Natural Release Vs Quick Release
Natural release is when you do not press any buttons after the Instant Pot has finished pressure cooking and the pressure slowly escapes naturally. The amount of time this takes will depend on what you are cooking and the amount of water. The float valve will drop and you will hear a slight click when the pressure has fully released. Use this method when in a small kitchen , with foods that expand , for maximum safety, when foods need a bit more time to soften , or whenever time allows.
Quick release is when you press the quick release button to release the pressure from the Instant Pot right after it has finished cooking. When this happens, steam will come out of the pressure release valve. This method is ideal when you are short on time but requires being careful not to burn yourself or anyone around you.
Partial release is a hybrid of the two methods outlined above. You can allow some of the pressure to release naturally by waiting ~5-10 minutes after it has finished cooking. Then release any remaining pressure by pressing the quick release button . This strategy takes advantage of some of the safety of the natural release and the speediness of the quick release.
What Does The Instant Pot Soup/broth Setting Do
Like the other Instant Pot Smart Programs, the Instant Pot soup Setting presets the cooking pressure, heat intensity, temperature, and time. This program is designed to bring soups to a slow simmer so they have a clear broth.
The Instant Pot soup setting sets an initial cooking time and you can adjust as needed. By default, the button cooks at high pressure for different lengths of time.
- Normal Setting: 30 minutes by default and is for soups with meat,
- More Setting: 40 minutes default and is for soups such as bone broth that requires longer cooking times
- Less Setting: 20 minutes by default and for meatless soups
Extra Accessories And A Secret Tip
A secret tip you may not initially know about your Instant Pot is the lid holder.
On the side handles you will see a hole that perfectly fits your lid. Place the lid here when you are sautéeing ingredients or serving up recipes.
A few accessories to purchase:
- Extra silicone rings Over time the silicone rings will stretch out or adopt the flavor of various recipes. Its great to have color-coded replacement rings on hand that are designated for certain types of recipes.
- Steamer basket This can be used when cooking delicate items like eggs or when making stocks.
- Glass Lid Using a glass lid when slow cooking and steaming allows you to see inside your pot while cooking.
- Storage Lid Have some leftovers? Pop a silicone lid on top and store the stainless steel pot in the refrigerator.
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Check Silicone Sealing Ring
How to install sealing ring on Instant Pot? Put the sealing ring on top of the rack on the Instant Pot lid, then gently run your fingers along the ring as you push it into the rack.
Its criticalto ensure the silicone sealing ring is seated properly, and there isnt anything stuck on the ring or rack.
*Caution: Never pull the ring by force as it may stretch or damage the ring and affect the sealing function. Dont use it if it has cracks, cuts, or any other damages.
Do you need a spare sealing ring? Its always good to have a spare Silicone Sealing Ring because they do wear and tear. Plus, the ring may get stinky as it absorbs food odors over time. If you like, you can dedicate 1 Sealing Ring for Savory food, and the other for Sweets.
- 8 Quart: Sealing Ring
How To Start The Instant Pot
Step 1. Place the Instant Pot on a sturdy countertop or a table close to a power socket. Make sure there is plenty of open space above the pot as you will have steam eject from the lid up in the air if you quick release the pressure.
Step 2. Make sure the inner pot is inside the cooker base and is clean. Plug the power cord in. Instant Pot will switch on and the OFF status symbol will appear on the control panel. This is called a standby mode.
Step 3. Decide on which cooking method you want to use from the below scenarios. This will depend on what you want to cook. Usually, recipe instructions will guide you along here.
In general, your choices will come down to whether you want to Sauté food first and then whether you want to use a manual setting or one of the smart programs.
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Other Duo Nova Error Codes
The other error codes are quite rare:
C1, C2, C6, C6H, C6L: These five errors dont specify what exactly is wrong, just that your Instant Pot may have a faulty sensor and that youll need to contact customer support at 1-800-828-7280 or support @ instantpot.com.
C5 indicates that the cooking pot is not in place or that there is no water in the inner cooking pot.
C7 or NoPr indicates that the heat element has failed, there is not enough liquid, or the quick release switch is in the vent position. If you get the error after checking the vent release valve and checking to make sure there is the minimum amount of liquid required for pressure, you would need to contact Customer Support.
Lid indicates that the lid is not correctly positioned. Simply open the lid and replace it, ensuring it is properly placed.
PrSE indicates that pressure has accumulated during a non-pressure cooking program. You will want to use the quick release vent to reduce pressure in the pot.
More Instant Pot Resources
Did you know we have entire Youtube channeldedicated to healthy Instant Pot recipes and tips? My goal is to help you become confident with your Instant Pot by demonstrating each delicious foolproof recipe in step-by-step videos. Make sure to subscribe and hit the Bell icon not to miss new videos.
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Which Instant Pot Models Have The Instant Pot Soup/broth Setting
Be aware that not all models within a series have all the feature buttons associated with the series. Especially, the Instant Pot Mini 3 quart model may not have all the features the 6 quart and 8 quart within in the series have.
And before you make a purchase, make sure you double check the Instant Pot soup button is available on that particular model. Its also possible that earlier versions of a model doesnt have a button and its added into new models as they adjust the functions of a specific Instant Pot Model.
Best Instant Pot To Buy
The best Instant Pot to buy is one of the Duo or Nova models. The Duo Plus 6-quart 9-in-1is what you will see pictured below.
I also recommend the newer Duo Nova and the Smart Wi-Fimodels. They have a very similar control pad to one I use in this guide.
A 6-quart model is an adequate size for a family of 4-6.
An 8-quart model is great if you plan on making double batches of soups, or have more than more than 5 or 6 people in your family.
Since the sauté function, slow cook, and the manual cooking are the primary settings you will need, theres no need to splurge on extra functions.
Recommended Reading: Instant Pot Food Burn Warning
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.
Wow That Was No Big Deal Which Recipes To Make Now
Great job! Take the tape off the front of the cooker and read the owners manual.
Heres the scope of whats possible in your Instant Pot, and eventually youll hone in on what makes sense for you: You might cook primarily beans and grains, shaving minutes off cooking components of other recipes. You might steam vegetables most often . You might lean toward multicomponent one-pot meals. 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.
- Chicken soup from scratch, ready in 60 minutes.
- Classic chili is weeknight-compatible in an Instant Pot.
- Need cooked butternut squash or other winter squash? Steam it in a pressure cooker!
- Cheesecake is a breeze in an Instant Pot, because you steam itno messing with tipsy water baths and multiple pans like you would in an oven.
- Steel-cut oats are an everyday luxury if you program it to cook right when you wake up. Your oatmeal is ready once your coffees brewed and youre dressed!
Want more recipe ideas? Check out our full list of Instant Pot recipes!
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Does The Instant Pot Saut As Well As A Pan On The Stove
In my experience, the Instant Pot does not sauté quite as well as a pan on the stove. But I still use the sauté function almost every time that I use my Instant Pot. Why? It works well enough, and it is extremely convenient.
You can expect that it will take a little longer to brown meats or stir fry vegetables in your Instant Pot, compared to cooking on the stove. Not having to wash a second pot and transfer food between pots makes this small inconvenience well worth it for me.
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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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:
How To Cook With The Instant Pot
How you use your Instant Pot depends on what you’re cooking. But, many recipes — especially those involving meat — tend to follow this formula:
The above steps can vary quite a bit, depending on the recipe, but most of what I cook in my Instant Pot follows that sequence.
Here, the Instant Pot’s valve is in Sealing position.
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How Do I Get Into This Thing When Its At Pressure
Now you need to release the pressure. There are two ways:
- Natural release: That means you do nothing but wait. The more food in the Instant Pot, the longer it takes for the pressure to come downas long as 30 minutes if you have, say, a big batch of chili. In a lot of recipes, this time is actually part of the cooking time, and the recipe will specify natural release in the instructions. Think of it as carryover cooking. Youll use natural release with dried beans, a lot of soups and stews, most meats, steamed desserts, and long-cooking vegetables.
- Quick release: With this method, you use the quick release valve and steam shoots up out of it. Once again, the more food in your Instant Pot, the longer it takes for the steam to release. Youll use quick release for quick-cooking foods like tender vegetables and seafoods.
Lets Try The Quick Release
Back to our pot of water: Push the steam release valve to the venting position using a long-handled spoon or your finger. Just keep your fingers to the side and away from the top of the knob where the steam vents.
This valve should stay open on its own once you nudge it. The steam will come shooting up and be a little noisy.
Releasing all of the steam can take a minute or more. The more liquid in the cooker, the longer the release will take. With the 3 cups of water, it took mine 45 seconds.
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Instant Pot Porridge Setting
The porridge setting on the Instant Pot can be used to cook oatmeal using old-fashioned oats and steel-cut oats, rice porridge and congee or porridge-like dishes that use a mixture of grains that expand in liquid. Ideally, you should use natural release when cooking high-starch foods that expand or a combination of 5-10 minutes natural release and quick release to follow. Below is how to use the Porridge setting on Instant Pot.
- Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add the grains, liquid and spices or fat if you wish. Secure and lock the lid. Press the Porridge button. The default setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at High pressure for 20 minutes. If you press the Porridge button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More.
- Less mode 5 minutes at High pressure this is suitable for cooking rolled oats and risotto-like porridge or rice porridge with slightly firmer to bite texture.
- Normal mode 20 minutes at High pressure use for steel-cut oat porridge or rice porridge with a slightly softer texture and for making congee.
- More mode 30 minutes at High pressure use for a porridge/congee that contains a mixture of beans or tougher grains.
If desired, use the / + buttons to further customize the time. The cooking time may be adjusted at any time during pressure cooking.
Here are some suggested water to rice/oats ratios for porridge and oatmeal dishes:
What Is The Instant Pot
Instant Pot is a pressure cooker — and then some. It also sautés, slow cooks, makes rice and steams veggies and poultry. It’s an all-in-one device, so you can, for instance, brown a chicken and cook it all in the same pot. In most cases, Instant Pot meals are ready to serve in less than an hour.
Its quick cook times are thanks to its pressure-cooking function, which locks steam created by liquid , building pressure and pushing steam back into the food.
But don’t confuse it with a stovetop pressure cooker. Unlike your grandparents’ pressure cooker, this Instant Pot eliminates safety concerns with a lid that locks, and stays locked, until the pressure is released.
Yes, you can cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot.
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