What To Cook In The Instant Pot

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Setting Up Your Instant Pot

How to Cook with Instant Pot 101

I hate instruction manuals. I get bored after the cover page, quickly skim the steps for setting up any new device, and assume that Ill just figure it out as I go. Of course, that never works and I end up begging my fiancé or parents to read the booklet for me and tell me what I need to do. This is not a great way to set up your Instant Pot, or any other new gadget for that matter. You should take the time to read the instruction manual thoroughly before playing around with your new toy, especially when heat and high pressure steam are involved. But if you too want to immediately recycle the manual, heres what you need to know about setting up your Instant Pot.

Instant Pots contain a few different pieces of equipmentthe cooker base, which is the exterior pot that has the control panel and power cord the stainless steel inner pot, which is what you actually use to cook the food and the lid. You may also find a stainless steel round rack inserted into the inner pot, but you can put that aside for now. You dont need it unless youre boiling eggs. Insert the inner pot into the cooker base, place the lid on top, and then twist the lid clockwise to lock it into place. When youre done cooking, open the lid by turning it counterclockwise to unlock and remove it.

The Instant Pot also includes a small plastic drip cup that locks into the back side of the cooking base. This catches any excess steam or moisture and prevents it from dripping on the counter .

Pressure Cooking Requires Liquid

Before we continue, we must mention the most important aspect of pressure cooking. It requires liquid. This is because the pressure is built by the steam accumulating inside the pot, which is produced from the liquid.

Whether youre cooking rice, chicken breasts, pot roast, carrots, stew or cheesecake, you will need at least a cup of liquid for the Instant Pot to do its job.

This is a total amount of liquid and can be in the form of water, stock, tomato sauce, juice, wine and liquids released from the food while cooking , or a combination of those. Amount of liquid required varies depending on the recipe and amount of food but as a rule of thumb, 1 cup is always a good starting point. Also, the food doesnt need to be completely covered or submerged in liquid to cook.

Instant Pot Swedish Meatballs

This speedier version of Swedish meatballs is streamlined and made in an Instant Pot®, but loses nothing that we love about the classic recipe. Gone is the step of chilling and resting the subtly spiced meatballs we brown them as soon as theyre formed. We also bypass the tedious process of making a roux and whisking in broth to form the rich, creamy gravy. Instead, we simply pour the broth over the meatballs, dot it with pieces of beurre manie and let the Instant Pot® do the work. After the steam is released, all thats left to do is stir in some heavy cream.

Recommended Reading: How Often To Replace Instant Pot Sealing Ring

Here Is How To Cook Barley In Instant Pot

  • For pearl barley, use a 1:2.5 ratio of water to grain ratio, and for pot barley use 1:3-1:4 ratio. If unsure, go with 1:30 ratio. For every cup of barley, add 3 cups of water.
  • This is one of the longer cooking times. Set on Manual/Pressure Cook, HIGH pressure for 20-22 minutes for pearl barley, and 25-30 minutes for pot barley. Do a quick pressure release.
  • Try this Instant Pot barley, vegetable and beef soup.

Clean That Smelly Seal

Instant Pot Cooking Guide: Our Test Kitchen

The easiest way Ive found to get rid of that lingering, slightly sulfurous scent that clings to the sealing ring is making a paste made from baking soda and white vinegar. Spread it all over the ring, and let it sit in the sink for an hour or so . Then throw the whole thing into your dishwasher. I do this along with all my other dishes, and everything comes out sparkling.

Read Also: How To Cook Ribs In The Instant Pot

How To Make It

  • Bake the potatoes: Pour 1 ½ cups water into the bottom of Instant Pot. Add in a trivet. Scrub potatoes and place on top of the trivet. Cover Instant Pot and secure the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 20 minutes for medium sized potatoes or 25 minutes for large potatoes. When time is up move valve to venting and remove the lid. Use tongs to move potatoes out of the pot. Let them cool down for a few minutes until you can handle them.
  • Make the sauce: While potatoes are cooling down add cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dill and milk to a medium bowl. Mix well. Stir in half of the cheese.
  • Stir it together: Cut the potatoes into cubes. Add potatoes into Instant Pot liner. Add in the sour cream mixture and coat the potatoes with it.
  • Bake the casserole: If baking in the oven scrape the potatoes into a 8×8 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and bacon on top. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F. If you have an air fryer lid you can bake right in the Instant Pot. Sprinkle the cheese and bacon and bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  • How Long To Cook Pork Roast In The Instant Pot

    When you roast a pork butt in the oven, it takes about 40 minutes per pound. The Instant Pot is MUCH quicker.

    In the Instant Pot, you should cook a pork butt for 15 minutes per pound. What does that mean? That means that you set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 15 minutes per pound. If the roast is 3 pounds, you set it to pressure cook for 45 minutes.

    The roast ends up being in the Instant Pot for longer than just those 45 minutes though. Before the pressure cooking starts, the Instant Pot spends time coming up to temperature. That can take as long as 10-15 minutes.

    Then, after the pressure cooking time is up, the pressure needs to be released. I do what is called a natural release for 10 minutes. A natural release happens if, when your pressure cooking time has reached zero, you do nothing. Basically, the heater of your Instant Pot stops heating at that point, and then the pressure inside slowly dissipates.

    I do the natural release for 10 minutes whenever cooking meat in the Instant Pot because a quicker release results in a drastic change of temperature that can make meat seize up and get tough.

    So do the natural release for 10 minutes and then switch the valve to Venting and let the remaining pressure escape. You then open up the Instant Pot and take out the roast.

    Read Also: How To Know If Instant Pot Is Cooking

    How To Remove Beets Stains

    We found that if we wash our hands, towels, or chopping board with tap water immediately after handling the beets, the red coloring washes off fairly easily. But when we let it sit too long, the blood-red stains can be a little scary on your fingers.

    But dont worry! Lemon juice or baking soda will work their magic in removing the beet juice stains.

    Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

    How to Cook a Pork Roast in the Instant Pot

    You can make hearty stuffed peppers without the long bake time, thanks to your Instant Pot! Just build the ground beef and rice filling in the Instant Pot itself, then stuff into large bell peppers and pressure-cook until perfectly tender. Finish off with some extra-sharp Cheddar and chopped parsley for a great weeknight meal.

    Get the Recipe: Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers

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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 .
  • Using It As An Extra Burner

    Multicookers are equipped with a saute or sear function, meaning you can use them as you would a pot or skillet on a traditional stovetop. That can come in handy when your cooktop is full , or you cant or wont turn it on. Be sure to take into account that the pan surface area is likely to be smaller than some of your pots or skillets and that multicookers can run hot, meaning you should pay attention to and adjust the heat as needed. If something starts to burn, you may be treated to an alarm and automatic shut-off.

    If you think youll be trying recipes that need to be cooked with a lid on or ajar, consider purchasing a glass lid to fit your multicooker or repurposing one you already have that matches the size. That will help you monitor your food and allow for better escape of steam.

    Read Also: How To Cook Red Beans In Instant Pot

    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.

    Instant Pot Rice Pudding

    Pot in Pot Instant Pot Cooking

    Last but not least, lets cover the basics of rice pudding. Like with risotto, youre going for a very specific texture here while cooking your rice with things besides water, so its important to note a few distinctions between techniques. Remember to be mindful of what type of rice you buy. Please note you can use dairy milk in place of the almond milk and coconut milk recommendation.

    • Begin with short-grain white rice, which is sometimes also sold as pudding rice. No doubt you know what to make with it!
    • Youre going to want a lot of liquid. You can choose a blend of milk or milk substitutes and water that works for you. For a dairy-free version, one cup of almond milk, one cup of coconut milk, and 1.5 cups of water work well.
    • You can add in additional ingredients now or later. Its good to toss some warming spices in the pot while cooking so it really infused the flavour cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, etc.
    • Cook on HIGH pressure for 5-6 minutes and let the steam manually release for 10 minutes before doing a quick release.

    Recommended Reading: How To Cook White Beans In Instant Pot

    First What Is A Pork Butt

    The cut referred to as a butt roast or Boston Butt is actually from the front of a pig. The shoulder area to be exact. The shoulder is divided into two cuts the top rectangular part and the lower triangular part.

    Historically, the top rectangular portion was a less popular cut. Butchers in colonial New England took these less popular cuts and packed them in wooden barrels for storage and transportation. The barrels used were called butts. So now you know. Interesting, right?

    Now on to an easy and relatively quick recipe for pork roast. I know, this sounds a bit like an oxymoron. Pork shoulder roasts generally benefit from long cooking times. With the introduction of the Instant Pot, an updated electric pressure cooker, that has all changed. In about an hour you can have a fork-tender pork roast on the table.

    Here Is How To Cook Arborio Rice In Instant Pot

    • Arborio rice loves water and will drink it right up. Aim for a minimum 1:2 ratio of rice to water, so for every two cups of rice, use around four cups of water. However, we found that we get the best results with just a little more liquid, so think 1:2.5 ratio more stewy, restaurant-style risotto.
    • Like any other rice, using a broth to cook is ideal especially when the rice is the star of the dish as in a risotto.
    • How long to cook arborio rice in Instant Pot? Weve made a few various recipes and concluded that 5 minutes on HIGH pressure with quick-release gives you best texture rice without overcooking it. While its not as delicate as on the stovetop, its still a process! Stir in the butter and Parmesan cheese at the end!
    • Get creative with additions to your risotto: pumpkin, beets, lemon, herbs, tomatoes, chorizo etc. The sky is the limit, and this dish truly offers something up every season.
    • Arborio rice can also be used to make delicious, nourishing, and comforting rice pudding.

    Try out beetroot risotto with thyme and goats cheese or this Instant Pot risotto with fennel and asparagus.

    Also Check: What Is The Manual Setting On An Instant Pot

    How To Make The Best Instant Pot Ribs

    Unlike other rib cooking methods, which take hours and require active tending, making ribs in the Instant Pot is hands free and comparably fast. The Instant Pot locks in moisture and makes the ribs tender in a fraction of the time.

    In addition to the use of the Instant Pot itself, I have a few key tips to ensure your Instant Pot rib efforts are richly rewarded.

    • Use a Dry Rub. To start your ribs on a delicious note, cover them generously with a delicious dry rub.

    The rib rub recipe Ive included here uses basic pantry staples you probably already have, like chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne, to give the ribs loads of flavor. If youd like to make the ribs more spicy, feel free to bump up the amount of cayenne.

    To balance the spice, I also add brown sugar to my Instant Pot Ribs rub. I grew up loving the brown sugar/molasses flavor of Kansas City BBQ, and the brown sugar reminds me of some of my favorite KC BBQ joints.

    The amount of brown sugar isnt overly sweet by any means. Youll love it here.

    • Liquid Smoke. It might sound fancy, but liquid smoke is widely available at most grocery stores . You can also buy it online.

    Please dont skip the liquid smoke. Because we are cooking the ribs quickly , the liquid smoke provides flavor that youd typically only get via longer cooking methods .

    The two more common types of ribs are baby back ribs and spare ribs.

    Fresh Corn In Instant Pot

    How to cook a Frozen Roast in the Instant Pot

    Who doesnt love corn on the cob? Fresh corn is abundant during the summer months. Contrary to somewhat popular belief, corn is not a vegetable. In fact, its a grain and one tasty grain, especially with butter. Corn is a gluten-free grain with much versatility in the products you can make of it. Fresh off the cob is one of the best ways to eat it, and I doubt you need convincing.

    Recommended Reading: How To Cook Beef Tongue In An Instant Pot

    Satisfying Your Sweet Tooth

    Crisp, golden desserts are not going to happen in your multicooker. Instead, as cookbook author Jessie Sheehan wrote for us, focus on items that benefit from cooking with steam: The Instant Pot excels at baking up luscious, custards and puddings, cakes with a dense, moist crumb think sticky toffee pudding or dense snacking cakes , creme brulee, rice pudding, flan, clafoutis, chocolate pots de crème, lemon pudding cake, and cheesecake and bread pudding. As she points out, desserts contained in a 7-inch cake pan work well, as do those you can make in individual ramekins.

    Does dulce de leche eaten with a spoon count as dessert? In my book, it does. Homemade dulce de leche is within easy reach with the Instant Pot. See the instructions in Alfajores .

    Instant Pot Bulgur Wheat

    If youre looking to up your servings of whole wheat, bulgur is a wonderful choice. This humble, high-fibre grain is cracked and pre-cooked, so it has a rather short cooking time. If youve ever had a Mediterranean fare, tabouli, youre familiar with its texture .

    You can also use it for a pilaf or a breakfast porridge. You can find instant bulgur wheat, medium-grain, and coarse-grain. The following instructions are for medium to coarse-grain.

    Recommended Reading: How To Set Slow Cook On Instant Pot

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