Do You Know Quantum Mechanics
Do you actually love cooking? Tasting the sauce, adding a little bit of this and that? Adjusting the spices? Seeing the magical transformation of ingredients? Well, cooking using a pressure cooker method is totally different!
I dont know if you need a degree in quantum mechanics or physics but figuring out how long to cook something in your Instant Pot is not easy! Deciding what spices to use and if the recipe needs more of something else is only done at the end of the cooking process. You cant simply open the lid and check if something is done or not. Remember the pressure?
There are some recipes that require opening the pot and adding potatoes or pasta and then cooking for another few minutes. And if this sounds easy with a conventional way of cooking, using an Instant Pot to do that means that extra 10 minutes of cooking actually could mean extra 20-25 minutes. Remember that to open the lid you need to release the pressure , then the pot needs to come to pressure again , and then once everything is cooked, you need to release the pressure one more time. So, 10 min+5+5+5 is 25 minutes.
Mistake #: Forgetting To Replace The Inner Pot
Its very convenient to be able to remove the inner pot for cleaning, but dont forget to put it back in! It may sound like a no-brainer, but its actually a pretty common mistake. You dont want to start putting food in your Instant Pot, only to realize you forgot to put the inner pot back in! That would not only be a huge mess for you to clean up, but it could also damage the electrical components inside.
Safety Lesson : No Quick Release For Thick Recipes
Natural pressure release is best for these recipes, but many arent written that way. If you do need to quick release steam on a thick food recipe, at least give the whole machine a little jiggle to release any possible steam pockets before opening the lid.
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How To Hard Boil Egg In Instant Pot
Where Do I Find Recipes For The Instant Pot
The instruction manual and recipe booklet in the box are a great place to start. The recipes there are limited, but we found the cooking time tables to be pretty helpful in the beginning. Hip Pressure Cooking lists recommended times and pressure levels for most foods and has an active online community. You can also try our one-pot meal recipe or check out the other super-simple recipes Wirecutter staff members cook in their Instant Pots.
You can find hundreds of Instant Pot cookbooks out there, including many tailored to specific dietary concerns . Melissa Clark, food reporter for The New York Times and Instant Pot enthusiast, has written her own cookbook, Dinner in an Instant, and also told us about some of her favorites: Indian Instant Pot Cookbook by Urvashi Pitre, and Coco Morantes The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook.
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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.
When To Select Low Pressure
Low pressure should be used for delicate foods like eggs, fish, and vegetables. However, all of these foods can also be cooked using high pressure for a reduced amount of time. If you are confused about whether or not to use low or high pressure, its best to stick to high pressure. This should be specified in recipes.
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You Can Get A Second Insert
Sometimes dinner needs a few different components maybe youre makingkung pao chicken and youre going to serve it with rice. Or maybe dinner is in one pot AND youre serving from it which means you cant use the Instant Pot for dessert until dinner is over AND the insert is washed.
Heres the solution get a second insert! You can buy a second insert and youll be able to make things back to back .
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.;
Read Also: How Long To Steam Broccoli In Instant Pot
Making Bone Broth Under Pressure
Its so simple and hands-off to make bone broth in the Instant Pot! Put the bones right back in after you pick off the chicken, add some onion ends, carrots, celery, and garlic, fill the pot to about 2 inches from the top with water, and youre good to go!
The last time I was sick I had only frozen broth in the house, but I had some bones in the freezer too it was quicker to make broth in my IP than to thaw a jar, and I cannot tell you how glad I was to have warming, nourishing broth in a mug and going into my parched body!!!
Watch this video to learn more about bone broth from me and my kids!
Why You Will Love This Instant Pot Hard
Because it is easy and fast! Just place the eggs into the Instant Pot basket, pop the basket into the pot and then set the timer. No more waiting for water to boil.
No more boiling water splashing on the stove. No more eggs cracking as they bounce against each other. No more forgetting the eggs on the stove and having them boil dry.
Well, maybe thatâs just my issue, but in any case, it is no longer a worry with this Instant Pot Hard-Boiled Egg recipe.
Make Hard Boiled Eggs In:
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Why Make Hard Boil Eggs In An Instant Pot
You can make hard boiled eggs Instant Pot style, and soft boiled eggs too its the easiest way to cook them! As a matter of fact, making Instant Pot hard boiled eggs is so quick and easy, youll wonder why youve been making them on the stove top for so long.
This method saves you the hassle of checking on the eggs when theyre cooking on the stove, and you can cook up to a dozen eggs in the Instant Pot at a time so that you can meal prep more at once.
All you need is a cup of water, the trivet that comes with your Instant Pot, your eggs and some ice!
Instant Pot Lentil Soup
This Instant Pot lentil soup recipe is the perfect intro to pressure cooker soups! Its easy to make and full of nutritious ingredients. Lentils load it with plant based protein, and its bright red from fire roasted tomatoes. The star ingredient: fresh fennel, which adds a smoky undertone. This soup is ultra cozy; enjoy a steaming bowl with a side of the best;vegan cornbread.
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Aozita Stackable Steamer Insert Pans
These tiered steamer pans allow you to cook your sides and main dish all in one pot. It comes with two interchangeable lids, one for steaming and one airtight lid for baking, cooking, or food storage.;
I usually use it to simultaneously cook my rice and steam my veggies, or to thaw my meat. 10/10 would buy again, says one reviewer.
Buy It: Aozita Stackable Steamer Insert Pans, $30;
I Keep Burning My Fingers When Trying To Release Steam
The release nozzle on the Pots valve is pretty loose, and twitching it open for a fast release after pressure cooking can be painful for even fast fingers. If youve been burnt by steam before, theres a very simple solution that Pot users have found: Just use a wooden spoon. Push the valve open with the spoon to release it and avoid any steam issues.
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My Beans Are Still Hard After Cooking What Do I Do
This is actually my favorite issue to fix because its so easy! You find this out after you release the pressure from your Instant Pot and test the beans for doneness. I use the spoon method mentioned above, but you could just bite a bean too.
Notice if there is enough liquid to come back up to pressure. If you are making a soup you may not need to add extra water, but in many recipes you will need to add 1/2 cup for a 6 quart IP or 3/4 cup for an 8-quart.
This is because without enough liquid your Instant Pot will not come back up to pressure and that causes a whole new set of issues. To solve it, add some liquid and try again.
If the beans are extremely hard or barely cooked, I might set it for 8 or 9 minutes. But generally, if its a little under done I cook for 5 minutes on high pressure.;
Not sure where to start? Pick 5 minutes, then test again. You can always repeat this until your beans are just the way you like them. But once they are over cooked theres no going back.
Turn Your 8 Quart Instant Pot Into A Serious One
I was looking for a beef and broccoli recipe and what I found was either people were eating mushy broccoli OR they were steaming the broccoli separately .
The fix is to use a 6 quart insert INSIDE the 8 quart pot.
Basically, you put the meat and sauce directly in the 8 quart liner and follow the recipe directions. When its done, you put the6 quart liner ON TOP of the cooked meat, inside the Instant Pot and make steamed broccoli in it using the trivet. The extra few minutes of cooking wont hurt the meat, and you truly can cook your entire dinner in the Instant Pot! The only downside is that this only works for the 8 quart Instant Pot
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Help I Overcooked My Beans Now What
I know it seems like all is lost, but take a deep breath and prepare to pivot dinner. Youve got this and you will be able to make something with soupy or even cooked-down-to-a-puree beans.
What do I mean by pivot dinner? Maybe you had envisioned a beautiful cassoulet, but opened up your Instant Pot to find complete mush. First, congratulations on finding a source for super fresh beans, and make a mental note to cook the rest of that batch for less time.
Now lets turn that frown upside down! If you made a stew with beautiful flavors, put it in a blender and now you have a wonderful dip or pate for bread, crackers, or veggies.;
If they are too runny for dips you have two choices. First, turn on the sauté on your Instant Pot, cover mostly with a lid to prevent splatters, and cook until the consistency you want or, at least the one that you can work with.
The second is to use this water beanie goodness as a broth. Add more spices because I suspect they arent coming through at this point, throw in some veggies and cook on the sauté setting on low until done, or pressure cook for the longest cooking veggie you threw in. Everyone loves soup and not wasting food!
The Pressure Cooking Experiment
Match-up: Instant Pot vs.;pressure cooker
Pressure cooker: 50 min
Instant Pot: 1 hour 20 min
Assessment: Browning the chicken took double the time in the Instant Pot, and the pot needed to be cleaned to remove the over-done bits at the bottom, so a lot of flavour was lost from the final result. It also needed double the time to boil down the remaining sauce in the pot.;
Verdict: Both were tasty, but for speed and maximum flavour, the;pressure cooker took this round.
Total time: 8 hours
Instant PotTotal time: 4 hours 15 min , 8 hours 15 min
Assessment:;The Instant Pot did well on both its high and low slow cooker settings, yielding delicious soup in almost half the time.
Verdict:;Well played, Instant Pot.
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Tips For The Best Instant Pot Eggs:
- Timings below are for large eggs. For medium eggs, reduce cook time by 1 minute and increase by 1 minute for extra large eggs.
- Start with refrigerated eggs.
- Its ok to stack eggs on the rack, but eggs should not touch the water or walls of the instant pot.
- Transfer cooked eggs to a bowl of ice water right away to prevent overcooking.
- We use a 6 Qt 7-in-1 Instant Pot Duo. You may need to experiment timings using a smaller or larger pressure cooker.
Using Saute Function After Cooking
The Sauté function is also useful for finishing the dish after pressure cooking is done. Once the pressure has been completely released, open the lid and then press Sauté button again. Press the button again to cycle through Less or More for lower or higher temperature.
Use it for:
- Simmering the sauce or broth in the dish that needs to evaporate and reduce or thicken.
- Adding more fragile or no-cooking-required ingredients like baby spinach, fresh tomatoes, fruit, cheese, milk or cream.
- Thickening sauce with butter, cream or flour.
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Whats Next For Me & My Instant Pot
A few weeks ago, we were at a friends house, and;I brought some dairy-free chicken and wild rice soup to share. I transported it in my Instant Pot since I knew it would stay warm, even when unplugged.
My Instant Pot got all kinds of attention. For 15 minutes, ladies ooohed and aaaaahed over it, wanting to know anything I could tell them about it.
It felt good to be able to give a positive, honest review of the Instant Pot to my friends in a personal setting. Its so practical and can be useful in so many settings that I just cant imagine life and cooking without it anymore. I use it on a daily basis!!
Over the past year, Ive used;my Instant Pot all over the place:
- My wild rice and quinoa pilaf and Instant Pot Sweet Potato Casserole were both hits at recent community potlucks.
- Ive provided potato soup and crab bisque for board meetings.
- I can count on my Instant Pot every Sunday when I prep foods for the peeps lunches for the week a dozen boiled eggs in 4 minutes? Yes please!
- My Instant Pot has bailed me out of failure-to-plan lunches and dinners many a time.
- Bone broth is ready in 90 minutes! I can de-bone a chicken from supper, throw it in my Instant Pot, and put it all away before bed!
- Ive cooked a whole chicken in 35 minutes!
- Im home alone all day as a work-at-home mom, but I still cook for myself. I recently figured out that I can steam a single serving of broccoli in 2 minutes!