Pressure Cooking With The Instantpot
The InstantPot has a lot of pre-set programs you can use to cook beans, rice, meat, soups, etc. However, being the scientist I am, I dont tend to like these programs. Whereas many will greatly appreciate them, I prefer understanding whats going on myself. Therefore, lets take a better look at the settings of an InstantPot .
Pressure: high & low
The InstantPot has to two settings for pressure:
- High Pressure: 10.2 to 11.6 psi
- Low Pressure: 5.8 to 7.2 psi
This means that while cooking in your pressure cooker the pressure in the cooker is: the pressure around you + the pressure mentioned above. So at high pressure, youre cooking at 1.7-1.8 bar, which will drastically increase the boiling point of your water. At 1.7-1.8 bar the boiling temperature of water is 115.2-116.9°C. At the lower pressure setting this temperature is 109.3-111.4°C.
If youre wondering when youd use the low pressure setting, youre not the only one. If youre using a pressure cooker to speed up cooking youd want the highest possible pressure and thus temperature. There only seem to be a few exceptions I found online, cooking eggs and rice are sometimes done at low pressure. Let me know if you have any others.
How is the pressure controlled?
Comparing to stovetop pressure cookers
Does a pressure cooker need water?
What Can You Cook In An Instant Pot
Since Instant Pots require liquid to get up to pressure, pressure cooking is mainly used to cook moist foods. These include beans, soups, meats, squash, mashed potatoes, stocks, and more. In general, you’ll want to avoid pressure cooking fried, delicate, or crispy items. Noodles can also give Instant Pots a hard time.
However, there are other functions that Instant Pots can perform that may be better suited for these foods. For instance, the wildly popular Instant Pot DUO60 has presets that go far beyond just pressure cooking and include everything from slow cooking and porridge to steaming and poultry settings.
For the uninitiated, pressure cooking may sound scary. And, the stovetop pressure cookers of yesteryear could be dangerous as the quick, unexpected release of pressure might destroy everything in its path resulting in an emergency room visit and kitchen remodel. Fortunately, with today’s electric pressure cookers, there’s virtually no chance your unit will malfunction and cause damage. Most units have several fail-safes that regulate the amount of pressure and how it’s released.
That said, there are a few precautions you should take. Make sure you set up your Instant Pot in a safe place. Many people are tempted to put their electric pressure cooker on the stove, but we’ve seen enough pictures of Instant Pots melted and mangled from someone turning on the burner to caution you against this location.
Keep A Positive Mindset
When we surveyed our readers about their initial experience with the Instant Pot, many users had the advice to just have fun with the pressure cooker! Set aside any expectations, know the Instant Pot is an exceptionally safe kitchen device, and try something new. Even if it doesnt go according to plan, it should boost your confidence.
Over to you! Do you have any further questions about how to use the Instant Pot as a beginner? What foods or recipes do you plan to cook first? Anything else we can help you with? Leave your feedback and comment below!
Smart Program Pressure Cooking
If you choose to use one of the pre-set smart program options, the steps are even simpler. Please refer to our post on Smart Program Instant Pot Buttons Explained for how to adjust each setting.
Step 1. Start the Instant Pot. Insert the inner pot into the cooker base.
Step 2. Add ingredients and liquids to the inner pot. Stir if needed or leave layered.
Step 3. Secure and lock the lid. Make sure everything feels well sealed.
Step 4. Select one of the Smart Program buttons. Pre-set cooking time and pressure level will display. You can leave it as is or adjust things like the pressure level from HIGH to LOW. You can press the Smart Program button again to cycle through the Less, Normal and More time options or use the and + buttons to adjust the cooking time further. If you make any adjustments to the selected Smart Program, they will be remembered next time you use it.
Step 5. Preheating & pressurizing stage begins followed by cooking under pressure as per program settings. Once the Instant Pot beeps again and the timer has reached zero, the cooking process is done.
Step 6. You can do a quick release or allow the built-up pressure to release naturally , or do both depending on the food/recipe.
Step 10. Once pressure is released, open the lid and stir or remove the contents.
Instant Pot As A Pressure Cooker
The video below covers the Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté, Steam, Rice, Porridge or Congee, Multigrain functions. If you are wondering why the control panel looks different, it is because it talks about the 6-in-1. Dont worry, though, the functions are the same.
The only difference is6-in-1does not have a yogurt function. Also, one other notable difference is the 6-in-1 model cooks only in high-pressure mode whereas the7-in-1provides you with both high and low options.
Note Make sure the vent is always at Sealing before you begin Pressure Cooking.
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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!
Can I Make Dessert In An Instant Pot
If your device has a Cake function, the possibilities are endless. Most Instant Pots that have nine or more functions feature this preset, which will become your best friend if youre too lazy, overheated, or busy to turn on your oven and bake something. Try this three-ingredient Japanese cheesecake or banana bread to get you started.
Dont have the Cake preset? You can still bake with your Instant Potyou just need to follow the recipes directions for manual cooking instead.
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Getting Started Guide: How To Use A Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot
As with any new tool, there are a few things youll need to know before you get cooking!
For your convenience, Ive created a five-part getting started guide that will walk you through getting your pressure cooker out of the box and into your daily routine!
5. Easy Recipes to Make in Your New Instant Pot / Electric Pressure CookerIve compiled a list of easy-to-make pressure cooker recipes for you to start off with and build your confidence using your Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, Crockpot Express, or other brand of electric pressure cooker.
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.***
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Never Open The Instant Pot While Its In Manual / Pressure Mode
Once you close the lid and select the Manual / Pressure mode, be sure the pressure value is set to Sealing. That will ensure the pressure cooking feature will work. You have 10 seconds to press the Cancel mode to stop cooking. After that, the Instant Pot is coming to pressure and if you open the lid youll be hit with a face full of steam. Its actually difficult to open the lid while its cooking for that reason thats why the Instant Pot is so intuitive. So once you close that lid, let it cook for the full time youve set.
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The Instant Pot Keeps Beeping
Its normal for the pot to beep as it starts to heat, beep when its starting the timer, and beep when the timer is done. If its beeping otherwise, that usually means something is wrong, and you should look to see if theres a code flashing on the screen. This most often indicates an overheating issue that your Instant Pot wants you to know about ASAP.
Read Also: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn
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Understand How Your Instant Pot Works
To cook properly, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how the Instant Pot works.
Inside your Instant Pot is a metal pot. This is where you’re going to place your food and cooking liquid. The pot slips into the outer Instant Pot and is heated from a heating element below.
The heating element boils the liquid, and all that energy is then trapped inside the Instant Pot. The pressure, steam, and heat then cooks the food much quicker than boiling or using a crockpot. Dry beans, for instance, can take half a day in a crockpot, but can be cooked in under an hour in an Instant Pot.
Now Its Time For A Test Run
Before you do a test run, quickly wash the steel insert and the lid with warm and soapy water. ALWAYS dry the steel insert completely before inserting it in the unit.
This completes the test. Press the Keep Warm / Cancel button or unplug the unit. In about 20 minutes or so, you can try opening the lid.
Learn more: Watch a video on how to do the water test and understand why it needs to be done.
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Always Check The Sealing Ring
The lid of your Instant Pot has a silicone sealing ring inside, and this is responsible for sealing the lid and locking-in the steam pressure. This silicone ring should be properly seated along the metal ring that is in the lid, but because its exposed to heat during the cooking cycle it can sometimes move out of place or get stuck.
Its important to check the silicone ring every time you use your Instant Pot, to make sure its properly placed and has a little wiggle room to expand. I usually grab it with my fingers and wiggle it all around the lid to make sure its not stuck anywhere.
Why Did You Not Use The Poultry Button To Make Chicken Why Did You Not Use The Rice Button To Make Rice Why Do Many People Just Use The Manual/pressure Cook Button For All Recipes
The Poultry, Rice, Bean/Chili, etc modes are mainly preset modes. What that means is that you can do the same cooking using the manual button, adjusting the pressure level and cooking time. You can still cook the same way even without using the preset buttons.
We do tend to lean towards using the Manual/Pressure Cook button more often, as that gives the best control to cook.
Now you have gone through and reviewed all the buttons on the Instant Pot. Pin this page for future reference.
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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.
Underside Of Lid: The Sealing Ring And Anti
The underside of the Instant Pot contains four important parts. If you have version one DUO, it will look like the one of the left. If you have a version two DUO, it might look the one on the right.
The Sealing Ring
The plain-looking silicone ring is an integral part of the Instant Pot. Without it, pressure cant build. During heating, the sealing ring expands to create a seal that allows pressure to safely build inside the machine. If the sealing ring isnt inserted correctly or is torn, worn, or out of shape, steam can leak from the lid and the Instant Pot wont seal.
Insert the sealing ring snugly in the wire sealing ring rack. When properly inserted, the sealing ring should lay flat against the lid and shouldnt pull out easily if you give it a soft tug.
To remove the ring for cleaning, allow the lid to cool and then pull gently on the sealing ring.
To clean, use warm soapy water or run through the dishwasher. Dry the ring thoroughly before placing it back into the lid.
Even with thorough washing, the sealing ring can hold on to cooking odors. If you plan to make yogurt or desserts, like rice pudding, consider getting a second silicone sealing ring to use only for yogurt, desserts, and other mild foods. This way youll avoid making a rice pudding tastes like the chicken you made for dinner the night before.
I like to keep an extra sealing ring on hand at all times. This way, if something happens, I can replace the ring right away.
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How To Use The Instant Pot Duo
If youre new to pressure cooking or you just want to know how to use the Instant Pot Duo, then youve come to the right place! This post includes a step-by-step guide, including how to do the initial water test.
Hello there! Im Carrie and you might know me as the author of the best-sellingHealthy Meal Prep Instant Pot Cookbook! But, I didnt always know how to use a pressure cooker and it took me several tries before I felt comfortable using one.
Fast forward to today, and I rely on my Instant Pot on a daily basis. In fact, I recently invested in second Instant Pot Duo so I can cook two things at once. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to update this guide for how to use the Instant Pot Duo.
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.
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