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!
Wash The Pot Trivet & Lid
Its important to wash the pot, trivet, and lid of the Instant Pot Duo before you start to use it. You can easily just wash them in the sink with a mild dish soap and a sponge, or you can run the pot and the trivet through the dishwasher.
The lid of the Instant Pot should not be put in the dishwasher. Its best to always wash the lid by hand in the sink. This will help preserve the seal that is installed on the underside of the lid.
While we are talking about the lid, its important that you take note of the sealing valve. There are two settings of the Instant Pot Duo lid: sealing and venting.
When cooking something, the seal should always be set to sealing. When you need to release the pressure, the seal should be set to venting .
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.
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For Instant Pot Models Duo Nova And Above The Valve Sealing And Positioning Are Automatically Done For You
On Instant Pot pressure cooker models Duo Nova and beyond, the steam release is automatically set to the sealing position when the lid is closed.
Do Instant Pots Use High Heat
As Instant Pot cooks food so fast , it makes sense that individuals think these devices use extraordinarily high heat.;
However, you might be surprised to learn that oven baking or grilling utilizes a much higher flame than Instant Pots or any other pressure cooker.
Instant Pot pressure cooking is a healthier way to prepare traditional foods! The shorter cooking times lend to better preservation of vitamins and minerals while intensifying each recipes flavors and enhancing the texture and taste. Yum!
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Using Saute Function After Cooking
The Sauté function is also useful for finishing the dish after pressure cooking is done. Once the pressure has been completely released, open the lid and then press Sauté button again. Press the button again to cycle through Less or More for lower or higher temperature.
Use it for:
- Simmering the sauce or broth in the dish that needs to evaporate and reduce or thicken.
- Adding more fragile or no-cooking-required ingredients like baby spinach, fresh tomatoes, fruit, cheese, milk or cream.
- Thickening sauce with butter, cream or flour.
Water Is Taking Time To Heat
When you notice that your instant pot timer is not starting, there may be another reason. The water inside the inside pot takes a while to get heated up. If the cooking time of your food is 20 minutes, the water will take some time to preheat before the actual cooking begins. We have also compare instant pot with rice cooker for your ease.
Till the water is heated, the timer of the instant pot will not start.
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Should The Instant Pot Valve Be Up Or Down
If you cannot open the lid, position the pressure valve down . For Instant Pot models Duo Nova and above, press the steam release button.
This will release any last pressure and steam and in just a few seconds, you can open the pot!
*Safety tip- Never make skin or face contact with the steam released from the pressure valve!
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.
The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. You assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.
This page may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy. ifoodreal.com is a participant of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep iFOODreal recipes free. Thanks for your support!
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Tips For Using Instant Pot
Instant pots are multi-functional.
They come with a lot of buttons, and if you dont know how to use them properly, you wont be able to reap the benefits.
Here are a few tips you can keep in mind before using an instant pot.
- Your instant pot comes with a user manual that details how the pot functions. Before you start using the pot, make it a point to go through the entire manual.
- While pressure cooking, the pot uses the steam from the water to cook your food. So you should put at least half or one cup of water into the food that you are cooking. Instead of water, you can also add broth to make your food flavorful.
- Explore the different functions of your instant pot. For example, change its temperature depending on the food that you are cooking for optimum convenience.
- When you are cooking something at a set timer of 30 minutes, count in a little extra cooking time. The real work inside the pot begins after the water is completely warm and the pressure inside the cooker is ample. This process takes about 15 minutes, depending solely on the amount of food you are cooking.
- The instant pot boils your food very well. But this can often lead to overcooking. I am sure you are not a fan of overcooked veggies or meat. So keep the time in check when you are using the pot for cooking food.
Manual Pressure Cook With Quick Release Or Npr
Many Instant Pot users almost always use manual settings. While Smart Program buttons are handy, cooking instructions can vary for different types of rice, smaller or larger beans, and soup with or without meat. With manual settings, you have more control over the time and pressure level. Here is how to use the Instant Pot with manual pressure cooker settings.;
Step 1. Star the Instant Pot as mentioned above.
Step 2. Add food, seasoning and liquid to the pot. The liquid can be cold or hot; hotter liquids take less time to heat up so the Instant Pot comes to pressure quicker. Stir if needed.
Note on stirring: If adding tomato sauce or paste, keep them on the top and dont stir too much as these foods can sometimes thicken and burn during cooking; again, this depends if water and stock are also added as when diluted, its less of a problem.
Step 3. Get your lid and quickly check that the sealing ring on the inside is in place. If its loose or sticks out, the pot might not seal properly and it will not be able to come to pressure. Place it on top and twist it until it locks in place.
Step 4. On older models like Duo Classic, check that the steam release handle on top of the lid is pointing to Sealing. On the more advanced models of the Instant Pot, the vent will automatically seal when the cooking process begins. On the Duo Nova the quick release button should be popped up and not pressed down.
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When Should I Use Keep Warm Function
The Instant Pot can be kept on Keep Warm after cooking most foods. In fact, its very handy if you are finished cooking before youre ready to serve food. Some foods like rice, quinoa, or anything that has soaked up a lot of liquid should be monitored or warmed in a more moist environment to prevent dryness or burning. You can select Keep Warm cycle before you start cooking or after.;
How To Natural Release Instant Pot
This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.
Everything you need to know about How to Natural Release Instant Pot vs. Quick Release, when its safe to open the lid, and how long it takes.
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What About Other Instant Pot Models
- Duo Plus: Like the Duo, but with a blue LCD display and few more settings . You can toggle to sound off or on.
- Smart WiFi: Generally like the Duo, but you can pair it with an app and use your smartphone to control some of its functions.
- Lux: No yogurt making setting. Does not need a drip catcher. Each setting will remember the cook time you programmed most recently.
- Ultra: Has a central control knob, not as many buttons, and a few more special settings. Has a feature to automatically adjust for pressure cooking at altitude. Quick release button keeps fingers away from the steam release valve. Each setting will remember the cook time you programmed most recently.
- Max: This has a touch screen, a sous-vide function, heats faster, can be programmed to automatically release steam, and offers an altitude adjustment option.
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.
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 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.
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When To Select Low Pressure
Low pressure should be used for delicate foods like eggs, fish, and vegetables. However, all of these foods can also be cooked using high pressure for a reduced amount of time. If you are confused about whether or not to use low or high pressure, its best to stick to high pressure. This should be specified in recipes.
I Added Liquid Like I Was Told But Things Went Wrong
When an Instant Pot recipe calls for liquid, its being very specific, especially when it comes to pressure cooking. This needs to be a true liquid, usually water or chicken/vegetable stock, but some recipes call for anything from juice to beer. You cannot use a sauce or a liquid with any thickeners , which wont add enough of the needed pure liquid to the mix something thats needed to create steam. Doing so results in burnt foods and other problems. Pressure-cooked meals usually require at least one cup of liquid to work properly. Instant Pots will often warn you if they sense a lack of liquid, but it pays to understand what the recipe requires. Add sauces and thickeners after the cooking is completed.
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My Pot Is Kind Of Stinky
The rubberized sealing ring of the Instant Pot can absorb odors easily, especially when pressure cooking. If you are cooking a particularly pungent meal, the ring may retain the smell, which is annoying when making a different meal. Garlic smells may be the most common, but it can happen over time with a variety of odors.
If the odor is causing problems, take your sealing ring out and try washing it in the dishwasher. This can remove some of the worst of the smell and get the ring back into working order. You may also want to try soaking it in a pan of warm water mixed with baking soda to absorb as much of the odor as you can. Some people even choose to purchase a spare sealing ring and use one for meals and one for desserts.
Attaching The Condensation Collector
When you open the lid of the Instant Pot, some cooking liquid tends to run off the lid and into the rim that runs around the pot. It can be a pain to clean. To prevent this rim from overflowing with liquid, theres a small hole in it. Under that hole, you can attach the condensation collector. Basically, a small cup that will hold excess liquid and prevent it from going all over your counter.
The condensation collector can be tough to install. You need to line it up with two slots and then push it toward the machine. To remove, pull it toward yourself.
With the cord and condensation collector installed, we can finally run the water test.
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How To Open & Close The Lid
First Instant Pot setup skill you need to master is opening & closing the Instant Pot Lid with ease.
As shown in photo below, the black markings on the lid & pot may not be easy to spot at first.
- Markings on lid: Close Inverted Triangle Open
- Markings on exterior housing:;Locked Triangle Unlocked Triangle
- Open Lid : twist counter clockwise until Inverted Triangle is aligned with the Unlocked Triangle sign, then lift the lid.
- Close Lid : align the Inverted Triangle with the Unlocked Triangle, then twist clockwise to lock the lid.
How Does Instant Pot Work
An Instant Pot is an innovative pressure cooker creating a highly pressurized environment by mixing heat and steam to cook food instantly. Even though Instant Pot is a relatively new brand, the pressure cooker has been around since the 1700s!
Instant Pots sealing ring produces an airtight environment that permits pressure and heat to build safely.;
Utilizing an Instant Pot is relatively simple because its an all-in-one device for cooking several components of a meal simultaneously.
> Check out these handy pressure cooking accessories HERE!
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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