How To Operate An Instant Pot

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My Sauce Or Stew Is Too Thin Can I Thicken It In The Instant Pot

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

You can reduce a sauce or stew on the Sauté setting after pressure cooking, but know that it only has one heat setting, and will boil quickly. Another option is to add a thickener, like cornstarch or a paste of butter and flour, after pressure cooking as well. When adding a thickener, be sure to set the pot to Sauté and whisk it evenly into the liquid, as it cooks.

Learn How To Boil Water

Whichever electric pressure cooker you end up with, your first time using it should involve literally learning to boil water. You do this by adding a cup or so of water to the inner pot , sealing the lid, and selecting a short cook time. Within five minutes, the water should heat up and build pressure, at which point the pressure is released via the natural method, or you can use the quick-release method. .

Why Is Liquid Sputtering Out Of The Valve

The Instant Pot is either too full or it is what you are cooking inside. Foods that typically froth or foam are pasta, soups, applesauce, beans, grains, and potatoes. When cooking foods such as these make sure pot is not more that 1/2 full and adding 1-2 tablespoons of oil to the liquids help stop foaming.

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On The Spot Pot Soup Setting

The default On the spot Pot soup setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to prepare dinner at HIGH strain for Half-hour. The soup program brings contents of the pot to a sluggish simmer and leads to a transparent broth attributable to lack of boiling movement. Beneath is find out how to use the Soup/Broth setting on On the spot Pot.

  • Flip the On the spot Pot on, it would say OFF to point the Stand-By mode. Add all components, seasonings and liquids to the pot and stir. Safe the lid on prime. Press the Soup button. It would say Regular, Half-hour at Excessive Stress. If you happen to press the Soup button once more, you may modify the mode from Regular to Much less or Extra .
  • Regular mode Half-hour at Excessive strain advisable for soups with meat.
  • Much less mode 20 minutes at Excessive strain advisable for soups with out meat.
  • Extra mode 4 hours at Excessive strain advisable for soups that require longer prepare dinner occasions corresponding to wealthy bone broths. Launch the strain naturally.

Use the / + buttons to additional customise the time. The cooking time could also be adjusted at any time throughout strain cooking.


We discover that the majority greens, together with potatoes, dont want the complete 20 minutes at Excessive strain and can typically overcook and get too tender, so for many vegetable-based soups, 5 to 10 minutes at Excessive strain is often sufficient.

Inspecting Your Instant Pot Before Each Use

How to Use the Instant Pot

1. Remove the stainless steel inner pot and look inside the instant pot base. You will see the heating element. The heating element should always be free of debris and dry before you use you the Instant Pot. After washing, I always dry my stainless steel inner pot thoroughly before returning it to the base unit.

2. Check that the silicone sealing ring is fitted properly onto the lid and is clean and free of tears.

3. Remove the steam release valve from the Instant Pot lid by gently pulling it straight up. Make sure it is clean and free of debris. Some foods, such as applesauce, pasta and oatmeal may froth and foam when you cook them and can clog the steam release valve. Check the steam release valve each time you use your Instant Pot. If it is dirty clean it under running water and then put it back on the Instant Pot lid.

4. Check the float valve to ensure it is clean and free of debris. Clean it with warm water as needed. You may place the lid under running water as needed to wash it.

Making sure that all parts of your Instant Pot are clean and in good working condition can help you to have the best success with pressure cooking. My post about the Instant Pot burn message tells you both how to prevent getting this warning and what to do if you do get a burn message.

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Instant Pot Recipes To Make Next

Heres the scope of whats possible in your Instant Pot. Eventually youll hone in on what makes sense for you. Youre the boss of this thing, so have fun!

  • Hard-boiled eggs in the Instant Pot are actually steamed. The plus with them? So easy to peel!
  • Do you love cooking dry beans from scratch? In the Instant Pot, they are fast and plump in the pressure cooker. A game-changer.
  • Regular steamed rice in an Instant Pot frees you to focus on cooking the rest of the meal. An IP is essentially a rice cooker on steroids.

Simply Recipes / Fran Sales

Instant Pot Guide: A Beginners Guide To Using Your Pressure Cooker

Wondering how to use your new Instant Pot? In this Instant Pot Guide, Ill walk you through what you need to know to start cooking with your Instant Pot today. Safety features, how to do an Instant Pot water test, whats the difference between a natural pressure release and a quick release, and what will happen step by step through the cooking process.

Ill be honest the first time I used my Instant Pot, I was overwhelmed and a bit scared. An Instant Pot can be intimidating for a new user. There are so many buttons and safety warnings.

However, I guarantee that once you get started, youll wonder what you ever did without your Instant Pot. I love mine so much that I now own two Instant Pots!

Im going to help you get started with all of the tips and tricks that I have learned through trial, error and research. This Instant Pot manual will tell you everything you need to know to use your Instant Pot for the first time.

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A Quick Recap Of Key Cooking Stages

As we discussed in this post, there are three key phases to cooking in the Instant Pot. Once you add all ingredients and liquids, secure and lock the lid and choose your setting and time, the following things happen:

  • Preheating & pressurizing stage the pot heats up creating steam and pressure inside. This takes 5-20 minutes depending on how much food and liquid you add. Note: food starts to cook during this stage, kind of like when you boil potatoes on the stove they start to cook even before the pot comes to a boil, although most of the cooking happens once the water is super hot.
  • Cooking stage the built-up pressure pushes all the heat and steam inside the pot into the food, cooking it rather quickly. This is when the time youve selected for cooking under pressure starts counting down.
  • Depressurizing stage once cooking under pressure is done , the pot stops heating allowing the steam and pressure inside to escape through the release pipe. If you leave the pot alone, the pressure will release naturally but this can take 10-20 minutes depending on the volume of food inside. During this time, the food continues to cook at a slower rate. If you want to stop the food from cooking right away or you want to eat asap, you can release the pressure manually, which is known as the quick release .
  • How To Wash Your Instant Pot

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    When you’re doing dishes after dinner, be sure to remove and thoroughly clean the sealing ring to ensure it doesn’t hold onto flavors. You can do this quickly by hand-washing using a mild detergent.

    For a deeper clean, add a cup of water, a cup of white vinegar, and a few lemon peels to the clean inner pot and run the unit on Steam for two minutes. Release the pressure naturally and let the lid and ring air dry.

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    First Things First What Is An Instant Pot

    Links in this post are Amazon affiliate links to products we love.

    The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker but also a slow cooker, yogurt maker, rice cooker, big sauté pot, steamer, and more. We have the 6-Quart Instant Pot Duo which is what we use for all our Instant Pot recipes. They also make a 3-Quart Instant Pot Mini and a hefty 8-quart Instant Pot.

    The Instant Pot is an absolute game-changer, especially on busy nights. Most recipes are dump and cook, and all you have to do is set it all up and then WALK AWAY to do other fun stuff like watch TV, walk your dog, clean your house, have a dance party, etc.

    BONUS: it also cooks food way faster than other ways to cook and its all done in one pot. Do you get why we love this thing yet?

    If youre still not convinced, the Instant Pot is PRIME for meal prepping and freezer meals no thawing required. You can check out all our freezer meal Instant Pot recipes here if youre into that kind of stuff .

    Well also just drop the obvious: its also a pretty excellent gift for a certain holiday coming around the corner.

    Alright, lets get on with it. Here are some of our favorite ways to use this little gem.

    Yogurt Making Sauting And Other Uses

    True to its name, the multicooker can do more than just pressure cook and slow cook. Depending on your model, it may also feature several settings for preparing yogurt, rice or poultry, as well as sautéeing.

  • Yogurt Setting

    How you use this function will vary based on the recipe and your model. Most yogurt functions will heat the pot at 180 degrees to 200 degrees, which kills any errant bacteria in the milk, and helps the yogurt to thicken. Then it keeps the milk at 110 degrees for several hours, during which time it ferments. Consult your manual for exact instructions.

  • Saute Setting

    The sauté function works like a burner on your stove, heating the inner pot from the bottom up, and allowing you to brown meats and vegetables, and to simmer sauces to reduce them.

    The sauté function on most cookers has several levels, from low to high, allowing you to adjust the heat. If yours doesnt, and the food is turning too dark too quickly, turn off the machine for a few minutes to bring down the heat. Then, if necessary, turn it back on. Its not a perfect solution, but it works well enough. Or, you can always brown the ingredients on the stove in a skillet, then transfer them to the pot for the remainder of the cooking. Note that when sautéing, the multicookers lid should always be off.

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    Instant Pot Homemade Yogurt

    One of the coolest features of the Instant Pot is that it can make yogurt. But know that, unlike many quick and speedy Instant Pot recipes, its an all-day process. The incubation time takes eight hours, and then the yogurt needs an additional six hours to chill in the refrigerator before its ready for a quick snack, breakfast parfait, or smoothie.

    Whats Up With All Those Knobs And Buttons

    How to use instant pot

    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:

    • Instant Pot Duo models: arrow buttons, +/-, Pressure Cook, Start, and Cancel
    • Instant Pot Pro and Ultra models: Cancel and Start buttons, Pressure Cook, central knob

    Alison Conklin

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    You Need To Replace The Sealing Ring On Your Instant Pot Regularly

    The sealing ring is key to ensuring that your Instant Pot works the way it should. Miss Vickie writes that the sealing ring prevents pressure and liquid from escaping the cooking vessel and causing messes or even explosions. The sealing ring on an Instant Pot is made from silicone, which is ideally suited to the purpose because it’s heat resistant and flexible. Silicone’s pliability means that the sealing ring is less durable than the rest of the Instant Pot, which is made out of sturdy hard plastic and stainless steel. You want to avoid having a sealing ring fail on you in the middle of cooking, so it’s a good idea to replace it periodically.

    The Food Network recommends that you buy a new sealing ring every year or so, replacing it more frequently if you’re a heavy Instant Pot user. Given how crucial the ring is to your pressure cooker’s functioning, it’s a good idea to keep an extra ring stashed away somewhere in case of disaster.

    Pressure Cooking Requires Liquid

    Before we continue, we must mention the most important aspect of pressure cooking. It requires liquid. This is because the pressure is built by the steam accumulating inside the pot, which is produced from the liquid.

    Whether youre cooking rice, chicken breasts, pot roast, carrots, stew or cheesecake, you will need at least a cup of liquid for the Instant Pot to do its job.

    This is a total amount of liquid and can be in the form of water, stock, tomato sauce, juice, wine and liquids released from the food while cooking , or a combination of those. Amount of liquid required varies depending on the recipe and amount of food but as a rule of thumb, 1 cup is always a good starting point. Also, the food doesnt need to be completely covered or submerged in liquid to cook.

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    What Do You Need To Use An Instant Pot

    The accessories you use with your electric pressure cooker are up to you. I do most of my pressure cooking with the Ninja Foodi. The appliance came with a dual-layer reversible rack and small silicone oven mitts for taking the pot out of the appliance while it’s still hot. I’ve found these accessories are quite useful, and I rarely need others.

    However, depending on what you plan on using your unit for, you may want to pick up additional accessories. Amazon has hundreds of pressure cooker accessories. This kit includes steamer baskets, a springform pan, a dish clip that works well for canning, silicone oven mitts, and magnetic cooking time cheat sheets.

    One of the biggest complaints about Instant Pots is that the sealing ring in the lid retains flavors, which can affect how your meals taste. If you plan on making a variety of meals with dramatically different flavors, you might consider buying extra sealing rings.

    Also, a glass lid can come in handy when you use your Instant Pot’s non-pressure cooking functions. This will allow you to keep tabs on your meal without letting heat out.

    If you’re looking for meal inspiration, there are several Instant Pot cookbooks. “The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook” is a particularly popular option.

    What Is The Soup Setting On Instant Pot Answered

    How to Use Your Instant Pot | A First Timers Guide | Well Done
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    As you may already know, there arent many limits when you use an Instant Pot. It is a handy little device and can be used for a number of different things. For example, baking, boiling, pressure cooking, and more. It is initially a mixture of a pressure cooker and a slow cooker, meaning that it has more than a few applications and is a good tool to have in the kitchen. All this variety and effectiveness is one of the main reasons why Instant Pots are so famous, and it could also be the reason why you may own one.

    Instant Pots are also pretty simple and easy to use, although this is only true if you know what youre doing. For example, someone thats using the device for the first time in their life will obviously struggle to operate it properly. On the other hand, someone thats experienced and has been using Instant Pots for long will be able to navigate their way and cook whatever it is that they want using it. There are many different options that people will have to learn more about in order to get familiar with the device. One of these options is enabled using the soup button.

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    Why Is Steam Coming Out Of The Valve

    First double check the valve is in fact sealed. If it is, normally steam escapes from the valve while pressure is building. Once the Instant Pot has fully come to pressure, the valve will seal, and the steam will stop.

    If steam is coming from the sides of the lid, it means its not sealed properly. Turn off the unit, quick release pressure, and check under the lid to make sure the silicone ring and float valve are properly in place and free of food particles.

    How Instant Is An Instant Pot

    I wouldnt lie to you. Instant Pot is a misnomer. It does not cook food in an instant.

    Here’s the catch: It takes time for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.

    If a pot roast cooks for 30 minutes at pressure, the total time from start to finish 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.

    By the time youve chopped and stir-fried everything , your rice will have finished its cooking cycle, the pressure will have come down naturally, and the cooker will automatically switch to its Keep Warm functionso your perfectly cooked rice is waiting patiently for you at the ideal serving temperature.

    Emma Christensen

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