What To Cook In An Instant Pot

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How To Use The Instant Pot For Beginners

How to Cook a Whole Chicken in the Instant Pot

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!

Your Instant Pot Can Do So Much More Than A Regular Pressure Cooker Which Might Be A Little Overwhelming At First No Fear Here Are Seven Dishes You Can Easily Whip Up In It

Your Instant Pot is packed with possibilities, so it can be overwhelming to choose what to whip up first! This multi-cooker combines the functions of a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice maker and more so you can make comforting dishes without the hassle. Dont know where to start with buying an Instant Pot? Check out our guide and then get cooking these dishes below!

Tips For The Best Instant Pot Pot Roast

So, with all that background in mind, I have found that there are a few key tips to making a good Instant Pot roast.

  • Start with good tried and true cut of meat. So, use a chuck roast. In a pinch a round roast might suffice.
  • Use a good amount of flavoring. In my case I cook in beef broth and use Montreal Steak seasoning, onion soup mix, and bay leaves.
  • Pressure cook the roast for at least 20 minutes per pound.
  • Natural release, preferably a full natural release, but if impatient, try to get at least 20 minutes.
  • Pressure cook the vegetables separately to avoid mushy veggies.

Recommended Reading: Instant Pot Always Says Burn

Convert Your Favorite Recipes

Conventional recipes can also be adapted for the multicooker. Its not exact, but you can get good results by following these guidelines.

  • For Pressure Cooking: Cut the liquid by at least half or even three-quarters. You wont have any of the evaporation happening in the pot. A very rough estimate is to plan on about a third of the standard cooking time for meats, vegetables and grains, with beans taking a quarter of the standard cook time.

    For Slow Cooking: You dont get as much evaporation in a slow cooker as you do in the oven. Double or quadruple the cooking time, depending on if youre using the high or low setting.

    For Both Methods: If you end up with a thin sauce, open the cooker and use the sauté function to allow some of the liquid to evaporate.

  • What Is The Timer Button For

    How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in an Instant Pot

    Some models have a button that reads Timer. While you may think that this is the button that sets the cooking time for your Instant Pot, it actually delays cooking time and will start the cooking when the timer counts down. You can set the cooking time with the plus/minus buttons or the dial, depending on the model.

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    For Sliced Or Cubed Butternut Squash:

    • Peel the butternut squash if desired. Slice the butternut squash in half, remove the seeds, and cut into uniform slices or chunks.
    • Place the slices in a steaming basket and add one cup of water to your pot.
    • Cook on high pressure for 4-6 minutes and follow up with a quick release. As a rule, 4-minute cooking time will be sufficient for smaller cubes while a 6-minute cooking time will suit longer/thicker slices best.
    • Try our Instant Pot butternut squash recipe here.

    For Instant Pot Shredded Cabbage:

    • Remove the flimsy outer leaves from your cabbage and shred it. I prefer to shred mine in the food processor because it is easy to clean and very fast. You can also do this with a mandoline slicer or a knife, of course.
    • Place 1-2 cups of water or broth in the inner pot, then place the cabbage in. You dont need to use the trivet or steaming basket for this.
    • Cook on high for 2 minutes.
    • For soups or for a softer result: Let the pot naturally release pressure.
    • For a side or crisper result: Perform a quick release to finish up with.
    • Check out these 20 Instant Pot cabbage recipes and make sure to try out Sri Lankan Coconut Cabbage.

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    Why Cook Pasta In The Instant Pot

    There are three reasons to cook pasta in the Instant Pot / pressure cooker.

  • Its a true one pot dish. No need to strain the pasta after its done because the pasta will absorb all of the water as it cooks.
  • Set it and forget it. Theres no need to keep an eye on the pot to make sure it doesnt boil over. Just turn the machine on and walk away.
  • Keep the starch Since the pasta isnt strained, all of the natural starch from the pasta stays in the pot and serves as a natural thickener for any type of sauce you add whether its marinara sauce or creamy cheesy sauce .
  • What Is Pot Roast

    10 of THE BEST MEALS To Make In An Instant Pot!

    Pot roast is more of a method than a specific cut of meat. To make it, sear a large cut of beef until browned on all sides, and then cook it with aromatics like herbs, onions, carrots, and broth until its melt-in-your-mouth tender. You can make this in a Dutch oven on the stove-top, in the oven, in a slow cooker, and a pressure cooker. In this recipe, we are using a pressure cooker to make the pot roast. A pressure cooker takes the cooking time down dramatically.

    Also Check: How To Heat Tamales In A Crock Pot

    What Is The Cooking Time For Other Kinds Of Rice

    Type of Rice
    1:3 25-30 minutes

    I made you a graph! Here are the most common types of rice to cook in a pressure cooker, the pressure setting you should use, grain to water ratio, and cook time.

    If you love rice, make sure to check out this post on 20 Rice Recipes to Make with the Rice in your Pantry.

    Can You Make Gravy From The Drippings

    If youre worried about the gravy, dont be. You can easily make gravy in the Instant Pot, too . To make the gravy, strain the cooking liquid through a fine mesh strainer to separate it from the vegetables, herbs and lemon slices. Next, return the turkey drippings to the Instant Pot and set the machine to its saute function. Bring the drippings to a boil and then add a slurry of 2 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved into 2 tablespoons of water. Whisk to combine and continue to cook until the gravy has thickened.

    Editors Note: For an extra indulgent gravy, swap the 2 tablespoons of water for 1/4 cup of half-and-half.

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    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.

    Instant Pot Baked Beans With Bacon

    Pot in Pot Instant Pot Cooking

    Ive always been dissuaded from making homemade baked beans because it involves hours of cook time in the oven and continuous stirring. Thats where the Instant Pot comes in. It still takes a couple of hours, but theres way less hands-on work required and makes the silkiest, softest, most flavorful beans ever.

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    How To Cook Pasta In The Instant Pot

    Published: · by Jess Smith · Jump to Recipe · · This post may contain affiliate links.

    Use these easy step-by-step instructions to cook perfectly al dente pasta in a 6-quart Instant Pot / pressure cooker.

    Pasta has been my Instant Pot nemesis ever since I fell in love with the kitchen gadget of the moment. In the past few years Ive become pretty confident when cooking in the pressure cooker. It only took a few weeks to get over my fear of releasing the pressure valve.

    These days, I use the pressure cooker a couple times a week to make everything from rice, to a big pot of Crispy Pork Carnitas, to 20-minute weeknight meals like Chickpea Curry with Rice. But pasta is tricky.

    That is, until I learned the Instant Pot pasta formula. It involves a tiny bit of math, but the payoff is perfectly tender pasta every time. Heres how its done.

    Meal Prep Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

    Cook a couple of pounds of chicken at the start of the week, shred it up, and you have the base for an infinite number of quick and easy meals. This version of the meal prep staple is so flavorful, you don’t need to do much– or really anything– to dress it up. But if you want to, we have plenty of ideas.

    Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Chili

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    Instant Pot Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta

    Inspired by the baked feta pasta that took the internet by storm, this recipe is similarly easy but uses creamy goat cheese and comes together in a fraction of the time, thanks to the Instant Pot®! We opted for a short, tubular pasta for this dish to capture a bit of the creamy sauce inside each piece. Top with a sprinkle of fresh basil and you have a bright and flavorful dish youll want to make year-round.

    For Sliced Or Cubed Acorn Squash:

    How to Cook a Pork Roast in the Instant Pot
    • Peel the acorn squash if desired. You can eat the skin or wait until you cook it to peel it because it will come off effortlessly. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds.
    • Cut the acorn squash into uniform slices or cubes.
    • Cook on high pressure for 6-7 minutes and follow up with a quick release. For cubes, lean towards a 6-minute cooking time. For slices, lean towards a 7-minute cooking time.

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    The Best Cut Of Meat For Pot Roast

    A great Instant pot beef roast starts with a good cut of beef. Normally, tougher cuts work best for pot roast as they have high amounts of collagen that, when cooked over a long period of time, breaks down into gelatin which tenderizes the meat.

    Chuck roast is traditionally considered the best cut for pot roast, followed by round roast and/or brisket. For the Instant Pot, I have used both chuck and round, with chuck being my strong preference.

    The Rice Sticks To The Bottom Of The Inner Pot

    Having shiny, slightly sweet, plump, and delicious Japanese rice is the true comfort and luxury for me, so I am willing to spend a little more to purchase short grain Japanese rice from Japan . When I heard from others about rice sticking to the pot, I determined that I would not cook my precious rice in the Instant Pot. Not one piece of rice would go to waste in my house.

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    Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken Thighs

    Chicken thighs simmer in a simple teriyaki sauce. This was so delicious. Came out perfectly so tender and the teriyaki sauce is so good, says Nancy. So much better than bottled. Move over Panda Express.

    Chicken thighs simmer in a simple teriyaki sauce. This was so delicious. Came out perfectly so tender and the teriyaki sauce is so good, says Nancy. So much better than bottled. Move over Panda Express.

    Instant Pot Caramelized Onions

    New Features Instant Pot Duo Version 2

    Caramelized onions typically require a great deal of attention and time, as the low and slow cooking provide a perfectly tender and golden brown result. But thanks to the Instant Pot®, this typically labor-intensive recipe because an achievable weeknight dish. These sweet and jammy onions are the perfect accompaniment to sandwiches, grain bowls and more.

    Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Caramelized Onions

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    How To Saute In The Instant Pot

    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.

    More Instant Pot Recipes

    • Our Favorite Bone Broth is made in a pressure cooker. Think of bone broth as a more intense, velvety broth. It can be used in recipes calling for stock or broth, but also doubles as a delicious and comforting soup to enjoy by itself.
    • Easy Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken is perfect for serving with rice, cooked grains or in tortillas.
    • Our Ultimate Pulled Pork is amazing when made in a pressure cooker. See our tips as well as how to make it in a slow cooker.
    • These Instant Pot Eggs could not be simpler! If you are looking for a 100% foolproof method for how to cook hard or soft boiled eggs, this is it.
    • I love making Homemade Applesauce in my pressure cooker! So easy.

    For more beef recipes, take a look at our classic chili recipe made with ground beef and beans or these shredded beef tacos.

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    Perfect Jasmine White Rice Instant Pot Recipe

    If you just purchased an Instant Pot and wondering what to make, this recipe for Instant Pot Jasmine White Rice is the perfect dish to get you acquainted with your new electric pressure cooker. This easy recipe makes perfectly fluffy and moist jasmine white rice. Its much better than the stove-top method and definitely rivals my Tiger rice cooker.

    Funny story, I bought my first Instant Pot in 2014 because my Zojirushi rice cooker was getting old and I loved the idea of a multi-function cooker. I made my first pot of rice in the Instant Pot and was so disappointed with the results. The rice was wet and mushy. I remember thinking, How is it that something as simple as cooking rice be such a fail? My 15 year old rice cooker made awesome rice. What went wrong? Well, fast-forward to about 100 pots of rice later and Ive learned some key concepts. I am happy to say Ive perfected cooking fluffy and delicious jasmine white rice in the Instant Pot and I am happy to share what Ive learned.

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    Natural Pressure Release Vs Quick Pressure Release

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

    Whats better? Hands down, no doubt > > natural pressure release. If you cook rice longer so you can do quick pressure release, with the hope to have the rice cooked faster overall, it gets sticky and mushy.

    If you want fluffy rice, I encourage you to be patient and wait for natural pressure release. I timed all rice and there doesnt seem to be any rhyme or reason to the timing. Even the same kind of rice in the same amount has had different natural pressure release times.

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    What’s An Instant Pot

    Youve probably heard friends or family buzzing about their Instant Potbut what exactly does it do? Well, technically the Instant Pot is simply a pressure cooker and multi-cookerin other words, Its a slow-cooker, steamer, sauté pan, browning pan and electric pressure cooker, all in one. Pressure cooking is a method of cooking that uses pressure to cook food quicklyit uses both heat and pressure to simulate slow-cooking methods, like braising or simmering.

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