The ever-popular Instant Pot is a timesaver for busy nights, that uses pressure to cook, braise, sauté and more, quickly, and usually with just a few steps. If you’re the kind of person who only breaks out your Instant Pot during the winter for warm and filling stews, soups, and mulled wine, you’re missing out on delicious, simple meals and desserts.
What Can You Cook
An Instant Pot is a great tool for cooking chicken breasts, hard-boiled eggs, rice, chili, soup and much more. In some Instant Pots, you can even make your own yogurt, or treats like banana bread or brownies! Throw anything you want crisp skin on in a pan for a few minutes.
Pressure cookers used to pose a safety hazard. If they built up too much pressure they could explode all over the kitchen, giving Grandma hours of fun cleaning the ceiling. The Instant Pot pressure cookers of today are much safer, but still should be opened, and the pressure released, with caution.
In most Instant Pots, there are two ways to release the pressure; natural and manual pressure release. With natural release, the valve on the lid stays sealed and the pressure is released over time. Usually 20 minutes to an hour based on what you were cooking. With manual (or quick release) you move the valve to the venting position and the steam is released immediately. Remember that while the steam is being released, the food inside will continue to cook, so be sure to account for that in your cook time.
If you are cooking something non-liquid based (meaning not soups or drinks) be sure there is at least ½ a cup of liquid (like broth or water) in your Instant Pot since pressure cooking needs liquid to build its pressure.
Clean & Easy
After each use, simply wash your Instant Pot’s insert and wipe down the outside. Depending on how much you use your Instant Pot, once a month or so you can do a more thorough cleaning by removing all the removable parts.
Time It Right
It takes a while for pressure to build, so if you’re cooking with one of the pressure settings, add 10 to 15 minutes to the cooking time to ensure that everything reaches the right temperature.
To protect your skin from burns, keep your face and hands away from the steam when you’re releasing the pressure. It’s also smart to avoid releasing the pressure under cabinets because the steam could damage the wood.