What’s An Instant Pot

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How I Use My Instant Pot


I mostly use my Instant Pot as an electric pressure cooker and slow cooker. Sometimes I use it to sauté or warm food, depending on the recipe, and occasionally I use it as a rice cooker. These are the functions that best fit with my lifestyle and the foods I cook on a regular basis. The appliance can also can be used to make yogurt, but I havent attempted that yet.

This single appliance has made cooking faster and more convenient. I love that I can cook steel-cut oats for breakfast in a fraction of the time it would take on the stovetop, make rice to go with a last-minute stir-fry is in minutes, and slow-cook a stew. In fact, its even taken the place of my slow cooker, which has since been moved out of the kitchen.

At some point, during the course of eight months, without realizing it was happening, I completely fell in love with my Instant Pot. Yes, the very one I was so skeptical about in the beginning. I now understand all the praise and rave reviews I read months ago, and I feel the very same way myself.

The Worst Foods To Cook In An Instant Pot

Since the list of foods that do work in an Instant Pot is quite lengthy, lets start with what you should avoid cooking in it instead:

Creamy soups and milk- or cream-based sauces dont work well because dairy tends to curdle when boiled. Most Instant Pot recipes call for adding cream or milk at the end after pressure is released.

Tender vegetables like greens, bok choy, and asparagus cook too quickly to bother with the Instant Pot. You can stir them in at the end, but if theyre a standalone side dish, cook them on the stove.

The general rule is to avoid anything delicate or tender, fried, or crispy in your Instant Pot.

Is The Instant Pot Safe

In terms of safety mechanisms, electric pressure cookers are lightyears ahead of those old rickety stovetop pressure cookers. You can rest assured that the Instant Pot is very safe to use!

The older and more basic Instant Pot models feature 10 different safety mechanisms, while newer and more advanced models have either 11 or 13. Each safety mechanism provides a layer of protection that helps eliminate user error and prevents pressure from building to unsafe levels.

You can read more about the safety mechanisms built into each Instant Pot model at InstantPot.com.

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What Does The Instant Pot Burn Message Actually Mean

Instant Pot Burn message indicates that the pressure level inside the cooker is higher than what is safe for the appliance. This could mean that the pressure inside the cooker is too high and needs to be lowered. To lower the pressure inside the cooker, you need to release the pressure manually. For this, open the lid and turn off the power switch. After turning off the power switch, wait for 5 minutes. Then, press the cancel button. Now, you can safely remove the lid from the cooker. How to Lower the Pressure Inside the Instant Pot? To lower the pressure inside the Instant Pot, follow these steps:

Can You Cook Frozen Chicken In An Instant Pot

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Yes. There are a number of recipes devoted to cooking all kinds of foods from their frozen state in an Instant Pot. For some recipes, a little extra time is required to fully cook the meat, but in other cases the extra time required to come up to pressure is enough extra time to completely cook the food.

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Things You Need To Know About Instant Pot And Why You Might Not Want To Buy It


Are you considering buying an Instant Pot but not sure if you need another appliance and if pressure cooking is for you? Here are 7 Things You Need To Know About Instant Pot and why you might even not want to buy it. Also a few points on why I love my Instant Pot.

This post contains amazon affiliate links which means that you if you buy something after following one of the amazon links in this post, I will receive a small commission.

I am part of about 300 hundred Instant Pot Facebook group and I see posts a few times a day asking about how to use Instant Pot or talking about the actual time of cooking in an electric pressure cooker or complaining about the steam that they didnt expect. I was the same. I expected a miracle product and at first was disappointed by what I got.

It took time for me to like my Instant Pot and even more time to love using it. I hope this article will help people considering buying an Instant Pot. Here you will find 7 Things You Need To Know About Instant Pot and why you might even not want to buy it.

How Did We Choose These Products

To bring you a good selection of the best multi-cookers , we had to narrow down the field from dozens of models available. There were some important factors we took into consideration, starting with functionality. We chose multi-cookers that had a simple panel that was easy to understand and operate. The multi-cookers we chose have clearly-marked buttons for the most important functions such as pressure cook, keep warm, timer and more. We preferred flat LED display panels that are easier to read and can be cleaned using a damp rag to wipe down.

Besides easy operation and low maintenance, the best multi-cookers come with the accessories you need, so you don’t have to invest in more tools and gadgets. That could include a steamer basket or trivet to expand a multi-cooker’s use beyond pressure cooking.

Customer reviews also factored into our picks. Most models look great in photos, but you won’t really know how well a multi-cooker performs until you unbox it and start cooking. We looked for the highest-rated models and took the time to read over the customer raves and complaints to determine which of the multi-cookers available now are the best and most reliable, delivering what they promise.

Recommended Reading: Cook Frozen Ground Beef

Instant Pot Water Test

Before you use your Instant Pot for the first time, you should perform a water test. The Instant Pot water test is like an initial test run for your Instant Pot.

The water test will both ensure that your Instant Pot is working properly and will familiarize you with using your Instant Pot.

One of the Instant Pots that I purchased was defective. A water test helped me to determine that the Instant Pot wasnt working properly. I was able to contact Instant Pot support and get a replacement.

Note: If you have the Instant Pot Ultra, you will use the dial to select cooking programs and change the cook time and then press start. Instead of a steam release valve that you turn, the Instant Pot Ultra has a steam release button that you will press if you want to manually release the pressure. The steam release valve will seal automatically on the Ultra, whereas on other models you turn the valve between a venting and a sealing position.

Instant Pot Parts And Accessories

Instant Pot – Use whats in your cupboards Series – Make Frozen Chicken Dumplings
  • Base Unit this contains the heating element.
  • Stainless Steel Inner Pot fits into the base unit.
  • Lid the look of the lid varies between Instant Pot models.
  • Steam Release Valve this fits on the top of the lid and may already be attached.
  • Condensation Collector attach this to the back of your Instant Pot.
  • Trivet be sure to keep this, as you will use it often.
  • Power Cord removable in some Instant Pot models.
  • Measuring Cup & Utensils These come with the Instant Pot. I use my own measuring cups and utensils instead of these.
  • The first thing youll want to do is wash the parts of your Instant Pot. The Instant Pot lid, steam release valve and stainless steel inner pot are dishwasher safe however, I wash mine by hand. The base unit is not dishwasher safe never immerse the base unit in water.

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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:

    • Instant Pot Duo models: arrow buttons, +/-, Pressure Cook, Start, and Cancel
    • Instant Pot Pro and Ultra models: Cancel and Start buttons, Pressure Cook, central knob

    Alison Conklin

    Which Instant Pot Should You Buy All Of The Models Compared

    Instant pots are multifunctional pressure cookers with enhanced features and multiple settings to make an even better meal. The best instant pots not only offer faster cooking times but other handy features like pre-programmed settings, LCDs, and customizable parameters. In this article, we compare all 13 current Instant Pot models, examine their unique features, and explain how each products settings work.

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    How To Clean An Instant Pot

    It’s important to clean your Instant Pot throughly after you use it, so the smells of a dish won’t linger there are several small parts that need to be cleaned regularly. Our article on How to Clean Every Part of Your Instant Pot will come in handy when youre working on this chore. The silicone gasket is particularly crucial to clean well, since it can absorb strong aromas from spices and herbs. Some homecooks will purchase multiple gaskets for this reason they might use one gasket for sweet recipes and others for savor. You can even buy them in different colors, so you can keep track of which is which.

    What’s The Difference Between A Pressure Cooker And An Instant Pot

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    By: Jeremy Glass | Updated: Apr 9, 2021

    Sometimes, the lore of a kitchen gadget can spread with the ferocity of a wildfire, dominating countertops across the country for years.

    The latest kitchen tool resonating with amateur cooks and professionals alike is the Instant Pot an all-in-one next-gen pressure cooker that is now one of the bestselling small kitchen appliances in the world. Let’s find out who invented each device and how they are used.

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    Other Instant Pot Cooker Options

    If the original Instant Pot design isnt what youre looking for, the brand offers plenty of alternatives. Specialized Instant Pot models have the same effortless controls, safety, and excellent quality as weve come to expect from Instant Pot, but they accommodate specific cooking methods.

    For example, the Instant Aura Pro is a high-capacity slow cooker that can handle larger foodstuffs, including racks of beef or pork, with ease. The Instant Zest is perfect for those in need of a rice cooker. The Zest can cook large amounts of rice with ease, whether for commercial kitchens or large families enjoying a meal.

    Both alternative cookers do their jobs exceptionally well. They also include plenty of fan-favorite features from the original Instant Pot series, such as multiple modes for cooking different foods and convenient timer settings. Instant Pot also offers blenders and toaster ovens. They truly have something to use for just about every kitchen task that you can imagine.

    Editors’ Recommendations

    What About Other Multi

    Since the popularity of the Instant Pot Canada, there have been other companies to come out with similar small appliances for your kitchen. In fact, shortly after we purchased an Instant Pot, I saw one of these imitations at Costco.

    It was much cheaper, and I was about to get all worked up about it until I noticed the internal pot wasnt stainless steel it was non-stick coated aluminum.

    That still seems to be the case the Instant Pots all have the stainless steel inner pot and other brands dont.

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    Instant Pot Duo Crisp

    This is the Instant Pot Duo, but with an additional ability to air-fry. That’s the trendy cooking technique that uses, in this case, 95% less oil than deep frying. It comes with a multi-level air fryer basket, and a dehydrating and broiling tray. It’s available in 6-quart and 8-quart sizes.

    “I didn’t realize that stand-alone air fryers are rather expensive, so this machine being able to do both pressure cooking and air frying for us for less than the cost of a big air fryer has been amazing,” reviewer Lisa M. says. “I cannot recommend this machine enough!”

    Why Does My Instant Pot Say Burn

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    If the burn message appears on the display screen of your Instant Pot, it means that the pressure inside the pot is higher than what is recommended. In order to reduce the pressure inside the pot, you need to release it manually. For this, you need to open the lid and turn the power off. Wait for five minutes after turning off the power. Press the cancel button and then remove the lid.

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    Are Instant Pots Really Instant

    Although referred to as an instant pot, the kitchen device doesn’t cook foods in a flash like a microwave would. Multi-cookers do significantly reduce cooking time when you choose the pressure-cook setting but still often require at least 20 minutes of cook time or longer.

    When working with a recipe that calls for the multi-cooker to cook something for 15 minutes, for example, you’ll need to add time for the pot to heat up and build pressure. Most multi-cookers take five to ten minutes from the time you switch them on to preheat and start cooking. Therefore, adjust the recipe cook time to include the time the pot takes to build pressure.

    What Accessories Should I Buy

    While you can already do a lot with just your Instant Pot and the tools that come with it, theres a whole world of useful Instant Pot accessories out there too! Some are helpful for making a specific type of food , while others can be used in a variety of different ways

    Check out this post to learn about all of my favorite Instant Pot accessories!

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    Research And Buying Tips

    How is an Instant Pot different from a pressure cooker?

    A pressure cooker is a device that cooks food under pressure. Its either an electric device you plug into the wall or a stovetop device that uses the heat of your cooktop. An Instant Pot is a multifunctional pressure cooker, meaning it has additional cooking functions outside of pressure cooking.

    What is an Instant Pot?

    An Instant Pot is a countertop appliance that plugs into a wall outlet. Instant Pots are pressure cookers, but they can also slow cook, steam, sauté, warm, and more . They have presets for certain food items like poultry, rice, and stew, so you can simply press a button to cook your meal.

    What can you cook in an Instant Pot?

    You can make just about anything in an Instant Pot, especially if you have a model with an air frying lid. Before Instant Pot came out with the air frying lid, one of the biggest complaints about Instant Pots was that you couldnt make dry foods no breaded chicken or French fries, and chicken skin would come out soggy. With the addition of the air frying lid, you can now make crispy and crunchy food items. Just be careful not to overstuff the Instant Pot because it wont properly cook your food, and it could lead to problems with the pot itself.

    Can you can food in an Instant Pot?

    Which Instant Pot size is right for me?

    Are Instant Pots safe?

    Editors’ Recommendations

    What Foods Are Best For A Pressure Cooker

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    Pressure cooking uses wet heat. 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 couldnt cook French fries from start to finish by pressure cooking.

    But anything boiled or steamed or simmered is ace in a pressure cooker.

    Coco Morante

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    How To Cook Rice In The Instant Pot

    The first step in cooking rice is rinsing it in a strainer to remove the extra starch thats added during packaging to keep the rice from clumping. For white rice, an equal measure of rice and water work well. If youre using brown rice or wild rice, add an extra 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra water to prevent scorching. The rice cooks using the pressure-cooking setting, so close and lock the lid ensuring that the steam-release handle is in the sealed position. When you select the rice cooking mode, the Instant Pot controls everything, and there are no adjustments needed. When the timer goes off, turn the warming function off and let the steam vent naturally. Keeping the lid on will keep the rice hot for at least an hour. Your rice may scorch if “keep warm” is on, and natural release will take a lot longer.

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