How To Use Your Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

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The Instant Pot And Slow Cooker Heat Up Differently


Slow cookers heat from the bottom, but heat travels up the sides through heat spreading evenly through ceramic pots. Instant Pot heats similarly from the bottom, but the thin metal pot does not spread heat evenly. The heat is generated from pressurized steam that is trapped in the pot. This makes it less suitable for slow cooking.;

How To Cook For Zero Minutes

Yes, there really is a zero minute cooking cycle on the Instant Pot. This short cycle is most commonly used to cook non-starchy vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini. If you cook them for even one full minute, then turn to mush!

Cooking for 0 minutes is the same as cooking anything else on Manual. Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button, then use the button to lower the cooking time to zero minutes. The Instant Pot will still take several minutes to come to pressure , and then as soon as the cooking cycle beeps to signal that its complete, youll quickly release the pressure right away so that the vegetables dont over-cook. It will take 2 to 3 minutes for the pressure to release, so the food will be in your Instant Pot for at least 12 to 15 minutes in total, giving it plenty of time to cook.

How To Know The Instant Pot Is Pressurized

When you start a pressure cooking cycle, the Instant Pot will not start counting down right away. First, the pot needs to pressurize, which can take 10 minutes or more, depending on how much food is inside. The more full the pot, the longer it will take to come to pressure. So, dont be alarmed if your Instant Pot screen simply says On for a while.

Youll know that the pot is pressurized when the floating valve in the lid pops up. Shortly after that happens, the count-down for your cooking cycle will begin.

Read Also: How To Cook Frozen Tamales In Instant Pot

Extra Accessories And A Secret Tip

A secret tip you may not initially know about your Instant Pot is the lid holder.

On the side handles you will see a hole that perfectly fits your lid.; Place the lid here when you are sautéeing ingredients or serving up recipes.

A few accessories to purchase:

  • Extra silicone rings; Over time the silicone rings will stretch out or adopt the flavor of various recipes.; Its great to have color-coded replacement rings on hand that are designated for certain types of recipes.;
  • Steamer basket This can be used when cooking delicate items like eggs or when making stocks.
  • Glass Lid; Using a glass lid when slow cooking and steaming allows you to see inside your pot while cooking.
  • Storage Lid Have some leftovers?; Pop a silicone lid on top and store the stainless steel pot in the refrigerator.

What Should You Not Cook In An Instant Pot

How to Use Your Instant Pot®: An Easy

Here are some of the food you shouldnt cook in an Instant Pot:

  • Deep-fried food such as fried chicken, french fries
  • Delicate food that requires quick & high heat
  • Milk-based or cream-based sauces shouldnt be pressure cooked directly in the inner pot
  • Food that uses puff pastry
  • Breaded meat, breaded vegetables
  • Pressure canning

Which of the 50 Easy Instant Pot Recipes from this list are you going to try first?

What are some of your favorite Pressure Cooker Recipes? Let us know in the comments.

Read Also: How To Cook Hoppin John In Instant Pot

What Is The Instant Pot

Instant Pot is a pressure cooker — and then some. It also sautés, slow cooks, makes rice and steams veggies and poultry. It’s an all-in-one device, so you can, for instance, brown a chicken and cook it all in the same pot. In most cases, Instant Pot meals are ready to serve in less than an hour.

Its quick cook times are thanks to its pressure-cooking function, which locks steam created by liquid , building pressure and pushing steam back into the food.;

But don’t confuse it with a stovetop pressure cooker. Unlike your grandparents’ pressure cooker, this Instant Pot eliminates safety concerns with a lid that locks, and stays locked, until the pressure is released. ;;

Yes, you can cook a whole chicken in the Instant Pot.

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.;

Also Check: Instant Pot Reheat Tamales

Instant Pot Vs Pressure Cooker: Whats The Difference

Cooking quickly and efficiently has long been an aim for home chefs. There are many other activities that use our time. Cooking, on the other hand, is not one of them.

Nowadays, there are many methods for cooking more quickly. However, this pressure cooker was one of the first real kitchen time savers. Instant Pot is a modern take on the traditional digital pressure cooker. Both are great options for counter-top cooking. The difference between them is critical when deciding which to buy.


Pressure Cooking Requires Liquid

How to Use Instant Pot as a Pressure Cooker

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.;

Recommended Reading: Instant Pot Add Ons

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.

Instant Pot : How To Cook With A Pressure Cooker

Can I be honest? I was so excited to buy an Instant Pot and when I finally got it I let it gather dust for seriously, SIX months before I used it. It just seemed so intimidating! Once I actually learned how to use the Instant Pot I was using it constantly. It is seriously one of my favorite things in the kitchen. If youre;new to using an Instant Pot, I encourage you to just get started! Its much easier than you think and youll love it once you get the hang of it. So without;further ado, here is your Instant Pot 101 class sharing exactly how to cook with a pressure cooker!

  • Unpack the Box!

    Your pot will vary depending on model but it is very easy to set up. Youll want to unpack everything in the box. Depending on the model that could include a Steamer Rack, Rice Paddle, Soup Scoop, Rice Measuring Cup, Condensation Collector, Quick Reference Guide, Recipe Book, and Manual. Remove any plastic and wash the;inner pot, lid, silicone sealing ring, and accessories in warm soapy water and dry thoroughly.Warning: NEVER immerse the outer Instant Pot housing in water or any other liquidPlug the cord into the back of your;Instant Pot;and plug into the wall, you should hear a beep once it is plugged in. If you dont, check the connection at the base.Place the inner pot in the base and finally, install the condensation collector on the back of your Instant Pot. It slides right into the slot on the back.;

  • Also Check: Frozen Ground Beef Instant Pot

    Functions Of Each Of The Instant Pot Buttons

    Still, there may be times you prefer to use the preset options or you might just be curious to know how they work. There is a bit of variety among each of the different models ; however, all of the Instant Pot buttons cook the same.;

    For your convenience, Ive created a printable Button Summary Sheet with detailed explanations of the different settings for each of the major Instant Pot modelsjust click the link on your model below:

    Instant Pot Duo

    Buttons Summary. User manual.

    Release The Pressure Safely

    Video: How to Use an Instant Pot IP

    When you release the pressure, the escaping steam will be very hothot enough to burn you. So make sure the hole on top of the steam release is facing away from you before pressing the release button. Also, the quick-release method is not suitable for soups or cereals , because quick release may cause food to splatter out with the steam.

    Read Also: How To Convert Recipes To Instant Pot

    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!

    Alison Conklin

    Ready Lets Cook Some Water

    The first time you use your Instant Pot, make waternot food. This way, you can familiarize yourself with simply operating itno anxiety over ruining dinner. Ive been pressure cooking for over a decade, and I still do the water test every time I try out a new cooker.

    Here’s what to do:

    First, check the gasket. Make sure its snugly in the ring in the lid; 99 percent of the time, if your Instant Pot isnt coming to pressure, its a simple issue of the gasket not sitting in the ring quite right.

    Next, put 3 cups of water in the insert. When following recipes, you should still measure liquids, but note that the insert has hash marks to give you a rough idea of the volume.

    Now, lock on the lid. Use the arrows on the lid and the cooker to guide you.

    Check the steam release valve to see its in Sealing position. If the valve is in Venting position, the cooker wont come to pressure.

    Press Manual” on the Duo or select “Pressure Cook” on the Ultra. The display will say to 30:00. Its programming initially defaults to 30 minutes cook time of high pressure, which we can toggle up or down depending on how much time the recipe calls for. For our water test, well leave it at 30 minutes.

    Now…do nothing. In a few seconds, the cooker will beep three times, and the display will read On. That means its heating, but not at pressure yet.

    Emma Christensen

    Recommended Reading: Instant Pot Yogurt No Yogurt Button

    How To Cook On Manual

    When you use a manual setting, you are in charge of selecting the cook time, and the pressure in some models, rather than relying on one of the preset buttons like rice or stew. Older models of Instant Pot have a Manual button and newer models have a Pressure Cook button, but both buttons do the exact same thing.

    To cook on manual, all you have to do is press the Manual or Pressure Cook button and then use the + or buttons to set the cook time.;The Instant Pot automatically cooks on high pressure, but some models have a separate Pressure button that allows you to cook at low pressure if youd like to.

    Make sure you secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing, to ensure the pot will come to pressure. Its also important that you follow a trusted Instant Pot recipe, so that you have sufficient liquid in the pot and that your ingredients are layered properly.

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    How To Use A Pressure Cooker

    How to Use Pressure Cooker Setting on Your Instant Pot Quick & Easy Carnitas (Pulled Pork) Recipe

    Before using your Instant Pot, always make sure:

    • the inner pot does not have any dents or scratches
    • the rubber ring around the inside of the lid is intact and free from tears
    • the pressure release valve is clean and free from debris

    After youve checked these things, its time to move on to cooking! Just follow the steps below:

  • Put your ingredients in the pot, including a liquid. When pressure cooking, its important that you always include at least 1 cup of liquid in your recipe. This liquid is used to build up steam. It can be water, broth, etc.
  • Put the lid on. Make sure to turn the lid to secure it to the pot.
  • Move the pressure valve to the sealed position. This is important to ensure that the pot pressurizes.
  • Select the mode and the amount of time. The Instant Pot has several different modes: soup/broth, meat/stew, bean/chilli, poultry, rice, multigrain, porridge, steam, slow cook, sauce, yogurt and pressure cook. You can also change the pressure level or set a delay start if needed.
  • When done cooking, wait for the pressure to release. You can allow the pressure to naturally release, which will happen automatically when the time is done. Or you can do a quick release by turning the pressure release valve to the unsealed position.
  • After the pressure has been released, you can open the lid and enjoy! If you are not eating right away, the Instant Pot also has a keep warm function until you are ready.
  • Recommended Reading: Instant Pot Shows Burn

    What You Need To Know

    The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker. Its different than the old stovetop models that our mothers and grandmothers had. Those were scary because they made a lot of noise and there were stories flying around about them exploding!

    My second suggestion is that you understand how a pressure cooker works. The idea is that you always use about a cup of liquid with most anything you cook in the Instant Pot. The heating element heats up that liquid and creates steam that builds pressure inside.

    That enormous amount of steam under pressure is how food gets cooked so quickly, without any loss of quality. So, the point is that you always need to use about one cup of liquid no matter what youre cooking. Sometimes, youll use a little less or a lot more, but one cup is about the minimum amount of liquid.

    The Instant Pot is a modern, electric version of a pressure cooker that is safe, easy to use, and one of the best ways to get healthy food on the table fast. That said, it can be intimidating getting used to a whole new way of cooking. I hope this post offers some guidance and assurance that its not that hard to get started.

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