How To Start The Instant Pot

Must Try

Learning Instant Pot Buttons

How to Use an Instant Pot – Instant Pot 101 – Beginner? Start HERE!

Although all the buttons can be intimidating, most are preprogrammed convenience settings .

Buttons such as MEAT, STEW, RICE, and BEANS still cook at HIGH pressure and have a preprogrammed time. Adjust the cooking time for these settings before you hit START.

Below are the buttons I use most frequently on the Instant Pot.

PRESSURE / MANUAL Go to for all recipes that say Cook at HIGH pressure. Press it and hit +/- to adjust the time according to the recipe.

SAUTE / SIMMER Use this button before and after pressure cooking. High SAUTE heat browns meat and softens veggies before adding liquid for pressure cooking. Low SIMMER or SAUTE heat thickens sauces or cooks pasta.

YOGURT A button I use frequently for ridiculously easy and amazing yogurt. Click here for a full resource on making Instant Pot yogurt and to discover the best yogurt youll ever taste!

WHITE RICE Used to cook rice, which is a default low pressure setting. If you do not have a white rice button, simply use low pressure instead of high.

DELAY START Put the ingredients in and set a time to delay start with the proper settings required. The pressure cooker will turn on and start the cooking process at that time.

Whats So Great About The Instant Pot

Safety, speed and easy cleanup are just a few of the reasons for the rising popularity of these trendy kitchen appliances.

an Instant Pot isnt just an electric pressure cooker. As a true multi-cooker, it sears, browns and sautés food like a stove-top skillet. It also steams delicate items such as fish, eggs and vegetables. Instant Pots double as standalone electric rice cookers as well.

You can use them to bake bread, cakes and other sweets like custards, flan, even cheesecakes. Many Instant Pot models come with special yogurt modes. And yes, they function as slow cookers, too.

Recommended Reading: What To Do When Instant Pot Says Food Burn

How To Use A 6

  • Make a Single Layer 6-Inch Cake from a Single Layer 9-Inch Cake Recipe. Halve any recipe written for a single layer 9-inch cake and bake it in a 6-inch pan. Be sure to check it several minutes early, as the smaller cake may bake more quickly.
  • Make an Adorable Double Layer 6-Inch Cake from a Single Layer 9-Inch Cake Recipe. Keep the 9-inch single layer cake recipe the same. Divide the batter between two 6-inch pans. If you dont want to purchase two 6-inch pans, you can bake the layers one at a time. Be sure to let the pan cool to room temperature in between.
  • Make an Double Layer 6-Inch Cake from a Double Layer 9-Inch Cake Recipe. Halve the 9-inch cake recipe. Divide the batter between two 6-inch pans , unless you want to make a teetering-but-impressive 4-layer 6-inch cake, in which case, I want to see photos!
  • For Recipes Written for Cake Sizes other than 9-Inches, I recommend using this conversion link to compare the pan volumes and using your best judgement.

Or just bake this Instant Pot Cake! The recipe is ready to go for a 6-inch pan as-is.

Dont Miss: Instant Pot Yogurt No Yogurt Button

Don’t Miss: Cooking Frozen Tamales

How To Saute In The Instant Pot

Sauté is a 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. Learn more about other smart program settings on Instant Pot here.

Step 1. Star the Instant Pot. Insert the inner pot into the cooker base. Do not use the lid for the next step.

Step 2. Press the Sauté button. After 10 seconds, the cooker displays ON to indicate that it has begun heating. When display switches from On to Hot, add ingredients you want to brown. Note: You can add ingredients before the Hot message appears if you do, it may not appear at all. This is normal.

The control panel will display a 30-minute countdown timer as a maximum Sauté time, you can use it for reference if you like or disregard.

The default temperature setting for Sauté function is Normal. Press Sauté again to cycle through for Less and More temperature options. Use Normal for general pan searing or sautéing, Less for simmering, thickening and reducing liquids and More for Stir-frying or browning meat.

Step 4. Add any other ingredients and liquids. Stir if needed or leave layered and continue with the manual or program settings to pressure cook the food.

Pressure Cooking Requires Liquid

Instant Pot Quick Start Guide for Easy Home Cooking ...

Before we continue, we must mention the most important aspect of pressure cooking. It requires liquid. This is because the pressure is built by the steam accumulating inside the pot, which is produced from the liquid.

Whether youre cooking rice, chicken breasts, pot roast, carrots, stew or cheesecake, you will need at least a cup of liquid for the Instant Pot to do its job.

This is a total amount of liquid and can be in the form of water, stock, tomato sauce, juice, wine and liquids released from the food while cooking , or a combination of those. Amount of liquid required varies depending on the recipe and amount of food but as a rule of thumb, 1 cup is always a good starting point. Also, the food doesnt need to be completely covered or submerged in liquid to cook.

Don’t Miss: Costco St Louis Ribs | Instant Pot

Lock And Seal The Instant Pot

So you have your pot filled. Now is a good time to confirm the rubber seal inside your lid is properly place. It should fit snugly and tightly inside the lid this will ensure you get a good seal and thus retaining moisture and pressure.

Now you have to lock it. The lid should slide from left to right so it locks in place. You should feel it and you should hear a beeping sound from the Instant Pot alerting you it’s closed properly.

Basic Instant Pot Tips

First of all, make sure to read through the manual that came with your Instant Pot. Each model is different and some have more function buttons than others. For this guide, well be using the 7 in 1 IP-DUO . The manual also includes some handy tips and suggestions about the various features. And it goes into detail on how important things, like the steam release handle, work.

Now before we get into my Instant Pot guide for beginners, the first thing you need to remember is that an Instant Pot is not just a pressure cooker. It can also sauté and cook things slowly . Getting additional accessories like a steam basket or small springform cake pan makes it even more versatile .

Also remember that an Instant Pot isnt exactly instant. While the cook times for most foods in the Instant Pot are amazingly short, your Instant Pot will also need time to get up to pressure and time to release that pressure. So something with a 10 minute cook time could actually take 25 minutes from start to finish. But still, most of that time passes without you having to actively interact with the Instant Pot, so compared to cooking on a stove top, youre still saving a lot of time!

One last thing before I start this Instant Pot guide for beginners- be aware that many foods are best cooked with additional liquid added. The Instant Pot needs this to create the appropriate steam to cook your food fully. Thick liquids dont count. Dairy also doesnt pressure cook well.

Read Also: Tuna Steak Marinade Jamie Oliver

The Float Valve Is Stuck

That little float valve on the top of the lid is meant to loosely move between venting and natural pressure release. If this valve gets jammed, theres a problem. It usually means that the valve has become clogged with food. Unclog the valve, and then wash the lid all around the valve and make sure all bits of food are removed.

How Instant Is An Instant Pot

How to Quickly Start Your Instant Pot

I wouldnt lie to you. Instant Pot is a misnomer. It does not cook food in an instant.

Here’s the catch: It takes time for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.

If a pot roast cooks for 30 minutes at pressure, the total time from start to finish might be more like 45 minutes or more. An Instant Pots heating element has less juice than the burners on your range, so it takes longer to heat food enough to get to pressure.

BUT! The ease of use frees you up to do other things. With most recipes, Instant Pots truly are set it and forget it. Lets say youre making a stir-fry, and youd like brown rice to go with it. Before you start prepping the stir-fry, put the rice and water in the Instant Pot, program it to cook for 22 minutes at pressure, then go about your business.

By the time youve chopped and stir-fried everything , your rice will have finished its cooking cycle, the pressure will have come down naturally, and the cooker will automatically switch to its Keep Warm functionso your perfectly cooked rice is waiting patiently for you at the ideal serving temperature.

Emma Christensen

Read Also: French Dip Ninja Foodi

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 Brown Chicken In Instant Pot Without Sticking Including Step

After much trial and error as well as research, Ive arrived at a solution. I cannot lie, it was a bitch getting here, but my pain is your gain! Follow these steps to not not only avoid effing up your chicken, but actually maximizing flavor in whatever chicken dish youre making.

Step 1: Heat the pan FIRST using More saute setting

Step 2: Add the oil ONLY AFTER POT HAS REACHED DESIRED TEMP LEVEL and make sure the entire pans surface is covered with a thin coating

Step 3: Allow the oil to heat properly before adding the meat. YOU WANT HOT OIL FIRST!

Step 4: Add the chicken to the outer areas where the oil collects and cook skin side down

After 4 minutes of cooking on Hot setting the chicken should release easily

Step 5: WAIT. WAIT SOME MORE before flipping. Any sticking means chicken aint ready for the FLIP. You can use your tongs to test for release. Cook for about 2 minutes.

Notice skin is still intact and has a nice color to it

Don’t Miss: Pressure Cooking Chicken Tenders

The Pot Is Getting Streaky Or Cloudy

If you spotted streaks or clouds inside your pot after your first couple of uses, thats normal. Fats and oils tend to cause stainless steel to stain a bit . Fortunately, those stains wont affect your cooking at all, but they could be difficult to remove when hand washing. The pot is dishwasher safe, so try running it with your other kitchenware to remove streaks and smudges. Another solution is to mix a bit of vinegar on the residue to bring back the pots original shine.

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.

Recommended Reading: Frozen Steak In Instant Pot

If Your Silicone Ring Is Sticking To The Lid

The silicone ring thats located around the pressure cookers rim is exposed to a lot of different foods and temperatures over the course of a year. Which, of course, means that the ring itself can be quite sticky.

If your float valve has dropped, but youre still having problems opening the lid, the lid may have stuck to the silicone ring.

Opening up a pressure cooker lid thats stuck to the silicone ring is an easy task. Do the following.

  • Firmly turn the lid back and forth to separate the lid and the sticky silicone ring.
  • Wash the silicone ring, in the dishwasher or the sink to keep it clean.

Make sure that the float valve has dropped before you start turning the lid back and forth. You dont want to force a pressurized cooker open. It is nearly impossible to open a pressurized cooker but I strongly advise against trying for your safety.

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.

  • Sealing position For a quick release , press down the quick release button until it clicks and locks in the venting position.
  • Venting position To stop the quick release, slightly turn the quick release button counter-clockwise until it pops up to the sealing position.
  • Read Also: Instant Pot Sealing Ring Dishwasher

    Instant Pot Water Test

    Before you use your Instant Pot for the first time, you should perform a water test. The Instant Pot water test is like an initial test run for your Instant Pot.

    The water test will both ensure that your Instant Pot is working properly and will familiarize you with using your Instant Pot.

    One of the Instant Pots that I purchased was defective. A water test helped me to determine that the Instant Pot wasnt working properly. I was able to contact Instant Pot support and get a replacement.

    Note: If you have the Instant Pot Ultra, you will use the dial to select cooking programs and change the cook time and then press start. Instead of a steam release valve that you turn, the Instant Pot Ultra has a steam release button that you will press if you want to manually release the pressure. The steam release valve will seal automatically on the Ultra, whereas on other models you turn the valve between a venting and a sealing position.

    What Is The Timer Button For

    Instant Pot Quick Start Guide – How to Use your New Instant Pot – Part 1

    Some models have a button that reads Timer. While you may think that this is the button that sets the cooking time for your Instant Pot, it actually delays cooking time and will start the cooking when the timer counts down. You can set the cooking time with the plus/minus buttons or the dial, depending on the model.

    You May Like: Tamales In Instant Pot

    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.

    Whats The Big Deal With Instant Pots Anyway

    Instant Pots are multifunction, programmable electric pressure cookers. Think of them as little cooking robots.

    If youre not familiar with pressure cooking, the entire point of an Instant Pot can be confusing.

    The big sell here is pressure cooking is up to 70 percent faster than other ways of cooking. Pressure cookers reach higher temperatures because their lids lock into place without steam escaping, which creates a pressurized environment inside the pot. In this environment, the cooker reaches 250°F .

    With pressure cooking on a stove, you have to keep a close eye on the cooker because you regulate the heat source. But with an electric Instant Pot, the cooker regulates its own heat via sensors. Thats the other win. Program the Instant Pot and once its going, youre free to go for a walk, vacuum the living roomyou get the idea.

    Instant Pots can do other things besides pressure cook, too. With the lid off, you can sauté ingredients before pressure cooking. You can also use it as a slow cooker or for making yogurt. Were not going to worry about doing those things here, though. This guide is all about pressure cooking.

    Coco Morante

    Also Check: Remove Smell From Instant Pot Seal

    Latest Recipes

    More Recipes Like This