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 .
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. If you let the burner get too hot, the pressure builds up too much and the cooker spews out angry jets of steam .
But with an electric Instant Pot, the cooker regulates its own heat via sensors. Thats the other win. No need to carefully monitor it as your food cooks. Program the Instant Pot and once its going, youre free to go for a walk, vacuum the living room, check your emailyou 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 make yogurt in your Instant Pot. Were not going to worry about doing those things here, though. This guide is all about pressure cooking.
Install Instant Pot Condensation Collector
If your Instant Pot came with 2 plastic cups, the round plastic cup is a Rice Measuring Cup. The flat plastic cup is an instant pot condensation collector.
How to Install Instant Pot Condensation Collector? Find the slot at the back of Instant Pot, then slide it right in .
*Pro Tip: be sure to check & rinse the condensation cup once in a while.
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Is Quick Release Safe
Yesif you take the right precautions. The steam that immediately releases from the Instant Pot will be extremely hot. The Instant Pot User Manual warns to not place your hand or lean your face over the cooker while it is releasing steam. Its best to turn the valve with an object such as kitchen tongs or a wooden spoon to avoid any skin coming in contact with the hot steam. Other Instant Pot users like wearing silicone oven mitts, or simply covering their hand with a kitchen towel.
The Most Common Instant Pot Problems And How To Fix Them
The Instant Pot is a highly versatile appliance that can save time and energy in the kitchen. While the best Instant Pots are intuitive, these multifunctional pressure cookers can be confusing too. If youre running up against issues like a bad smell lingering in your Instant Pot or trouble with the timer, youre not alone. Most of the problems youre seeing are likely pretty easy to correct when you know what to look for.
We have the best tips, tricks, and hacks to solve some common Instant Pot problems.
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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
How To Saut In An Instant Pot
The basic steps to using Instant Pot sauté to brown meat, vegetables, etc. are:
Read Also: Cook Frozen Meat In Pressure Cooker
Does Instant Pot Turn Off Automatically
Cant remember when to turn off your Instant Pot? Are you here to ask, Does an Instant Pot turn off automatically? The Instant Pot manufacturers have got your back when it comes to this issue. Yes, your Instant Pot does come with an automatic shutdown function. You need to activate the timer, and when its done, the pot will shut off.
Here in the article, we will see how the Instant Pot turns off automatically, and well help you understand its workings.
Is A Browning Function A Must Have In A Pressure Cooker
Although when preparing a meal it is easy to sauté or brown your meat and vegetables in a pan and toss them into the pressure cooker seems like a simple step, the added convenience of not needing an extra pan in nice.
If the idea of a sink full of dishes to clean up after youve enjoyed a good meal is not appealing to you, then definitely get a pressure cooker that has this function.
Not only will it decrease your prep time if you already frequently sauté your meals, it can also encourage you to try new recipes.
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Safety May Be An Issue
While the Instant Pot comes with detailed instructions on how to use it safely, theres always the outlier case where safety is an issue. Follow the basics: Dont overfill it, dont use it as a deep fryer, and replace sealing rings regularly. The most important safety tip though is when removing the lid after releasing pressure, stay away from the steam and tilt the lid to act as a shield between you and the steam rising from the pot. And if youre worried about your cabinets warping from the steam, Elizabeth Barbone, a cookbook author and the creator of the pressure-cooker blog Cook Fast, Eat Well in this NBC interview says, Pressure cookers are safe, but we need to be following good practices. Some of the things you might see on the internet, like covering the steam release valve to protect cabinets or walls from steam, arent safe. Instead, position your pot accordingly if thats a concern.
How To Use The Instant Pot For Beginners
Learn how to use the Instant Pot with step-by-step instructions and photos for manual or smart program pressure cooker settings, how to sauté foods, and how and when to select a natural release or quick release options. Plus, we cover some Instant Pot FAQs and general tips to make your learning curve as the Instant Pot beginner less steep. Lets get started!
Looking at your shiny new Instant Pot box and wondering where to start? Dont panic! This wonderful kitchen gadget might seem intimidating but its actually very friendly once you get to know it. Lets unpack the box, its time to learn how to use the Instant Pot.
As part of our Instant Pot For Beginner series, we have also covered what the Instant Pot is and how it works with its key features and cooking stages. Make sure to check them out!
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Most Important Instant Pot Buttons
There are a lot of buttons which can be intimidating. Most of these are just presets though with suggested cooking times set for that type of food . I rarely use these presets since I prefer to set times myself as specified in recipes. The 3 buttons that I use most are:
- Manual : This is the most important button. This button allows you to set your own pressure cooking time. Example: Recipe says to pressure cook for 10 minutes: After locking the lid in place and setting the steam release valve to Sealing, just press the Manual button and use the and buttons to change the cook time to 10. After a few seconds, you will hear a series of beeps and the display will show On to indicate the start of the pressure cooking process.
- Sauté: This button basically turns your Instant Pot into a regular pot which means that you can do it all without dirtying a second pot. This function is used with the lid off and allows you to sear/brown meats and sauté vegetables at the beginning of a recipe. You can also use this function to simmer and thicken sauces at the end of a recipe.
- Keep Warm/Cancel: Use this button to cancel any function. If it is pressed while the Instant Pot is in standby mode, it will activate the Keep Warm mode.
- Although I rarely touch any of the preset buttons, there is one exceptionthe Soup function. I tend to use this when making broth since this setting also controls the pressure and temperature to ensure that the liquid never goes into a heavy boiling state.
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.
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Understand The Difference Between Natural Release Vs Quick Release
Natural release is usually for recipes that contain more liquid and that you want more tender. It can take anywhere from 5-30 minutes longer for the pressure to release than in the quick mode since your insta-pot does it gradually.
Pro tip: For some recipes, you should be able to leave the natural release for 10 minutes before you do a manual quick release if you dont want to wait the full time for the natural release.
Quick release is when you manually switch the valve to depressurize and are more for foods that cook quickly, like veggies or pastas.
Pro tip: Since youre relieving the pressure quickly, make sure to aim the vent away from you and others for safety reasons and your kitchen cabinets to preserve them and prevent unnecessary damage.
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.
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.
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Instant Pot Bean/chili Setting
The Bean/Chili setting button can be used to cook larger dry legumes such as beans and chickpeas in liquid or to cook chili or another type of stew that uses dry beans. The program settings use High pressure and result in different doneness of beans. When cooking beans, always use NR to release pressure after cooking is done. Below is how to use the Bean/Chili setting on Instant Pot.
- Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add dry beans, liquid and salt to the pot. Secure and lock the lid. Select the Bean/Chili button. The default setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at High pressure for 30 minutes. If you press the button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More .
- Less mode 25 minutes at High pressure for a firmer bean texture or to cook black beans, dry lima beans, Navy beans, black-eyed peas, Adzuki, anasazi, dry peas.
- Normal mode 30 minutes at High pressure for a softer bean texture or to cook red kidney beans, white kidney beans , Pinto beans, black-eyed peas .
- More mode 40 minutes at High pressure for a very soft bean texture or to cook harder legumes like chickpeas and soybeans .
Ensure dry beans are completely submerged in water. Dried beans double in volume and weight after soaking or cooking. To avoid overflow, please do not fill the inner pot more than to the ½ mark to allow for expansion.
Note: You can also use the Multigrain setting to cook most beans.
Instant Pot Recipes Made Simple
Do you wish you could find one-pot meals that are simple and easy to make and your family will love?
Youre about to find out how simple it is to make healthy, one-pot meals with your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker with my cookbook Instant Pot Recipes Made Simple. You can download it instantly to your phone, computer or e-reader, so its portable and can go with you anywhere!
With this book, youll get:
- Tried-and-true recipes the whole family will love including pot roast, spaghetti, tacos, carnitas, soups, and easy breakfast meals
- Instant Pot starter guide on how to use the buttons, tips and tricks, and more
- Printable shopping lists for ingredients
- Step-by-step video lesson on how to use your Instant Pot, pressure cooker safety, and some of my favorite tips and tricks
- Two-week meal plan that you can put into action for no-stress weeknight dinners
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Common Instant Pot Problems And How To Fix Them
Here are some troubleshooting tips for when your Instant Pot is acting up.
So when it stops working as normal, I’ll admit that chaos ensues. I figured out how to troubleshoot the most common Instant Pot problems and have found that most are easy fixes. Here’s what you need to know to keep your Instapot up and running, too.
These tips are for most Instant Pot Models, including the popular Instant Pot Duo options. Make sure to always consult the user manual for your specific model to troubleshoot.
What Is A Slow Cooker
Lets start with what is a slow cooker. A slow cooker is an appliance that simmers food at very low heats for a long period of time. The thing that makes a slow cooker distinct from all the other methods of preparing food is that slow cookers can cook food at a much lower temperature than other appliances. You may also know slow cookers by the name Crock-Pot, this is a trading name owned by Sunbeam Products. Slow cookers are typically used because the low heat that they operate at can allow typically tough, chewy foods to become tender, and melt-in-the-mouth.
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How To Make Instant Pot Yogurt Cups
Yogurt cups are a convenient way to portion out your yogurt into individual or smaller servings. After adding the starter culture to the pasteurized or warm milk, carefully pour the milk into your yogurt cups and seal them tightly. Clean the inner pot thoroughly and place the steam rack/trivet on the bottom of the inner pot. Place the sealed yogurt cups on the steam rack and add water to the inner pot until the cups are submerged halfway. Follow steps in Fermenting Yogurt above.