When I first bought my beloved Instant Pot a year ago, I just winged it and threw some different meals in and learned as I went. I wish I had had some more resources for using my Instant Pot, as there are so many things that you can do with it, far beyond what the instruction manual will tell you.
I knew that I could make quick meals, cook frozen meats quickly, make yogurt and steam rice but I didn’t know that you could cook pretty much anything in the Instant Pot like hard-boiled eggs, desserts, beans, steamed veggies, homemade breads and cheese and so much more! Now, I’ve converted pretty much all of my recipes so that I can make them in the Instant Pot!
There are also many complimentary products you can buy for your Instant Pot that I didn’t know the uses for as well cookbooks specific to the Instant Pot.
In order to help you make the most of your Instant Pot, I’ve put together resources on how to use it, what to cook, available cookbooks, accessories and other frequently asked questions.
Instant Pot Accessories and Uses
Instant Pot Tempered Glass Lid for Electric Pressure Cookers, 9″, Stainless Steel (used for saute function or as a cover for traveling with the inner pot)
Instant Pot Silicone Sealing Ring, White (you may need to replace the sealing ring periodically due to build up)
Instant Pot Inner Pot with 3 Ply Bottom, 6 quart, Stainless Steel (if you use your Instant Pot frequently, having a second inner pot is handy)
Instant Pot Ceramic Non-Stick Inner Pot, 6Qt (great to have for dishes that tend to stick instead of using the stainless steel inner pot. Ceramic is used, so it’s non-toxic and PTFE and PFOA free)
Instant Pot Accu SV800 Sous Vide Immersion Circulator (120V, 800W) (for restaurant quality foods)
Instant Pot Silicone Mitts (Set of 2), Mini, Red (these would be handy to have when releasing the steam to prevent burns or when handling the inner pot)
Instant Pot Silicone Cover (great for traveling with the inner pot or for food storage)
Popular Instant Pot Cookbooks
-How to Clean your Instant Pot: I use a vinegar and water spray with a wash cloth to clean the exterior and interior of the Instant Pot machine. The inner pot can be cleaned with soap and water or put in the dishwasher. For tougher staines, Bar Keeper’s Friend works well. The Sealing Ring can be washed with hot soapy water, but may need to be replaced as early as every 6-12 months. Never immerse the pressure cooker in water.
-How to calculate cooking times: The Instant Pot site has a basic table resource for cooking times, but I’ve found that it can vary greatly from their chart. The cooking time, especially when you are cooking meats, varies by weight. In general, these are the times I’ve found that work well for meals I cook the most:
Frozen chicken breasts: 20 minutes high pressure cooking time with an additional 5 minutes after cooking while it keeps warm/releases steam
Chicken/Turkey breasts: 12-15 minutes with an additional 5 minutes after cooking while it keeps warm/releases steam
Roasts: It took some trial and error, but I’ve found 65 minutes for a 2-3 lb. roast cooking time, with an additional 10 minutes after cooking on the keep warm setting while the steam releases produces a very tender roast
Whole Chicken: 25 minutes (flip halfway through)
Bone Broth: 2 hours
Root Vegetables: 10 minutes
Soups: With raw meat, 20 minutes. Without raw meat, 10 minutes.
It may take a few tries to get the best outcome for the meat you are cooking. It’s better to undercook and check then add additional time than to overcook.
-How to steam vegetables in the Instant Pot: Add water to the inner pot, place vegetables in a steamer basket. Cook for 1 minute (yes 1 minute!) on high pressure then quick release the steam.
-How to cook beans in the Instant Pot: Add dried beans to the inner pot, cover with water. Cook for 15+ minutes on high pressure (chart with times based on bean type here).
-How to hard-boil eggs in the Instant Pot: Add 1 cup of water and place eggs on the rack that comes with the Intant Pot. Cook for 5 minutes on high pressure and let the steam release for 5 minutes before removing.
-How and when to release steam: The Instant Pot will release the steam naturally and can take a few minutes (or longer if there’s more liquid) depending on what you are cooking. The machine will automatically switch to “keep warm” mode during this process. I’ve found that keeping meats in there during this process produces tender meat. I use the quick release for soups, vegetables or other meals I know are done without needing the extra warming time. To quick release the steam, just turn the valve. It will come out quickly (and it’s hot) so don’t stand close. These Instant Pot Silicone Mitts offer a safer way to release the steam.
-How to sauté in the Instant Pot: One of the biggest selling points for me when considering the Instant Pot was the ability to cook using less pots, pans and dishes! The sauté option that is now standard on Instant Pot models, makes this possible. You can brown meats and saute vegetables just like you would stovetop. Just press the saute button, wait a few minutes then add oil, then add the food. The saute feature is also handy for heating up foods that you’ve stored in the inner pot in the fridge. The Instant Pot Tempered Glass Lid helps keep the heat in during this process.
-How to keep the food warm after cooking: The Instant Pot will automatically switch to the “keep warm” mode after the cooking time ends and will keep it warm for up to 10 hours.
-How to slow cook in the pressure cooker: When pressure cooking, you’ll always have the steam release handle set to “sealing.” If you choose to slow cook, be sure to have it switched to “venting” or else pressure may build. You can cook from 1-10 hours using the “slow cook” option.
Popular Instant Pot Recipes
Homemade Bread in the Instant Pot (including gluten-free)
If you’re looking for a second Instant Pot or one for a friend, here are your Instant Pot options:
The 7-in-1 contains the yogurt making function, while the 6-in-1 does not. I own the 6 qt. 7-in-1 and have found this to be a good size for most any meal.
Already and Instant Pot pro? Contribute by commenting below with your tips!
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