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Some Things You Need To Know

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1) Cooking Time Does Not Mean Finished Time.When you see a cooking time listed on an Instant Pot recipe, keep in mind that it will actually take a bit more time than listed. The pot takes a few minutes to come up to pressure, and it also has to release pressure when its done cooking, so that 10-minute soup is really more like a 20-minute soup.

2) Always Cook with Liquid.For pressure cooking settings, you should ALWAYS have at least 1 cup of liquid in the pot. Thats how the whole pressure cooking thing works! Keep in mind that if you have a recipe that calls for more liquid, it will take longer to come up to pressure. A soup with 6 cups of water can take 15 minutes or so to come up to pressure, for instance.

3) Its Not Going to Explode.Really its not. You dont need to be scared of the Instant Pot. Just follow the instructions, dont get TOO creative and youll be all good. Its designed to safely release pressure, after all.

Instant Pot Meat/stew Setting

The meat and stew setting is best for cooking large or tough cuts of meat at high pressure. This button can be used for cooking meat pieces in a little broth or stews that contain meat in them. Below is how to use the Meat/Stew setting on Instant Pot.

  • Turn the Instant Pot on, it will say OFF to indicate the Stand-By mode. Add meat, seasonings and liquids to the pot. Secure and lock the lid. Select the Meat/Stew button. The default Instant Pot meat setting is pre-programmed to set the pot to cook at High pressure for 35 minutes, which is suitable for most dishes like beef stew or pulled pork. If you press the Meat/Stew button again, you can adjust the mode from Normal to Less or More .
  • Less mode 20 minutes at High pressure for soft texture meat great for diced steak, pork or lamb, pork or beef ribs, ground meat like when making taco meat or Bolognese sauce, and most stews that use diced or ground meat.
  • Normal mode 35 minutes at High pressure for very tender meat texture great for slightly larger pieces of meat and for stews that use tougher cuts of meat like Beef Bourguignon.
  • More mode 45 minutes at High pressure for fall-off-the-bone texture great for pork shoulder, beef pot roast or lamb roast.

If desired, use the / + buttons to further customize the time. The cooking time may be adjusted at any time during pressure cooking.


Buying An Instant Pot Here’s What You Need To Know

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Over the past few years, Instant Pots have become a staple in small kitchen appliances. Busy parents use them to get dinner on the table in minutes, while batch cookers use them to simplify midweek meals. Some people prefer them for their ability to cook just about everything from pot roast to yogurt. Staying home has become the new norm to help prevent coronavirus from spreading, so you’re probably using your time indoors to cook more and try out new recipes. Alongside summer cooking staples like grills, an Instant Pot is a relatively quick, easy and affordable way to whip up home-cooked meals while under quarantine. Here’s everything you should know about an Instant pot, including how it works, best Instant Pots to buy and more.

A few years ago the idea that people would be cooking in pressure cookers en masse was unthinkable, says Elizabeth Barbone, a cookbook author and the creator of the pressure-cooker blog Cook Fast, Eat Well. Its been really fun to see folks not only embrace it, but to embrace it in different ways.

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Programmed Instant Pot Buttons

I am wondering why you didnt use the chili button? I also noticed everyone uses the Manual button for all recipes. What are these buttons actually for?


Great question! We actually get asked this question all the time!!

These 6 highlighted buttons below have the exact same cooking function as the Manual Button/Pressure Cook Button , but default at a cooking time pre-set by the manufacturer .

All they do is suggest a cooking time for the selected type of food. You can use the Adjust Button, + or Pressure Button to make adjustments.

But we like to use the Manual Button for more precise control of the cooking method and cooking time, depending on factors such as the cut of meat, the size of the food, or the container it is being cooked in.

For Newer Models:

  • Egg Button Normal Setting High Pressure 4 mins More Setting High Pressure 5 mins Less Setting High Pressure 3 mins

*Note: we still think Low Pressure is still the best way to cook Pressure Cooker Eggs in the Instant Pot.

  • Cake Button Normal Setting High Pressure 40 mins More Setting High Pressure 50 mins Less Setting High Pressure 25 mins

*Note: for cheesecake, try our beloved Instant Pot New York Cheesecake #17 Recipe

Smart Program Pressure Cooking

A Step

If you choose to use one of the pre-set smart program options, the steps are even simpler. Please refer to our post on Smart Program Instant Pot Buttons Explained for how to adjust each setting.

Step 1. Start the Instant Pot. Insert the inner pot into the cooker base.

Step 2. Add ingredients and liquids to the inner pot. Stir if needed or leave layered.

Step 3. Secure and lock the lid. Make sure everything feels well sealed.

Step 4. Select one of the Smart Program buttons. Pre-set cooking time and pressure level will display. You can leave it as is or adjust things like the pressure level from HIGH to LOW. You can press the Smart Program button again to cycle through the Less, Normal and More time options or use the and + buttons to adjust the cooking time further. If you make any adjustments to the selected Smart Program, they will be remembered next time you use it.

Step 5. Preheating & pressurizing stage begins followed by cooking under pressure as per program settings. Once the Instant Pot beeps again and the timer has reached zero, the cooking process is done.

Step 6. You can do a quick release or allow the built-up pressure to release naturally , or do both depending on the food/recipe.

Step 10. Once pressure is released, open the lid and stir or remove the contents.

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How To Use The Instant Pot For Beginners

Learn how to use the Instant Pot with step-by-step instructions and photos for manual or smart program pressure cooker settings, how to sauté foods, and how and when to select a natural release or quick release options. Plus, we cover some Instant Pot FAQs and general tips to make your learning curve as the Instant Pot beginner less steep. Lets get started!

Looking at your shiny new Instant Pot box and wondering where to start? Dont panic! This wonderful kitchen gadget might seem intimidating but its actually very friendly once you get to know it. Lets unpack the box, its time to learn how to use the Instant Pot.

As part of our Instant Pot For Beginner series, we have also covered what the Instant Pot is and how it works with its key features and cooking stages. Make sure to check them out!

What Foods Are Best For A Pressure Cooker

Pressure cooking uses wet heat only. You gotta have liquid in the cookerthe steam creates the pressure. No liquid, no steam, no pressure.

Pressure cooking is for boiling, steaming, and braising. For example, you wouldnt cook French fries or make a crusty loaf of bread from start to finish by pressure cooking.

But anything boiled or steamed or simmered is ace in your Instant Pot.

Coco Morante

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All About Your Instant Pot: How To Use All The Buttons

If you are brand new to the Instant Pot game , then this is the article for you. Heck, even if you have had your Instant Pot for a while, all of those settings and buttons can seem a little intimidating. But not to fret. Ill take you through exactly how to use your Instant Pot and show you what each and every button does. It really is easy to use and pretty self-explanatory!

How To Saute In The Instant Pot

How to Use Instant Pot as a Pressure Cooker

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.

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Third Generation Electric Pressure Cookers

After the stove-top pressure cookers, in 1991 came the electric pressure cookers, called the “third generation” pressure cookers.

These include an electric heat source that is automatically regulated to maintain the operating pressure. They also include a spring-loaded valve .

An electric pressure cooker integrates a timer. Depending on cooking control capability, there are three generations of electric pressure cookers:

  • First-generation electric, with mechanical timer. There is no delayed cooking capability.
  • Second-generation electric, with digital controller. Delayed cooking becomes possible and the controller shows a countdown timer when working pressure is reached.
  • Third-generation electric, with smart programming, which includes pre-set cooking times and settings based on heating intensity, temperature, pressure and duration.
  • The first configuration consists of the air fryer lid hinged to the main unit, and is non-removable the air fryer lid flips up when using the removable pressure cooking lid, and then after the pressure cooking lid is removed, the air fryer lid flips back down. This is the configuration used by the Ninja Foodi line of pressure cookers.
  • The second configuration consists of a completely removable air fryer lid, with a protective pad for storage. This is the configuration used by most other pressure cooker manufacturers, including Instant Pot.
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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.

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Why You Need An Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is definitely not an old school manual pressure cooker. It has plenty of onboard safety features made possible through electronics. For example, a host of sensors help it self-regulate internal pressure and temperature. Theyre designed to ensure the Instant Pot operates within preset safety limits.

Sensors also detect whether the lid is locked or not. And unless the cover is firmly clamped down, the Instant Pot wont take on pressure. Likewise, once the cookers interior becomes pressurized, the lid automatically locks in place.

Factor in the numerous preprogrammed settings tailored to the type of food it cooks. All that makes Instant Pots light years ahead safety-wise of their ancient pressure cooker counterparts. Of course you still need to operate your appliance properly and with care.

How To Use Your Instant Pot As A Slow Cooker

Instapot or Instant Pot? Your Guide to the Most Useful ...

It is not as straightforward as you would think to use your Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker. This guide walks you through the modifications you need to know when using your pressure cooker as a slow cooker so that you can have Instant Pot success!

It is not as easy as hitting the slow cooker function on your Instant Pot and expecting the Instant Pot to cook the recipe just as the slow cooker would. I briefly cover using the slow cooker function on Instant Pot Functions, but this delves into the topic a bit more deeply, giving you the recipe for success when using an Instant Pot as a Slow Cooker.

The Instant Pot Slow Cooker function is not equivalent to the temperatures on a slow cooker, which can make using your instant pot like a slow cooker tricky.

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Does Pioneer Woman Make An Air Fryer

The Pioneer Womans brand-new Vintage Floral 6.3-Quart Air Fryer is hereand its a beaut. Decorated with the prettiest florals and dreamy teal and red hues, the fryers 6.3-quart basket is large enough to hold up to several servings of your favorite ingredients. Healthier family dinners, here you come!

Is This Thing Safe

Its actually safer than conventional cooking or stovetop pressure cooking. Everyone has heard stories about old-time pressure cookers exploding. Your Instant Pot wont do that because the temperature and pressure inside the pots is carefully monitored and regulated through its internal programming.

Remember: Its your trusty cooking robot.

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Faq For Slow Cooking In The Instant Pot

Below are a few tips and tricks that will help you get the ideal result when using your Instant Pot as a slow cooker:

  • Do you still need to add 1 cup of liquid? No. Youre not using the pressurizer function. If the recipe already has liquid in it, add it. Otherwise there is no need to add an extra cup of liquid to the recipe.
  • Do you use the regular Instant Pot lid? Yes. You dont have to use the heavy lid but you can. Again, the pot is not being pressurized so you can use any lid that fits. Personally I use my Instant Pot tempered glass lid when I slow cook in my Instant Pot.
  • Can you use slow cooker liners? Yes. If youre using the slow cook function in the Instant Pot you can use slow cooker liners. If you are using your Instant Pot for any other function you can not use slow cooker liners.

Instant Pot Bean/chili Setting

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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.

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How Hot Does A Pressure Cooker Get On The Low Setting

The low setting is usually around 5.5 to 7 PSI, which means that the temperature ranges from 229 to 233 Fahrenheit. This setting is not used often unless a recipe calls for it. There are a few foods that might benefit from low pressure cooking like hard-boiled eggs or even certain fish recipes, but there are ways around this. For one, you could reduce the cooking time and quantity of the water. Low pressure cooking does mean that the recipe will take a little longer to cook, but the texture will benefit from the moderate pressure.

Keep in mind that pressure cookers with a singular setting or a high setting are going to be more useful than pressure cookers with only a low setting. It should be noted though that high pressure cooking requires enough liquid to build up the steam and pressure.

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