We hope that Instant Pot Mania never dies.– also known as Instapot – still attracts an obsessive, iconic crowd of house cooks who have long since forgotten their slow cookers. His name is fun to say, the meals come together incredibly fast and, oh yeah, that makes damn delicious food.
Whether you're a new instant pot owner or have been trying for a while, this guide is for you. We devote the whole week to the Instant Pot to show you how to get the most out of your supercharged pressure cooker with recipes, tips, hidden features and more.
To start with, we'll go through the basics of Instapot. Even if you have owned your own for a while, here is something for you. Let's start.
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What is the Instant Pot?
Instant Pot is a pressure cooker ̵
Its fast cooking times are possible thanks to the pressure cook function, which prevents the liquid-produced steam (also liquid that is released by meat and vegetables), builds up pressure and pushes steam back into the food.
But do not confuse it with a pressure cooker. Unlike your grandparents' pressure cookers, thiswith a lid that snaps into place and remains locked until pressure is released.
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What can be cooked with the instant pot?
Instant Pot lets you prepare a hearty meal for a whole family in less than 30 minutes. Dishes likeand chicken, beef stew, chilli and even a whole roasted chicken meat in 30 to 60 minutes begin to finish. And yes, you can even bake bread .
Paleo and ketogenic diet connoisseurs love the instant pot for its ability to "stew" meat in such a short time, but it's also loved by vegetarians and vegans who can quickly cook dishes such as butternut squash, sweet potatoes, chili, sliced oats and Mac and Cheese.
Even dry beans, which usually have to be put in overnight, can be cooked in about 30 minutes for dishes like chili and hummus.
Want more ideas? Look at thesethat you can cook in Instant Pot.
More about Chowhound: The 100 Best Recipes of 2018.
How to Cook with the Instant Pot
How you use your instant pot depends on what you cook. However, many recipes – especially those containing meat – tend to follow this formula:
- Put the insant pot in Saute mode. Add oil (or other fat) and brown your protein like beef or chicken. Even aromatics such as garlic and onions are browned in this step.
- Click the Cancel button . Now tap on Manual and then on Pressure. Tap again to switch to high pressure mode (which is required for most recipes). Set the cooking time with the plus and minus buttons.
- Place the lid on the instant pot and lock it. You should hear a nice sound that lets you know that it is locked.
- Make sure that the valve installed in the cover is in the sealing position.
- When the Instant Pot builds up enough pressure, the red button will appear. Now the cooking time officially begins.
The above steps may vary greatly depending on the recipe, but most of what I cook in my instant pot follows this order.
Natural versus manual pressure relief
When the cooking time in your instant pot has run out, there is another step – releasing the pressure.
Pressure can be reduced in two ways. With Natural Pressure Relief the valve on the lid remains in the seal position and the pressure naturally decreases over time. This can take between 20 minutes and more than an hour, depending on what you have just cooked. Low-fat meals (like chicken drumsticks) take much less time than high-fat meals like soup or chilli.
The other option is Manual Pressure Relief (also known as Quick Release) . Here, gently move the valve to the bleed position and observe how steam exits the valve and relieves the pressure. This method is much faster, but high-liquid meals like soup can still take about 15 minutes to manually release the pressure.
Which one should you use? Keep in mind that the Instant Pot is still pressurized under natural pressure release, allowing the food to continue to boil (albeit slower) while the Instant Pot is in seal mode. The manual pressure release is useful and necessary if you have enough cooking time and cooking must be stopped as soon as possible.
If the goal is to prepare a meal quickly, set up enough time in Instant Pot to prepare your food and manually print when the time runs out.
Other Instant Pot Tips
After buying my instant pot for about a year, I made some mistakes and learned a few lessons that I would like to share. Here are some tips to help you flick through the Instant Pot learning curve.
Your Instant Pot has a number of buttons . And the best recipes call for more than one of them. Here is.
Always add at least ½ cup of liquid . When pressure cooking, liquid is needed to build pressure in the pot. Even if you try to keep things with chicken breasts or thighs simple, be sure to add half a cup of sauce, stock, or water to the instant pot before switching to Pressure mode.
Make sure the Lid Valve is set to Sealing . When the valve is in the bleed position, pressure never builds up. Make sure it is in the sealing position when locking the quick-cooking lid.
Clean your Instant Pot! After enough delicious meals, your instant pot will start to smell and possibly even eat leftovers. Here's a guide to.
Do not make these mistakes!.
Cook Frozen Food . Non-instant pot prescriptions give caution to the freezer protein. This is because traditional cooking methods take too long to heat the protein and take too long in the hazardous temperature zone. However, with the instant pot you can safely cook food from the frozen state. (Be sure to add extra cooking time.)
Suddenly, an 8-hour recipe can be made in about 1 hour.
Get to know the "right" cooking times. Let's say you set the Instant Pot to Pressure for 30 minutes. This time begins only when the pressure builds up. This often takes about 10 minutes. You should also add about 10 to 15 minutes to release the pressure. In the end, a "30 minute recipe" can take about 50 to 60 minutes.
Need some recipes Here are the favorite InstaPot recipesfrom hard-boiled eggs to Moroccan chickens. We've also put together some of the . Instant pots are also great for cooking during the holidays. We also have and .
Buy the Instant Pot at Amazon.com.
CNET's Guide to Smart Living is a destination for tips, tricks, and guides that will make your life smarter.
Want more tips for cooking with pressure? Continue here .