Make Sure The Silicone Sealing Ring Is In The Lid
You want to make sure that the sealing ring is properly placed in the lid before cooking. It is responsible for sealing the lid to lock in the steam pressure. I store mine in labelled Ziploc bags right next to my Instant Pot so that I see them. I purchased a second Instant Pot sealing ring so that I could designate one for savoury and one for sweet recipes.
Why Do I Need The Keep Warm Mode
Keep warm mode is useful for some recipes, where you need a natural pressure release. When you make Basmati rice you need to cook for 5 minutes and than wait for 10 minutes for natural pressure release. During that time, you want that the pot stays warm so the cooking process can continue so you can get a perfect rice.
Keep warm mode is also useful when you make slow cooker recipes, which may take 3-4 hours.
Lets say you are making this Instant Pot Venison Roast. You put the beef, close the lid and set the timer to 140 minutes. Then you go to work and come back 6 hours later, after the cooking time ends and after the natural pressure release ends.
The keep warm mode makes sure the beef stays warm and good to eat. So the taste and texture stays the same and you can enjoy the recipe without the need to be near the Instant Pot exactly when the cooking time ends.
The Instant Pot Display Wont Turn On
Most display issues are often the direct result of a power problem. One quick way to try and fix your display is to make sure the power cord is fully plugged into your Instant Pot. If you previously tried this and the screen still wouldnt turn on, you should try to plug your Instant Pot into a separate outlet entirely. If youre still unsuccessful, contact Instant Pot support.
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How To Do An Instant Pot Water Test
Now that you have completed the water test, you are ready to cook in your Instant Pot!
How To Use An Instant Pot: The Basics
While most Instant Pot models offer a dizzying variety of preset cooking programs, all those buttons can be a little intimidating! I always suggest sticking to using the Manual or Pressure Cook option to begin with, because its the best way to master the fundamentals
Older Instant Pots have the Manual button, but Instant Pot changed this button to Pressure Cook on newer models Using this setting, you have control over a number of settings that you wouldnt be able to adjust using the other program buttons, such as setting the cooking time and adjusting the pressure level. -)
You can use Manual or Pressure Cook to cook almost any type of food in your Instant Pot, as long as you know a few basic pieces of information
Note: The right accessories can also be a huge help when cooking in the Instant Pot. Check out this helpful list of Instant Pot accessories youll love!
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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.
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.
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.
What You Need For Instant Pot Chili
This Instant Pot chili recipe is rather simple using classic chili flavors. Here are the main ingredients you need:
- White onion feel free to use white or yellow.
- Ground beef make sure your ground beef has a little bit of fat in it. It adds such great flavor.
- Ground pork ground pork is an incredible flavor add. Feel free to use Italian sausage if you have tha ton hand.
- Minced garlic garlic truly makes the world go round and its essential for Instant Pot chili!
- Pinto, kidney, and great northern beans: we know there is an internet debacle on whether beans are a classic chili ingredien and I can tell you right now that we are team beans! Feel free to use 3 cans of your favorite.
- Tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste: tomato products are essential for classic chili. We used tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.
- Maple syrup: our secret ingredient. SHHHHH. It brings out all those delicious chili seasoning spices.
- Hot sauce: if you dont want to add hot sauce, you can add a dash of apple cider vinegar.
- Homemade chili seasoning once you make your own homeamde chili seasoning, youll never go back. Its soooo much more flavorful.
- Beef broth: beef broth helps thin out the tomato products. You can also use chicken or vegetable broth.
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Understand How Your Instant Pot Works
To cook properly, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how the Instant Pot works.
Inside your Instant Pot is a metal pot. This is where you’re going to place your food and cooking liquid. The pot slips into the outer Instant Pot and is heated from a heating element below.
The heating element boils the liquid, and all that energy is then trapped inside the Instant Pot. The pressure, steam, and heat then cooks the food much quicker than boiling or using a crockpot. Dry beans, for instance, can take half a day in a crockpot, but can be cooked in under an hour in an Instant Pot.
Learn The Instant Pot Acronyms
You will notice a variety of acronyms being used in recipes or in groups and forums online. To help you make sense of it all, here are a few common acronyms and their meanings.
- IP = Instant Pot
- NR = Natural Release or Natural Pressure Release
- QR = Quick Release or Quick Pressure Release
- 5-5-5 = common instructions for cooking hard boiled eggs .
- HP = High Pressure
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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.
Instant Pot Tips For Beginners
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Learn how to use and better understand your Instant Pot with these 10 Instant Pot tips for beginners.
Are you new to the Instant Pot or perhaps have been too intimidated to even open the box? Get started! Believe meyou are going to love it. It has become a vital tool in my kitchen. I want to share 10 Instant Pot tips with you to help you gain your confidence and better understand your Instant Pot.
I bought my Instant Pot a number of years ago before it gained its current popularity. We had moved back to Canada from Australia and I needed to repurchase my small kitchen appliances. I had a slow cooker on my list and somebody mentioned that I should get an Instant Pot instead. Initially, I was a little hesitant and freaked out since when I heard the term pressure cooker, I had memories of a traditional version we had received as a wedding gift that I found absolutely terrifying to use.
I am so happy that I took the plunge and bought it. I dont have too many kitchen gadgets but the Instant Pot has become one of my must-haves. My Instant Pot gets used multiple times a week and sometimes daily for either a component of a meal or to make the main course itself.
How To Make Instant Pot Yogurt Cups
Yogurt cups are a convenient way to portion out your yogurt into individual or smaller servings. After adding the starter culture to the pasteurized or warm milk, carefully pour the milk into your yogurt cups and seal them tightly. Clean the inner pot thoroughly and place the steam rack/trivet on the bottom of the inner pot. Place the sealed yogurt cups on the steam rack and add water to the inner pot until the cups are submerged halfway. Follow steps in Fermenting Yogurt above.
The Lid Wont Come Off
First, make sure enough steam has been released after pressure cooking. Whether you choose a natural pressure release or quick release, give the Pot time to get rid of the steam and cool down. Remember, Instant Pots are designed to be extra-safe, so the pot wont let you open the lid with too much pressure still inside the pot. A little bit of patience can often fix this issue.
Otherwise, the lid probably wont come off because the steam release button is stuck. If youre sure all of the pressure has been released from the pot, use a spoon handle and tap the button beside the release valve.
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Natural Vs Manual Pressure Release
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.
Is This Thing Safe
Its actually safer than conventional cooking or stovetop pressure cooking. Everyone has heard stories about old-time pressure cookers exploding. Your Instant Pot wont do that because the temperature and pressure inside the pots is carefully monitored and regulated through its internal programming.
Remember: Its your trusty cooking robot.
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Using The Various Instant Pot Settings
There are a total of 16 unique settings that Instant Pot offers. If you are going to purchase this appliance, its a good idea to know how to use each one properly.
- Soup: You can make a variety of soups in just half an hour with the high pressure setting. You can also make a stew by setting it to high pressure for twenty minutes.
- Bean/Chili: This setting uses high pressure and gives you a delicious chili meal within half an hour.
- Poultry: Just put your chicken in and 15 minutes later you will have a savory meal to enjoy. It could take up to 30 minutes depending on the amount of chicken you are putting in.
- Rice: This appliance will begin cooking your rice within 12 minutes on low steam pressure.
- Multigrain: Whether you are making rice or cereal, it only takes 40 minutes with the high pressure setting.
- Yogurt: You can also make yogurt with this versatile appliance.
How Do I Know It Works
When the Instant Pot creates enough pressure, the Instant Pot will beep once, and the cooking time will begin to count down from your setting.
For instance, if you set the cooking time to 6 minutes, the countdown timer will start from 00:06. If you introduced 70 minutes, the timer will start from 01:10.
In the image bellow, my Instant Pot is going to cook my chicken for 6 more minutes:
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How To Choose The Right Instant Pot Size
Nearly all Instant Pot pressure cookers come in one or more standard sizes of 3 quarts, 6 quarts, and/or 8 quarts. The one exception to this is the Duo Nova, which is available in 3, 6, 8, and 10 quarts.
Instant Pot recommends you think of 1 quart as equaling 1 portion, but a lot depends on what youre cooking, how youre cooking it, and, you know, whether youre fond of having seconds or thirds. Generally speaking, though, you might think of Instant Pots sizing options this way:
- At roughly 11 inches tall and wide, 3-quart Instant Pots are really quite small. Theyre going to be best for individuals and small spaces , or for couples who prefer to use an Instant Pot for side dishes instead of main meals.
- With a couple of more inches of room , 6-quart Instant Pots will be good for couples, three-person families, or for individuals who want to meal prep.
- Between 15 and 22 inches from any given angle, 8-quart Instant Pots take up a good bit of space. Theyre best for families of four or more and for larger meal prepping.
If you have some space to spare, youre probably better off getting a 6- or 8-quart Instant Pot. You can always use less of a pressure cooker. You cant fit more into one than its designed to hold.
How To Use Your Instant Pot: Everything You’ve Wanted To Know
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.
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