How To Cook Pot
One of my favorite perks of the Instant Pot is that you can cook two dishes at the same time! Its called pot-in-pot cooking, where one dish cooks on the bottom of the pot, and then a separate bowl of food can cook on top of that. You can see an example of this with my Chipotle Burrito Bowls. In this case, the spiced black beans cook on the bottom while a bowl of brown rice cooks on top, both from scratch in a 30-minute cooking cycle.
Ive dedicated an entire blog post to pot-in-pot cooking, so you can get a better idea of which ingredients can be cooked together at the same time. There are also several recipes in my cookbook that teach you how to cook rice, cauliflower rice, and cauliflower mashed potatoes at the same time as your main entree.
What To Do If Your Instant Pot Lid Wont Open
If you are unable to open your Instant Pot lid after the pressure has released and the metal valve is down then you may have a problem with your machine.
I would advise you to wait at least 15 minutes on the quick release setting before attempting any of the following methods. This will ensure that theres not been a fault with the pin or the valves which has resulted in the machine providing you with a false open the lid reading.
The first thing I would check is that the sealing ring hasnt got stuck. This will require you to apply some additional pressure to the lid to unstick the ring.
If this is the cause and you do manage to open the machine I would remove the ring from the lid and clean it as per the instructions before resetting it to avoid this happening again.
Next, I would slightly wobble the pin just to ensure its not caught on something. Id use an object for this instead of your hands such as a knife.
Again, its key to ensure that the pressure has released before doing this and proceed with incredible caution. The pin is a safety feature of the lid which prevents the lid from opening if the machine still contains pressure.
If youre still not managed to get the lid to release Id contact Instant Pot directly who may be able to assist you based on your specific issue.
Inspecting Your Instant Pot Before Each Use
1. Remove the stainless steel inner pot and look inside the instant pot base. You will see the heating element. The heating element should always be free of debris and dry before you use you the Instant Pot. After washing, I always dry my stainless steel inner pot thoroughly before returning it to the base unit.
2. Check that the silicone sealing ring is fitted properly onto the lid and is clean and free of tears.
3. Remove the steam release valve from the Instant Pot lid by gently pulling it straight up. Make sure it is clean and free of debris. Some foods, such as applesauce, pasta and oatmeal may froth and foam when you cook them and can clog the steam release valve. Check the steam release valve each time you use your Instant Pot. If it is dirty clean it under running water and then put it back on the Instant Pot lid.
4. Check the float valve to ensure it is clean and free of debris. Clean it with warm water as needed. You may place the lid under running water as needed to wash it.
Making sure that all parts of your Instant Pot are clean and in good working condition can help you to have the best success with pressure cooking. My post about the Instant Pot burn message tells you both how to prevent getting this warning and what to do if you do get a burn message.
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Safe Opening Methods For Pressure Cookers Explained
Whether stove-top or electric, you can use pressure cookers to cook a number of different types of foods like meat, beans and pasta sauces.
Essentially, a pressure cooker is made up of three main pieces they are the pot itself, its lid and a steaming release valve:
As the name suggests, pressure cookers cook under pressure. The release valve is designed to help with regulating the level of pressure that stays inside the pot throughout the cooking process. The release valve basically plays the vital role of releasing steam to keep the pressure at a safe level. Virtually every pressure cooker sold these days, including Instant Pot, has safety mechanisms in place to prevent you from opening the pressure cooker before the pressure release valve has depressurized.
How To Natural Release Instant Pot
Never force the Instant Pot lid open! If it wont open it is most likely because there is too much pressure remaining in the pot.
Recipes Great for the Natural Release Setting
- Instant Pot Chili perfect weeknight meal
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How Can You Use An Instant Pot In A Slow Cooker
Press your Slow Cooker function on your Instant Pot and then press the adjust button to change the setting to normal or high. If you want to cook a recipe like you would on low in a slow cooker, adjust your slow cooker to normal on the slow cooker function and cook for as the recipe calls to cook on low.
How To Set Up Instant Pot
Steam Rack :
Instant Pot Condensation Collector:
Instant Pot Lid:
Steam Release Valve:
sealingventing1. Sealing: 2. Venting or How to Release Pressure from the Pressure Cooking Setting-Quick release.
-Natural release. If you do NOT do a quick release by pushing the valve to the venting position, the Instant Pot will naturally begin to release the steam on its own immediately after the programmed cooking time is over. This allows the pressure to naturally dissipate on its own. It will start counting to let you know how many minutes it has been releasing the pressure. Usually this takes about 10-20 minutes depending on what and how long you have been cooking something.
The Underside of the Instant Pot Lid:
The Anti-Block Shield:
Instant Pot Sealing Ring:
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Take A Course And Get The Best Beginner Instant Pot Recipe Ebooks
A good book full of beginner recipes can help you a lot. This is an easy way to get 101 easy Instant Pot recipes in one ebook that you can keep on you phone, tablet, or desktop. It is written by the bloggers at Recipe This who have a really good site and they write good recipes. or the image below to check it out! These are affiliate links.
The same people also have a full course to learn your Instant Pot. Become a pro the easy way! This is awesome if you are super nervous about using your new Instant Pot!
When To Use Quick Pressure Release
When you use this method, the pressure releases as soon as the cooking time stops. Hence, you must use this method when you want to avoid overcooking vegetables or rice.
Some of the recipes you can cook using the quick pressure release method are steamed dumplings, sausages, corn on the cob, potato salads etc.
Never use this method with ingredients that are fatty or thick or those which foam.
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When To Open Instant Pot: The Safest Time To Do It
When I bought my Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker, I was so excited to put it to use that I didnt even care about going through the manual. Dont be like me!
Go through the manual properly at least once. As new owners of the prestigious cooker, you might be confused about its opening mechanisms. You might even get intimidated by the noise and jet of steam you see when the pressure is released. Dont worry, I got you!
Youll be able to make scrumptious dishes once you learn the ways to easily open the instant pot. Lets see what time is the safest to do so.
When the cooking time gets completed, the instant pot will beep and direct you to release the pressure inside. The two methods that can be used here are-
- A Quick Pressure Release
Use The Manual Button
If you can use only 1 button on the Instant Pot, itll be the Manual Button.
Most of the recipes online are developed using the Manual Button, because it gives us control to cook precisely and accurately.
If a recipe states Cook at High Pressure for 10 minutes: press the Manual button and change the cooking time to 10 minutes by pressing – button or + button.
*Note: The new Instant Pot DUO Plus 9-in-1 Model has renamed the Manual Button to Pressure Cook Button.
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Instant Pot Intimidation All Those Buttons
Many people fear the Instant pot simply because they are afraid of all of the functions. It can seem overwhelming! In reality it is really easy.
Here is the dirty little secret about those buttons. Actually it isnt even a secret: They are pretty meaningless. Not entirely, but you really dont need them all.
Most recipes you will find will give directions for using just one function: Manual high pressure. You can hit that button and setting, set your time, and go. Other functions really are for the most part just presets of this. So, dont get worried if you find yourself making something on the manual setting that has its own specialized setting. It really will be OK!
The other most used function is saute. It heats your pot up like pan on the stove so you can brown things in it or soften onions etc. You can also use it to simmer things. I seriously have only ever used the manual and saute functions on my Instant Pot! And I am an Instant Pot addict who writes a whole blog about these things!
All those other buttons can often be ignored, or feel free to use them as desired or if a recipe calls for them. Yogurt is a big exception though. If you want to make yogurt, get to know your pot first and then dive into various yogurt recipes using that function.
My dirty little secret is that I am still afraid of the yogurt button. Well, OK, I actually also dont eat yogurt. So, I havent written about it on this site yet.
Dont Be Scared Of The Instant Pot How To Overcome Your Fear
Are you afraid of or scared of your Instant Pot? You are not alone. Instant Pot fear or phobia is actually a thing. So often I see in or , posts from people who leave their Instant Pot in the box because they are fearful of it or intimidated. Lets try to fix that!
When I got my first Instant Pot it sat in the box for months. Yes, I was afraid of my Instant Pot! Now I am a pot addict and write an entire Instant Pot blog. The same could happen to you!
Here is how to get past your Instant Pot fear and get cooking!
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When Is It Safe To Open Your Instant Pot
Just like any other kind of task that you get in the kitchen, youre going to want to make sure that you prioritize safety when working with your Instant Pot. One of the most common things that people get wrong due to lack of information is the issue surrounding the question of when is it safe to open an Instant Pot. To help protect you, your loved ones, and your food, here are the details to keep in mind.
There is a reason the lid locks.
If youve worked with your Instant Pot before and, without thinking, tried to take the lid off in the middle of a cooking cycle, youve probably already discovered that the lid isnt easy to remove. In fact, it doesnt budge because its locked. Can you override this by trying to take it off anyway? Yes. Should you? No.
The reason for this is to protect you. When your cooker is building or holding itself at pressure, it will instantly hit you with a massive amount of steam, and this will seriously burn you even if you happen to have oven mitts on at the time. It will also leak all over your kitchen and will ruin your food.
So, when is it safe to open an Instant Pot?
Certain recipes call for a quick release instead. This is done much faster, and it also uses a button on the machine to activate it. When you press the QR button, make sure your hands, face, etc. are clear of the vent holes, as the term quick is, well, quick. When it is done, it will let you know, and youll be able to remove the lid safely.
When Is It Safe To Open An Instant Pot
The Instant Pot is safe to open when all the pressure has been released. When the instant pots pressure is fully released, the float valve will drop, and the lid will unlock to open. Never attempt to open the Instant Pot lid while pressurized and wait until the float valve drops back into the plastic.
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When Is It Safe To Open Instant Pot
When I first got my Instant Pot I was both scared and confused. One of the biggest questions during my trial run of using the machine was when do we know if safe to open?
Every Instant Pot has a float valve. Its a metal tip that is often dipped inside the black plastic top of the lid.
When the Instant Pot valve is up and in line with the rest of the plastic the Instant Pot is fully pressurized and can not be opened a safety feature prevents it. Once this valve is down and clicks it is safe to open your Instant Pot.
Benefits Of Cooking In An Instant Pot: Of
- Instant Pot uses less energy than other electric pressure cookers
- It disposes of excess cooking oil
- No need to defrost food before cooking in an instant pot
- Less water used in cooking in an instant pot
- An instant pot is Insulated for heat efficiency
You can read the working principle of instant pot here.
Also Check: What Is Poultry Setting On Instant Pot
What Is A Natural Pressure Release Vs Quick Release
Two methods can be used to release pressure: natural release and quick release.
Natural pressure release is just that you leave the lids valve in the sealing position and allow the pressure to dissipate naturally over time. It can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on what youre cooking. High-liquid meals, like soup and chili, require more time than low-liquid dishes .
Theres also a quick release option . Youll carefully move the valve into the venting position here, releasing the pressure manually. Steam will shoot out of the vent until all the pressure is released. The quick release method is much faster, but it will still take time to release the steam through the vent, especially for very high-liquid meals, like soup.
Which method you use depends on the food youre making. There are cases for both. With a natural pressure release, the Instant Pot is still full of pressure, so the food will continue cooking as the pressure naturally dissipates. This is good for soups and stews, braised meats, and whenever you have time. Manual pressure release is useful when cooking needs to be stopped as fast as possible, like with steaming vegetables, cooking potatoes and eggs, pasta and rice.
A good recipe should say which method to use. If in doubt, you can do a hybrid release where you do a 10 minute natural release, then manually release the remaining pressure.
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Im Getting An Error Code Message
Instant Pots use error codes to indicate specific problems. If a code is popping up, you should look it up to see what it means. You can find a list of the codes on the support page. C1, for example, means theres a faulty temperature sensor, C5 means that theres not enough water in the inner pot, and so on.
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What Is Natural Release On An Instant Pot
On the other end of the scale, there is a natural release for instant pots, this is the way that is most commonly used as it is slow, steady and much safer.
The natural release happens when you turn the black nozzle on the lid to venting, once it is as venting it will slowly depressurize naturally and will take anything from 10-15 minutes.
The natural way is safer, causes less mess with water spewing everywhere and easier. Once the pot has reached a certain level and has depressurized this will then trigger the metal tab to fall and click.
During the natural release you will see the screen turn to L000 this is the timer for how long the food has stopped cooking and the natural release has taken place. Different foods and recipes with require different release times so make sure to look out for that while you are releasing your instant pot
This timer will go up in minutes as time goes on, this does not indicate that the release is done, which can only be identified when the metal valve has dropped.
This will indicate it is ready to open, even once the instant pot is ready you should still take care when opening the lid for access steam.