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.
Inspecting Your Instant Pot Before Each Use
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.
Which Instant Pot Models Have The Meat/stew Setting
The meat setting, compared to other buttons, is on many of the common Instant Pot models.
This button is also on all size options when its included on a model. Unlike the cake button which is not on the 3 quart models, for example, the meat setting is available on the 3 quart models.
And be sure to double-check the specific Instant model you plan to buy before purchasing because its also possible a button that was available before is switched out for a different program. Or in some cases, the button is added to newer Instant Pot versions.
|Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus||Yes*|
* As part of the Instant Pot Evo Plus Pressure Cook button are presets including: Soup, Bean, Egg, Rib, Poultry, Chili, Stew, Beef, Pork, Seafood, Broth, Sterilize, Potato, Broccoli, or custom. This version of the program cooks at both high and low pressure.
The Meat/Stew button is not currently included on the Instant Pot Max, Duo Crisp, or Duo Evo Plus models.
Also Check: How Long To Smoke Pre Cooked Ribs
Instant Pot Parts And Accessories
The first thing youll want to do is wash the parts of your Instant Pot. The Instant Pot lid, steam release valve and stainless steel inner pot are dishwasher safe however, I wash mine by hand. The base unit is not dishwasher safe never immerse the base unit in water.
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.
Read Also: Burn Instant Pot
How To Use Your Instant Pot
Are you a new Instant Pot owner? Or maybe you bought one a while ago, but havent been brave enough to open the box? I used to be intimidated by the Instant Pot myself, so today I want to share with you 10 things you must know about using your electric pressure cooker. Im hoping it will help you feel confident enough to take full-advantage of it in no time!
Which Instant Pot Models Have The Soup Setting
Of the models, the Instant Pot Duo Nova along with the Lux, Duo, Duo Plus, and Ultra series include the soup/broth setting for the 3 quart, 6 quart, and 8 quart models. And in the specialty models, the Viva, Smart, Max, and Duo SV also have the button.
And as mentioned before always double check the Instant model before you purchase because its also possible a button that was available before is switched out for a different program. Or in some cases the button is added to newer Instant Pot versions.
|Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus||Yes**|
* On the Instant Pot Duo, the button is labeled as Soup.
** As part of the Instant Pot Evo Plus Pressure Cook button are presets including: Soup, Bean, Egg, Rib, Poultry, Chili, Stew, Beef, Pork, Seafood, Broth, Sterilize, Potato, Broccoli, or custom. This version of the program cooks at both high and low pressure.
Also Check: Is The Instant Pot Lid Dishwasher Safe
Safety May Be An Issue
While the Instant Pot comes with detailed instructions on how to use it safely, theres always the outlier case where safety is an issue. Follow the basics: Dont overfill it, dont use it as a deep fryer, and replace sealing rings regularly. The most important safety tip though is when removing the lid after releasing pressure, stay away from the steam and tilt the lid to act as a shield between you and the steam rising from the pot. And if youre worried about your cabinets warping from the steam, Elizabeth Barbone, a cookbook author and the creator of the pressure-cooker blog Cook Fast, Eat Well in this NBC interview says, Pressure cookers are safe, but we need to be following good practices. Some of the things you might see on the internet, like covering the steam release valve to protect cabinets or walls from steam, arent safe. Instead, position your pot accordingly if thats a concern.
How To Use The Instant Pot Slow Cooker Setting
Do you want to use the Instant Pot slow cooker setting? Heres exactly what you need to do to use your Instant Pot as a slow cooker
First, let me say that I got this info from reading a couple of Instant Pot user manuals online and from my own personal trial-and-error. I own the 7-in-1 Instant Pot and several different slow cookers.
Also Check: How To Cook Frozen Tamales In Instant Pot
Can I Use My Instant Pot As A Crock Pot Slow Cooker
Hit your Slow Cooker Function on your Instant Pot and then hit the adjust button to change the setting to normal or high. If you want to cook a recipe like you would on low in a slow cooker, adjust your slow cooker to normal on the slow cooker function and cook for as the recipe calls to cook on low.
Instant Pot Meat/stew Setting
The meat and stew setting is best for cooking large or tough cuts of meat at high pressure. This button can be used for cooking meat pieces in a little broth or stews that contain meat in them. Below is how to use the Meat/Stew setting on Instant Pot.
- Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add meat, seasonings and liquids to the pot. Secure and lock the lid. Select the Meat/Stew button. The default Instant Pot meat setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at High pressure for 35 minutes, which is suitable for most dishes like beef stew or pulled pork. If you press the Meat/Stew button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More .
- Less mode 20 minutes at High pressure for soft texture meat great for diced steak, pork or lamb, pork or beef ribs, ground meat like when making taco meat or Bolognese sauce, and most stews that use diced or ground meat.
- Normal mode 35 minutes at High pressure for very tender meat texture great for slightly larger pieces of meat and for stews that use tougher cuts of meat like Beef Bourguignon.
- More mode 45 minutes at High pressure for fall-off-the-bone texture great for pork shoulder, beef pot roast or lamb roast.
If desired, use the / + buttons to further customize the time. The cooking time may be adjusted at any time during pressure cooking.
Recommended Reading: How Long To Pressure Cook Ground Beef
How To Store Your Instant Pot
Store your cooker like this, with the lid upside down and the gasket loose. Condensation builds up in the gasket, which can become moldy if you lock a damp lid on the cooker.
This method allows for lots of air circulation. Its not so pretty on a countertop, I know. If nothing else, make sure you at least never store your cooker with a damp lid.
The Practical Guide Youve Always Wanted For Those Confusing Instant Pot Buttons And Settings
Your dreams have officially come true! You finally got that Instant Pot and its time to start whipping up a few delicious meals. Buthow, exactly, do you work this thing?
People rave about how easy and quick it is to use, but looking at all the Instant Pot buttons, it seems that only a genius could actually figure out what all of them mean. Which button do I choose for what? Whats the difference between the NormalMore and Less settings? And should I cook on Low Pressure or High Pressure?
These questions instantly come to mind, but dont sweat, we got you covered. Heres a full guide to all of your Instant Pots buttons. So make sure to bookmark this for later!
Also Check: How To Cook Tuna Steak In Instant Pot
Main Instant Pot Buttons
1. Manual or Pressure Cook Button
This is the mode you will use most frequently on your Instant Pot . This is the main button to pressure cook any dish. Most recipes you will find online use the Pressure Cook button.
Press Pressure Cook button, then + or – to set the time to pressure cook. The maximum time you can pressure cook is 240 minutes.
Note: In old versions and models, the button was called Manual and in newer models it is rightly called Pressure Cook.
2. Pressure Level Button
This button is to switch between high and low pressure cooking. Press Pressure Cook button, then Pressure Level to switch.
3. + and – Buttons
These buttons are used to increase or decrease the cooking time.
4. Sauté Button
This is the mode to Sauté or brown food in the Instant Pot . Sauté with the lid open or with a glass lid. This is one of the main advantages of the instant pot, that you can sauté and cook directly in the same pot. This is the second most frequently used mode.
Sauté mode defaults to 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the mode is canceled.
I use this mode in my Carrot Pudding recipe, and it makes cooking the pudding so much easier without much monitoring.
5 Adjust Button
6. Keep Warm/Cancel Button
Press this button to cancel the operation and switch off the Instant Pot.
When the instant pot goes in Keep Warm mode, the display shows L0:00 and starts counting up.
7. Timer Button
10. Slow Cook Button
What Does It Mean When The Instant Pot Shows A Burn Message
This is a sign that the food might burn or the pot might suffer damage. It may be because the water is scarce in the pot and is not reached the bottom and sidewalls of the pot. Let the pot cool down If you have been sauteeing on high heat.
Layer the starches and sauces for complex meals and elevate your meal with the help of a cooling rack. After sauteeing a vegetable or sauce, make sure the pot is clean of any bits and pieces before moving to the next cooking process.
Recommended Reading: How To Cook Venison Roast In An Instant Pot
The Most Common Instant Pot Problems And How To Fix Them
The Instant Pot is a highly versatile appliance that can save time and energy in the kitchen. While the best Instant Pots are intuitive, these multifunctional pressure cookers can be confusing too. If youre running up against issues like a bad smell lingering in your Instant Pot or trouble with the timer, youre not alone. Most of the problems youre seeing are likely pretty easy to correct when you know what to look for.
We have the best tips, tricks, and hacks to solve some common Instant Pot problems.
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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.
Also Check: Deer Roast In Instant Pot
Safety Time Steam Is Hot
Steam is hotter than boiling water, and it can burn you badly. Keep your hand clear of the steam release valve when you do a quick release. Sometimes I even use the handle of a spoon to push it open instead.
If you have your Instant Pot near cabinets, be mindful when you do a quick releaseit can get a lot of condensation on your cabinets, which can damage them over time. To keep the steam at bay somewhat, you can tent the valve with a kitchen towel during a quick release. Foods like oatmeal, beans, and porridges can sputter goop through the steam valvethe towel trick is handy for those times, too.
Instant Pot Vs Slow Cooker
The Instant Pot also has one heat source at the bottom. However, the inner pot is too thin to retain heat in its walls for long. Also, the heat is generated by the steam thats trapped in the pot, which is fantastic for quick cooking, but not so great for slow cooking.
The uneven heat distribution will have an effect on the final texture of the food and a slight impact on its taste. So professional chefs and foodies may know you cheated and used an Instant Pot instead of a traditional slow cooker.
But you and me, probably wont be able to understand the difference. So for us, Instant Pot is a great option for slow cooker recipes :]
How To Safely Release Pressure From The Valve Of Your Instant Pot
Once you hear your Instant Pot beeping because the food is done, you can choose to release the pressure immediately or let it sit for a bit before releasing .
When you’re ready to release, grab the handle of the pressure release valve and turn it downwards to the Venting position.
Once all of the pressure is released from the valve, the pin should go down , and you can safely open up the Instant Pot.
Releasing the pressure when cooking with an Instant Pot can be a bit scary at first, but you get used to it once you start using it more. Just make sure to never touch the handle of the pressure release knob directly, as hot steam and liquid coming out may burn you. Always use something to turn the knob , divert the steam away from cabinets, and also release in controlled bursts for lots of liquid or starch.
Using The Instant Pot Buttons May Seem A Little Intimidating At First Because There Are So Many But Really Its Easy
Before you know it youll be whipping up fabulous meals and desserts that will impress your friends and family. Have fun!
For step by step instructions, watch my how to use an Instant Pot multicooker video.
For more information on using your new Instant Pot, come join my Facebook community at .
***Many thanks to my friend Sigrid for alerting me to the updated information about the latest versions of the Instant Pot buttons.***
Recommended Reading: How To Cook Frozen Meat In Instant Pot