How To Use Instant Pot

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The Instant Pot (often mistakenly called ‘Insta Pot’) is one of the most famous kitchen appliances of its time!

This unique and versatile pressure cooker replaces several appliances and rolls them all into one pot – from rice cooker, crock pot to slow cooker.

How to use Instant Pot – Where does the Instant Pot lid go?

 

11 Southern Cooking Instant Pot Recipes For Beginners
I wish everyone knew how easy Instant Pot cooking is for busy households – one-pot… straight to plate!

These Instant Pot recipes were chosen not by me but by YOU as some of my most-read, most popular, and shared the most! – Thank you!
Check out this recipe!
Instant Pot Chicken Recipes For Beginners

 

Shaunda Necole Making Magical Meals With Instant Pot

 

 

What is the Instant Pot?

Instant Pot is a pressure cooker that works faster than your typical cooking appliance. 

It slow cooks, sautés, makes rice, steams vegetables, and cooks chicken, meat, and other food items. It also has soup and yogurt maker settings!

It’s a fantastic all-in-one device; thus, you can cook a chicken and your veggies all in the same pot! 

 

Best Instant Pot Comparison Guide
Don't have an Instant Pot? 
Get yours now & enjoy all the benefits!
Which Instant Pot is best for you?
Use this Instant Pot comparison guide for info and ease in purchasing your next Instant Pot appliance!
Check it out!
Instant Pot Comparison

 

Pioneer Woman Instant Pot

 

A new generation of pressure cooking

Instant Pot introduces a new generation to pressure cooking and shows people how to instantly cook a healthy meal. 

This guide is for you whether you recently bought a new Instant Pot or you’re already using it.

These instructions are updated to show you how to use your appliance most effectively without creating any trouble. 

We’ll also answer frequently asked questions with helpful Instant Pot user tips

And also, share easy Instant Pot recipes, too!

 

What are the benefits of an Instant Pot?

In plenty of situations, Instant Pot meals are ready to serve in less than 45 minutes.

Its instant cook time is because of its pressure-cooking function that lock steam produced by liquid (liquid excreted from meat and vegetables), building pressure and forcing steam back into the foods.

But avoid confusing Instant Pot with its old predecessor, the stovetop pressure cooker!

Unlike the old pressure cookers, today’s Instant Pot removes all safety concerns and issues with a cover that stays locked until the pressure is released. 

 

Instant Pot For Beginners
New to Instant Pot?
And are you feeling not so hip to the PC (pressure cooker) lingo, terms and tips?
No worries – I gotchu with Instant Pot for beginners!
No more feeling like you’re not a part of the conversation while OG Instant Pot Heads seemingly talk in EPC (electric pressure cooker) code. 
Check it out!
How To Use Instant Pot

 

What can be cooked with the Instant Pot?

With the Instant Pot, a person can cook a hearty meal for not only oneself but a whole family in less than 45 minutes! 

Dishes like chicken, rice, beef stew, chili, and even a whole-roasted chicken cook beginning to finish in under 40 minutes! 

 

Why does everyone love the Instant Pot?

Instant Pot bakes

And, yes, you can even bake cakes and bread with this device!

–> Check out one of my favorite, easiest Instant Pot cake recipes HERE

 

Instant Pot Banana Bread

 

How To Use Instant Pot Guide

 

Instant Pot is keto diet-friendly

Ketogenic diet followers love the Instant Pot for its capability to “braise” meats in such a short amount of time. 

 

Vegans love Instant Pot!

It’s also loved by vegans who can instantly prepare dishes like vegetable soup, glazed carrots, chilies, steel oats and mac and cheese with the help of this versatile pressure cooker!

Even dry beans that typically need overnight soaking are cooked in approximately 20 minutes for dishes like chili and hummus.

 

Instant Pot Cooking Times
How to cook with Instant Pot is one of my favorite topics!
I wish everyone knew how easy Instant Pot cooking is for busy households – one-pot… straight to plate!
Print my helpful Instant Pot cooking times chart to always know how long to let meats, seafood, vegetables, eggs, rice, grains, and beans pressure cook inside the pot.
Check it out!
Instant Pot Cooking Times Guide by The Soul Food Pot

 

How do you cook with the Instant Pot?

Pressure cooking

It’s easy to cook with Instant Pot once you know its essential functions.

There are only a few simple instructions, and you’ll be quickly on your way to Instant Pot cooking!

 

How do you use Instant Pot for the first time?

The inner pot is the removable stainless steel pot that you place inside the Instant Pot appliance.

The appliance as a whole is commonly referred to as the Instant Pot

 

Instant Pot Inner Pot

 

Instant Pot Stainless Steel Inner Pot

 

What are the other Instant Pot family appliances?

 

Win An Instant Pot

 

Although there are many Instant Pot appliances (pressure cooker, air fryer, blender, toaster oven, etc.).

When having a conversation, the pressure cooker is most commonly referred to as the “Instant Pot.”

Pressure cooking is the setting the pot is best known for.

Place meats, rice, grains, beans or veggies inside the pot with at least ½ a cup of water.

Lock the lid, and you’re on your way to tender, juicy meats or healthy, crispy veggies!

 

How do you know when the Instant Pot is done?

At the end of the pressure cooking time, the pressure must be released to unlock and open the Instant Pot’s lid. 

*Safety tip- For your safety, the lid will not unlock until the pressure is released. 

 

Natural pressure release

When the pressure cooking time is finished, the Instant Pot will chime to let you know that the cooking time is complete. (Note that it will also sound to let you know when the cooking time begins.) 

 

When you do a natural release, do you need to cancel the keep warm function?

After the finished chime, the Pot will automatically enter into the ‘keep warm’ setting, and the pressure will begin to naturally release on its own.

You do not need to cancel the keep warm function for a natural release.

In most cases, a natural release of pressure has occurred when the keep warm setting reaches the original cook time.

For example, the cooking time for carrots is 4 minutes. The natural release will have typically occurred when the keep warm setting has also reached 4 minutes. 

Don’t worry about trying to time this on your own. The Instant Pot does all the work and will monitor the time for you on the Pot’s time display!

You will know that the pressure has naturally released because you can open the Instant Pot lid when you try. 

 

Instant Pot Sealing Valve

 

Should the Instant Pot valve be up or down?

If you cannot open the lid, position the pressure valve down (for models Duo and below). For Instant Pot models Duo Nova and above, press the steam release button.

This will release any last pressure and steam – and in just a few seconds, you can open the pot!

*Safety tip- Never make skin or face contact with the steam released from the pressure valve!

 

Manual pressure release

For Instant Pot models Duo and below, a pressure valve (also called a steam valve, venting knob or vent) is on the top of the Instant Pot lid. 

It’s a pressure button for models Duo Nova and above.

For a manual pressure release (also referred to as a quick release), position the valve down (counterclockwise) to release the pressure from the inner pot. 

(*Note that you’d position the valve up or clockwise for cooking. This is also referred to as placing the valve in the “sealing position.”)

For Instant Pot models Duo Nova and above, the valve sealing and positioning are automatically done for you. (Sweet!)

On Instant Pot pressure cooker models Duo Nova and beyond, the steam release (quick release button) is automatically set to the sealing position when the lid is closed.

  1. Sealing position – For a quick release (manual pressure release), press down the quick release button until it clicks and locks in the venting position.
  2. Venting position – To stop the quick release, slightly turn the quick release button counter-clockwise until it pops up to the sealing position.

 

Instant Pot sealing - quick release button

 

Instant Pot Pressure Release Button

 

Quick release

As explained in the section above, a natural release will happen when you keep the food locked in the inner pot after the cooking time has elapsed. The pressure will naturally release from the Instant Pot on its own.

Depending on your Instant Pot model, position the pressure valve down (or press the pressure button for models Duo Nova and beyond) to prompt a manual, quick pressure release. 

Pro tips: 

  • I only prompt a manual release *after* the keep warm time reaches at least half of the original cooking time. 

For example, the cooking time for a whole chicken is 25 minutes. When the keep warm setting has reached 13 minutes, you could prompt a manual release.

  • It’s a good idea to place a dish towel or pot holder over the steam release as you are manually releasing the pressure. This quick tip controls any steam or water from spraying out.
  • And remember to never make skin or face contact with the steam released from the pressure valve!

 

Instant Pot Settings

How do you use the buttons on your Instant Pot?

Sauté button

To use the sauté function, you won’t need the Instant Pot lid.

Add water, broth, oil, or butter, and brown meats, like beef or chicken. Or sauté herbs and spices, like garlic and onion.

You can also use the sauté button to boil water! I cook all of my pasta on sauté mode!

Can you use your Instant Pot without the lid?

Pro tip: Yes! You can sauté without the Instant Pot lid! 

You may choose to have an Instant Pot glass lid for some sautéing.

–> Check out the Instant Pot glass lid HERE.

 

Instant Pot Glass Lid

 

Slow cooker button

The slow cooker function allows your Instant Pot to cook like a crockpot. Wow – so much kitchen counter space saved with one pot!

 

Cancel button

The cancel button will stop any cooking setting. 

 

How do you make your Instant Pot pressure high?

Tapping the pressure cook button, followed by the pressure level button, will allow you to change the pressure cooking mode from high to low.

Pro tip: Most recipes call for cooking on high pressure.

 

How do you set your Instant Pot to 5 minutes?

Use the plus and minus buttons to set your desired cooking time.

When you lock the Instant Pot lid into place, you’ll hear a lovely little chime, letting you know it’s locked and in position to cook!  

When it creates enough pressure, the red button will turn on. Now the cooking time will start!

 

Instant Pot Baking - Disney Mickey Mouse Pot

 

Instant Pot FAQs & quick tips

After cooking primarily with Instant Pot for over a year, I’ve rounded up a few tips to help you zoom through the Instant Pot expectations and learning curves.

Can you overcook in the Instant Pot? 

Yes, so to avoid overcooking or food burn, always cook with a liquid – water, stock or broth! 

 

Do you always have to use a liquid while cooking with an electric pressure cooker? 

Yes. At a minimum, pressure cook with ½ a cup. Most Instant Pot recipes will call for 1 cup of liquid.

 

Win An Instant Pot

 

How do you start your Instant Pot pressure cooker? 

Ensure the pressure valve is set in the ‘sealing position’ before locking the lid and setting up for pressure cooking.

(For models Duo Nova and higher, you don’t have to set the sealing position – the Instant Pot automatically does it for you!)

 

Can you wash the Instant Pot lid? 

Yes, clean your Instant Pot lid! After enough heavenly suppers, your Instant Pot will begin to secure a food smell and possibly some food stains. You can wash the lid by running it underwater. And you can actually remove and even replace the lid’s silicone ring!

–> Get new Instant Pot silicone rings HERE.

 

Instant Pot Silicone Ring

 

Can you put frozen meat in the Instant Pot? 

Traditional cooking appliances alert against cooking protein from frozen.

Not Instant Pot!

Long gone are the days of spoiling dinner because you forgot to take the meat out of the freezer! With the Instant Pot, you can cook food from a frozen state. (Simply add additional cooking time.)

 

How does Instant Pot work?

An Instant Pot is an innovative pressure cooker creating a highly pressurized environment by mixing heat and steam to cook food instantly. Even though Instant Pot is a relatively new brand, the pressure cooker has been around since the 1700s!

Instant Pot’s sealing ring produces an airtight environment that permits pressure and heat to build safely. 

Utilizing an Instant Pot is relatively simple because it’s an all-in-one device for cooking several components of a meal simultaneously.

 

Instant Pot Accessories Bundle

 

–> Check out these handy pressure cooking accessories HERE!

 

Do Instant Pots use high heat?

As Instant Pot cooks food so fast (almost instantly!), it makes sense that individuals think these devices use extraordinarily high heat. 

However, you might be surprised to learn that oven baking or grilling utilizes a much higher flame than Instant Pots or any other pressure cooker.

Instant Pot pressure cooking is a healthier way to prepare traditional foods! The shorter cooking times lend to better preservation of vitamins and minerals while intensifying each recipe’s flavors and enhancing the texture and taste. Yum!

 

How To Use Instant Pot

 

Instant Pot magical meals in minutes

Instant Pot is the newly designed pressure cooker, quick in its working. 

Food that used to take hours to prepare has turned into magical meals in minutes with an Instant Pot pressure cooker. 

But is Instant Pot worth it for one person, or is it just for large family meals?

Instant Pot sizes

There are various Instant Pot sizes to accommodate any family – even cooking for just one or two!

Pro tip: If you’re obsessed with Instant Pot cooking like me, you can enjoy cooking meals with multiple pots simultaneously!

(Currently, I have 4 Instant Pots – 1 Duo, 1 Duo Nova, 1 Pioneer Woman print & 1 Mickey Mouse print!)

 

Instant Pot Convenience Cooking Appliances
I wish everyone knew how easy Instant Pot cooking is for busy households – one-pot… straight to plate!
Are you ready to save time, money and eat well with high-quality meals that don’t require stewing over a hot pot all day?
Check out this post to learn more about my favorite Instant Pot convenience cooking appliances!
Check it out!
The Pioneer Woman Instant Pot

 

Win An Instant Pot

 

Slow cook quicker!

Rice, quinoa,  dried beans, pot roast, homemade yogurt and more are now quick and easy meals via a simple cooking cycle with the touch of a button! 

Even slow cooker recipes are now quicker!

Whether you’re a new buyer or you already have an Instant Pot – this guide is for you!

My goal is that it enhances how you cook with this versatile appliance in your kitchen!

 

–> Crack the code with Instant Pot terms & tips HERE!

–> Get easy Instant Pot recipes HERE!

 

Best Instant Pot Comparison Guide
Don't have an Instant Pot? 
Get yours now & enjoy all the benefits!
Which Instant Pot is best for you?
Use this Instant Pot comparison guide for info and ease in purchasing your next Instant Pot appliance!
Check it out!
Instant Pot Comparison

 

More Instant Pot helpful guides

Best Instant Pot Comparison Guide

Instant Pot For Beginners

Instant Pot Cooking Times 

Join The Group – Club Instant Pot

Best Southern Cooking Instant Pot Recipes For Beginners

 

Like this post? Pin the below image to your Pinterest Instant Pot board!

 

Instant Pot Guide - How To Use

 

Print the free PDF printable guide HERE –> How To Use Instant Pot 

How To Use Instant Pot Free Printable Guide - The Soul Food Pot

 

How To Use Instant Pot Guide

How To Use Instant Pot - Should the Instant Pot valve be up or down?

Instant Pot introduces a new generation to pressure cooking and shows people how to instantly cook a healthy meal!
This guide is for you whether you recently bought a new Instant Pot or you’re already using it.
I’ll also answer frequently asked questions with helpful Instant Pot user tips. 
Starting with --> Should the Instant Pot valve be up or down?
Read time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Cuisine: Instant Pot recipe
Keyword: how to use Instant Pot, Instant Pot, Instant Pot guide
Author: Shaunda Necole
Cost: $0

Equipment

  • Instant Pot pressure cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 Instant Pot electric pressure cooker

Instructions

Should the Instant Pot valve be up or down?

  • If you cannot open the lid, position the pressure valve down (for models Duo and below). For Instant Pot models Duo Nova and above, press the steam release button.
  • This will release any last pressure and steam - and in just a few seconds, you can open the pot!
  • *Safety tip- Never make skin or face contact with the steam released from the pressure valve!

Manual pressure release

  • For Instant Pot models Duo and below, a pressure valve (also called a steam valve, venting knob or vent) is on the top of the Instant Pot lid.
  • It's a pressure button for models Duo Nova and above.
  • For a manual pressure release (also referred to as a quick release), position the valve down (counterclockwise) to release the pressure from the inner pot.
  • (*Note that you'd position the valve up or clockwise for cooking. This is also referred to as placing the valve in the "sealing position.")
  • For Instant Pot models Duo Nova and above, the valve sealing and positioning are automatically done for you (sweet!)
  • On Instant Pot pressure cooker models Duo Nova and beyond, the steam release (quick release button) is automatically set to the sealing position when the lid is closed.
  • Sealing position - For a quick release (manual pressure release), press down the quick release button until it clicks and locks in the venting position.
  • Venting position - To stop the quick release, slightly turn the quick release button counter-clockwise until it pops up to the sealing position.

Quick release

  • As explained in the section above, a natural release will happen when you keep the food locked in the inner pot after the cooking time has elapsed. The pressure will naturally release from the Instant Pot on its own.
  • Depending on your Instant Pot model, position the pressure valve down (or press the pressure button for models Duo Nova and beyond) to prompt a manual, quick pressure release.

Pro tips:

  • I only prompt a manual release *after* the keep warm time reaches at least half of the original cooking time.
  • For example, the cooking time for a whole chicken is 25 minutes. When the keep warm setting has reached 13 minutes, you could prompt a manual release.
  • It’s a good idea to place a dish towel or pot holder over the steam release as you are manually releasing the pressure. This quick tip controls any steam or water from spraying out.
  • And remember to never make skin or face contact with the steam released from the pressure valve!

Video

Notes

Shaunda Necole Making Magical Meals With Instant Pot

What are the benefits of an Instant Pot?

In plenty of situations, Instant Pot meals are ready to serve in less than 45 minutes.
Its instant cook time is because of its pressure-cooking function that lock steam produced by liquid (liquid excreted from meat and vegetables), building pressure and forcing steam back into the foods.
But avoid confusing Instant Pot with its old predecessor, the stovetop pressure cooker!
Unlike the old pressure cookers, today’s Instant Pot removes all safety concerns and issues with a cover that stays locked until the pressure is released. 
 

What can be cooked with the Instant Pot?

With the Instant Pot, a person can cook a hearty meal for not only oneself but a whole family in less than 45 minutes! 
Dishes like chicken, rice, beef stew, soup, and even a whole-roasted chicken cook beginning to finish in under 40 minutes! 
Follow:

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