know its safe to remove the lid when the floating valve in the lid drops. This means all of the pressure is gone, and the Instant Pot lid will easily twist off.
Never ever try to force the lid off the pot if it doesnt twist easily. As a safety precaution, the Instant Pot locks the lid while the pot is still pressurized, so dont try to fight it.
Care And Cleaning Of The Instant Pot
Cleaning the Instant Pot is not hard! Clean it after each use, and always make sure that its unplugged and has cooled down to room temperature before you clean it.
I wash the inner pot, lid, float valve, and silicone ring in the dishwasher. The cooker base just needs to be wiped with a damp cloth. Make sure to let all surfaces dry thoroughly before use and storage.
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Are Aluminum Pressure Cookers Healthier Than Stainless Steel Cookers
As you plan the purchase of your pressure cooker you will most likely come up with questions such as
- Do I want an electric pressure cooker or a stovetop model?
- How big should it be?
- What material should it be made of?
I get these questions on a regular basis. Today, in this post, Ill answer the last one.
Theres a wide selection of different pressure cookers on the market and knowing which one to get isnt always easy, unless youre extremely specific about your needs.
Both electric and stovetop pressure cookers are usually made of one of the following
- Stainless steel
When it comes to stovetop pressure cookers, the material is used to create the entire vessel.
The same is not true for electric pressure cookers. Here, when we talk about the pressure cooker being made of stainless steel or aluminum, were actually talking about the insert, which is located on the inside of the pressure cooker and used to place food in during a cooking cycle.
The primary difference between these materials is the durability, second to that comes price and weight differences. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to health, they are both perfectly safe to use as long as you use them as the instruction manual suggests.
Aluminum is cheaper to produce and more lightweight. In addition, aluminum is also a great heat conductor, which contributes to even shorter cooking times. The downside is that aluminum isnt as durable as stainless steel.
Instant Pot Saute Setting
The Sauté is another non-pressure cooking program that can be used in place of a frying pan or flat-top grill. For recipes that call for browned onions or garlic, its important to sauté them before adding liquid to the pot as you will release a lot of flavor this way. Another reason to sauté first is for browning meat. Lastly, sautéeing before cooking is a great way to increase heat and reduce the amount of time your pot will take to come to pressure.
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How Do You Know If You Should Use Npr Or Qr In Recipes
- Natural Pressure Release is for tougher cuts of meat, recipes with high starch and recipes with a high volume of liquid.
- Quick Release is to be used for more delicate cuts of meat and vegetables–like seafood, chicken breasts, and steaming vegetables.
Important Tip for using Quick Release on your Instant Pot: Place a towel over the valve and use a wooden spoon or pot holder to manually turn valve from seal to venting. The towel will help to prevent your steam burning your face or hands and if the recipe starts to spew liquid, you protect your walls and ceilings from being covered in cooking liquid.
Instant Pot Poultry Setting
The poultry Instant Pot setting is best for cookingyou guessed itchicken! The mode you choose depends on the size of the chicken pieces and the cut as chicken breast needs less cooking time and is easily overcooked compared to chicken thighs. You can use this setting to cook chicken meat or a dish that contains poultry in it such as chicken and potatoes or chicken and rice . Poultry setting is only available on 6-quart and 8-quart models, not on the mini! Below is how to use the Poultry setting on Instant Pot.
- Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add chicken, seasoning and liquids to the pot. Secure and lock the lid. Press the Poultry button. The default setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at HIGH pressure for 15 minutes, which is suitable for larger pieces of chicken. If you press the Poultry button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More .
If desired, use the / + buttons to further customize the time. The cooking time may be adjusted at any time during pressure cooking.
Allow poultry to rest for 5-10 minutes, depending on size. It will reabsorb cooking juices for tender, succulent meat. Essentially, what this means is that you should allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally when possible.
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Tips For Using A Pressure Cooker
Pressure cookers are ideal for making soups and risottos and speeding up slow-cook dishes such as casseroles. Get the most out of yours with our 10 tips…
Pressure cookers are designed to make short work of slow cook dishes. Theyre economical both in the amount of power they use and are also ideal for tenderising cheaper cuts of meat. They can reduce cooking times by up to 50% and retain nutrients well, making them a healthy cooking method. If youve never used one before, then this is a great place to start.
Pros Of A Traditional Pressure Cooker
- Foods cook 3 to 10 times faster than ordinary cooking methods, saving time, energy, and money.
- Pressure cooking preserves flavors and nutrients, and tenderizes lean cuts of meat.
- Strong, heavy-gauge aluminum for quick, even heating.
- Works on electric, smooth-top, and gas ranges.
- Pressure regulator maintains the proper cooking pressure automatically.
- Fully immersible and dishwasher safe with the sealing ring and over-pressure plug removed.
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How To Cook Brats In The Instant Pot
As you can imagine, its a pretty easy operation. Here are the steps to take:
Do I Need To Adjust My Recipes At Higher Altitude
The short answer is yes. Some Instant Pot models e.g. Ultra and MAX will allow you to set your altitude and the cooking times will be automatically adjusted for you. Otherwise, cooking should be adjusted 5% for every 1,000 feet above 2,000 ft. above sea level. So, for example, at 3,000 ft., you will increase cooking time by 5% and at 4,000 ft., you will increase cooking time by 10% and so forth. One of our team members has lived at many varying high elevations and personally, I have never run into altitude-related issues with my Duo model.
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