What Can An Instant Pot Do

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Release The Pressure Before Opening The Lid

How to OPEN and USE your Instant Pot! (you can do it!)

The lid and the contents inside are under pressure while the Instant Pot is cooking.

If you try and open the lid before you have released the pressure, that pressure will come out quickly and dangerously, like when you accidentally pop a balloon.

Never try and pry, force, or otherwise open the lid until the Instant Pot is done and you have released the pressure with the steam valve.

Is An Instant Pot Worth The Money

Lets take a look at the instant pot and whether or not its worth the money. Depending on the time of year, and what kind of deal you can find, the average Instant Pot will set you back anywhere from $70 to $150.

While its not the cheapest kitchen appliance on the market, it does have multiple uses and can take the place of other expensive appliances you might need.

You can purchase a stove top pressure cooker or slow cooker for around $25. Does that mean the Instant Pot is overpriced, or something you shouldnt consider buying? I dont think so.

If you arent sure if youll actually use it, the Instant Pot may be a waste of money. On the other hand, youll end up using it quite a bit if you keep it on your counter and use it as your pressure cooker, slow cooker, and rice cooker.

Ive found that those who purchase an Instant Pot and then promptly put it in a cupboard and never look at it again are the ones who say its not worth it. The first step is always the hardest.

If you vow to use it at least once or twice when you first receive it, it will be an investment thats well worth it. After I used mine the first few times, I couldnt put it away. I was using it every day.

Look through some recipes, borrow a friends Instant Pot if possible, and see if this seems like the type of appliance that will work well for you and your lifestyle.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Reviews

  • This review from The Kitchn chronicles eight months with the pressure cooker.
  • Wellness Mama reviews the Instant Pot and includes some nourishing recipes.
  • CNET reviews the Bluetooth-equipped version of the Instant Pot.
  • This handy video review from A Pinch of Healthy outlines thoughts, tips, pros and cons.

Also Check: Instant Pot Frozen Meat

How Do I Clean The Instant Pot

As far as care and maintenance go, the best way to keep your electric pressure cooker working correctly is to keep it clean. I recommend giving it a light cleaning after each use by washing the inner pot and sealing ring, and wiping down the lid and base unit.

You should also aim to deep-clean your pressure cooker around once a month to remove food bits and residues that can build up over time. For step-by-step instructions for both everyday cleaning and monthly deep-cleaning routines, make sure to check out this post.

Inspecting Your Instant Pot Before Each Use

What Can You Do with an Instant Pot?

1. Remove the stainless steel inner pot and look inside the instant pot base. You will see the heating element. The heating element should always be free of debris and dry before you use you the Instant Pot. After washing, I always dry my stainless steel inner pot thoroughly before returning it to the base unit.

2. Check that the silicone sealing ring is fitted properly onto the lid and is clean and free of tears.

3. Remove the steam release valve from the Instant Pot lid by gently pulling it straight up. Make sure it is clean and free of debris. Some foods, such as applesauce, pasta and oatmeal may froth and foam when you cook them and can clog the steam release valve. Check the steam release valve each time you use your Instant Pot. If it is dirty clean it under running water and then put it back on the Instant Pot lid.

4. Check the float valve to ensure it is clean and free of debris. Clean it with warm water as needed. You may place the lid under running water as needed to wash it.

Making sure that all parts of your Instant Pot are clean and in good working condition can help you to have the best success with pressure cooking. My post about the Instant Pot burn message tells you both how to prevent getting this warning and what to do if you do get a burn message.

Recommended Reading: How To Make Bread In Instant Pot

How I Use My Instant Pot

I mostly use my Instant Pot as an electric pressure cooker and slow cooker. Sometimes I use it to sauté or warm food, depending on the recipe, and occasionally I use it as a rice cooker. These are the functions that best fit with my lifestyle and the foods I cook on a regular basis. The appliance can also can be used to make yogurt, but I havent attempted that yet.

This single appliance has made cooking faster and more convenient. I love that I can cook steel-cut oats for breakfast in a fraction of the time it would take on the stovetop, make rice to go with a last-minute stir-fry is in minutes, and slow-cook a stew. In fact, its even taken the place of my slow cooker, which has since been moved out of the kitchen.

At some point, during the course of eight months, without realizing it was happening, I completely fell in love with my Instant Pot. Yes, the very one I was so skeptical about in the beginning. I now understand all the praise and rave reviews I read months ago, and I feel the very same way myself.

So What Can You Cook With An Instant Pot

LOTS of things!

You know me Ive been scouring the Internet to learn everything I can about Instant Pot cooking, and also reading lots of books.

Just yesterday, I made oatmeal, BBQ chicken sandwiches, and then coconut rice pudding all in my Instant Pot . This morning another oatmeal recipe. There are just so many possibilities, and its actually really fun!

The basic functions are straight-forward, and clearly delineated for each Instant Pot model.

Remember that most Instant Pot models can:

  • pressure cook
  • keep food warm after cooking
  • make yogurt
  • and some models can sterilize and make cakes, and even have specific settings for cooking eggs

Some of these are probably pretty self-explanatory, but lets take a closer look at a few

Also Check: How To Clean Instant Pot Lid In Dishwasher

How Is The Instant Pot Different From A Stovetop Pressure Cooker

The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker with internally built heating element while the stovetop pressure cooker is fueled by heat from a stove, whether gas or electric. Learn how the Instant Pot works in more detail here.

A pressure cooker works on a simple principle: steam pressure. A sealed pot, with a lot of steam inside, builds up high pressure, which helps food cook faster. Here is a video explaining how a traditional stovetop pressure cooker works. The physics of high-heat and steam under pressure also apply to the electric pressure cookers, except they require no monitoring or manual timing.

Whats Up With All Those Knobs And Buttons

DO THIS FIRST! How to Use and Instant Pot – Instant Pot 101

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

Alison Conklin

Also Check: What To Do When Instant Pot Says Food Burn

Can You Eat Raw Green Beans

While some recipes call for raw green beans, eating them uncooked may lead to nausea, diarrhea, bloating, and vomiting due to their lectin content. As such, its best to avoid raw green beans. Cooking not only neutralizes their lectins but also improves their taste, digestibility, and antioxidant content.

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 .

Don’t Miss: Instant Pot Brisket Time Per Pound

Cons To Consider Before Buying An Instant Pot

  • While the HOUSE doesnt smell like whatever youre cooking, the inner seal of the lid might. The inner seals transfer flavor, but theres a great solution to this problem: buy a second seal! Several vendors on Amazon make sweet and savory seals, with the idea being one seal is for sweet things, and the other is for savory. This is a great idea if you plan on using your Instant Pot more than a few times each week AND/OR for more than just dinner.
  • The Instant Pot isnt ALWAYS faster. Whether or not you save time depends on the recipe youre making. MyInstant Pot chicken noodle soup, for example, would take just as long on the stove as it would in the Instant Pot.
  • Tip: Earn Amazon gift cards viaSwagbucks so you dont have to pay for this out of pocket. Im saving up to buy a set of colored seals this set of tri-color three seals is the best deal Ive found so far.

    Do Finish In The Broiler

    21 Easy Instant Pot Recipes Thatâll Basically Cook Themselves

    The one thing that a pressure or slow cooker cant do is brown the top of a dish. So if you want to add char to your cooked BBQ spareribs or chicken wings, transfer them to a sheet pan, baste with sauce and broil a few minutes. Slide your Instant Pot lasagna under the broiler until the cheese bubbles and starts to brown.

    Don’t Miss: How To Cook Beets In Instant Pot

    My Instant Pot Cant Make Salad

    Lettuce is to the Instant Pot what kryptonite is to Superman. Only disaster awaits when the two meet. Yet even though the machine cant help when it comes to prepping a fresh, crunchy salad, its certainly capable of expanding your weeknight veggie repertoire. Ingredients like butternut squash or beets normally time-consuming are tender in around 20 minutes in the pressure cooker, inspiring new opportunities for fiber- and vitamin-rich veggie sides or creative additions to salads .

    Dont forget about oft-neglected artichokes, a springtime favorite that normally takes forever to cook but is finished in the Instant Pot in approximately 30 minutes.

    The Instant Pot Duo Is Often On Sale

    The DUO is regularly on sale during major shopping days such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Prime Day. And if you stay vigilant, sometimes you can spot a deal out of the blue on any given day. Right now, for instance, . The 3- and 6-quart cookers are also on sale at Walmart:

    Instant Pot DUO60 6-Quart 7-in-1 Programmable Cooker

    Recommended Reading: Frozen Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs Instant Pot

    Instant Pot Soup Setting

    The default Instant Pot soup setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at HIGH pressure for 30 minutes. The soup program brings contents of the pot to a slow simmer and results in a clear broth due to lack of boiling motion. Below is how to use the Soup/Broth setting on Instant Pot.

    • Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add all ingredients, seasonings and liquids to the pot and stir. Secure the lid on top. Press the Soup button. It will say Normal, 30 minutes at High Pressure. If you press the Soup button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More .
    • Normal mode 30 minutes at High pressure recommended for soups with meat.
    • Less mode 20 minutes at High pressure recommended for soups without meat.
    • More mode 4 hours at High pressure recommended for soups that require longer cook times such as rich bone broths. Release the pressure naturally.

    Use the / + buttons to further customize the time. The cooking time may be adjusted at any time during pressure cooking.


    We find that most vegetables, including potatoes, dont need the full 20 minutes at High pressure and will often overcook and get too soft, so for most vegetable-based soups, 5 to 10 minutes at High pressure is usually enough.

    Other Instant Pot Cooker Options

    10 Things to NEVER TO DO With Your Instant Pot – Instant Pot Tips

    If the original Instant Pot design isnt what youre looking for, the brand offers plenty of alternatives. Specialized Instant Pot models have the same effortless controls, safety, and excellent quality as weve come to expect from Instant Pot, but they accommodate specific cooking methods.

    For example, the Instant Aura Pro is a high-capacity slow cooker that can handle larger foodstuffs, including racks of beef or pork, with ease. The Instant Zest is perfect for those in need of a rice cooker. The Zest can cook large amounts of rice with ease, whether for commercial kitchens or large families enjoying a meal.

    Both alternative cookers do their jobs exceptionally well. They also include plenty of fan-favorite features from the original Instant Pot series, such as multiple modes for cooking different foods and convenient timer settings. Instant Pot also offers blenders and toaster ovens. They truly have something to use for just about every kitchen task that you can imagine.

    Editors’ Recommendations

    Also Check: What Does It Mean If My Instant Pot Says Burn

    What Can Be Cooked With The Instant Pot

    With the Instant Pot, you can cook a hearty meal for a whole family in less than 30 minutes. Dishes like rice and chicken, beef stew, chili and even a whole-roasted chicken cook in 30 to 60 minutes, start to finish. And, yes, you can even bake bread with the Instant Pot.

    Paleo and ketogenic diet followers love the Instant Pot for its ability to “braise” meats in such a short amount of time, but it’s also loved by vegetarians and vegans who can quickly cook dishes like butternut squash soup, sweet potatoes, chili, steel cut oats and mac-and-cheese.

    Even dry beans that usually require overnight soaking can be cooked in about 30 minutes for dishes like chili and hummus.

    Want more ideas? Check out these 5 unexpected things you can cook in the Instant Pot and the best Instant Pot paleo recipes.

    What Is Instant Pot Everything You Need To Know About The Popular Kitchen Appliance Plus Some Delicious Recipes

    CBS Essentials is created independently from the CBS News staff. We may receive commissions from some links to products on this page. Promotions are subject to availability and retailer terms.

    The Instant Pot is a holiday and birthday wishlist mainstay, but if you haven’t invested in one yet, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. These multi-use pressure cookers promise to replace other kitchen gadgets, including slow cookers, yogurt makers, rice cookers, steamers and air fryers.

    Pressure cooking is a technique that prepares beans, meats, stews and more under high-pressure conditions. Pressure cooks food much more quickly than a similarly shaped slow cooker. Instant Pots come with safety features, such as overheat protection and a safe-locking lid, making pressure cooking seem like — well, a low-pressure endeavor.

    Chefs and home cooks alike have gotten creative with this popular kitchen appliance. Find countless recipes designed for the Instant Pot, available both in cookbooks and online.

    Here’s a breakdown of the most popular Instant Pot models, so you can find your perfect match, plus recipe ideas to get inspired. Many of these recipes work for all of the Instant Pot models below.

    Read Also: How To Cook Frozen Meat In Instant Pot

    Why Is It Becoming So Popular

    Plain and simple, the Instant Pot makes life easy. It cuts down the time spent in the kitchen and makes it more efficient to cook healthy, nourishing meals that taste really, really good!

    For example, you can cook large roasts, broths, and stews that generally take 3-4+ hours to cook, in a mere 30 to 60 minutes. It also offers a timely way to cook grains, rice, lentils and beans. Its also replacing many peoples crock pots and slow cookers since it has the ability to cook low and slow.

    Like we mentioned above, its a multi-purpose kitchen appliance, so its especially handy for people with limited counter space, who want to utilise its multiple cooking abilities.

    Plus, once youve done the prep and set the Instant Pot to work, there is plenty of time to relax away from the kitchen. Once the cooking is done, the food will be kept warm for up to 10 hours.

    Finally, its a huge money saver! It allows home cooks to easily utilise cheap cuts of meat, save on waste with recipes for stocks and broths, and develop recipes that freeze well and can be used later down the road.

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