What Size Instant Pot Should I Buy
The size of the Instant Pot you need depends on how many servings you plan on making. If you usually prepare food for two people or fewer, a smaller, four-quart size may be all you need. However, a six-quart Instant Pot is a good size because it can fit a whole chicken or make enough stew or chilly to share. For families of four or more, an eight-quart instant pot is the best option.
What Can You Cook In An Instant Pot
You’d be amazed at what you can cook in an Instant Pot with a little creativity. Most people will use the Instant Pot to make chili or stew. That’s just the beginning. Instant Pot cooking can be healthier since you don’t use much oil. You can steam rice, cook a whole chicken, boil eggs, sauté vegetables, make spaghetti and cook nearly anything you can think of. The best part is that cooking in an Instant Pot means faster cooking times and far less mess. Most recipes are ready in 30 minutes or less and make cleanup easier.
Tips For Using Instant Pot
We have a few expert tips that you can utilize to make the most of your instant pot.
- Your instant pot comes with a wide array of functions. Make full use of these features to make scrumptious one-pot recipes. For example, instead of using a different utensil to sauté vegetables, you can use your instant pot for the same purpose.
- You can adjust the temperature of the instant cooker according to your need. Different recipes demand different temperatures, and you can choose according to your recipe.
- While boiling, steaming or pressure cooking, make sure that the food is submerged in the water. Use at least half or one cup of water, depending on the amount of food you are cooking. However, dont pour too much water inside the pot, it can result in soggy, overcooked food.
- You may think that you can put only water in the instant pot to cook your food. But hey, you can also use liquids like broth and juice to cook your food. Instant pot perfectly cooks your food and infuses it with the aroma and goodness of the liquid that you are using. So if you are in the mood for some flavourful dish, try this out.
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General Slow Cooker To Instant Pot Conversion Rules
Did you know that almost everything you make in your slow cooker can also be made in your instant pot for just a fraction of the time? Get your favorite dinners on the table in no time with these simple slow cooker to instant pot conversion rules!
Use our slow cooker to instant pot conversion calculator at the top of this article for quick conversion. If that is not handy for you, you can just do some simple math to convert your recipes easily.
|Look at your slow cooker recipe and see what time you should cook your recipe on high. Then, take that number and multiply it by 6. That number is the amount of time you can cook your slow cooker recipe in your instant pot in minutes.
|Example: Slow cooker recipe calls for 5 hours on high. 5 x 6 = 30. So you will want to cook your recipe in the instant pot for about 30 minutes.
When planning your instant pot meal, make sure to add some extra time to allow the instant pot to build pressure. Youll also need to add some time for your instant to release pressure naturally after cooking.
Some instant pot recipes can take up to 20 minutes to build pressure and about 15 minutes to release the pressure after cooking.
The times included on our cheat sheet and our conversion calculator are JUST the cooking times. It does not include the time allotted for pressure building and release, so just keep that in mind.
What Is A Quick Pressure Release
This is when you turn the pressure release valve/quick release valve to “open” or “venting” at the completion of the cooking cycle. This forces the steam to release from the Instant Pot quickly.
When you hear the “beep/s” that the cooking cycle has been completed, immediately switch the pressure/steam release valve to “venting”. This opens the vent and allows all accumulated steam/pressure to release from the Instant Pot right away.
Use caution when switching the pressure release/quick release valve to venting. Use a pot holder or silicone glove to avoid burns and always keep your face/hands away from the steam release valve.
You will know the Quick Pressure Release is complete when you see/hear the float valve drop down. Once that has happened it is safe to open the Instant Pot.
When to use Quick Pressure Release
A Quick Pressure Release means pressure/steam within the Instant Pot is released very quickly so its perfect for foods that are delicate and those that you don’t want to cook longer than the cooking cycle .
Read Also: Why Instant Pot Says Burn
I Keep Burning My Fingers When Trying To Release Steam
The release nozzle on the Pots valve is pretty loose, and twitching it open for a fast release after pressure cooking can be painful for even fast fingers. If youve been burnt by steam before, theres a very simple solution that Pot users have found: Just use a wooden spoon. Push the valve open with the spoon to release it and avoid any steam issues.
Users Should Know How To Use One Safely
While there havent been any more recent recalls since Instant Pots overheating issue, that doesnt mean users should use the appliances haphazardly. Any pressure cooker can become a serious danger in the kitchen if not used properly. After buying your new Instant Pot, the best thing you can do for your own safety is to read through its user guide and safety instructions before attempting to cook anything.
The Instant brand also includes several resources on its website for each Instant Pot model, just in case you ever lose the guide that came with yours. The resources include lists of all safety mechanisms added to each model, like safety lid locks that prevent the lid from opening when the cooker is pressurized. Current models also have overheating protection to lower the heat when specific issues are detected, like not enough liquid added to the cooker or if the Instant Pot finds a heat distribution issue.
Although these handy features can prevent several accidents when using a multicooker like the Instant Pot, the user is also responsible for understanding basic appliance safety. According to CNET, users should know how to lock the lid properly before cooking and keep the Instant Pot in a safe area out of the reach of children. Also, check with your user manual to determine how much liquid you should add for the type of food youll cook.
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Get A Backup Sealing Ring
You can find the sealing ring of an Instant Pot around the underside of the lid. The sealing ring creates a tight seal between the lid and the pot, allowing air to stay inside the cooker while heat and pressure build. According to the official Instant Pot website, the sealing ring is also an important part of the overall safety features of the appliance, helping it withstand the intense pressure within the pot. Instant Pot recommends replacing this seal every 12-18 months, at minimum, but frequent users might opt for 6-12 months instead.
Therefore, consider keeping an extra or two on hand, just so you can have it when you need it. Instant Pot sells a regular clear seal, just like the one most Instant Pots come with. However, you can also grab a red-and-blue two-pack, using one for savory and one for sweet foods Since the seal can absorb odors over time, Switching between the two rings is best to avoid scents and flavors from last nights pot roast seeping into tonights pressure cooker brownies.
Also Check: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn
What Is A Natural Release And Quick Release
To understand the best release method to choose on an Instant Pot, it helps to have a base understanding of how the electric pressure cooker works.
When an Instant Pot is in pressure cooker mode, it traps the steam generated by the food and liquid inside the pot. As steam builds, pressure increases, which in turn raises the boiling point of water. This allows you to cook food faster.
After every cooking cycle, and before you can safely open the Instant Pot, the pressure must be released from the pot no matter what kind of release you use.
Instant Pots automatically regulate the pressure for you, with a release valve in the lid to allow steam to escape. Every multi-cooker on the market, including Instant Pots, have valves that allow you to control what type of released is used. Good Instant Pot recipes factor all of this in, resulting in a perfectly cooked dish.
There are two ways to release pressure in an Instant Pot:
Note: The release valve is designed differently depending on the Instant Pot model. Some have valve and switch combo with a marking to show when the valve is sealing or open. Other models have a separate steam release button that you press, while high-end models allow you to program the type of release and the pot does it automatically at the end of cooking.
Q: What Is A Quick Pressure Release
A quick pressure release is when you turn the pressure release switch to the Venting position and let the steam to release quickly when the cook time ends. This will result in a strong jet of steam coming from the pressure release valve. This is normal. If drops of liquid or foam start to emerge from the pressure release valve, simply switch the valve back to the Sealed position and use an Intermittent Pressure Release .
- Instant Pot Duo: Turn the pressure release handle from Sealing to Venting .
- Ninja Foodi: Turn the pressure release valve from Seal to Vent.
- Crockpot Express: Turn the steam release valve from the Closed/Seal position to the Open/Release position .
- Power Pressure Cooker XL: Turn the pressure valve from the Lock position to the Open position .
- Fagor Pressure Cooker: Turn the valve from Pressure to Steam.
- Cuisinart: Turn the valve from Pressure to Pressure Release.
- Pampered Chef Quick Cooker: Press the Steam Release Button on the lid handle.
Other pressure cookers may have different labels, but its the same basic principle. Turn the valve to allow the steam to escape / pressure to release.
When the pressure is fully released, the float valve will drop and the lid will unlock to open. For safety reasons, the pressure cooker will not open until the pressure is released and the float valve has dropped.
Keep your face and hands away from the steam as its released. Dont release pressure under hanging cabinets, which can be damaged by the steam.
Also Check: Thaw Meat In Instant Pot
When Should You Use Natural Pressure Release
As this method takes its own time to release the pressure from the instant pot, it is recommended to be used for primarily liquid foods like soups or foods that can form foam like beans, potatoes, and oatmeal.
While the pressure is released gradually, the food continues to sit in the instant pot. If you try to quickly release the pressure, especially while cooking liquid or foamy foods, the steam and the food can come out from the same release vent creating a mess in your kitchen.
Natural release instant pots are also a great option for roasting foods such as meats. Remember, the instant pot is still cooking your food while it is releasing the steam naturally. Leaving your meat to cook this way will allow it to rest and be more tender.
When And How To Use A Quick Release
“Use a quick release when you want to get into the cooker fast,” says Bir.
Rather than letting your food sit in the cooker as the pressure slowly releases, a quick release calls for action. The valve is opened manually and all of the pent-up steam comes rushing out. “Manual is handy when you have quick-cooking foods, like tender greens or seafood, that would become overcooked with the slower process of a natural release,” says Bir.
Some quick, one-pot meals also call for quick releases as well as pasta dishes. Pay close attention to what a recipe calls for, since using the wrong release can not only ruin a dish, but also make a serious mess in your kitchen. If the pot is very full or the dish inside has foamed up, the valve will not only release steam but sputters of hot liquid.
To use the quick release function, turn the steam handle release knob or press the steam release button on the Instant Pot lid. If your valve and steam release are all one mechanism, Bir recommends using a long-handled spoon to push the valve from sealing to open as an extra safety measure against steam burns. Once all of the pressure has released, the float valve will descend and the lid will unlock.
Quick tip: “Always remember steam is hotter than boiling water, and it can cover a lot of surface fast. Steam burns suck,” says Bir. Keep your hands and face clear of the lid for the entire time it is releasing pressure.
Also Check: Burn Notice On Instant Pot
How To Use An Instant Pot Or Modern Pressure Cooker
Instant Pots can help you save time once you know how they work. This guide will help you overcome the learning curve.
The Instant Pot has become the latest kitchen must-have. You’ll likely find a variety of sizes and styles that can do everything from steam, roast and even air fry. Most Instant Pot or multi-cooker users swear by the ease and speed at which recipes cook. However, there are just as many stories of fails as there are successes. The key is to understand how the Instant Pot works.
This guide will walk you through what you need to know about your new Instant Pot and how to use it to create healthy, delicious dishes.
How To Do A Quick Release In Bursts
Quick release in bursts can take about 5 minutes. Keep Warm can be on or off when doing quick release in bursts. To turn off Keep Warm mode, press Cancel.
Here are some recipes that use quick release in bursts:
Also Check: How To Air Fry In Instant Pot
Q: What Is An Intermittent Pressure Release
An intermittent pressure release is the best of both worlds. Its a way to quickly release pressure for foods such as pastas, soups, and certain grains, which are prone to foaming or spitting if you try to release pressure with a quick release but would be overcooked with a natural pressure release.
With this method, you open and close the pressure release valve in short intervals. This allows the pressure to escape more quickly than a natural pressure release and also prevents foam from coming out of the pressure release valve.
With some foods, one or two closed intervals is all I need before I can leave the valve in the Venting position with other foods, if the foaming is particularly bad, I will close the valve and wait a minute or two, then slide the valve to Venting again and continue opening and closing the valve as needed.
Favorite Recipes with Intermittent Pressure Release
How To Do A Pressure Cooker Quick Release
After the cooking cycle finished, carefully move the venting knob from Sealing Position to Venting Position to quickly release the pressure inside the pressure cooker.
Usually it takes a few minutes to release all the pressure. Wait until the Floating Valve completely drops before opening the lid.
The steam shooting out maybe intimidating at first. Using a wooden spoon or wear oven mitt/silicone glove to move the Venting Knob may help. You will get used to it
Whats the advantage?
Whats the catch?
- Not suitable for food with large liquid volume or high starch content . Food content may splatter out from the Pressure Release Valve.
- Foamy food may clog the Pressure Release Valve.
- Food, especially beans may break apart due to the sudden change in pressure/temperature.
- If the recipe is designed for Natural Pressure Release, the food may come out undercooked.
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