Instant Pot Unboxing
I’ve got you covered. I was in your shoes for a while. But after a while I eventually learned how to use it all and want to share with you. We used it 4-6 times a week. I’ve got a bunch of delicious, gluten-free Instant Pot recipes you can easily make tonight.
So first, what’s the big deal with the Instant Pot? It’s basically an electric pressure cooker that can speed cooking times by 2-6 times using about 70% less energy. The design of the Instant Pot makes it easy to de-pressurize and release the steam – which honestly was something I was always afraid to do on a traditional stove-top pressure cooker. The buttons on the Instant Pot make it intuitive to use. Need to make rice? Press the rice button. Easy peasy, right?
So, who’s ready to make dinner??? I can tell you that dinners are going to be SO much easier with my Instant Pot. I can basically cook an entire meal with just in Instant Pot. How is that even possible you ask? I’ll share my amazing Instant Pot unboxing video and tons of yummy recipes below with REAL food.
First, let’s talk about the Instant Pot. It’s a 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Cooker – including a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, saute/browning, yogurt maker, steamer and warmer. Plus, it has a stainless steel cooking pot and steam rack – LOVE that! I have literally gotten rid of my old slow cooker and rice cooker because I can do it all with the Instant Pot.
Let’s talk about some basic tips and tricks of using the Instant Pot, because this is a very powerful and smart machine. Good to know a few basic ins and outs.
Instant Pot Unboxing Video
9 Instant Pot Tips
1. Use 1 cup of liquid in the inner pot when pressure cooking.
When you use the pressure cooking feature, you need to use at least 1/2 to 1 cup of liquid (water, broth, etc.) in the inner pot. That liquid is needed to get the Instant Pot to pressurize in the unit. This is one of THE most important things to remember when you use the Instant Pot for pressure cooking.
2. Use the Saute button for cooking as you would in a skillet or pan.
Want to saute vegetables in the Instant Pot? You can do that and basically cook up anything as you would in a skillet or pan. You don’t need the 1 cup of liquid. Just press the saute button, add some cooking oil (l like avocado or coconut) or animal fat like beef tallow or lard to the inner pot and add food you want to cook like a skillet or pan. You can even adjust the saute temperature (keep reading to find out how).
3. Use multiple buttons in a cooking session.
What I love about the Instant Pot is that ALL the cooking for a meal can be done in the same inner pot. I will often use the Saute button to cook onions and garlic in avocado oil, and then add the ingredients for a pressure cooking dish and use the Manual pressure cooking button. Once it’s done, I will use the Keep Warm button to keep the food warm until my family is ready to eat it.
4. Adjust the temperature for certain functions.
There are 3 adjustable temperatures for the Saute and Slow Cooker functions. Just use the Adjust button to increase or decrease the temperature. You can also adjust the cooking, time and pressure setting for the preset buttons (ex Bean/Chili or Rice).
5. Add about 10-15 minutes to cooking time when you use the Manual or Pressure button.
When you use the pressure cooking function on the Instant Pot, it will take the unit about 10 minutes to come to pressure. That means if your recipe calls for 30 minutes at High Pressure, then the total cooking time will be about 40 minutes (10 minutes to come to pressure + 30 minutes for actual cooking time). You may even need to add another 5 minutes to the end of the cooking time to allow the Instant Pot to de-pressurize (keep reading to learn about natural pressure release and quick release).
6. Be sure the pressure value is turned to Sealing.
When you use the pressure cooking feature, be sure the pressure value is set to Sealing. If it is set to Venting, 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 Sealing. Simply turn it, and then the unit will come to pressure.
7. NEVER open the Instant Pot while it’s in Manual / Pressure mode.
Once you close the lid and select the Manual / Pressure mode, be sure the pressure value is set to Sealing. That will ensure the pressure cooking feature will work. You have 10 seconds to press the Cancel mode to stop cooking. After that, the Instant Pot is coming to pressure – and if you open the lid you’ll be hit with a face full of steam. It’s actually difficult to open the lid while it’s cooking for that reason – that’s why the Instant Pot is so intuitive. So once you close that lid, let it cook for the full time you’ve set.
8. Know how to use natural pressure release (NPR) vs. quick release (QR).
Once the Instant Pot is done with Manual / Pressure mode, it will beep so you know it’s done. Depending on the recipe, you’ll do a natural pressure release (NPR) or quick release (QR). Some recipes – usually with meat or chicken – call for NPR to keep the meat tender. Other foods like steamed vegetables use the QR to keep it from going soggy.
With NPR, don’t touch the Instant Pot. Just let it sit and naturally release the pressure in the unit – usually 10-20 minutes. Once it’s done for that time, you can release the steam vent on the top of the unit and then open the Instant Pot.
With QR, you can release the steam vent once the Instant Pot beeps that it’s done. Wait for all the steam to be released, and then open the Instant Pot. Avoid using QR with meals that have large liquid volume or high starch content (soup, porridge, etc.) as food may platter out from the pressure release valve. Opt for NPR instead.
Another option to QR and NPR is a combination of the two. You could let the Instant Pot depressurize in NR mode for 10 minutes, and then press Cancel on the unit and turn the steam release valve to Venting.
9. Change the inner pot or lid as needed.
The Instant Pot comes with a stainless steel inner pot. You could get a second inner pot too. Cook food in one pot and keep to the side or store leftovers. Then use the second pot to cook another dish. The same goes with the lid. You can get a glass lid (similar to a slow cooker lid) to use when for Slow Cooker or Saute function.