What Can You Do With An Instant Pot

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How to Use an Instant Pot – Instant Pot 101 – Beginner? Start HERE!

If you want to can your fresh fruit for a tasty spread, you would need to closely monitor the temperature as you cook. Sadly, this is something you cant do with an Instant Pot as it only measures the pressure. Its advisable to avoid any canning recipes with your Instant Pot as incorrect cooking and sealing can lead to bacteria growth, which could result in food poisoning.

Cynthia Lawrence specialises in Homes ecommerce, covering all things homes and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, must-have home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy how to features.

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions . When shes not testing cool products, shell be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!

Instant Pot Smart Programs Vs Functions

Instant Pots are beloved because of their ability to cook foods quickly using pressure. But theyre also wildly popular, in part, because theyre true multi-cookers that can be used to braise, sauté, steam, and so much more. But all Instant Pots are not created equaler, not every model can perform every function, and theyre billed accordingly . All Instant Pots can pressure-cook, slow-cook, sauté, and keep warm, and fancier models tack on additional cooking methods like yogurt-making, sous vide cooking, broiling, and air-frying. The functions are customizable, and while you cant air-fry or broil in a model that doesnt have an air-frying lid, people still manage to bake cake in models that dont offer mini oven functionality and make yogurt in models that arent officially marketed for yogurt-making.

The Instant Pot Smart Programs allow you to engage each cookers listed functionality with the touch of a button. Many models also have additional Smart Programs that take the guesswork out of specific items like cake, yogurt, eggs, brown rice, and more. The buying guide below details which and how many functions and Smart Programs are available with each model.

What Kind Of Instant Pot Do I Need

I have both a 6 quart and an 8 quart Instant Pot. For most of my Instant Pot Recipes, I only need a 6 quart, but Im always glad that my 8 quart is around for those times when Im planning to cook a large slab of meat or when I am feeding a crowd. If youre only 1-2 people, consider the 3 quart Instant Pot, but only if you dont plan to cook any larger batches or for company.

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Use The Saute Button For Cooking As You Would In A Skillet Or Pan

Want to saute vegetables in the Instant Pot? You can do that and basically cook up anything as you would in a skillet or pan. You dont need the 1 cup of liquid. Just press the saute button, add some cooking oil or animal fat like beef tallow or lard to the inner pot and add food you want to cook like a skillet or pan. You can even adjust the saute temperature .

How To Do An Instant Pot Water Test

The Instant Pot is all the rage these days, but what exactly can you ...
  • Make sure that the power cord is firmly connected to your Instant Pot. Plug it into a power outlet in your wall.
  • Place the stainless steel inner pot in the base unit. Add 3 cups of cool water to the inner pot.
  • Check that the silicone sealing ring is fitted properly into the Instant Pot lid. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn it clockwise until it is in the closed position. Your Instant Pot will chime each time you close and open the lid .
  • Turn the steam release valve to the sealing position.
  • Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button.
  • Use the +/- buttons to set the time to 5 minutes. Wait for 10 seconds and the Instant Pot display will say On and the cycle will begin.
  • The Instant Pot will take anywhere from 5-15 minutes to reach pressure. Once it reaches pressure the float valve will pop up, the Instant Pot will beep once, and the cook time will begin to count down from 5 minutes. You might notice hissing sounds and some steam escaping from the steam release valve or float valve hole while the pressure builds this is normal. You may also notice a plastic smell the first time you use your Instant Pot. This is also normal and shouldnt happen again.
  • When the float valve drops down remove the Instant Pot lid.
  • Now that you have completed the water test, you are ready to cook in your Instant Pot!

    Read Also: How To Set Instant Pot To Sealing

    Are There Any Models That Dont Fit Any Size

    The instant pot is an excellent option for those who want to cook with a lot of convenience and ease. There are many different sizes of instant pot, including a small 8-quart, a small 6-quart, a large 13-quart, and a large 11-quart. You can also choose between the pressure-controlled model, which cooks faster than the conventional model, and the conventional model, which uses less energy. There are many models that dont fit any size, but you can find a model that will work best for you by looking for a pressure-controlled model.

    Instant Pot Parts And Accessories

  • Base Unit this contains the heating element.
  • Stainless Steel Inner Pot fits into the base unit.
  • Lid the look of the lid varies between Instant Pot models.
  • Steam Release Valve this fits on the top of the lid and may already be attached.
  • Condensation Collector attach this to the back of your Instant Pot.
  • Trivet be sure to keep this, as you will use it often.
  • Power Cord removable in some Instant Pot models.
  • Measuring Cup & Utensils These come with the Instant Pot. I use my own measuring cups and utensils instead of these.
  • The first thing youll want to do is wash the parts of your Instant Pot. The Instant Pot lid, steam release valve and stainless steel inner pot are dishwasher safe however, I wash mine by hand. The base unit is not dishwasher safe never immerse the base unit in water.

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    Make Homemade Vanilla Extract

    You can DIY this baking necessity if you have time and patience to wait. But you can also speed it up with your Instant Pot. This particularly comes in handy if you forget to make favors for your bridal shower or a thank-you gift for your neighbors and need something pronto.

    How to do it: Using the pot-in-pot method, pour one cup of water in the Instant Pot, and place the metal trivet in the bottom of the pot. In pint-sized mason jars, combine two cups of high-quality vodka and vanilla beans that have been split with a knife. Leave at least one inch of space between the vodka and the jar lid. Seal with jar tightly, but not firmly, and place each jar in the Instant Pot. Close the Instant Pot, and cook on high for 30 minutes to one hour. After the end of a natural release, remove the jars from the Instant Pot, and let them cool naturally. Swirl each jar a few times while theyre cooling.

    The extract is likely ready to use right now. However, before you do, smell the extract. If it is still predominantly vodka, let the jars sit for a few more days with the vanilla beans in the liquor, swirling daily. You can remove the vanilla beans from the extract if you wish, but theyre OK to leave, too. However, they will begin to disintegrate and may leave particles behind in your extract.

    What Can You Do With An Instant Pot

    26 Things to NEVER DO with your Instant Pot! – Instant Pot Tips for Beginners

    by Shelley · May contain affiliate links

    ~ Even after I bought my first Instant Pot, I was honestly still kind of wondering, What can you do with an Instant Pot? What can you cook with it? Maybe youre in the same boat. Or, maybe youre just trying to figure out Should I buy an Instant Pot? Will I actually use it? Heres an overview of the types of recipes you can make with an Instant Pot and also some of the things you just really cant. ~

    In last weeks post we delved into the ins and outs of the very first question most people ask in any Instant Pot journey: Just exactly what is an Instant Pot?

    I promised wed talk next about which Instant Pot you should buy, but then I realized that theres probably a more important question we oughta address first.

    Before you worry over which model is right for you, lets talk more specifically about what kinds of foods you might cook in an Instant Pot and what sorts of expectations you should have so you can figure out whether or not this is even something that will fit into your lifestyle and typical cooking strategies .

    THEN we can proceed to the question of exactly which size and which model you might be happiest buying, ok?

    Also Check: How To Start An Instant Pot

    Yogurt Making Sauting And Other Uses

    True to its name, the multicooker can do more than just pressure cook and slow cook. Depending on your model, it may also feature several settings for preparing yogurt, rice or poultry, as well as sautéeing.

  • Yogurt Setting

    How you use this function will vary based on the recipe and your model. Most yogurt functions will heat the pot at 180 degrees to 200 degrees, which kills any errant bacteria in the milk, and helps the yogurt to thicken. Then it keeps the milk at 110 degrees for several hours, during which time it ferments. Consult your manual for exact instructions.

  • Saute Setting

    The sauté function works like a burner on your stove, heating the inner pot from the bottom up, and allowing you to brown meats and vegetables, and to simmer sauces to reduce them.

    The sauté function on most cookers has several levels, from low to high, allowing you to adjust the heat. If yours doesnt, and the food is turning too dark too quickly, turn off the machine for a few minutes to bring down the heat. Then, if necessary, turn it back on. Its not a perfect solution, but it works well enough. Or, you can always brown the ingredients on the stove in a skillet, then transfer them to the pot for the remainder of the cooking. Note that when sautéing, the multicookers lid should always be off.

  • What Instant Pot Accessories Do I Need

    Since each Instant Pot model is a little different, its important to read the manual and learn about the various features and settings of your Instant Pot. Generally, every model will include an outer body with a display panel and buttons, a lid, a pressure valve, a steam release valve, a plastic collector cup to catch any condensation released during slow-cooking, a stainless-steel or nonstick inner pot, a sealing ring that surrounds the lid and helps absorb odors, and a steam rack or basket to elevate food inside the inner pot.

    Any Instant Pot accessories or gadgets you may choose to buy to bulk up your cookers functionality are just a bonus. Depending on what you plan to make with your Instant Pot, extras range from practical and essential to plain old fun. Some people buy extra sealing rings so they can use one for meat and one for baked goods. Some invest in egg trivets if they cook a lot of hard-boiled eggs. Some look into springform pans to make cheesecake and quiche.

    Also Check: Instant Pot Duo 8-quart

    Inspecting Your Instant Pot Before Each Use

    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.

    Instant Pot Water Test

    What Can You Do with an Instant Pot?

    Before you use your Instant Pot for the first time, you should perform a water test. The Instant Pot water test is like an initial test run for your Instant Pot.

    The water test will both ensure that your Instant Pot is working properly and will familiarize you with using your Instant Pot.

    One of the Instant Pots that I purchased was defective. A water test helped me to determine that the Instant Pot wasnt working properly. I was able to contact Instant Pot support and get a replacement.

    Note: If you have the Instant Pot Ultra, you will use the dial to select cooking programs and change the cook time and then press start. Instead of a steam release valve that you turn, the Instant Pot Ultra has a steam release button that you will press if you want to manually release the pressure. The steam release valve will seal automatically on the Ultra, whereas on other models you turn the valve between a venting and a sealing position.

    Read Also: How To Make Cranberry Sauce In Instant Pot

    Fabulous Instant Pot Pasta Recipes

    Oh, pasta! Its an undeniable love affair for many. Whats life without a little healthy indulgence? We love the endless varieties of pasta out there from hearty and sturdy penne to delicate angel hair and linguine dishes. Here are 20 pressure cooker pasta dishes that will impress even your Italian grandmother.

    Different Models Of Instant Pot

    When it was first launched, there was just one classic model called Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1. It came with an outer pot with button controls and a display screen on the front, the 6-quart stainless steel inner pot and the special lid with steam release handle and the pressure valve.

    In the last few years, the Instant Pot company has released multiple new versions and sizes. We have Duo Plus, Nova, Viva, Ultra, and Max to name a few and most of them come in 3 popular sizes 6-quart , 3-quart and 8-quart . There is even a 10-quart version for extra-large batches of cooking. You can see the full range of Instant Pot multicookers on the official website here.

    Each new model came with more functions and buttons, more sophisticated display screens and finer adjustment possibilities. The makers have also made some improvements to the lid, so the steam-release handle changed to a simple knob button on later versions.

    However, as confusing as all these new models may seem, they all do exactly the same thing cook food under pressure in a controlled, safe environment. In our opinion, the newer models like Ultra and Max seem much more intimidating and overwhelming with bright digits and hi-fi buttons, so we prefer to stick with the classic models. All our website recipes are cooked in a 6-quart Instant Pot Duo or Instant Pot Duo Nova.

    Recommended Reading: How Long To Cook Baby Potatoes In Instant Pot

    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.

    Perfect Your Potato Recipe

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

    Beyond its lactose intolerance, one other category of foods that the Instant Pot struggles with is the crispy kinds. This checks out since the device’s main cooking method comes from using hot water. That said, you might be surprised to learn that perfectly cooked potatoes remain one of the Instant Pot’s best uses.

    If the versatility of the potato never ceases to amaze you, then neither will all the ways you can use an Instant Pot for cooking it. One example is mashed potatoes. With the right combination of water and pressure, you can turn spuds into a fresh batch of mash in half the time that the stovetop requires. Furthermore, this also makes quick-work of starchier varieties like yams and purple sweet potatoes. You’ll still need to mix them a bit once the potatoes have cooked, but the full flavor is certainly worth it. Besides mashed potatoes, the Instant Pot can also make soft baked potatoes, per Lifehacker. No more extensive wait times as those russets roast in the oven. As for French fries, well, those are better saved for the air fryer.

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