What Is The Manual Setting On The Instant Pot

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Instant Pot Lesson 9: Using the Manual Setting to Make Pulled Pork

I wouldnt lie to you. Instant Pot is a misnomer. Its not a miracle, and it does not cook food in an instant. Nothing does, unless you live on Cup Noodles.

Here’s the catch: It takes time for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.

Typically, the time it takes the cooker to get to pressure is not part of that cooking time. For instance, if a pot roast cooks for 30 minutes at pressure, the total time from start to finish for a recipe like this might be more like 45 minutes or more. An Instant Pots heating element has less juice than the burners on your range, so it takes longer to heat food enough to get to pressure.

BUT! The ease of use frees you up to do other things. With most recipes, Instant Pots truly are set it and forget it. Lets say youre making a stir-fry, and youd like brown rice to go with it. Before you start prepping the stir-fry, put the rice and water in the Instant Pot, program it to cook for 22 minutes at pressure, then go about your business.

Emma Christensen

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.

Instant Pot Slow Cook Setting

The Slow Cook is a non-pressure cooking setting that is compatible for use with any common slow cooker/Crockpot recipe. The pot is heated but is not pressurized and the Less, Normal and More modes correspond to Low, Medium and High slow cooker settings but you will need to adjust the time manually.

You might want to use this setting for making dishes ahead of time while youre away from home or overnight. There are times when slow-cooking might work better for certain recipes than quicker pressure cooking. Below are the steps for how to use the Slow Cook setting on Instant Pot.

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Vent The Food And Enjoy

Once the cook time has passed, often you’ll then move the valve to “venting” which, in a glorious geyser of food smells, will release the pressure and steam inside your Instant Pot. Be careful touching the valve, it can get hot. Either wear an oven mitt or move the valve with a wooden spoon. It will release a lot of hot air, so it’s a good idea to lean back the first time you move the valve, and definitely keep your eyes away from the valve when you let it vent.

Once the Instant Pot is done venting this might take a few minutes remove the lid and gaze upon your finished food and enjoy.

A side note: in the picture below you can see a little circular valve that looks like a button. When the Instant Pot pressurizes, you should see it rise. This lets you know the Instant Pot is pressurized, which means the lid will be locked. The only way to open the Instant Pot, at that point, is to wait for it to depressurize. So don’t worry, feel safe.

Some recipes, including some very common ones like rice, call for something called a “Natural Pressure Release,” which just means you let the pressure slowly fade inside the Instant Pot. You do not move the valve to “venting” for a certain amount of time. My favorite Instant Pot rice recipe, for instance, calls for just a few minutes of cook time but 10 minutes of natural release before you open the Instant Pot.

Either way, you need to let the pressure release from the Instant Pot, but then you’re ready to enjoy.

How To Use Your Instant Pot: Everything You’ve Wanted To Know

Instant Pot Chicken Stock

It’s not just a supercharged pressure cooker — it’s a way of life.

Like a microwave or an electric kettle, the Instant Pot has become a kitchen staple. This versatile pressure cooker replaces so many countertop appliances, from rice makers to slow cookers. It’s introduced a new generation to pressure cooking, and shown us just how quickly it can cook a healthy meal.

Whether you’re a new Instant Pot owner or it’s long been stored away in a cabinet, this guide is for you. A longtime Instant Pot owner myself, I’ll guide you through the basics, including explaining those strange buttons and some basic recipes.

To kick things off, let’s walk through Instapot basics. Even if you’ve owned yours for a while, there’s something here for you, too. Let’s get started.

More tips:15 healthy Instant Pot recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner | Does the Instant Pot destroy nutrients in your food while cooking? | The best paleo Instant Pot recipes | Best Instant Pot accessories you need right now | Best air fryers of 2020

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When To Use High Or Low Pressure On The Instant Pot

Electric pressure cookers can be surprisingly difficult to understand, thanks to the abundance of multifunction buttons and not a lot of explanation about what those buttons do.

Take the pressure settings. On some models, high pressure is the only option. Others offer both a high and low pressure setting. And one in particular even allows you to select a specific psi .

So whats a cook to do?

Instant Pot Chili/bean Setting: What Is It Which Models Have It

Instant Pots have smart programs to help you cook more conveniently. Wondering about the Instant Pot Chili/Bean Setting? Check out what I learned in looking it up.

The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cookers have smart programs that they created based on extensive testing. They are used to control heat intensity, temperature, pressure, and duration at the click of a button. The Instant Pot Chili/Bean Setting is one of these programs.

One thing to note: Not all Instant Pot sizes have the same set of smart programs available within a model series. For example, within a series , the 3 quart models do not have all of the not all smart programs are available compared to the 6 and 8 quart models. This is particularly true about the Instant Pot Chili/Bean Setting, which is only available as part of certain series. Double check the Instant Pot you are thinking of buying prior to purchase if the Chili/Bean smart program is important to you.

And one more note: this post contains affiliate links. This means I may receive a small commission if you buy through my link. You wont pay any more if you use this link.

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Other Instant Pot Buttons To Know

Depending on the make and model of your Instant Pot pressure cooker, you may have a few more settings to choose from. Here is what you need to know:

Slow CookSetting Your Instant Pot doubles as a slower cooker as well.

  • The slow cook function includes 3 levels
  • low = 180190F / 82-88C
  • high 200210F / 93-99C
  • Use and to increase or decrease the cooking time according to your recipe.
  • Unlike a slow cooker, which heats from both the sides and the bottom, the Instant Pot only heats from the bottom, so you may need to cook longer than you would in a traditional slow cooker.
  • Pressure LevelSetting The Instant Pot Pressure Level Setting allows you to switch between HIGH and LOW pressure settings for all pressure cooking programs.

    YogurtFunction The Instant Pot Yogurt Button allows you to adjust to MORE for boiling and pasteurizing milk. Select NORMAL for incubating the yogurt. This setting defaults to 8 hours.

    ==> Youll be amazed at how easy it is to make this Instant Pot Yogurt recipe!

    Delay StartFunction The Instant Pot Delay Start Setting allows you to select a cooking function and set adjustments, then press Delay Start and use the and buttons to set the amount of time youd like to wait before the Instant Pot starts to cook.

    The Three Most Important Instant Pot Buttons

    Instant Pot without manual button

    There are really only three buttons you need to know when you are just starting out with pressure cooking:

    Manual/Pressure Cook. This button is where the magic happensif a recipe says to cook at High Pressure, this is the button you need. Just press it, then use the and buttons to change the cook time. After a brief pause, the Instant Pot will beep to tell you its beginning the pressure cooking process. Some Instant Pots, such a the Duo Evo Plus have a start button that youll need to press to start the cooking process.

    Sauté. Press the Sauté button to brown meats, sauté vegetables, and simmer ingredients in the pressure cooking pot. Adjust Sauté to less for simmer, normal to sauté and more for browning.

    Keep Warm/Cancel. Use this button to cancel a function or to turn off your Instant Pot.

    Honestly, thats it! I recommend beginning with some easy, tried-and-true recipes before branching out into converting your old favorites. Since I write my recipes so they can be made in any electric pressure cooker, I rarely use the preset Instant Pot buttons.

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    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

    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.

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    Chili Recipe Instant Pot Dry Beans : Episode +15 Cooking Videos

    Easiest way to prepare perfect chili recipe instant pot dry beans, Jan 10, 2021 · rinse your dried beans thoroughly under running water and add them to the instant pot. When the chili is done cooking, do a quick release . How to make tasty chili recipe instant pot dry beans, these chili beans are delicious and so easy to make.

    Instant Pot Chili – Pressure Cooker Chili Recipe from leelalicious.com

    Close the lid and set the steam release Nov 02, 2021 · chili recipe instant pot dry beans. Jan 10, 2021 · rinse your dried beans thoroughly under running water and add them to the instant pot. Apr 23, 2020 · add carrots, celery, beans, liquid, spices, chipotle chili, and cocoa powder . Turn instant pot to manual setting and set to 55 minutes. Make your instant pot work even harder for your with these brilliant ideas, kitchen hacks, and fast recipes for popcorn, hummus, cake, wine, pancakes, and more tasty foods. Add all remaining ingredients to the instant pot and stir well. When the chili is done cooking, do a quick release .

    Keep A Positive Mindset

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

    When we surveyed our readers about their initial experience with the Instant Pot, many users had the advice to just have fun with the pressure cooker! Set aside any expectations, know the Instant Pot is an exceptionally safe kitchen device, and try something new. Even if it doesnt go according to plan, it should boost your confidence.

    Over to you! Do you have any further questions about how to use the Instant Pot as a beginner? What foods or recipes do you plan to cook first? Anything else we can help you with? Leave your feedback and comment below!

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    Whats Up With All Those Knobs And Buttons

    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

    Instant Pot Smart Programs All You Need To Know

    Whats great about these smart programs is that once you select a program based on the food you are cooking, the Instant Pot will set the time for you automatically.

    There are 3 preset time options for each program Less, Normal and More. The default is Normal. Pressing the smart program button once moves you to More and press it again to select Less.

    Note The preset times are recommended cooking times but you can easily change them using the + and button to match the cooking time of the recipe you are following. The only exception would be the Rice program where the cooking time cannot be modified.

    Lets go ahead and review all the buttons and functionalities in detail

    Pressure Cook/Manual

    Pressure Cook is likely the feature you use the most because, well, most recipes call for it. Pressure cook allows you to control the cooking time, pressure setting, and temperature, which is why a lot of folks like to use it.

    To use, select Pressure cook and then set a time using the + and button. Set it to high or low pressure using the Pressure Level setting .

    • Low pressure: In this setting, the temperature ranges between 229°F to 233°F and the pressure would be 5.8 psi 7.2 psi.
    • High pressure: Temperature ranges between 239°F to 244°F and the pressure range is 10.2 11.6 psi.

    Do this: Use the Pressure cook setting to run the water test in your Instant Pot.


    Saute comes with 3 settings. Press the Saute button to move from one setting to the other


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    Why Do Most Recipes Use Manual Settings Instead Of Smart Program Buttons

    One size does not fit all in most scenarios. This is true of the smart one-touch buttons on the Instant Pot too. While some may come in handy down the line, you should learn more about specific recipes before you begin relying on them. Using Manual/Pressure Cook button and adjusting time and pressure level by yourself gives you more control. Having said that, you can also adjust time and pressure level once youve selected once of the Smart Program function.

    Is This Thing Safe

    Everything you need to know about Instant Pot Settings!

    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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    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.

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