What Can I Cook In An Instant Pot
The best Instant Pots offer a range of different cooking methods, which means there’s a plethora of different dishes that can be created in Instant Pots and multi-cookers. Slow cooking means you can use cheaper but tougher cuts of meat and cook them low and slow to make casseroles and stews, while pressure cooking speeds up cooking times, making it great for ribs and chicken wings. However, you can even bake cakes, air fry foods like fries, and even cook hard-boiled eggs in an Instant Pot. You can find an extensive variety of recipes at;instantpot.com.
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.
Instant Pot Pasta Recipes
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese This method of cooking pasta in the Instant Pot works so well with Mac and Cheese. Because the starches in the pasta thicken the cheesy sauce, you get an extra creamy mac without needing a ton of cheese or butter.
- Instant Pot Chicken Spaghetti Classic and comforting, this one pot meal is a family favorite around here. Check out that post .
- Instant Pot Italian Pasta Salad This pasta salad uses a different method than the one described here. For Instant Pot pasta salad you boil the pasta above the other ingredients using the pot-in-pot method. But its such a fun Instant Pot trick, it deserved a mention here.
Also Check: How To Defrost Ground Beef In Instant Pot
Instant Pot Coconut Chicken
Spice up your weeknight dinner game with boneless, skinless chicken thighs cooked with soy sauce and vinegar in the Instant Pot; a little bit of unsweetened coconut milk added in at the end makes for a super creamy sauce that you’ll want all over a side of jasmine rice.
Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Coconut Chicken
Install Instant Pot Condensation Collector
If your Instant Pot came with 2 plastic cups, the round plastic cup is a Rice Measuring Cup. The flat plastic cup is an instant pot condensation collector.
How to Install Instant Pot Condensation Collector? Find the slot at the back of Instant Pot, then slide it right in .
*Pro Tip: be sure to check & rinse the condensation cup once in a while.
Instant Pot Vs The Others
Instant Pot is probably the most well-known name in pressure cooking devices. However, its not the only player in the game. Other brands have come out with similar cookers with similar features. Devices like the TaoTronics 10-in-1 pressure cooker and the Mealthy MultiPot offer many of the same buttons and programs as the Instant Pot models. Some appliances, like the Ninja Foodi, combine pressure cooking and another cooking function, like air frying or dehydrating.
If youre thinking of buying an Instant Pot, its wise to check out all of your options. With an alternative, you can sometimes get additional features or a lower price tag. With an Instant Pot, you get a pressure multi-cooker with a trusted name. Oftentimes, you can find deals on certain Instant Pot models, and this can make the decision a bit easier.
How To Store Your Instant Pot
Store your cooker like this, with the lid upside down and the gasket loose. Condensation builds up in the gasket, which can become moldy if you lock a damp lid on the cooker.
This method allows for lots of air circulation. Its not so pretty on a countertop, I know. If nothing else, make sure you at least never store your cooker with a damp lid.
You May Like: How To Cook Frozen Tamales In Instant Pot
What Should You Not Cook In An Instant Pot
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.
What Are The Benefits Of An Instant Pot
So far, I can tell you that some of my very favorite things about my Instant Pot are:
1) Flexibility! When Ive planned to make something like soup or chili in my slow cooker, but I dont get to the store early enough to actually start the slow cooker process several hours ahead, I can typically pivot and use the pressure cooker function to make the same recipe. Boo-yah! And, no worries when hubs calls at the last minute to say hes running late I can use the handy keep-warm feature with the pressure cooker, too!
2) The Sauté Function = Fewer Dishes! I often used to skip slow cooker recipes that required browning or searing meat on the stovetop before transferring it to the slow cooker. Somehow those extra steps just negated the dump-and-go brilliance of the slow cooker. Plus then I had an extra pan to wash.
The Instant Pots sauté setting fixes this!
Whether youre ultimately going to use the slow cooker function or the pressure cooking function, you can begin by sautéing meat or veggies right in the very same pot. Once youve got a delicious sear or youve cooked up your ground beef, you just flip over to slow cook or pressure cook function and off you go! Such a little thing, but sometimes its the little things that make all the difference and for me, this is definitely one of those times!
3) Easy Clean-Up! Both the insert and the lid are dishwasher safe. Yay!
Before you get all excited and go order one, though, Ive gotta offer some full disclosure here:
Also Check: How To Cook Brussel Sprouts In Instant Pot
The Air Fryer Lid Cooks A Little Faster
The air fryer lid preheated about two minutes faster than the Vortex. Both produced crispy results, but we liked the Vortex slightly more because of the extra browning. The fact that this Instant Pot attachment produced similar results as the Instant Vortex makes a case for not adding a whole new appliance to your collection.
What About The User Manual Recipe Book & Quick Reference Guide
Its always good idea to look over the user manual and familiarize yourself with the different features of the Instant Pot.
For example, you may not know that, in addition to pressure cooking and making yogurt, your Instant Pot also has a feature just for steaming vegetables. Still, youll soon find that the best teacher is to simply use the IP!
Honestly, I think the recipe book is superfluous. Many of the recipes are boring and bland; others use processed or unfamiliar ingredients.
If youre cooking for a keto, Whole30, or paleo lifestyle, you wont find much to use from the recipe book. Confession: I tossed mine out and never looked at it again!
The Quick Reference Guide is a new feature to me. It was not included in my previous 2 Instant Pot boxes.
After looking it over, however, I find some of the cook times accurate , but other cook times are inaccurate based on my 4 years of experience .
If youve never used an Instant Pot before, my advice is this: find a few recipe sites you trust and use their tested recipes rather than using this Quick Reference Guide.
Also Check: How To Cook Frozen Tamales In Instant Pot
Whole Wheat / Alternative Pasta
There is no need to make any adjustment to the formula if using whole wheat or alternative pasta. Because this method of cooking pasta is based on the recommended cook time on the package, any type of pasta can be cooked this way.;
We tested this method with several varieties of whole wheat pasta and with several varieties of alternative pasta .
How Do I Get Into This Thing When Its At Pressure
Now you need to release the pressure. There are two ways:
- Natural release: That means you do nothing but wait. The more food in the Instant Pot, the longer it takes for the pressure to come downas long as 30 minutes if you have, say, a big batch of chili. In a lot of recipes, this time is actually part of the cooking time, and the recipe will specify natural release in the instructions. Think of it as carryover cooking. Youll use natural release with dried beans, a lot of soups and stews, most meats, steamed desserts, and long-cooking vegetables.
- Quick release: With this method, you use the quick release valve and steam shoots up out of it. Once again, the more food in your Instant Pot, the longer it takes for the steam to release. Youll use quick release for quick-cooking foods like tender vegetables and seafoods.
Read Also: How To Cook Frozen Tamales In Instant Pot
Check Silicone Sealing Ring
How to install sealing ring on Instant Pot? Put the sealing ring on top of the rack on the Instant Pot lid, then gently run your fingers along the ring as you push it into the rack.
Its criticalto ensure the silicone sealing ring is seated properly, and there isnt anything stuck on the ring or rack.
*Caution: Never pull the ring by force as it may stretch or damage the ring and affect the sealing function. Dont use it if it has cracks, cuts, or any other damages.
Do you need a spare sealing ring? Its always good to have a spare Silicone Sealing Ring because they do wear and tear. Plus, the ring may get stinky as it absorbs food odors over time. If you like, you can dedicate 1 Sealing Ring for Savory food, and the other for Sweets.
- 8 Quart: ;Sealing Ring
The Best Instant Pot Models Of 2021 According To Kitchen Appliance Experts
Our side-by-side comparison of Instant Pots makes it super simple.
If youre thinking of jumping on the Instant Pot bandwagon but feel intimidated by the number of multi-cooker models available, we don’t blame you. While most Instant Pots are similar in terms of size options and wattage, the built-in heat and pressure levels along with the smart program settings vary from model to model.
Luckily, the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliance and Technology Lab is here to help parse through those differences so you can find the best option for your household. We evaluate these multi-cookers for how well they pressure cook and slow cook a beef stew. We also evaluate their ability to evenly brown meat and make rice, including how quickly they came up to pressure and released pressure both quickly and naturally. We check each multi-cooker’s ease of use, including how intuitive and easy-to-read the controls are, the variety of settings offered, how easy it is to clean the cooking insert, and the clarity of the owner’s manual. Overall, our top Instant Pot recommendations are:
- Pressure cooks on low and high for more control
- No settings for sterilizing or making eggs or cakes
Best Instant Pot for Beginners
Also Check: Instant Pot Poultry Button
Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore
Traditionally, this dish takes hours to cook in the oven. Our Instant Pot® version is ready in a fraction of the time and is made entirely in the pot hello, easy clean-up! The chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender and the tomato sauce has the perfect smoky kick, thanks to the bacon.
Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore
Fine You’ve Convinced Me Where Can I Get One
On Amazon, of course. Instant Pot’s own site lists out all the places you can find them, but that list is overwhelming, so to cherry-pick: Costco, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Sur La Table all have them. Plus, if you have an Instant Pot, you’ll need some recipes. We humbly suggest adding Party in an Instant Potto your cart.
Read Also: Can I Cook Frozen Ground Beef
Are Accessories Necessary
Ever since the Instant Pot made its debut, the world has figured out how to make everything from soup to cheesecake to egg bites to muffins to quick breads in it.
Most of these require accessories as they cannot be cooked directly in the stainless steel insert pot .
Some of the most popular Instant Pot accessories include:
Whether or not you use any of these accessories depends entirely on your cooking style, how you meal prep, and more.
But, I have not found it necessary to purchase the steamer basket or egg bites mold. I steam veggies inside parchment paper sitting on the metal trivet not in a steamer basket.;
If youre brand-new to using the Instant Pot, I recommend keeping it simple at first. You can always add on accessories as you find recipes and get comfortable with your IP.
Trivet Or Steamer Rack
Almost all Instant Pots come with a stainless steel steamer rack. Some with handles, others may not have handles. Its very helpful for cooking all sorts of food in Instant Pot.
The long handles on both sides make it easy for handling and removal from the pot. Its also compact, easy to store, and easy to clean.
More Info on How to use the Trivet:Instant Pot Trivet
Recommended Reading: Are Instant Pot Lids Dishwasher Safe
What Comes In The Box
Depending on your specific model of Instant Pot, in the box you should generally find:
- An owners manual, for one. Its boring and confusing, which is why you are reading this. But dont get rid of it!
- A recipe booklet. Some of these recipes are good, some arent so hot, but they all work. Still, hang onto this, too.
- A big ol lid.
The Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid Wins Out For Design
While we did like that the Mealthy CrispLid is designed with a glass lid so you can see into the pot, the surface got too hot to touch, where the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid gets warm, but not too hot to touch. The Mealthy CrispLid comes with an elevated trivet and basket that allows the food to sit higher in the pot, which is nice because you don’t have to reach into a hot basket to remove the food. That said, this problem is resolved in the deeper Instant Pot air fryer basket by using a set of tongs.
Recommended Reading: Delay Start Instant Pot
How To Use An Instant Pot: What You Need To Know To Get Started With Instant Pot Cooking
There are a few basic things that you need to know when using an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. Once you use yours a few times, these will be like second nature. Depending on which Instant Pot model you own, the buttons may be labeled slightly differently. Consult the manual that came with your Instant Pot.
Minimum Liquid Required: As a general rule, you want to use at least 1 cup of liquid in your Instant Pot every time you cook with it. The Instant Pot uses steam and pressure to cook food, and you need liquid to create the steam and pressure. Some recipes may call for more or less liquid. I recommend following recipes from a trusted source while you are learning to use your Instant Pot.
Fill Level: Inside the Instant Pot inner pot, you will see a 1/2 and a 2/3 line marked. Never fill the Instant Pot higher than the 2/3 line with food or liquid . If you are cooking food that will expand during the cook time such as rice, quinoa or beans, do not fill the Instant Pot higher than the 1/2 line.
Pressure Cook or Manual Button: Depending on which Instant Pot model you own, the Pressure Cook button is sometimes labeled Manual and sometimes Pressure Cook. This is the button that you will press to start a pressure cooking cycle. Its your basic pressure cooking button.
+/- Buttons: Use these buttons to adjust the cook time.
Keep Warm/Cancel Button: Use this button to end a cooking program or turn on/off the keep warm function.