Insta Tips for Insta Pots

Have you jumped on the Insta Pot craze yet? If you were nice this year, Santa may have brought one to your home and if you already have one you may still be amazed at all it can do. Whip through the meal making process and also the after meal clean-up.

insta pot tips

Insta Tips for Insta Pots

Insta Tips for Insta Pots

This cooking method is both foolproof and versatile. Basically; add the ingredients and press a button. Follow the recipe and dinner should be perfect.

Whether following a recipe or making your own creation, here are some tips to keep in mind whenever using an Insta Pot:

  • Always use at least 1 cup of water or broth when cooking (for a standard 6 qt machine).
    If you have a 3 qt machine the minimum liquid is 1/2 cup and an 8 qt machine requires a minimum of 2 cups liquid.

  • Always make sure that the steam valve is sealed.
    This allows pressure to build when it is positioned to sealing (not venting).

  • Always make sure that the sealing ring is clean and securely in place.
    Steam will escape and the machine cannot pressurize without this ring.

  • Always remember to allow time for the pot to both pre-heat and depressurize.
    Recipes often forget to mention these important times. Depending on the ingredients, it may take from 5 to 45 minutes before actual cooking begins. Time to depressurize can take from 5 to 25 minutes.

  • Always add any dairy ingredient after the pressure cooking has completed.
    Dairy products will curdle if added earlier.

  • Never overfill the pot.
    Food and liquid should never be above the max line so that there is room left to build pressure. Remember that pasta, beans and grains will grow as they cook; when using these ingredients only fill the pot halfway to the max line.

  • Learn the difference between a quick release and a natural release on your machine.
    If a recipe calls for a quick release, be sure to use a potholder to protect your hand.
    insta pot tips

    If a natural release is called for, then be sure to allow time for the pot to depressurize by itself once the food has cooked.

  • Most Insta Pots are 6 quart capacity and most recipes are written with this in mind.
    Therefore, we recommend purchasing a 6 qt machine (see the additional info section below). If you have an 8 quart, more liquid is needed for cooking.

  • For more flavorful meats and veggies, use the sauté mode first.

  • Whenever you sauté, be sure to deglaze the pan before continuing.
    You want to release any stuck items from the bottom of the pot before adding other ingredients. You can do this will a small amount of the liquid called for in the recipe and a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape and release any stuck-on food. This will prevent the burn mode from initiating.

  • Avoid the burn mode by being proactive.
    Reasons could include: not enough liquid in the pot, the liquid is too thick (for instance tomato sauce may need to be deleted), using milk or cream as the liquid (which will result in scalding), not deglazing (as mentioned above), and placing too much food in the pot (foods may have grown past the max line on the pot as mentioned above).

  • Insta Pot Suggestions

    A few suggestions for uses that go beyond beef stew:

  • Rich Sauces – skip the lengthy simmering process.
    Use the meat/stew function for a bolognese sauce that takes like it simmered all day.
  • Flavorful Broths – without taking all day.
    Throw leftover bones and water into the pot and then strain after cooking.
  • Easy Dried Beans – skip the soaking step.
    The high pressure breaks down the hard to digest phytic acid so the beans are easy to digest without soaking.
  • Tender Pasta – skip the straining step!
    Pasta dishes such as gooey Mac ‘n’ cheese and delicate risotto can be completely created in the one pot. You only need to stir the dish when the finished.
  • Insta Tips for Insta Pots

    Additional Info

    For the best overall insta pot option, we recommend the Instant Pot.

    For crock pot tips, see our crock pot tips.

    To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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