On Amazon Prime Day in 2017, it was estimated that 215,000+ Amazon customers purchasing the Instant Pot on Prime Day alone. It was the hottest new kitchen appliance and it’s here to stay! I’m curious to see if it will exceed in 2018 Amazon Prime Day.
The Instant Pot is a single appliance that does the job of seven (yes, seven!) different kitchen appliances. It can handle the tasks of a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan, and a warming pot. Think of all those appliances taking up space in your kitchen that can be replaced by one.
It’s magical! Check out these 7 tips and tricks about the Instant Pot I wish I knew before I started using mine.
1. Be sure the pressure value is turned to seal.
When you use the pressure cooking feature, be sure the pressure value is set to seal. If it is set to vent, the Instant Pot will not be able to come to pressure. It can be easy to miss if you’re cooking in a hurry. You’ll hear a whistling sound from the Instant Pot if the pressure value is not set to seal. Simply turn it, and then the unit will come to pressure.
2. Utilize the steaming rack.
Use the steaming rack what it’s intended for – steaming. It perfect steams food in a matter of minutes and makes the perfect hard-boiled eggs. Beyond just steaming, the steaming rack can be useful for reheating. Use the steamer insert and add food wrapped in foil. If you open the Instant Pot to add an ingredient, it will reheat much faster.
3. Get acquainted with saute mode.
What I love about the Instant Pot vs. a Slow Cooker is the saute function. A recipe can be made from start to finish right in the Instant Pot. I don’t know about you, but when I see a slow cooker recipe that requires other pots and pans to first to brown over stove top then to add to the slow cooker, I’m more likely to pass over that recipe.
4. Food cooks by surface area rather than volume.
Larger pieces of foods like a roast or a large potato will cook slower than foods cut into smaller pieces. The steam and pressure must reach the inside of each piece of food, so if you want to speed up your cooking time, cut food into smaller pieces.
5. No need to wait for food to thaw. Start right from frozen.
Don’t waste time waiting for items from the freezer to defrost. Add frozen veggies, fruit or other frozen ingredients directly to your Instant Pot. It may just take a few more minutes of cook time.
6. The cook time listed in your recipe is not the total amount of time it will take.
The Instant Pot needs time to heat up before it starts to cook and needs time to release the pressure afterward. Add about 10 minutes to the total cook time, mentally, every time you see a suggested number and you’ll always have a better idea of the actual cook time.
7. Easy clean-up.
Many of the Instant Pot’s parts, including the inner pot and steam rack, can be washed in the dishwasher, making for a quick clean-up. The outside of the Instant Pot can easily be wiped down with a wet towel. Keep in mind that the lid does need to be hand-washed, but hey, you can wash one part by hand, can’t you?
Now that you are ready to use your Instant Pot, start with one of these recipes created by Registered Dietitians.
Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup by Sinful Nutrition
Minestrone Soup by Your Choice Nutrition
Instant Pot Chicken Soup by The Wandering RD
Instant Pot Vegetable Barely Soup by Sharon Palmer, Plant-Powered Dietitian
Instant Pot Italian White Bean Soup by Mom’s Kitchen Handbook
Easy Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac by Kara Lydon, The Foodie Dietitian
Instant Pot Sesame Chicken by Chef Julie Harrington, RD
Instant Pot Creamy Dill Chicken and Rice by Smart Nutrition
Instant Pot Chicken Coconut Curry by Bite of Health Nutrition
Thai Peanut Chicken by Smart Nutrition
Chicken Jambalaya by Live Best
Instant Pot Chicken Teriyaki by Chelsea’s Choices
Instant Pot Chicken in Salsa Verde by Mom’s Kitchen Handbook
Easy Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef by Lively Table
Moroccan Beef and Lentils by Smart Nutrition
Lasagna by Your Choice Nutrition
Instant Pot French Dip Sandwich by Street Smart Nutrition
Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage by Nourish Nutrition Co.
Instant Pot Beef Greek “Gyros” by The Wandering RD
Instant Pot Ribs by Lara Clevenger
Kale Lentil and Beef Stew by Beautiful Eats & Things
Instant Pot Lentil Stroganoff by Nourish Nutrition Co.
Vegan Thai Yellow Curry Chickpeas and Potatoes by Smart Nutrition
Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes, Basil, and Garlic by Betsy’s Kitchen
Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas and Greens by Sharon Palmer, The Plant-Powered Dietitian
Spring Vegetable Instant Pot Brown Rice Risotto by Lively Table
Instant Pot Greek Lemon Potatoes by Smart Nutrition
Instant Pot Wheat Berries by Chef Julie Harrington, RD
Instant Pot Garlic Creamy Broccoli Mash by The Keto Queens
Cheesy Mashed Potatoes by Nourish Nutrition Co.
Instant Pot Artichokes with White Wine, Capers, and Burrata by Lively Table
Instant Pot Artichokes with Lemon Chive Butter by Mom’s Kitchen Handbook
Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs by Chef Julie Harrington, RD
Peach Jam in the Instant Pot by Marisa Moore Nutrition
Instant Pot Poached Pears by Chef Julie Harrington, RD
Instant Pot Raisin Bread by Kara Lydon, The Foodie Dietitian
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