How To Use Magic Release
Can I Use Any Steamer Basket In An Instant Pot
Most of the models of Instant Pot brand pressure cookers are sold with a free steamer basket. If you own an electric pressure cooker made by a different company, that may not be the case. You have nothing to worry about, though. Any steamer basket that fits inside of your pressure cooker will work just fine.
The steamer basket for making Instant Pot steamed vegetables is made of metal. If you need to buy a steamer basket from the store, you can find them near the kitchen tools. They are available in either metal or silicone. Choose whichever type you prefer both types will work exactly the same way.
The reason youll want to use a steamer basket for steaming vegetables in an Instant Pot is to keep the vegetables elevated above the water. If you place them directly into the liquid, they wont steam, they will boil. As a result, you may end up with limp, overcooked veggies.
As a last resort, you can also place the veggies into a fine mesh sieve, but only if its made out metal or silicone. You should never use plastic in an Instant Pot because it is likely to melt.
Your Food Wont Always Be Ready In An Instant
I think the most deceiving thing about the Instant Pot is the name. Just because you use your Instant Pot to cook a meal, doesnt mean it will be ready significantly faster than it would if you were to cook it on the stove. For example, Instant Pot steel cut oats cook in just a 4 minute cooking cycle, but you still have to wait about 8 to 10 minutes for the pot to come to pressure, and another 15 to 20 minutes for the pressure to release. That means it takes closer to 30 minutes for your oatmeal to be done.
The real advantage to cooking with your Instant Pot is that the process is almost completely hands-off, so it feels like you have more time on your hands. Instead of standing by the stove, watching to make sure nothing burns or boils over, you have your hands free to finish other tasks around your house. It makes you the ultimate multi-tasker, which is why so many people have fallen in love with it.
As an added bonus, cooking with your Instant Pot preserves more nutrients when compared to other methods of cooking! This is possibly due to the fact that it rarely reaches a temperature higher than 250ºF inside the pot, or that it cooks food faster, giving it less of an opportunity to lose nutrients.
Recommended Reading: Can You Put Foil In An Instant Pot
How To Keep Food Warm In The Instant Pot
Maybe youve already reheated the food, or just cooked it, and you want it to stay warm until its time to serve it.
The fabulous thing about the Instant Pot is that there is a button exactly for that! The Cancel/Keep Warm button is your best friend in this case.
If you press the Keep Warm button, it will default to a 2 hour time frame where it will keep the contents of the pot warm. I use this button all the time! For instance, if I make an Instant Pot soup recipe, I can use this function to keep it warm until dinnertime.
The Keep Warm button can also be used to reheat food slowly. Just add the leftovers to the insert pot and press the Keep Warm button, and it will gradually warm the food. You may need to stir every so often, just to distribute the heat more evenly, but it works like a charm if you dont need to reheat quickly!
How To Use An Instant Pot: What You Need To Know To Get Started With Instant Pot Cooking
There are a few basic things that you need to know when using an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. Once you use yours a few times, these will be like second nature. Depending on which Instant Pot model you own, the buttons may be labeled slightly differently. Consult the manual that came with your Instant Pot.
Minimum Liquid Required: As a general rule, you want to use at least 1 cup of liquid in your Instant Pot every time you cook with it. The Instant Pot uses steam and pressure to cook food, and you need liquid to create the steam and pressure. Some recipes may call for more or less liquid. I recommend following recipes from a trusted source while you are learning to use your Instant Pot.
Fill Level: Inside the Instant Pot inner pot, you will see a 1/2 and a 2/3 line marked. Never fill the Instant Pot higher than the 2/3 line with food or liquid . If you are cooking food that will expand during the cook time such as rice, quinoa or beans, do not fill the Instant Pot higher than the 1/2 line.
Pressure Cook or Manual Button: Depending on which Instant Pot model you own, the Pressure Cook button is sometimes labeled Manual and sometimes Pressure Cook. This is the button that you will press to start a pressure cooking cycle. Its your basic pressure cooking button.
+/- Buttons: Use these buttons to adjust the cook time.
Keep Warm/Cancel Button: Use this button to end a cooking program or turn on/off the keep warm function.
Recommended Reading: How Long To Pressure Cook Tamales
Minute Instant Pot Natural Release Method
There is one method that is a happy medium. Its the 10 Minute Natural Release method. All you need to do is follow the Instant Pot Natural Release Method for 10 minutes and then switch to the Quick Release Method. Youll still have steam to vent through the quick release valve, but it wont be much. This method allows you to get the time benefits of the Quick Release with the cleanliness benefits of the Natural Release.
A Quick Review Of Important Terms
Since were focusing on the Instant Pot, there are few parts youll need to be able to identify in order for the information in this post to make sense. So lets quickly review a few of the most important parts of the Instant Pot that pertain to pressure release:
- Pressure Release Handle The big knob on the lid used to manually release pressure from the pot. Can be set to Sealing or Venting.
- Float Valve This is the round metal bit next to the pressure release handle. When it is level with the lid, the pot is pressurized when the float valve drops down, the pot is no longer pressurized and can be opened safely.
- Pressure Release Button Newer Instant Pot models dont have a pressure release handle, but rather a pressure release valve and a new pressure release button. Pressing the button triggers the release valve to open and release steam, just like turning the pressure release handle on an older model does.
Note: Other electric pressure cookers may have slightly different parts, but they all work in pretty much the same way. So if you have a pressure cooker that isnt from the Instant Pot brand, the information in this post should still be useful and applicable to you, even if the parts on your pressure cooker have slightly different names. 🙂
Recommended Reading: How To Cook Tuna Steak In Instant Pot
For Simple Instant Pot Steamed Pod Peas:
- Wash and prepare your peas for cooking.
- Add the trivet or steamer basket to the inner pot with around a cup of water to steam with.
- For fresh: Add your peas to the basket and cook on high for 0 minutes.
- For frozen: Add your peas to the basket and cook on high for 1-2 minutes.
- Follow up with a quick release and enjoy.
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.
Don’t Miss: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn
How Do I Use Natural Release
When the cooking cycle is complete, users wont be able to open the lid right away. This is because there is still too much built-up pressure inside the pot. Never force the Instant Pot open as the escaping steam can be a burn hazard.
Instead, simply wait for the pressure to release naturally. When the floating valve on the top of the Instant Pot has settled, it will open freely, and the food is ready to be served. To ensure proper safety, follow these instructions:
How To Steam Broccoli In The Instant Pot
- Wash and cut broccoli into uniform pieces. Make sure they arent too small, otherwise they may overcook . Its important to cut them into similar sizes so they cook evenly.
- I use the 3lb bag of broccoli florets at Costco. Some of the pieces are really large, so I cut them down .
- Transfer the broccoli to a steamer basket or net. Now you dont need one in order to make Instant Pot broccoli
- Before I had my basket, I would layer the broccoli on top of the trivet and hope it didnt fall through.
- Add ¾ cup of water to the Instant Pot liner for a 6 quart pot. . Dont do more than 1 cup! You can read why you dont want to add extra water to delicate foods in my Instant Pot Bacon Green Beans post.
- Place the steamer basket in the liner.
- Lock the lid, turn the knob to sealing.
- Cook on manual high pressure for 0 minutes. Yup, you heard me right. Press the adjust button until you hit 0 minutes.
- As soon as the pressure cooking has completed, an L0:00 will appear for LAPSED time.
- Do a quick release right away by turning the knob to VENTING.
- Open the lid, and test the broccoli with a fork to see if it is tender enough. If you fill up a big basket like mine, you may have some pieces that are undercooked in the center.
- I dont mind this, because I use the parts that are cooked first. The rest gets reheated in the days following and they stay crisp and not overcooked.
- For the best, most consistent results throughout, fill the basket halfway.
Recommended Reading: Instant Pot Poultry Mode
Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:
We always have broccoli in our house. Steamed broccoli is a fast and easy side dish that completes any meal. Its a life saver for those busy nights.
A honey and soy sauce glaze gives this Brussels sprouts and carrots recipe an elevated flavor. Roasting the vegetables amplifies the natural sweetness.
Our carrot soup is smooth and creamy but it doesnt contain any cream. It is a healthy, low fat soup and it only has 117 calories per serving.
Natural Vs Manual Pressure Release
When the cook time is up on your Instant Pot, theres 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, youll 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 youve 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.
Don’t Miss: What Is C7 On Instant Pot
The Steam Handle Is In The Venting Position
If your instant pot will not release pressure naturally, then its likely that the steam handle is already in the venting position. This would mean that pressure hasnt built within the pot, leading to your pot simply being unable to vent pressure that isnt there.
Alternatively, you may have knocked or otherwise accidentally triggered the steam release handle, leading to the pressure venting very quickly. If the pressure of the pot has equalized, you will not be able to naturally release any pressure.
Instant Pot Natural Pressure Release Vs Quick Release: Whats The Difference
Disclaimer: The products featured in our Top Pick List are chosen independently and without conscious bias following our Product Review Procedure. We may receive commissions from purchases made via our links at no additional costs to you.Luna Regina
The Instant Pot is a highly versatile kitchen device. Not just a pressure cooker , it also has settings that allow it to function as a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, warmer, sous vide, and much more. However, you may not know a certain factor that can make a big difference in how your Instant Pot recipes turn out.
The Instant Pot use highly pressurized steam to cook your food faster, while requiring less water so more nutrients and flavor are retained. When the cooking is done, all that steam has to go somewhere. There are two methods of letting it out, which well discuss here: natural pressure release vs. quick release. So whats the difference?
Also Check: How To Reheat Tamales Without Drying Them Out
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.
Whats Up With All Those Knobs And Buttons
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:
- On the Instant Pot Duo: the Low Pressure and High Pressure buttons, the +/- Cooking Time buttons, the Manual button, and the Keep Warm/Cancel button.
- On the Instant Pot Ultra: Cancel and Start buttons and the central knob
Don’t Miss: Instant Pot Cleaning Lid
Why Does My Instant Pot Release Steam While Cooking
Instant Pots are great by virtually all standards. They are versatile and incredibly useful at the same time, which is why theyre starting to become more popular than regular pressure cookers across the globe.
Despite the high price tag they carry, most people dont mind buying the Instant Pot mainly because of its durable construction and the fact that it is a lot more than just a pressure cooker.
The Instant Pot is essentially a multicooker that was released just over a decade ago and has quickly become an incredibly popular choice for people who like to make their own food.
However, their convenient and easy use doesnt mean that Instant Pots are perfect. There are many problems that one could face while using their Pot.
For example, one of the most common problems associated with Instant Pots is the leakage of steam.
As it is a pressure cooker by design, steam plays an important role in maintaining the temperature within the cooker itself. If the steam is leaking, it could prevent the pressure cooker from working properly.