It’s a slow cooker! It’s a rice cooker! It’s a steamer…no wait, it’s an instant pot. If you haven’t heard, this 7-in-1 kitchen appliance can multitask, functioning as an electric pressure cooker, saute/browning pan, warmer, and yogurt maker. Yes, yogurt maker. And it's taking over the world by a storm (it’s the most requested item on Amazon).
As much time, money, and space as the thing already saves you, there are always a few instant pot tips and hacks to make the most of the full wonderfulness of this kitchen sorcery.
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Recommended resources in this post:
- The best-selling instant pot steamer basket that's stackable and perfect for pot in pot cooking. Comes with a sling!
- You're going to want a few sets of these so the flavors of your cooking don't mix in unappetizing ways
- Round containers for freezer cooking that are perfect to dump and go
Or check out this list of top recommended instant pot accessories by the best Insta-pot cooks on the web.
Instant pot hack 1. Know how to convert your favorite recipes for the instant pot.
You should already know by your basic knowledge of the instant pot that cooking in a pressure cooker is definitely not the same as traditional stovetop or oven.
One example, is how milk and high heat don’t do well together. If your recipe does call for some dairy products, add them AFTER your meal is cooked and the appliance depressurized. This will prevent your meal from getting burnt and ruined. (via My Crazy Good Life)
Insta-pot hack 2. Use this cheat sheet for instant pot cooking times.
Foods don’t all cook the same in the pot. To avoid the confusion of keeping track of the individual cook times of every ingredient, use this handy electric pressure cooker time chart. Stick in a sheet protector and tape to the cupboard just above your beloved instant pot for easy reference. (via One Good Thing by Jillee)
Instant pot tip 3. Use the pot-in-pot method to cook multiple items at once.
You don’t necessarily need to use a pot for this, but any oven-safe glass container or even this stackable stainless steel steamer basket will do. The idea is to keep foods you don’t want mixing together separated yet still cooked in one go.
Pro tip: Cut down your cooking time, literally. If you’re worried about the different cook times of your food items with the pot-in-pot method, cut the foods that take longer to cook into smaller pieces. You should also place these foods on the bottom, and quicker cooking foods on top for the best use of heat. (via Once a Month Meals)
Instant pot hack 4. Get acquainted with saute mode.
The pressure cooker function can already cut your cooking time in half, but it still takes 10-20 minutes for the pressure to build up before your insta-pot can do its speedy cooking thing.
One workaround is to set to saute mode and throw in some foods that could use sautéing. Use the time to prepare the rest of your ingredients, toss in, then switch to pressure cooking, since the heat builds up faster this way. (via The Krazy Coupon Lady)
Insta-pot hack 5. Combine the instant pot with another mealtime saver.
Hot and cold unite with the instant pot and freezer cooking. Good news is that you don’t need to thaw foods and can throw them directly into the instant pot.
Very important: DO NOT freeze your foods glass containers. The temperature change could cause them to crack!
Instead, the best way to freeze your foods is to pour them into freezer bags that sit in these round containers so it’ll freeze in the same shape as your cooker. That way you can dump the contents straight from the bag into your instant pot, making transport a cinch. (via Once a Month Meals)
Pro tips: Saute for 5 minutes to release liquid from your frozen food since you’ll need it for pressure cooking. Also, set your frozen food on the trivet that came with your instant pot, rather than have it directly on the bottom of the pot, as that will allow for heat to circulate and cook your food faster. (via Once a Month Meals)
Instant pot tip 6. Use the insta-pot in place of an oven or microwave.
The instant pot can help you declutter and retire some of your other higher energy-consuming appliances. For the “oven” setting, reduce cooking time by 1/3.
You can also reheat food without the radiation, yay! For the “microwave” setting, use the slow cook or keep warm features. (via Traditional Cooking School)
Insta-pot hack 8. Up your kitchen ante with the right instant pot accessories.
You have so much potential with your instant pot, which is exponentially increased with a few additional accessories. Like having another inner pot to swap out if your primary one’s in the wash or if you’re cooking multiple items and don’t want to wash the whole thing.
Find out which are the must have instant pot tools that’ll make cooking and cleaning so much easier, and super simple ones you can DIY (hint, this one's pictured in my Pinterest image you might have clicked to get to this post) to save a little money. (via Mommy Over Work)
Instant pot tip 9. Use this cleaning hacks to get rid of odor and stains in your instant pot.
Depending on how much you’ve been using your insta-pot, you may have noticed some…smells. Clear it out with a simple recipe of cut lemons, baking soda, and water. Stench be gone!(via My Crazy Good Life)
Instant pot hack 10. Your insta-pot can keep baby healthy.
Since we’re on the subject of cleaning, the pot is perfect for sterilizing your precious little one’s bottles, pacifiers, and other bacteria-breeding possessions. A quick video if you needed a demo. (via Indigo Nili)
Insta-pot tip 11. The instant pot isn’t only for cooking.
Be creative! You can literally make ANYTHING in the instant pot, like these unique instant pot recipes. (via Mommy Over Work)
Insta-pot hack 12. It can make you super popular among friends and family.
You can be that family that everyone looks forward to getting something awesome from every holiday season or special occasion with these unique and creative homemade gifts in the instant pot. (via Mommy Over Work)
Note: A reader wanted to point out to be careful of what you can and cannot do safely in an instant pot. Canning (like for preserving foods) should be avoided, but luckily the jam recipe that is included is for a safe version.
With these great instant pot tips and hacks, your instant pot will get great mileage as you make the most of this kitchen whiz-ardry...get it, because you'll be a cooking whiz after knowing these tricks...
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