Pros Of A Traditional Pressure Cooker
- Foods cook 3 to 10 times faster than ordinary cooking methods, saving time, energy, and money.
- Pressure cooking preserves flavors and nutrients, and tenderizes lean cuts of meat.
- Strong, heavy-gauge aluminum for quick, even heating.
- Works on electric, smooth-top, and gas ranges.
- Pressure regulator maintains the proper cooking pressure automatically.
- Fully immersible and dishwasher safe with the sealing ring and over-pressure plug removed.
Pros To Buying An Instant Pot
You Can Use The Instant Pot To Reheat Food For Real
I was kind of skeptical on how you could reheat food in the Instant Pot at first. I mean, if youre reheating stew or soup or something else thats okay to touch the cooking surface, I can see how it would work. But what if it was a casseroleor shredded chicken wouldnt that make a mess? Or ruin the leftovers?
Solution steamer insert pans. These pans fit in 5, 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot and allow you to put food inside while putting water or something else on the outside. The Instant Pot heats the water, and the water reheats your leftovers. Done!!
Also Check: Frozen Pork Loin Recipe
Will Food Lose Nutrients During Cooking
While some people equate the high temperatures of pressure cooking with loss of nutrients, this is the opposite of the truth. Pressure cooking allows heat to be distributed evenly and quickly, so you dont need to immerse foods like frozen vegetables into water. You only need just enough water to generate sufficient steam, and most recipes use about one cup of liquid.
Because food isnt getting immersed in water, vitamins will not be dissolved away and will instead be retained for consumption. Furthermore, the steam that surrounds the food will prevent it from being oxidized by exposure to air. Youll notice that your green vegetables will emerge from the Instant Pot looking just as green as they were when they went in, and retaining their natural flavors as well.
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.
Recommended Reading: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn
Did You Know We Have A Podcast
We started the Magic With Gadgets podcast in the January of 2021 as a way to offer a different way to enjoy Recipe This. It focuses on cooking with kitchen gadgets. You can find out more about our podcast here.
With twice weekly episodes through September to December. This is episode 9 of the second season and you have the choice between reading this post, listening to the podcast or both.
If you would like to stay in the loop with our podcast, I recommend you subscribe below:
First Things First What Is An Instant Pot
Links in this post are Amazon affiliate links to products we love.
The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker but also a slow cooker, yogurt maker, rice cooker, big sauté pot, steamer, and more. We have the 6-Quart Instant Pot Duo which is what we use for all our Instant Pot recipes. They also make a 3-Quart Instant Pot Mini and a hefty 8-quart Instant Pot.
The Instant Pot is an absolute game-changer, especially on busy nights. Most recipes are dump and cook, and all you have to do is set it all up and then WALK AWAY to do other fun stuff like watch TV, walk your dog, clean your house, have a dance party, etc.
BONUS: it also cooks food way faster than other ways to cook and its all done in one pot. Do you get why we love this thing yet?
If youre still not convinced, the Instant Pot is PRIME for meal prepping and freezer meals no thawing required. You can check out all our freezer meal Instant Pot recipes here if youre into that kind of stuff .
Well also just drop the obvious: its also a pretty excellent gift for a certain holiday coming around the corner.
Alright, lets get on with it. Here are some of our favorite ways to use this little gem.
Recommended Reading: Instant Pot Automatic Shut Off
How To Cook With The Instant Pot
How you use your Instant Pot depends on what you’re cooking. But, many recipes — especially those involving meat — tend to follow this formula:
The above steps can vary quite a bit, depending on the recipe, but most of what I cook in my Instant Pot follows that sequence.
Here, the Instant Pot’s valve is in Sealing position.
Instant Pot Porridge Setting
The porridge setting on the Instant Pot can be used to cook oatmeal using old-fashioned oats and steel-cut oats, rice porridge and congee or porridge-like dishes that use a mixture of grains that expand in liquid. Ideally, you should use natural release when cooking high-starch foods that expand or a combination of 5-10 minutes natural release and quick release to follow. Below is how to use the Porridge setting on Instant Pot.
- Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add the grains, liquid and spices or fat if you wish. Secure and lock the lid. Press the Porridge button. The default setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at High pressure for 20 minutes. If you press the Porridge button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More.
- Less mode 5 minutes at High pressure this is suitable for cooking rolled oats and risotto-like porridge or rice porridge with slightly firmer to bite texture.
- Normal mode 20 minutes at High pressure use for steel-cut oat porridge or rice porridge with a slightly softer texture and for making congee.
- More mode 30 minutes at High pressure use for a porridge/congee that contains a mixture of beans or tougher grains.
If desired, use the / + buttons to further customize the time. The cooking time may be adjusted at any time during pressure cooking.
Here are some suggested water to rice/oats ratios for porridge and oatmeal dishes:
How To Use An Instant Pot
People love their Instant Pot pressure cookers, but learning how to use them can feel a bit overwhelming.
Since it’s not quite like tossing food in the oven unlike say, an airfryer there is a barrier to entry for some folks. But do not fret. It’s actually quite simple once you get the hang of it.
We have 6 essential tips laid out in the order you’ll need them for using your Instant Pot that’ll make your cooking life easier. There are plenty of different models of the Instant Pot, so find one that works best for you.
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.
Read Also: How To Clean Instant Pot Liner
Preset Buttons On Instant Pot Multicookers
The functions vary between Instant Pot models, so it can help to consider which functions you expect to use the most when choosing one. This helps ensure you get the model that fits your unique cooking style so you’re able to make your favorite dishes with greater ease. The Instant Pot Lux series comes with six integrated functions, and the Duo series and Ultra series have extra functions for things like making cakes and yogurt. Some of the common Instant Pot functions to look for include:
- Slow cooking for tenderizing tough cuts of meat and for preparing meals ahead of time
- Rice cooking to create side dishes
- Saute function to sear food and lock in flavors
- Pressure cooking to quickly cook meats and vegetables
- Steaming for preparing fresh, nutritious vegetables
- Warming to get leftovers ready without investing a lot of extra time or effort
Instant Pot Bean/chili Setting
The Bean/Chili setting button can be used to cook larger dry legumes such as beans and chickpeas in liquid or to cook chili or another type of stew that uses dry beans. The program settings use High pressure and result in different doneness of beans. When cooking beans, always use NR to release pressure after cooking is done. Below is how to use the Bean/Chili setting on Instant Pot.
- Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add dry beans, liquid and salt to the pot. Secure and lock the lid. Select the Bean/Chili button. The default setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at High pressure for 30 minutes. If you press the button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More .
- Less mode 25 minutes at High pressure for a firmer bean texture or to cook black beans, dry lima beans, Navy beans, black-eyed peas, Adzuki, anasazi, dry peas.
- Normal mode 30 minutes at High pressure for a softer bean texture or to cook red kidney beans, white kidney beans , Pinto beans, black-eyed peas .
- More mode 40 minutes at High pressure for a very soft bean texture or to cook harder legumes like chickpeas and soybeans .
Ensure dry beans are completely submerged in water. Dried beans double in volume and weight after soaking or cooking. To avoid overflow, please do not fill the inner pot more than to the ½ mark to allow for expansion.
Note: You can also use the Multigrain setting to cook most beans.
Also Check: Ways To Use Frozen Chicken Tenders
Sauting With Your Instant Pot
The sauté setting lets you brown meat and veggies and get an initial sear on ingredients, much like you would on the stovetop.
On one hand, this is an absolutely awesome function that saves you from dirtying an extra pan for lots of slow cooker recipes that direct you to brown ground beef or sear meat in a skillet, before proceeding to your slow cooker . With the Instant Pot, you can use the sauté function to do the sautéing, and then move right on to the next step of the recipe, in the very same pot! Yay!
But lets be honest about the sauté function. Are you actually going to use it just to sauté, for recipes that wont proceed from sautéing, into the slow cooker or pressure cooker functions? Nope probably not. Youll most likely still do that sort of sautéing on the stovetop.
So while the sauté function is absolutely brilliant in many situations, its not going to replace your favorite skillet in other situations.
But it might replace
Cooking Under Pressure Stage
This is the hands-off, trust-the-process phase. Once the pot comes to pressure, the timer you initially set will begin counting down and this is considered the cooking time. The status symbol on the control panel will only show P = Pressure Cooking In Progress. The float valve is up.
The Instant Pot has a clever feedback loop mechanism that maintains a certain of amount of heat to make sure that the pot keeps the same amount of pressure for your specified amount of time . This pressure pushes the steam inside the pot into the food, which enables it to cook at a much faster rate.
In the instance of cooking rice, the grain will be cooked by the hot liquid from and from the steam penetrating it from the top and all directions. This multidirectional steam and pressure cooking really speeds up the process. The liquid will be absorbed into the rice grain as it does with regular rice cookers.
Recommended Reading: Can You Put The Instant Pot Lid In The Dishwasher
Understand How Your Instant Pot Works
To cook properly, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how the Instant Pot works.
Inside your Instant Pot is a metal pot. This is where you’re going to place your food and cooking liquid. The pot slips into the outer Instant Pot and is heated from a heating element below.
The heating element boils the liquid, and all that energy is then trapped inside the Instant Pot. The pressure, steam, and heat then cooks the food much quicker than boiling or using a crockpot. Dry beans, for instance, can take half a day in a crockpot, but can be cooked in under an hour in an Instant Pot.
Release Valve Not Set To Seal
So if you have forgotten to set the release valve to seal and it is on the vent setting then the steam will escape out from the instant pot and the pressure wont be built inside it. Thus, your instant pot will not get pressurized.
Therefore you should ensure that your release valve is set to seal. It is worth mentioning that once the instant pot gets pressurized, you will see some steam getting out of the float valve along with some wheezing sounds and that is completely normal. You do not have to worry about this.
Read Also: What Is The Poultry Setting On Instant Pot
Reasons To Love These Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- You can use russet potatoes or yukon potatoes .
- You can peel your potatoes, or leave the peels.
- Its ready to go in 30 minutes with very little fuss.
- It has amazing garlic herb flavor.
- But also, you can pick the herbs you like, and you can decide how much garlic, and basically its a choose your own adventure.
Instant Pot Vs Pressure Cooker
Youre probably wondering, is a pressure cooker the same as an instant pot? And you would be spot on.
An instant pot is simply an electric pressure cooker.
The difference between the instant pot and the pressure cooker is that the instant pot is just an advanced version. A better version. A more popular version.
Just like you think of the Crockpot as the best slow cooker, the same rule applies with the Instant Pot and the pressure cooker.
Its also worth noting that the instant pot is an electric pressure cooker and not like the stovetop ones that you probably had nightmares of, as a kid.
Recommended Reading: Cooking Ground Turkey In Instant Pot
The Frustrating Thing Nobody Tells You About The Instant Pot
Im late to the Instant Pot craze. In fact I actively resisted it for as long as I could. Im an old-fashioned gal at heartI like slow cooking in my Dutch oven. But Id heard so many people gush about their Instant Pots that I was finally ready to be impressed by one, so I started experimenting with it. And I was disappointed to discover that it wasn’t quite the magic, faster-than-light cooking machine I had thought it would be.
Part of the problem was, perhaps, my unrealistic expectations. Before using the Instant Pot for the first time, I expected to be blown away by its speed and efficiency. Of course I didn’t read the manual just the recipe I was following. I set the Instant Pot to cook at high pressure for 12 minutes, closed and sealed the lid, and then waited. And waited. At first, it seemed like nothing was happening. The countdown clock wasnt ticking. But the machine’s digital screen read “On,” so I waited some more. It ended up taking 15 minutes for the pressure to buildbefore the 12 minutes of pressure cooking even began. No one had told me this would happen! And then when those 12 minutes were up, I had to be there to push the valve to quick release the pressure, which also took a few minutes longer than I had expected.
Don’t be fooled by the one-minute cook time on this Instant Pot shrimp scampiit’ll actually take you longer than that.