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.
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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.