With Halloween right around the corner I thought it would be fun to treat you to 7 Instant Pot tricks. Did you know all 7?
7 Instant Pot Tricks (video)
You can read the information or watch the following YouTube video…it’s the same info just different formats. Enjoy!
#1: The 3 quart Instant Pot liner can be used inside the 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot for pot-in-pot cooking.
And did you know you can buy the non-stick 3 quart liner for only $15 on Amazon?*
When cooking large casseroles in the Instant Pot I like to use the 3 quart liner as the vessel for pot-in-pot cooking. For example I used it to make the 5 Ingredient Beef Enchiladas Casserole. You can see a visual of how this works by scrolling below the recipe card on the beef enchiladas casserole recipe.
For more information on pot-in-pot cooking watch the video…
#2: Sometimes a natural pressure release can be turned into a controlled release
There is a Quick Release and Natural Pressure Release but there is another option as well.
Most of the time the natural pressure release is used for a purpose. If you quick release a roast it will turn into a door stop instead of fall apart tender. If you quick release oatmeal it will spew out of the valve and make a mess. For some foods a controlled release is a better answer where you move the valve back and forth from sealing to venting. This is kind of like when you open a 2 liter bottle of soda and open it a little then close it back up so that the fizz doesn’t release and spill all over. This is a good answer for foods that you want to stop from cooking quickly but don’t want the mess spewing out of the valve. Some examples are pasta or oatmeal or even dried beans that get ultra foamy.
To learn more about natural release and quick release watch the video below…
#3: It doesn’t matter if you unplug your pot or keep it on warm to natural pressure release
I always keep my pot plugged in after the pressure cooking time is up. The pot automatically switches to warm. Some have wondered if by switching to warm the food will get overcooked and if they should unplug the Instant Pot when doing a natural pressure release.
Here’s the deal: “Keep Warm” is not a pressure program so it won’t actually kick-in until after the cooker has lost pressure. Even though the program light turns on right after pressure cooking, the heating element isn’t actually heating the food until after the pressure cooker has cooled enough to lose pressure.
#4: Doubling a recipe does not require you to increase the cooking time
Most often the cooking time will be the same when you double a recipe. Pressure cooking cooks each piece of food equally. That means that each piece of chicken (2, 4 or 8) will require the same cooking time, and so will each grain of rice. That’s because the pressure cooking time is determined by the size and not the quantity of food. In other words, the pressure cooking time is the amount of time the food requires to be cooked all the way to the center. Doubling the THICKNESS of meats, veggies, and other foods DOES require increasing cook time.
Sometimes you actually need to decrease the cooking time when doubling a recipe. The reason? The pot might be so full that it takes a LONG time to come to pressure and the whole time the pot is building pressure it is actually cooking the food. For foods that take a long time to cook like dried beans and roasts this won’t matter at all. But if you’re cooking pasta or other foods that cook quickly you may want to decrease the number of pressure cooking minutes by 1 or 2 minutes.
For more information on how to double recipes watch the video below…
#5: Find recipes the easy way
Many of you might not know that you can filter recipes on this website to find exactly what you are searching for. You can filter by type of meat or even low carb recipes. It’s easy!
Watch this video to see exactly how to filter recipes on my site…
#6: Why I don’t use the preset buttons
There was a question asked on our FB group that said, “I have been using the IP for several months and doing quite good by following recipes to the letter. Every recipe calls for manual. Why do users avoid using presets. Are they not accurate?”
He’s right. I hardly ever use the chicken or rice or porridge button. About 99% of the time I use the manual/pressure cook button. Here’s why…I like to put in the time that I want on a recipe, not a pre-set time. The pre-sets don’t always work the way they should. I know the thickness of the meat I’m using, but the pot doesn’t. Does that make sense? The other reason is I write recipes and many brands of pressure cookers don’t have the exact same buttons so I want everyone to be able to make my recipes.
Kathy answered the question well by stating, “The preset buttons are only there as a convenience. They are simply pressure cook button with a predetermined amount of time. IPs are not “smart” pots and cannot determine what is in them or how much. Like the rice button is only good for plain long grain white rice. Most other varieties of rice take different times to cook. It’s just easier using the manual/pressure cook button and putting in the time yourself.”
#7: How to get tender chicken
When I make my tuscan chicken pasta, creamy chicken primavera, chicken stroganoff or any other chicken recipes that calls for cutting up the chicken into chunks I make sure it stays tender by slicing across the grain. Then I cut each of those wider strips crosswise into bite size cubes. All muscle has a grain to it. The placement of your knife to this grain will determine the length of the muscle fibers in an individual slice of meat, which in turn will have a profound effect on how tender or tough that meat is.
Want tried and true Instant Pot recipes?
Receive FREE daily Instant Pot recipes and tips in your email box. Sign up by filling out the form below. Other ways to follow: join the 365 Days of Instant Pot Recipes Facebook group and subscribe to my YouTube channel where I share Instant Pot stuff with you weekly.
*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.
Can you tell me the difference between a Multi Pot and an Insta Pot? Thanks. My son bought me the Multi Pot. Are they both like the old pressure cookers? I haven’t taken it out of the box.
I’m not sure what a multipot it…what brand is it? Does it have a pressure cooking function on it?
Lynda Young says
I am thrilled you inhanced your index and filters for finding your recipes 👏👏👏
I tried the 3qt pot in pot and it seemed too thick compared to daddio aluminum. My finished product seemed to need a lot more time. It is the non stick one like the one pictured. Should I pressure cook longer? Use more water in the base?
That might be the case. I haven’t noticed that too much. But you may want to increase cooking time when using the 3 quart liner inside the 6 quarter liner
cindy M says
maybe I have missed it but do you have a pepper steak recipe for the instapot? I love going to the local chinese resturant and getting this but if I can do this at home even better.
I have this recipe: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/instant-pot-midwest-pepper-steak/
You are amazing! I’m thrilled to have found you. I’ve purchased a 3qt ultra mini, did the water test, cooked my soaked quinoa in 3 batches because I didn’t know how much it would expand. Will definitely get an 8qt in the near future.
God Bless you!
So glad you are here! You will love your IP!
Kimberly B says
Karen, I just discovered you on YouTube and have been binge watching your instant pot videos. Today I made 2 chicken breasts from frozen following your recipes and was very successful. I have an 8 quart, 2/ 6 quarts and a 3 quart and I’m a single person. I’ve had my pits going o. 3 yrs now and today’s the first time I’ve made chicken. Love watching you. Keep up the good work!
I’m so glad to hear the videos are useful to you Kim! Thanks so much for following along 😊
Lois Mang says
I borrowed an InstantPot from my daughter as she was afraid to use it. The intruction book was terrible. I have tried four different recipes and, so far, they have been terrific. I love cooking a casserole in one pan. I am looking forward to receiving your tips and recipes, but I don’t know how to “like” you. Thanks so much. Loved the one video I have watched, and look forward to more.
Glad you are using the IP! A good way to follow along is to subscribe to my emails: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/join-the-365-days-email-list/
when you cut cooked meat across the grain how can you tell which why the grain goes?
It’s kind of hard with chicken to tell you the truth. Notice which way it goes before it cooks is the only advice I have.
Ken Barnes says
Noticed in booklet that gives time’s most pressure is the same just time that varies
You mean like low or high pressure? I always use high pressure.
I still have not used the pressure option on my instant pot. I really wish they would a manual/recipe guide. I will get brave and try one of these days. I do love your emails every day. Thanks
You can do it!!! Watch this: https://youtu.be/EJd6dC5d62U
I never thought to use my 3 qt mini insert for pot n pot cooking. I will now! Thanks.
BTW, the only preset button I use is the rice button for Calrose (sticky kine Asian) rice
Equal parts rice to water, plus a couple Tablespoons extra water. Rice button , let set or quick pressure release. Perfect every time.
Is this sticky rice like in Thailand I’ve tasted.
Good to know about the calrose rice! thank you!
Judy WElbaum says
Karen thanks soooo much for all this info… wow… never knew… so glad I found you.!!!!
Ahhh, thanks Judy!
mary m says
Thank you. I have been pressure cooking since 1993 learning as i go. But you have taught me some new tricks, especially across the grain.
So happy to have helped!
Great hints. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes.
You’re welcome Sharon!
You are the one person I have absolutely no problem with using your affiliate links instead of my searching for an item in a new engine. You are the only one of the gazillions of people out there who have never asked your followers for monetary support. I can barely afford to support myself, let alone allow any portion of my money to make someone else richer. I can never explain how important and impressive that is to me.
Thank you for all and I mean all of the hard work you have done and continue to do over these years. Your site is the one I follow the most and believe me, you are very much appreciated.
Ahhh, Thanks Micki! God bless you!
Frances Massa says
Could you please tell me if your new cookbook will be available from Amazon?
Thank you very much,
No, sorry. It’s available at my shop: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/order-your-cookbook-now/
Frances Massa says
Thank you soo very much. I just ordered your cookbook and I want to thank you soo very much for the free shipping.
ahhh, you’re welcome frances 🙂 hope you like it!
Deborah Stuart says
Liked across the grain. Did not know that. Thanks!
It’s a game changer!
Frances Massa says
My Mother always said to cut against the grain. Interesting…..
Thank you. I knew some of the tricka so Iam happy to learn more.
You’re welcome Lois!
Karen, love your site. I just bought a 7″ pan to cook cake in my pressure cooker. Do you have a good recipe for either from scratch or from a cake mix. Thank you so much. Nancy
I have made a couple of bundt cakes in my Instant Pot. Haven’t tried the 7 inch pan or a cake mix yet. The bundt cakes are: https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/instant-pot-german-chocolate-bundt-cake/ and https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/instant-pot-chocolate-bundt-cake/