How To Use Your Instant Pot

Must Try

Choose A Cooking Setting And Time

How to Use Your Instant Pot | A First Timers Guide | Well Done

Again, this is likely when you’ll rely on a recipe. But, in general, now is the time to choose the method of cooking and how long your food will cook. I’ve found I typically use the manual setting and high pressure, since I frequently use the Instant Pot to prepare large cuts of meat. But in general, you’ll choose a setting, set a time, then start cooking.

Be advised, it can take more than 15 minutes for an Instant Pot to preheat and pressurize, depending on the amount of food and liquid in the pot. That means the number of minutes you chose to cook your food might not show up on the display for more than 15 minutes. That is OK. That is normal. Do not freak out and stop the cook. You might see small amounts of steam release through your valve. This, too, is normal. If you accidentally set your valve to “venting” you will know it. It produces a lot of steam.

After some amount of time, the Instant Pot display will show how many minutes are left in your cook. You’re off to the races. Set it and forget it, baby.

Instant Pot Blueberry Corn Muffin Bites

These mini muffin bites quickly come together in your Instant Pot®, thanks to corn muffin mix and a silicone egg bites mold. With only five ingredients and thirty minutes to spare, you can have a delicious blueberry muffin at the ready for breakfast or snack time.

Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Blueberry Corn Muffin Bites

Pick The Right Release

An Instant Pot has two different options for releasing pressure: quick pressure release and natural release. The natural release can be used for most recipes but, if youre dealing with something that you dont want to overcook like vegetables, the quick pressure is a better choice as it lets the steam out very quickly.

Its obvious why so many people are falling in love with their pressure cookers. Whether youre making a tender beef brisket for Sunday dinner or looking for a creative way to get your kids to eat their veggies, you can rely on your Instant Pot to make it happen. You might even love it so much that youll consider trading your slow cooker for it! We wont judge!

You May Like: What Does C7 On Instant Pot Mean

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.

How To Set Up Instant Pot

How To Use Your Instant Pot To Slow Cook

Steam Rack :

Instant Pot Condensation Collector:

Instant Pot Lid:


Steam Release Valve:

sealingventing1. Sealing: 2. Venting or How to Release Pressure from the Pressure Cooking Setting-Quick release.

-Natural release. If you do NOT do a quick release by pushing the valve to the venting position, the Instant Pot will naturally begin to release the steam on its own immediately after the programmed cooking time is over. This allows the pressure to naturally dissipate on its own. It will start counting to let you know how many minutes it has been releasing the pressure. Usually this takes about 10-20 minutes depending on what and how long you have been cooking something.

The Underside of the Instant Pot Lid:

The Anti-Block Shield:

Instant Pot Sealing Ring:

Recommended Reading: Frozen Pork Chops In Electric Pressure Cooker

Vent The Food And Enjoy

Once the cook time has passed, often you’ll then move the valve to “venting” which, in a glorious geyser of food smells, will release the pressure and steam inside your Instant Pot. Be careful touching the valve, it can get hot. Either wear an oven mitt or move the valve with a wooden spoon. It will release a lot of hot air, so it’s a good idea to lean back the first time you move the valve, and definitely keep your eyes away from the valve when you let it vent.

Once the Instant Pot is done venting this might take a few minutes remove the lid and gaze upon your finished food and enjoy.

A side note: in the picture below you can see a little circular valve that looks like a button. When the Instant Pot pressurizes, you should see it rise. This lets you know the Instant Pot is pressurized, which means the lid will be locked. The only way to open the Instant Pot, at that point, is to wait for it to depressurize. So don’t worry, feel safe.

Some recipes, including some very common ones like rice, call for something called a “Natural Pressure Release,” which just means you let the pressure slowly fade inside the Instant Pot. You do not move the valve to “venting” for a certain amount of time. My favorite Instant Pot rice recipe, for instance, calls for just a few minutes of cook time but 10 minutes of natural release before you open the Instant Pot.

Either way, you need to let the pressure release from the Instant Pot, but then you’re ready to enjoy.

How To Use Your Instant Pot More: 19 Surprising Things To Make

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Did you know that there are a ton of interesting ways to use your Instant Pot? While its true that you can use it for dinners and fun foods that are delicious, there are so many other Instant Pot recipes out there that youre probably missing out on.

Its time to take a chance and go to the wild side of Instant Pot uses. Youre going to wonder what took you so long to venture off the beaten path!

Ive put together a list of 19 of the most surprising things to do or make in your Instant Pot that is going to make your day totally awesome!

Recommended Reading: How Long To Cook Brisket 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.

Loading Your Steam Basket

Instant Pot Water Test – How to Use your new Instant Pot Part 2
  • 1Add 1 to 2 cups of water to the Instant Pot. Measure out your water and pour it into the bottom of the Instant Pot. Use less water for a smaller quantity of food, but go ahead and add the full 2 cups if youre steaming a whole basket of veggies or seafood.XResearch source
  • You dont want the water to go up over the food, since it will boil your meal instead of steaming it.
  • 2Set the trivet on the bottom of the Instant Pot. The trivet is the short rack that came with your Instant Pot. Place it at the bottom of your pot to help hold the food up over the water.XResearch source
  • If the water comes up over the trivet, scoop a bit of it out to lower the level down below the top of the trivet.
  • 3Layer the food in the basket according to cooking time. Check the cooking times in your recipe or Instant Pot cooking guide before you load multiple foods into your steam basket. Place the foods that take longer to cook at the bottom, closer to the water. Top the basket with your quickest cooking food.XResearch source
  • Root vegetables take longer to steam than green veggies. Similarly, seafood also steams pretty quickly.
  • For instance, you might put potatoes on the bottom, carrots in the middle, and broccoli on top.
  • If your basket seems overly full, it may be best to cook your meal in 2 or more batches. Since your Instant Pot is so fast, dinner will still be ready soon.
  • You can use most steam baskets in an Instant Pot.
  • Recommended Reading: Cooking Frozen Ground Beef In Instant Pot

    Release The Pressure Safely

    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.

    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.***

    Pin It

    Read Also: Instant Pot Burn Message

    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.

    Troubleshooting Instant Pot Yogurt

    pinterest pin for How To Use Your Instant Pot To Slow Cook ...

    If you open the lid to your Instant Pot and you just find warm milk instead of yogurt, Weinstein says there are a couple of common reasons things went wrong.

    Your starter might be bad, meaning the active cultures are no longer alive so they cannot turn the milk into yogurt. Or you got your temperatures wrong. If the milk is too hot when you add the starter, it will kill the bacteria if it’s too cold, the bacteria won’t be encouraged to grow.

    Read Also: How To Clean An Instant Pot

    Do You Need To Double The Cook Time For A Double Recipe

    If you would like to double an Instant Pot recipe, you may double the ingredients . You do not need to double the cook time.

    However, you may need to adjust the cook time based on the size/width of meat and vegetables. For example, a small 8 ounce chicken breast will cook faster than a large 12 ounce chicken breast and a small sweet potato will cook faster than a large sweet potato. Read all recipes and directions carefully to determine how long to cook your food.

    What Foods Are Best For A Pressure Cooker

    Pressure cooking uses wet heat only. You gotta have liquid in the cookerthe steam creates the pressure. No liquid, no steam, no pressure.

    Pressure cooking is for boiling, steaming, and braising. For example, you wouldnt cook French fries or make a crusty loaf of bread from start to finish by pressure cooking.

    But anything boiled or steamed or simmered is ace in your Instant Pot.

    Coco Morante

    Also Check: Instant Pot C1 Error

    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.

    Standard Instant Pot Features

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

    I have 6-quart and 8-quart pots that I use for meat, and I love the larger 8-quart size for stock. All of the recipes in this book were tested in the 6-quart model. You can add one-third more of the ingredients in a recipe to cook in the 8-quart. The 8-quart takes longer to come to pressure. For meat dishes, you can add 25 percent more meat without changing the amount of liquid. Recipes in the 8-quart need at least 2 cups of liquid, compared to the 1 cup needed in the 6-quart.

    Inner pot

    The inner metal bowl that fits inside the device.

    Float valve

    The pin that goes up when the pressure has been achieved and drops when the pressure has been released.

    Steam rack

    The metal trivet that comes with the device. You can place food to cook on top of it with liquid below or use it for the pot-in-pot cooking method.

    Steam release handle

    The knob you turn to Sealing when youre cooking, and turn to Venting to release the pressure. On some models the steam release function is a lever, and on others it is a button that you push to release the pressure.


    The cover of the pot that you lock in place before cooking.

    Silicone ring

    The ring inside the lid should be replaced every 12 months or so, as it absorbs odors over time. To reduce odors, store an open box of baking soda in the device between uses.

    Also Check: How To Reheat Tamales In Instant Pot

    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.

    Satisfying Your Sweet Tooth

    Crisp, golden desserts are not going to happen in your multicooker. Instead, as cookbook author Jessie Sheehan wrote for us, focus on items that benefit from cooking with steam: The Instant Pot excels at baking up luscious, custards and puddings, cakes with a dense, moist crumb think sticky toffee pudding or dense snacking cakes , creme brulee, rice pudding, flan, clafoutis, chocolate pots de crème, lemon pudding cake, and cheesecake and bread pudding. As she points out, desserts contained in a 7-inch cake pan work well, as do those you can make in individual ramekins.

    Does dulce de leche eaten with a spoon count as dessert? In my book, it does. Homemade dulce de leche is within easy reach with the Instant Pot. See the instructions in Alfajores .

    Read Also: Burn Notice On Instant Pot

    How To Use Your Instant Pot

    1. Dont fear the Instant Pot.

    Ive heard the horror stories of pressure cooking from my Grandma and Mom, but the Instant Pot is different. The Instant Pot has built-in safety features.

    The safety aspect is one the reasons why pressure cooking has become so popular.

    The Instant Pot is safe, self-regulating , and easy to use. I know, it may not feel intuitive at first, but overtime youll gain confidence and experience. Just remember, theres nothing to fear. That said, if you use the Instant Pot in a way its not intended, Im sure it can be unsafe. Just like with anything in life.

    Lets talk about a few safety features

    • The Instant Pot cannot be opened once it reaches pressure.
    • Theres a visual cue for when theres pressure in the pot and when its safe to try opening the lid. The silver pin on top of the lid will rise when pressure has been reached in the pot and drop once the pot depressurizes.
    • The pot doesnt rattle like stove-top pressure cookers.
    • Theres a burn notice feature on the Instant Pot, which well talk about later. This is a built-in feature to keep food from burning in the pot.
    • The screen on the Instant Pot takes all the guess work out of pressure cooker. Wondering how much longer the food needs to cook? Just look at the screen.

    2. Perform a water test before making your first meal.

    3. The Instant Pot isnt the fastest way to cook every meal.

    4. The Instant Pot is multi-functional.

    5. The sauté function builds flavor.

    6. Always deglaze after sautéing.

    Latest Recipes

    More Recipes Like This