If you have an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot) you’ll come across recipes every now and then that say to cook for 0 minutes on high or low pressure. This direction will leave some scratching their heads wondering, “What is a zero minute pressure cooking time?”
Zero Minute Pressure Cooking Time
Many people don’t realize that when you set your Instant Pot to pressure cook you can actually use the – button and adjust the cooking time all the way down to zero minutes. But why would you want to do this and what does it mean?
When you set your pressure cooker for zero minutes the Instant Pot will get up to pressure, then immediately switch off (it will switch to the keep warm function and start counting up starting with L 0:00). Just because it says zero minutes on your display doesn’t mean the food is not going to get cooked. The food starts cooking while the pot is building pressure (and while it releases pressure). Certain types of foods will be fully cooked just as the pot reaches pressure.
Of course this only works for foods that don’t need a lot of time to cook in the first place. For example tender vegetables or thin noodles. Today I am going to share with you 7 ways to use a zero minute pressure cooking time with your Instant Pot.
Fresh Green Beans in the Instant Pot
One of my favorite vegetables lately is fresh green beans. I used them in my Instant Pot Homestyle Chicken and Veggies recipe. They are very tender though and can get overcooked quickly. Here’s how I cook them in the Instant Pot:
- 1/2 cup water in bottom of pot, steamer basket*, trimmed green beans in the basket.
- 0 Minute pressure cooking time, high pressure (or low pressure for crisper beans).
- Quick release
Fresh Broccoli in the Instant Pot
Broccoli can get mushy in a blink of an eye. In order for you to enjoy steamed broccoli that is not mushy here is what I do: (cauliflower works in pretty much the exact same way)
- 1/2 cup water in bottom of pot with steamer basket*.
- Cut the broccoli into large pieces or throw the entire head into the Instant Pot. If the pieces are too small they will get mushy.
- 0 Minute pressure cooking time, low pressure.
- Quick release
Peeling Peaches using your Instant Pot
Need to get the skin off peaches? How about using your Instant Pot? Here’s what one reader says, “Just put 3 peaches in the instant pot with a half cup of water and a steamer basket for 0 minutes and manual released steam. So it was super quick. Skins just slide off of them. I put them in a bowl and back in the fridge to chill before I cut them up! So much easier than trying to peel them myself!”
Some Boxed Foods in the Instant Pot
When I wrote about 6 boxed foods that you can make in the Instant Pot I learned that ramen noodles, boxed stuffing and hamburger helper all only need a zero minute pressure cooking time.
Balsamic Spiced Apple Pork Tenderloin in the Instant Pot
This pork tenderloin recipe from This Old Gal uses just a zero minute pressure cooking time. Because pork tenderloin is very lean and a smaller cut of meat it cooks very quickly. Do not confuse pork tenderloin with pork loin/sirloin.
This recipe calls for only a zero minute pressure cooking time. The chicken is precooked in this instance but the ramen noodles don’t need much time at all to cook.
This particular version of potato salad only calls for a zero minute pressure cooking time (although coming to pressure will take 20 plus minutes).
What Pressure Cooker Do You Use?
Most of the time I use my 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.