Are you new to cooking with an Instant Pot? Today I have 3 suggestions to enhance your Instant Pot experience. These are tips that I wish I had known when I first started cooking with an Instant Pot. I hope they will help you!
3 Suggestions to Enhance Your Instant Pot Experience
There are so many ways to pressure cook! There isn’t necessarily a right way or a wrong way to do things. For example there are about 99 ways you can cook hard boiled eggs (I choose 2 minute/10 minute NPR method). But I do have a few suggestions today for you. These aren’t hard and fast rules but rather some observances I’ve made over the past 200+ recipes that I’ve made in my Instant Pot. I hope they will be helpful to you.
Make sure to join my 365 Days of Instant Pot Recipes FB group! Ask questions and get new recipe ideas from your fellow Instant-Potters!
Suggestion 1: Natural Pressure Release for most meats.
I remember cooking a pork roast in my Instant Pot and getting impatient. I used a quick release as soon as the time was up and I was sorely disappointed that the meat wasn’t fork tender. For any type of roast or ribs I would suggest a full natural pressure release. If you don’t have time for a full natural pressure release at least let the pot sit for 10-15 minutes before moving the valve to venting.
Related Article: How to pressure cook frozen chicken breasts
For Newbies: NPR stands for Natural Pressure Release. QPR (or QR) stands for Quick Pressure Release. Once the pot has finished cooking, it beeps to let you know that it has finished the cook cycle. At this point, most recipes direct you to either release pressure naturally, quickly release pressure, or perhaps a combination of the two, such as allowing the pot to release pressure naturally for 10 minutes and then releasing all remaining pressure.
How do I natural pressure release?
To release pressure naturally, simply allow the pot to rest undisturbed. As the pressure cooker cools, it will gradually release pressure, until the float valve drops, indicating that the pot is no longer under pressure.
How do I quick release?
To release pressure quickly, move the valve from sealing to venting and allow the pot to release steam and pressure. Ensure that the pot is not directly under cabinets that may get damaged by steam, and be sure to keep hands and face away from the steam.
Suggestion 2: Season to taste
The pressure cooker doesn’t allow for evaporation to occur (as opposed to what happens when you cook foods on a stovetop). Because of this the foods can become somewhat watered down. I do find this less of an issue with the Instant Pot than with the crockpot. However sometimes foods will still be a little bland. Make sure to season to taste before serving the food.
How do I season to taste? To season to taste you will add a little salt at a time until you get the food to your liking. Salt is meant to bring out the natural flavors of foods. For example, when you sprinkle the right amount of salt on an avocado — the flavor of the avocado is heightened. When used correctly, salt will make food taste more like itself — not salty! Once I was eating a soup at Kneaders (a local bakery/cafe) and I thought, “this soup is horrible! No flavor whatsoever.” I then added a little salt and it was amazing. I could now taste the curry soup as it was supposed to be tasted. You can also use this method for pepper or other seasonings that you want to be more pronounced, like chili powder or cumin.
Suggestion 3: Wait for the display to say HOT
Many people complain that food sticks to their stainless steel pot when they use the saute setting. This is true. But let me teach you a trick! Turn the pot to the saute setting and wait for the display to read HOT. Once it says hot you can add in your cool oil and saute your onions or brown your roast. The food won’t stick! Just remember this saying, “hot pot, cold oil, food won’t stick.”
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What Pressure Cooker Do You Use?
I use a 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. I love this Instant Pot because it has the yogurt making function which I use almost weekly. It has two pressure settings (high and low), and there are also little slots in the handles so that you can rest the lid there instead of putting it down on your counter-top.
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*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.