The right way how to clean an Instant Pot

Instant pot is the kitchen appliance equivalent of a superhero. It’s our go-to appliance for quickly preparing weeknight meals and delectable desserts. Yogurt, cooked eggs, and other daily cooking techniques can be instantly accomplished, bringing our time and effort-saving abilities to new heights. It does most things well, but you will need to maintain it to continue cooking at the highest level.

Fortunately for you, learning how to deep clean and maintain an Instant Pot is not as difficult as you may think. Cleaning is a breeze, as the majority of the components—including the inner cooking pot, sealing ring, and lid—are easily removable and washable. See our step-by-step instructions for cleaning an Instant Pot properly.

How to Clean an Instant Pot

Clean and care for your pressure cooker using our tried and true method.

Things to prepare:

  • Water that is warm and soapy
  • Microfiber cloth or dishtowel
  • Brush or toothbrush with a soft bristle
  • Dishwasher (optional)
  • Vinegar distilled in white

Step 1: Unplug and Disassemble

Before you begin cleaning, ensure that your Instant Pot is unplugged and has cooled completely. From the exterior cooker base, remove the lid, steam rack, and inner stainless-steel pot. Additionally, you may want to inspect the cord for damage or any necessary repairs at this time.

Unplug and Disassemble Instant Pot

Step 2: How to Clean the Instant Pot base

As with a slow cooker, the pressure cooker’s base contains the heating element and electronic components; therefore, this component should never be submerged in water or placed in the dishwasher. Wipe the exterior of the Instant Pot base with a damp cloth to remove any crumbs or food splatters.

If you need to clean the inside of the cooking base, wipe it down with a clean, wet cloth and immediately dry it. With a small scrubbing brush or toothbrush, clean the recessed area around the lip of the base to remove any stuck-on food. Ensure that your brush reaches all of the nooks and crannies!

After that, use a dry cloth to go over the rim once more. This will help prevent the formation of rust in that area. Because the food will contact the pot directly, you will almost certainly need to wash it after each use.

how to clean an Instant Pot base

Step 3: How to Clean the Instant Pot Inner Pot

Instant Pots feature a stainless steel inner pot capable of various cooking methods, including searing and browning meats. The disadvantage is that food particles and char can cling to it. Rice is notoriously obstinate. Here are a few typical scenarios:

  • Stains of a blue hue: Like any stainless-steel cookware, the Instant Pot may develop blueish colors due to minerals found in water and food. To remove these stains, soak the pot in white vinegar for approximately 5 minutes before rinsing. If there is more, soak a sponge in vinegar and apply some elbow grease.
  • Stuck-on food: To remove any build-up or food stains, soak the pot in soapy and warm water solution for a few minutes. The treatment significantly softens adhered debris, which should then easily scrub away. If that fails, try Bar Keeper’s Friend, which is safe for stainless-steel cookware such as the Instant Pot’s pot. Sprinkle a small amount onto the affected area and work the grime away with a soft, damp sponge. After a thorough rinse, you’re ready to go.

Additionally, the pot is dishwasher safe so that you can place it on the bottom rack for thorough cleaning.

Over time, you may notice water stains or discoloration visible on the bottom of the inner pot, but that can be scrubbed away with vinegar. You need to pour a cup of white vinegar into the bowl and soak for 5 minutes before dumping the vinegar and washing it with water. Steel wool and abrasive cleaners damage stainless steel surfaces, so they should not be used.

How to Clean the Instant Pot Inner Pot

Step 4: How to clean Instant Pot steam rack

Because the steam rack is located within the inner pot and comes into direct contact with the food, it will also need to be thoroughly cleaned after each use.

The stainless steel steam rack is easily cleaned by hand with warm soapy water or placed on the top or bottom shelf of the dishwasher if there is enough space in the machine. If not, hand-wash and completely dry the item.

Step 5: Clean the lid and components of the Instant Pot

5.1 How to Clean an Instant Pot Lid

The anti-block shield and silicone sealing ring must be removed and cleaned before cleaning the lid of your Instant Pot. Clean the Instant Pot lid in warm soapy water or place it on the top rack of the dishwasher. 

How to Clean an Instant Pot Lid

5.2 How to Clean an Instant Pot Anti-block Shield

An anti-block shield is a little round, or oval element (depending on the pressure cooker) is installed under the lid. Remove the shield from the lid after each use. 

To remove the anti-block shield, gently push the piece toward the rim of the lid with your thumb and lift it to pop it off. Wash the shield by hand in warm, soapy water and dry with a clean cloth. Before reusing it, secure it in place on the lid.

How to Clean an Instant Pot Anti-block Shield

5.3 How to Clean an Instant Pot Sealing Ring

Because the sealing ring absorbs food odors, you’ll want to clean it frequently.  Remove the sealing ring and carefully inspect it for cracking, warping, or other signs of wear that indicate it should be replaced.

The sealing ring may be washed by hand in soapy water or the dishwasher. Due to its heat resistance, it is suitable for use on either rack of your dishwasher. Once completely dry, reattach it securely to the lid. This is a critical step, so secure it tightly.

Pro Tips:

  • Alternatively, you can “steam clean” your Instant Pot by filling it with 2 cups of water or white vinegar and some finely chopped lemon rind, running the “Steam” program for 2 minutes with the sealing ring in place, and then allowing the sealing ring to air dry for a few minutes.
  • Additionally, we strongly recommend purchasing multiple silicone sealing rings. Utilize one for sweet dishes and the other for savory.
How to Clean an Instant Pot Sealing Ring

5.4 How to Clean an Instant Pot Steam Release Valve and Float Valve

Remove and clean the silicone ring that secures the float valve; reattach when dry. Always inspect the float valve to ensure it can move freely up and down.

To clean the Instant Pot Steam Release Valve (Venting Knob), you just need to pull it straight out for cleaning.

It is critical to wipe away food particles that accumulate on these valves. Ensure the float, and steam release valves on the lid are clean to help avoid potential problems with maintaining pressure. 

Instant Pot Steam Release Valve

5.5 How to Clean an Instant Pot Condensation Cup

During the cooling process, this small cup collects condensation. It only needs to be washed occasionally because it does not accumulate much dirt. Simply slide it out, empty the liquid (if any), and rinse it thoroughly.

How to Clean an Instant Pot Condensation Cup

Step 6: How to Clean Instant Pot Exterior Housing & Rim

6.1 Clean an Instant Pot Exterior Housing

Don’t forget to clean the Instant Pot’s outer body; it requires attention, too.

  • For general cleaning, use a very damp sponge to wipe the exterior of your Instant Pot.
  • Dampen a sponge with white vinegar for blueish hard water stains and then blot with a moist (water) paper towel.

Note:

It is critical not to submerge it in water because the cooker contains the heating element. Therefore, when cleaning the cooker’s inside (not to be confused with the inner pot), use a damp cloth and dry immediately.

How to clean Instant Pot Exterior

6.2 Clean an Instant Pot Rim

Food or liquid may drip into or become trapped in the rim as we cook with Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. The rim can be pretty challenging to clean and wipe.

  • Clean Rim with Foam Brush: The easiest way to soak a craft foam brush with soapy water, then clean by sliding and scrubbing it around the rim.
  • DIY Solution: If you do not have foam brushes on hand, you can also use a wet Microfiber Cleaning Cloth wrapped around a stick or chopstick to clean the rim by pushing the cloth around the edge.
Clean an Instant Pot Rim

Step 7: Reassemble the Instant Pot

Reassemble the Instant Pot lid once all parts are clean and dry. Double-check that the sealing ring, anti-block shield, and float valve are securely attached, as these components are required for the pressure cooker to operate correctly. Reassemble all pieces with the base and enjoy your freshly cleaned Instant Pot.

When Should an Instant Pot Be Cleaned?

To avoid food or odor buildup, all Instant Pot components that come into contact with food should be cleaned after each use. This includes the inner cooking pot, steam rack, and lid components such as the sealing ring and anti-block shield. Other components that do not necessarily become dirty regularly, such as the exterior or the condensation cup, can be cleaned on an as-needed basis.

Summary of the Instant Pot Cleaning Guide

  • Parts that are dishwasher safe include the Instant Pot Liner (Stainless Steel Inner Pot), the Instant Pot Sealing Ring, and the Trivet (Steamer Rack)
  • Exterior: Never submerge the exterior housing in water or other liquid.
  • Rim: Using a foam brush, clean the edge.
  • Inner Pot: Using White Vinegar or Bar Keepers Friend, remove the rainbow stains. 
  • Lid: Rinse the lid thoroughly with warm soapy water.
  • Silicone Sealing Ring: Deodorize with White Vinegar or purchase an additional pair of Silicone Sealing Rings.
  • Instant Pot Parts: Periodically, if necessary, rinse the Anti-Block Shield, Steam Release Valve, and Condensation Collector of the Instant Pot.

How to Clean an Instant Pot - FAQs

While the central unit cannot be submerged, the inner pot, lids, and accessories are dishwasher safe. Yes, the pressure cooker lid can even be placed in the dishwasher.

Fill 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, and a few lemon peels in the inner pot. 2 minutes on the “Steam” setting in the Instant Pot, then naturally release the pressure. Remove the sealing ring from the lid of the Instant Pot once it has been unlocked and allow it to air dry.

In the Instant Pot, combine 2 cups water or white vinegar with a roughly chopped lemon rind. Then, for 2 minutes, execute the steam program. Remove the ring and allow it to air dry. If that does not work, soak the ring overnight in vinegar, a natural odor remover.

To avoid food or odor buildup, all Instant Pot components that come into contact with food should be cleaned after each use. This includes the inner cooking pot, steam rack, and lid components, such as the sealing ring and anti-block shield.

It’s simple to use white vinegar to remove odors from the silicone ring:

  • Fill the cooking insert with two cups of vinegar.
  • Seal the lid.
  • Set “Steam” setting for two minutes.

Once your cycle is complete, allow the sealing ring to dry before replacing it entirely.

Conclusion

Cleaning an Instant Pot is much less complicated than you might expect. All that is required is a thorough cleaning, washing, and reassembly. These instructions on how to clean an Instant Pot will help you keep your pressure cooker clean— and ensure that it continues to serve you well for years to come.

These cleaning suggestions will assist you in ensuring that your Instant Pot has a long and productive life. As you can see, maintaining your Instant Pot is quite simple. Only occasionally will you require a more thorough cleaning.

It takes little time to clean, and the benefit of deep cleaning outweighs any inconvenience associated with maintaining it. Take good care of your Instant Pot, and it will look after you.

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How to use an instant pot properly?

You have probably heard about an instant pot, or you’ve already bought it. However, have you known how to use an Instant Pot properly? After all, if you know how to use it, this is something that can come out of the box and save you a lot of time, right? Whether a novice or a seasoned cook, learning how to use your Instant Pot will help you achieve better results and make the entire process more efficient, resulting in faster food and no clean-up!

Let’s start with the fundamentals of an Instant pot. Whether you have had this item for a while or just bought it, there is something here for you. Let’s get things started.

What is the Instant Pot?

Instant Pot is a pressure cooker that runs on electricity. It is a multi-purpose appliance that can cook foods quickly and thoroughly under high-pressure conditions. Steam pressure builds up inside the Pot, resulting in a higher temperature environment that allows foods to cook more rapidly. Unlike traditional pressure cookers, the Instant Pot is equipped with various safety features that make it safe and straightforward.

Instant Pots combine the functions of a pressure cooker, sauté pan, slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, yogurt maker, and warmer. We’ve been blown away by my Instant Pot’s versatility and the flavor and texture of the foods I’ve been able to cook in it. Even though cuts of meat can be tenderized by the Instant Pot’s high pressure, it produces rich, complex flavors – seriously, I’ve never had better chili than that made in the Instant Pot!

Unbox an Instant Pot

If you haven’t taken your Instant Pot out of the box, now would be a good time to do so. To open your Instant Pot, turn the lid counter clockwise and lift. To close turn clockwise. Remove any plastic wrap from the inner pot and the accessories.

An Instant pot often comes with some parts and accessories as below:

  1. Base Unit: this is where the heating element is located.
  2. Inner Pot: made of stainless steel and fits inside the base unit.
  3. Lid: the appearance of the lid varies according to the Instant Pot model.
  4. Steam Release Valve (alternatively referred to as Steam Release Handle): this attaches to the top of the lid and controls “Venting” and “Sealing.”
  5. Condensation Collector: This plastic container collects excess liquid and prevents it from dripping onto your countertop. You should attach this to the back of your Instant Pot.
  6. Trivet: use this to steam vegetables or to hold delicate ingredients such as eggs. Keep this handy, as you’ll be referring to it frequently.
  7. Power Cord: some Instant Pot models have a detachable cord and plugs into the backside of the appliance.
  8. Measuring Cup and Utensils
  9. User Manual: An excellent resource for any additional questions.

How to set up an Instant Pot?

  1. The first thing you’ll want to do is thoroughly clean all of the components of your Instant Pot. Even though the Instant Pot’s lid, steam release valve, and stainless steel inner pot are all dishwasher safe, we prefer to wash by hand. The base unit should not be washed in the dishwasher and should never be submerged in water.

  2. Within the Instant Pot, insert the stainless steel pot. (Ensure that the orange warning label is removed.)

  3. Check that the anti-block shield is installed and secure. A critical safety feature is an anti-block shield. This metal shield protects the steam release valve from clogging with food or particles. Ensure that this is always in place and free of food before using the pot to avoid creating an unsafe amount of pressure.

  4. The silicone sealing ring should be used to line the inside of the lid. This is typically pre-assembled.

  5. Adjust the condensation collector until it snaps into place on the backside of the Instant Pot.

  6. Connect the power cord in the direction of the back and bottom.

How to use the Instant Pot to cook

There are a few fundamental concepts to understand before using an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. After a few times with yours, these will become second nature. The buttons on your Instant Pot may be labeled differently depending on the model. Consult the instruction manual included with your Instant Pot.

  1. Power cord plugin to the outlet wall: It would be best if you placed the Instant Pot close to a window or door to vent the pressure outside rather than inside.

  2. Fill Level: Two lines are marked inside the Instant Pot inner pot: 1/2 and 2/3 lines. Never fill the Instant Pot more than the 2/3 line with food or liquid (before cooking). Don’t fill the Instant Pot more than the 1/2 line if you’re cooking something that will expand during the cooking process, like rice, quinoa, or beans.

  3. Closing the Lid: There will be a track on the back upper edge of your Instant Pot base. Grasp the lid handle and close it clockwise, using the track as a guide. On the base unit, the arrow beside the locked symbol should correspond to the arrow on the front of the Instant Pot lid. When the lid of your Instant Pot closes, if it is plugged in, you will hear a chime.

  4. Sealing the Instant Pot: Set the Instant Pot’s steam release valve to the “sealing” position. The steam release valve is tended to be a little wobbly and to fit loosely. When using your Instant Pot to pressure cook, make sure the valve is in the sealing position.

Control Panel

Your Instant Pot is equipped with a slew of buttons. And the best recipes incorporate multiple of them. We’ll examine the control panel and determine which buttons require special attention.

  1. The “Sauté” button enables you to sauté foods in your Instant Pot. This is convenient because it eliminates the need for a second pot on the stove. In your Instant Pot, you can sauté and brown foods. Brown your protein (beef or chicken) in oil (or another fat). This stage also browns aromatics, such as garlic and onion.

Additionally, you can use sauté mode to thicken sauces that have been pressure cooked. The timer will default to 30 minutes when you press the sauté button. However, you can cancel it at any time by pressing the cancel button.

By pressing the button, you can adjust the heat level while sautéing. You will notice the word “Less.” As you navigate through the options, the terms “Normal” and “More” become highlighted.

Note:

  • When using this function, ensure that the lid is OFF so that you can stir your ingredients.
  • Never place the base unit or inner pot of your Instant Pot on the stovetop.
  1. Slow Cook: This is a setting for non-pressure cooking.
  • If the metal lid is used, ensure that the pressure release valve is in the venting position.
  • When slow cooking, a glass lid may also be used to view the contents.

3.”Manual”/ “Pressure Cook” Button: For Instant Pot models, the “Manual” button is also known as the “Pressure Cook” button. You will press this button to begin a pressure cooking cycle. This is the standard pressure cooking button.

Plus (+) and Minus (-) Buttons: These buttons allow you to modify the cooking time.

  • These are used to control the timer in the LCD’s center.

  • The timer indicates how long you want your Instant Pot to cook for and is specified in the recipe you’re following.

  • “Cancel/Keep Warm” Button: This button is used to terminate a cooking program or to turn on/off the keep warm function. (When a cooking cycle is complete, the Instant Pot switches to keep warm mode automatically.)

LCD Display

  1. Indicators of Mode:
  • Below the timer, you’ll see the cooking modes “Less,” “Normal,” and “More.”

** These are advantageous when cooking in sauté and slow cook mode as they represent various heat levels and allow for precise heat control.

** When used in conjunction with the pressure cook function, these modes alter the cooking time.

  1. Indicators of Pressure:

    • “Pressure” (sometimes referred to as “Pressure Level”) Button: it allows to toggle between high and low-pressure settings. Almost every recipe for the Instant Pot will instruct you to cook at high pressure.
  • “Program” buttons: on your Instant Pot may include Soup/Broth, Bean/Chili, Meat/Stew, Cake, Egg, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Yogurt, Steam, and Slow Cook. These programs include pre-programmed cook times.

Float Valve

  • As the Instant Pot builds pressure, the float valve will remain in the down position.
  • After 5-10 minutes, the float valve should rise to meet the lid.
  • The more ingredients contained within, the longer it will take for the pressure to reach its maximum.
  • Once the contents have finished cooking, turn the pressure release valve to the venting position.

Pressure release

When the cooking time on your Instant Pot expires, there is one more step remaining: pressure release. There are three methods for releasing pressure:

  • Natural Pressure Release: the valve on the lid remains in the Sealing position with natural pressure release, and the pressure dissipates naturally over time. This method is the most time-consuming but results in the most tender food.

Depending on what you were cooking, this could take anywhere from 20 minutes to more than an hour. Low-liquid meals, such as chicken drumsticks, take much less preparation than high-liquid meals, such as soup or chili.

  • 10-minute Natural Pressure Release: Using this method, you will wait until the food has been in the cooker for ten minutes past the initial timer and then turn the valve to release the pressure.

  • Quick Release: When the timer sounds, you immediately release the valve. Here, you’ll carefully turn the valve to the Venting position and observe as steam escapes, releasing the pressure. This method is significantly faster, but very liquid meals, such as soup, may take up to 15 minutes to release pressure manually.

Which one, then, should you use? Consider that when the natural pressure release occurs, the Instant Pot remains under pressure, which means that the food will continue to cook (albeit at a slower rate) while the Instant Pot is in Sealing mode. Manual pressure release is advantageous – and necessary – when sufficient cooking time has been allowed, and cooking must be halted as quickly as possible.

If the goal is to prepare a meal quickly, program the Instant Pot with enough time to cook the food and quick release the pressure when the timer goes off.

Note:

  • It is recommended that you drape a towel over the pressure release valve for all of these methods to catch any excess steam.
  • Additionally, use a wooden spoon to prevent yourself from being burned when the steam is released.

The two crucial safety instructions for your instant pot

Although the Instant Pot manual is replete with safety instructions, the following two are critical to remember:

  1. While the Instant Pot is on, avoid putting your face anywhere near the steam release valve or float valve. We use a wooden spoon with a long handle to prevent my hand or arm from coming into contact with the valve opening. It doesn’t matter what kind of utensil you use as long as it has a long handle.

To avoid burns, you can either use oven mitts to turn the steam release valve to the “venting” position or carefully press down on the release valve while waiting for the pressure to escape.

  1. In addition, it is also essential to remember never to open the Instant Pot’s lid until the pressure has been released by way of the steam release valve. When the float valve pin drops down, you know that all the pressure has been released.

The color of the float valve will vary depending on which Instant Pot model you have. When the pot is pressurized, it may rise above the level of the lid, or it may increase to a level that is flush with that of the lid.

If a recipe specifies a natural release, wait the appointed time for the natural release and then switch the steam release valve to the “venting” position to ensure that all steam and pressure have been released. As soon as the float valve drops, it is safe to open the Instant Pot lid. Slowly open the cover, tilting it away from your face to avoid any hot steam.

Never attempt to open the Instant Pot’s lid while it is under pressure.

Check your Instant Pot after each use

  1. Carefully remove the stainless steel inner pot from the instant pot base. The heating element will be visible. Before using the Instant Pot, ensure that the heating element is clean and dry. We always thoroughly dry our stainless steel inner pot after washing it before reattaching it to the base unit.

  2. Inspect the silicone sealing ring to ensure it is securely attached to the lid and is clean and free of tears.

  3. Gently pull the steam release valve straight up from the Instant Pot lid. Ascertain that it is clean and debris-free. Certain foods, such as applesauce, pasta, and oatmeal, may foam and froth during cooking, clogging the steam release valve. Each time you use your Instant Pot, check the steam release valve. If it is dirty, thoroughly clean it under running water before replacing it on the Instant Pot lid.

  4. Inspect the float valve for cleanliness and debris. Clean it as needed with warm water. You may wash the lid as required by submerging it in running water.

Keeping all components of your Instant Pot clean and in good working order can help you achieve the best results when pressure cooking.

What can the Instant Pot be used for?

In less than 30 minutes, the Instant Pot can cook a hearty meal for the entire family. Rice and chicken, beef stew, chili, and even a whole-roasted chicken are already in 30 to 60 minutes. And you can use the Instant Pot for baking bread as well.

While followers of the paleo and ketogenic diets adore the Instant Pot for its ability to quickly “braise” meats, vegetarians and vegans love it to promptly cook dishes like butternut squash soup, sweet potatoes, chili, steel-cut oats, and mac-and-cheese. Even dry beans typically soaked overnight can be cooked in about 30 minutes for dishes like chili and hummus.

Additional Instant Pot hints

After about a year of owning our Instant Pot, we’ve made a few mistakes and learned a few lessons that we’d like to share. Here are some pointers to help you accelerate your learning curve with the Instant Pot.

  • Minimum Liquid Requirement: Every time you use your Instant Pot, you should use at least 1 cup of liquid as a general guideline. Steam and pressure are used for cooking food in the Instant Pot, and fluid is required to generate the steam and pressure. There may be a difference in the amount of liquid needed in some recipes. While you are learning how to operate an Instant Pot, I recommend sticking to recipes from a dependable source.

Consequently, even if you’re attempting to keep things simple with something as simple as chicken breasts or thighs, remember to add a 1 cup of sauce, broth, or water to the Instant Pot before turning on Pressure mode.

  • Ascertain that the lid valve is set to the Sealing position. If the valve is set to the Venting work, no pressure will ever build up. When locking the lid in place for pressure cooking, ensure that it is in the Sealing position.

  • Safely Removing the Lid: Never attempt to take off the Lid of the Instant Pot while it is pressurized. Wait until the Lid’s float valve (pin) drops to indicate that the pressure has been released. Then, while holding the Lid’s handle, counterclockwise turn it and carefully lift.

  • Using the Trivet: When you want to raise food off the bottom of the Instant Pot, use the metal trivet that came with it. You can use the trivet to keep certain foods out of the liquid in the pot’s base or away from the direct heat on the bottom of the pot. When cooking hard-boiled eggs or baked potatoes, for instance, you’ll place them on the trivet.

  • After preparing a sufficient number of delectable meals, your Instant Pot will develop an odor and possibly some food stains. Please follow some instructions from the manufacture for cleaning the Instant Pot and its silicone ring.

  • Cooking protein from frozen is not recommended in non-instant Pot recipes. This is because traditional cooking methods take excessive time to heat the protein, exposing it to an excessive amount of time in the dangerous temperature zone. However, with the Instant Pot, you can safely cook food from frozen. (Additional cooking time is recommended.)

  • A recipe that takes eight hours to prepare in a slow cooker can be completed by an instant pot in less than an hour.

  • Cooking Time vs. Total Time: A cooking cycle will take longer than the recipe’s actual cook time. Your Instant Pot will require some time to reach cooking pressure before the cooking time begins. It takes approximately 10 minutes and varies depending on the size of your Instant Pot, the type and quantity of food, and the temperature of the food and liquid in the pot. Additionally, you must factor in the time required to relieve the pressure following the cooking cycle

Assume you’ve programmed the Instant Pot for 30 minutes in Pressure mode. That period does not begin until pressure builds, which typically takes about ten minutes. Additionally, you’ll want to allow approximately 10 to 15 minutes for the pressure to release. Finally, a “30-minute” recipe may take between 50 and 60 minutes.

How to store an Instant Pot

Storing your cooker in this manner, with the lid upside down and the gasket loose is the best way to do so. Condensation accumulates in the gasket, becoming moldy if the cooker is locked with a damp lid.

This method promotes adequate air circulation. We are aware that it does not look lovely on a countertop. At the very least, never store your cooker with a damp lid.

How to use an instant pot properly - FAQs

What to do is as follows: To begin, inspect the gasket. Assure that it fits snugly in the lid’s ring; 99 percent of the time, if your Instant Pot does not come to pressure, it is a simple matter of the gasket not fitting snugly in the ring. Following that, fill the insert with three cups of water.

Before you begin cooking any food, check it by heating some water under pressure. You use your pressure cooker the same way you would if you were cooking something, except that you only add 2 cups of water. For this test run, you are adding nothing to the cooker except water.

The Instant Pot has been demonstrated to have ten built-in safety mechanisms. No need to worry. More often than not, accidents are caused by the user and can be avoided simply by the following procedure.

Even if you’re content cooking on the stove or in a slow cooker, an Instant Pot may be worth the investment simply for the convenience of the recipes. Therefore, if you’re looking to experiment with new recipes without putting in a lot of effort (or if you’re unfamiliar with cooking), an Instant Pot may be worth your money.

Conclusion

Knowing how to use your Instant Pot will help you get better results with less clean-up. Also, knowing how to use it will ensure that you do not ruin valuable kitchen space if you leave the pot unattended for long periods.

While you are learning how to use your Instant Pot properly, it is essential to remember that it is much like having your chef right at your fingertips! By learning how to cook with your Instant Pot, you will be able to take typical cooking and preparing food items and make them into a delicious and healthy meal that your entire family will love.

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Should you buy an Instant Pot? – Here’s what you need to know

Instant Pots have emerged as a standard in small kitchen appliances over the last few years. While batch cookers simplify midweek meals, busy parents use them to have dinner on the table in minutes.

It’s that simple to use; you just set it and walk away until your food is ready. When you want a home-cooked meal that can be made quickly, the Instant Pot is the perfect solution.

Some people prefer them because they can cook just about anything, from pot roast to yogurt, and they can do it quickly. When used in conjunction with summer cooking staples such as grills, an Instant Pot can be a relatively quick, simple, and affordable way to prepare home-cooked meals.

However, the most critical question is this: Should you buy an Instant Pot? This article will cover EVERYTHING you need to know before purchasing an Instant Pot.

This article might help make your mind up if you aren’t quite ready to buy one, and give this modern take on pressure cooking a try; it may assist you in making your decision. Will you, like so many others, fall in love with it? Continue reading to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of the Instant Pot.

Should you buy an Instant Pot?

What Is An Instant Pot?

What Is An Instant Pot
What Is An Instant Pot

As with a slow cooker, Instant Pots feature an inner pot heated via an electric element. However, the Instant Pot is a multi-cooker, not only a slow cooker.

Cooking is made more accessible with this appliance, which replaces up to seven common kitchen appliances such as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, and yogurt maker. It accelerates the cooking process so you can simmer, braise, slow cook, steam, and heat meals more quickly. There are also claims that you can make wine in it, as well.

Justifications for purchasing an Instant Pot

There are several different reasons why people love the Instant Pot. It is safe, it cooks recipes in the slow cooker quickly, and it is also quick and straightforward to clean.

You’ve been debating purchasing an Instant Pot for an extended period. This tutorial outlines all of the reasons why you should eventually buy one of these electronic multicookers.

While there are many reasons to use the Instant Pot for everything from slow-cooked meals to baking cakes and sweets, one of the main benefits is the ability to cook meals quickly. Significant reasons why its appeal has reached a cult-like level include the following:

It is more than just a pressure cooker.

To begin, an Instant Pot is more than a pressure cooker. As a true multicooker, it sears, browns, and sautés food in the same way that a stove-top skillet would. It can also be used to delicate steam items like fish, eggs, and vegetables. Instant Pots can also be used as stand-alone electric rice cookers, which is a convenient feature.

Baked goods such as bread, cakes, and other sweets such as custards, flan, and cheesecakes can all be made with them. Many Instant Pot models are equipped with yogurt-making functions. And, yes, they can be used as slow cookers as well.

It is possible to cook impressive meals in a short amount of time.

The Instant Pot delivers a one-two punch of high pressure and heat to the food. As a result, dishes that usually take an entire day to prepare are completed in a matter of hours. We’re discussing tough cuts of pork ribs, beef brisket, and pork shoulder. This also applies to soups and stews, as well as beans and grains.

Normally, they’d have to simmer for an eternity. Not so with the Instant Pot, which reduces cooking times by a factor of three compared to conventional methods.

It is incredibly safe

The Instant Pot is not a cantankerous manual pressure cooker from the past. It includes a slew of onboard safety features enabled by electronics. For instance, a variety of sensors assist it in self-regulating its internal pressure and temperature. They’re designed to keep the Instant Pot within predefined safety parameters.

Additionally, sensors determine whether or not the lid is locked. Further, the Instant Pot will not take on pressure unless the cover is firmly clamped down. Similarly, once the cooker’s interior is pressurized, the lid locks in place automatically.

Consider the numerous preprogrammed settings that are specific to the type of food that it cooks. All of this puts Instant Pots light years ahead of their ancient pressure cooker counterparts in terms of safety. Of course, you must still operate your appliance safely and properly.

There are numerous recipes.

The Instant Pot has sparked an internet frenzy, with countless personal blogs, cooking websites, and Facebook groups dedicated to it. Additionally, they generate a steady stream of recipes when they collaborate. Tacos, Italian beef sandwiches, Korean-style ribs, and popcorn are all likely to have been tried. There’s even a recipe for Instant Pot wine.

Easy to clean

Apart from its rapid cooking times, the Instant Pot’s best feature is probably its ease of cleanup. There is only one pot to worry about. Additionally, it is painless to wash the inner pot by hand, so long as you know the correct methods.

Second, as long as you use the proper techniques, washing the inner pot by hand is painless. Additionally, the pot and all of the cooker’s components are dishwasher safe.

What You Should Know Before Purchasing an Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is a time-saving, multi-purpose, and customizable cooking machine that revolutionizes mealtime and gains a cult-like following among home cooks and chefs alike.

There are, however, a few things you should be aware of if you’ve received this modern equipment as a present or if you’re contemplating purchasing one.

Our Instant Pot review covers everything from models to meals to the reasons why they’re so darn popular. Use it as a guide to the appliance that everyone is talking about.

How to Select the Right Instant Pot Model

If you’re unsure which model to purchase, comparing Instant Pot models can be a bit overwhelming. This is because many distinct models are available, which ranging in size from six to eight quarts and feature set from 6-in-1 to 10-in-1. Less-experienced cooks can use the ten built-in intelligent programs in the Lux models. In contrast, more experienced cooks can manipulate the additional 14 programs in the Duo and Duo Plus models.

True fans of the Instant Pot Ultra model can expand their repertoire with the assistance of the Bluetooth-enabled and its robust 16 cooking programs to include yogurt, cake, eggs, and even sterilized baby bottles. Plan how you cook now and think about how you cook in the future.

Are you a large batch cooker, or do you prefer to cook for a family of two more frequently? Consider which of your favorite recipes you could make in an Instant Pot.

Are you already a fan of braises, stews, grains, yogurt, and legumes? This will assist you in determining the model and size that are most appropriate for your cooking habits. If you’re looking to replace an aging slow cooker, this may be a good option, as it has various uses.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Purchasing an Instant Pot

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Purchasing an Instant Pot
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Purchasing an Instant Pot

Advantages of an Instant Pot

Pressure cooking speeds up the cooking process.

Aside from the fact that it allows users to cook delicious food quickly, the Instant Pot’s popularity stems from the fact that it provides users with the most precious resource of all: time.

While meal preparation and preheating the machine are required, the dishwasher-safe Instant Pot cooks two to six times faster (and silently) than conventional methods. This means that braises such as pulled pork, tender stew, and roast beef can be prepared in under an hour, making them suitable for weeknight cooking.

It is excellent for making rice.

It ensures the vegetables maintain their color, and grains come out fluffy and soft due to the machine’s even distribution of heat and steaming process.

The Sauté Option Adds Flavor

The Instant Pot can be used to sauté meats, onions, or bloom spices as with a Dutch oven. Therefore, sear the pork tenderloin first, then deglaze with wine or stock, cover, and pressure cook it in the same pot. As a result, the meat is tender without sacrificing any delicious flavor imparted by browning directly in the pot.

The Instant Pot consumes a fraction of the energy that a slow cooker does.

Because the Instant Pot is turned on for a shorter period, it consumes less energy overall. Additionally, it is much more insulated than a slow cooker, resulting in less heat loss and faster food cooking.

The Instant Pot does not generate excessive heat in the house.

You can delay the start of the cook. For instance, if you want hot soup when you return home but avoid mushy vegetables, you can program the recipe to begin at 4 p.m. It will come to pressure, cook for the time specified, and naturally release pressure. Come home to a freshly cooked soup with ideally al dente vegetables.

You don’t have to watch over the Instant Pot all the time.

The liquid level does not need to be checked, and you do not need to stir your food as you would with a stovetop or slow cooker. You can walk out the door, and it will remain unattended. You’ll return home to a dinner prepared, with no burning or scorching (because the liquid has evaporated), and the only stirring required will be just before serving.

The Instant Pot will turn off when the cooking process is finished.

You can disable the Instant Pot’s “warming” function to prevent the food from receiving additional heat. However, it will remain warm because the pot is sealed, but it will not be “cooking” in the traditional sense.

The flavor is absolutely delicious!

The essence of foods is concentrated because everything inside — the ingredients, liquid, and aromas — stays in place. Every single thing we’ve created has turned out fantastic. It’s like really delicious food, but on steroids.

If you have a different-sized Instant Pot, you don’t have to convert recipes.

Many people believe that you must convert 6-quart recipes to fit in the 8-quart model, or inversely, but this is not the case!

It’s simply a matter of remembering not to fill the cooking pot beyond the max fill line and making sure the ingredients for the recipe will fit.

Stainless steel is used to make the Instant Pot insert.

There was a time when the majority of slow cooker crocks were made of lead. Fortunately, the Instant Pot insert is made of stainless steel, eliminating the risk of heavy metals leaching into your food or making you or your family ill.

There Are Countless Outstanding Instant Pot Recipes

Additionally, the Instant Pot provides variety. Novel recipes are just a click away, thanks to the app, cookbooks, and countless blogs. Simple weeknight fare like an Instant Pot whole chicken is ideal, while time-saving staples like Instant Pot beef stew or our 5-Ingredient Instant Pot Mac and Cheese are a snap to prepare.

Furthermore, the Intelligent Programming and Save Customized Cooking settings on the LUX and DUO models learn to cook your meal exactly how you like it every time by memorizing your preferred settings.

If you already make your yogurt every week or are looking for a faster way to prepare curries, the Instant Pot maybe your ideal kitchen appliance for you.

Disadvantages of an Instant Pot

Counter Space Is Required

While the Instant Pot is quick, it can eat up valuable counter space, so make sure it gets enough use to justify its prime location next to the toaster or coffee maker.

A Learning Curve Exists

To some, this kitchen appliance may be a Swiss army knife; however, learning the wide range of features, complex programs, and lengthy instruction manual can take time. The learning curve can be steep when compared to the Crock Pot’s.

You must be confident you’ve sealed the system properly before bringing it to full pressure. However, there is a positive side to this: Instant Pot’s website is a veritable goldmine of tutorials, FAQs, and support videos on how to use the Instant Pot, as well as the process for requesting support.

The house may not smell like what you’re cooking, but the inner lid seal may.

There is an excellent solution to this problem: buy a second seal! Several Amazon vendors sell “sweet and savory” seals, with one seal for sweets and the other for savory. This is a good alternative if you intend to use your Instant Pot more than a few times per week or for purposes other than dinner.

It Might Not Be as Quick as You Believe

On a practical level, not everything in the Instant Pot cooks faster. You might have boiled those potatoes on the stove before the machine had heated to pressure, cooked, and depressurized.

Be mindful of how often you do your regularity and if it will genuinely be a time-saver for you and your family when you consider how much braising rice and yogurt-making you do.

Additionally, because the pressure and slow cooker functions trap the steam, you’ll need to allow extra time to bubble or boil off extra liquid to achieve the desired consistency for your stews.

Which Instant Pot Should I Buy?

When it comes time to purchase an Instant Pot, you’ll notice numerous models available. They come in a variety of sizes and perform a variety of functions. Allow me to quickly go over the most popular models and sizes so you can make an informed purchase decision.

Sizes

Let’s begin by discussing the size of the instant pot. The size of the meals you intend to cook, as well as the size of your family, will dictate which Instant Pot size is appropriate for you. The majority are available in the following sizes:

  • 3-5 quart: this size is ideal if you cook primarily for 1-3 people. It’s a good choice for dorm rooms and an absolute necessity in a small apartment.
  • 6 quart: it is the most versatile and popular size. Some models are only available in this size. It’s ideal for the average family and is equipped to handle all of your pressure cooking needs. When in doubt, opt for this size.
  • 8 quart: this size is ideal for larger families or if you anticipate cooking many large meals for family gatherings, church dinners, and similar occasions.

Each of these sizes is available in numerous variations. However, they all have a reasonably similar footprint, so if you choose a 6-quart, you won’t have to worry about the model’s size. They’re all quite similar.

Models

With size considerations made, let’s take a quick look at the various models available. There are three distinct models, each with a few variations to keep you on your toes. The following are the primary models.

  • Lux – the most affordable, budget-friendly
  • Duo & Duo Plus – the most popular
  • Viva – similar to the Duo Plus
  • Ultra: Includes adjustable temperature settings for sautéing and slow cook, as well as a cake maker, egg cooker, and sterilizer. Additionally, there is a central dial for adjustments.
  • Smart: Adds unlimited programmable settings and the ability to track progress via a smartphone app. It does not include the extra “ultra” capabilities but does include two delay start timers.
  • Max: This is the most expensive model. Unlimited programmable settings and intelligent built-in programs, additional safety features, and custom temperature settings for sautéing and slow cook; includes a sous vide option.

Each model has progressively improved and more robust features. If you’re looking for an entry-level Instant Pot without all the bells and whistles, the famous DUO is available for around $80. The Max is priced at around $150.

How to Select the Best Instant Pot for Your Needs

Lux is your best bet if you’re on a budget. The Duo is ideal for making yogurt but does not require fancy settings.

When deciding on a higher-end model, you should prioritize which features you want to use. The intelligent app alone is a compelling reason to go with the Smart. The center dial is an excellent reason to purchase a model that includes it.

Purchase the Max if you intend to use it as a sous vide machine. If you wish to use it as a canning system, you must purchase the Max as well. To be completely candid, it’s difficult to go wrong with any model of the instant pot.

For a long time, we’ve had a Duo Plus, and we adore it. Additional features are possible, but they are unnecessary and do not prevent us from cooking whatever we want.

Should you buy an Instant Pot - FAQs

If this is your first time using an Instant Pot, follow the user manual’s instructions and heat water in your pot as a test run. You should hear the sound of a pressure cooker is coming to pressure. Steam will erupt violently from the valve. It can be a little startling if you’ve never heard it before.

Following that, prepare something simple and inexpensive, such as rice. Then progress to something more substantial, such as a broth-based soup. Begin with something straightforward. Do not begin your first recipe with a rack of ribs. Make something affordable so that you are not wasting an expensive item if it does not work out.

It’s simple to clean your instant pot — remove the liner and lid and wash with dish soap and warm water. Consequently, you can put it in the dishwasher for convenience.

Some shoppers have found the inner lid seal may leave a smell, and they prefer to keep two on hand, one for sweet dishes and another for savory foods.

To eliminate any lingering odors, store the lid upside down or run the pot with a bit of vinegar and lemon juice using the steam function.

Even the Instant Pot is incapable of doing everything. Six Things Never to Cook in an Instant Pot:

  1. Sauces with cream. Suppose there is one food group that you should avoid when using the Instant Pot, dairy.
  2. The best-fried chicken has a crisp exterior, a juicy interior, and a perfect golden brown color.
  3. Burgers
  4. Steak
  5. Pie
  6. Cookies

While meal preparation and preheating the machine are required, the dishwasher-safe Instant Pot cooks two to six times faster (and silently) than conventional methods.

This means that braises such as pulled pork, tender stew, and roast beef can be prepared in much less than an hour, making them ideal for weeknight cooking.

Instant pots are multipurpose pressure cookers that can quickly prepare a variety of foods and meals. Instant pots, in comparison to pressure cookers from a decade ago, do not explode. They are equipped with ten safety features that protect them from such occurrences.

Instant pot recipes are entirely healthy as long as the ingredients are healthy. Additionally, the shorter cooking time may result in a higher level of vitamin and mineral preservation when compared to other types of cooking that take longer.

CONCLUSION

Even if you aren’t sure if an Instant Pot is right for your needs, we wholeheartedly advise you to give the Instant Pot a shot. Every day, we use our Instant Pot to make various delicious dishes, including baked potatoes, bone broth, and even whole chicken. We’ve purchased Instant Pots as gifts for my mother and sister, and they’ve grown to love them as well. It’s an indispensable kitchen tool.

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