You just bought the magical kitchen appliance everyone has been raving about. But now what?! Here are 9 Tips and Tricks for Using Your Instant Pot for Beginners to get you started in the kitchen!
You took the plunge and now own an Instant Pot! After you read the owners manual, you might be wondering what to do next. I have a list of tips and tricks for using your Instant Pot for beginners below.
The Instant Pot is so much safer than the old pressure cookers that were used on the stove top. They have settings to protect you from things going wrong. Don’t be afraid that it will blow up in your face like I am sure you have heard about the old school style pressure cookers.
The Instant Pot is going to make cooking your meals a breeze and reduce cook times drastically. The Instant Pot can cook pretty much all recipes up to 70% faster than other forms of cooking like stovetop and slow cookers. You can even cook frozen chicken in the Instant Pot which is a total game changer when you forget to thaw meat for dinner. The Instant Pot cooks with high pressure and leaves your food moist, and helps infuse the flavors nicely. Most slow cooker recipes can be transformed into Instant Pot recipes with a few modifications.
Are you ready to get cooking? Just follow these tips and tricks for using your Instant Pot for beginners below to have the best results!
9 Tips and Tricks for Using Your Instant Pot for Beginners
The Instant Pot needs at least 1/2 cup to 1 full cup of liquid in the inner pot during the cooking process. Without the liquid, it can’t pressurize the way it needs to cook properly. If you need the food not to be in the liquid put a trivet or something for the dish or food to sit on, so it isn’t submerged in the liquid like in this Instant Pot Deviled Eggs with Bacon recipe.
Multiple Cooking Functions
The Instant Pot is amazing, you can use multiple cooking functions for one dish. Maybe you want to start out with the saute, and then transition over to a manual pressure cooking option. It allows you to do a variety of things, which is great for making minimal prep and fewer dishes.
Read Instructions Before Cooking
Make sure to read the entire recipe before you start. Some recipes have multiple steps or require specific items like a pan, steamer insert, or trivet. Make sure you have all the items you need, and factor in the pressure release time as well.
Natural Release for Meats
Using the natural release on your Instant Pot for meats like in this Instant Pot Beef Roast recipe. During the natural release option, it really helps tenderize and lock moisture and flavor into your meat. For foods like pasta, rice, and softer foods you might not use the natural release as it can overcook them.
Don’t Open Once You Set It On
Make sure once you select manual or pressure mode that you do not open it, or you will get a whole lot of steam in your face. As soon as you select the pressure valve begins to pressure up, I think you have around 10 seconds to hit cancel to stop cooking. Once the lid closes and you make your selections it is already working at cooking your dish.
Added Time to Pressurize
When you go to use your Instant Pot you need to factor in it takes around 10 minutes to come to pressure when you use the manual or pressure button. So if you have a recipe that says 20 minutes at high pressure than a total cook time will be 30 minutes (10 to pressure up and then 20 minutes cook time). Then if you have to depressurize whether it is a natural release or quick release, add in time for that.
Don’t Overfill Instant Pot
Make sure not to overfill your Instant Pot. There is a fill line that will show you where not to overfill. When it heats and begins to cook some foods can expand, and if you overfill it will not turn out properly.
Cooking With Dairy Or Slurries
So if you are wanting to thicken up something like this Instant Pot Beer Cheese soup recipe, do this once you are done with cooking. Slurries do not work in the Instant Pot, they will not turn out. So add the thickening slurries at the end of cooking. Same goes for cooking dairy products, milk, cheese, can get scalded or turn into a glop of a mess. The heat rises so rapidly it can curdle milk. So if you use a recipe with dairy add it in once you are done cooking, and then use the saute feature.
Consider buying multiple sealing rings. Over time they will wear out and they also soak up odors from very aromatic dishes. I buy one for desserts, one for meat dishes, and one for sides. But at the very least you want one for desserts and one for savory dishes. Cheesecake smelling like my easy chili recipe won’t be quite as appetizing.
Did you find any useful tips and tricks for using your Instant Pot for beginners that you didn’t already know? Make sure to pin this post so you can find it when you start cooking!