Instant Pot Tips & Tricks

Do I need an Instant Pot?  Yes, yes you do.  What if I don’t like to cook?  All the more reason that you need one!

I don’t really enjoy cooking, but I like to eat and like to eat relatively healthy without a lot of work.  I was gifted an Instant Pot for Christmas 2017 and wasn’t excited about it at all.  Now I use it at least twice, and usually three times, a week.  I don’t need to plan too far in advance like with a crockpot and can have a one pot meal ready in under 30 minutes with only five minutes of work / prep on my part.  So here are some tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way.

  • 10 minutes doesn’t really mean 10 minutes.  Ten minutes of Instant Pot time is kind of like the last 2 minutes of a basketball or football game.  This time starts when the pot gets up to pressure, so you’ll need a little bit of cushion until that 10 minute countdown kicks in.
  • Well how long does it take to get to the countdown time?  It depends!  Depends on how much food and liquid are in the device.  As a guideline, I’ve been using 10 minutes as an approximate timeline for how long it takes to get the the countdown.
  • Sealing – SUPER, DUPER important or you’ll never get to the count down time!  Make sure that the seal inside the lid is well seated so the lid seals and then make sure that the lever is in the sealing position.  On mine this means the lever on top is pointing to the 6 o’clock position.
  • Quick release – The act of flipping the lever on top of the lid to immediately release all of the steam and pressure. It will make a whooshing noise as it releases  NOTE: do NOT get your face, hands, etc over top of the vent.
  • Natural release – This is the act of patience of NOT flipping the lever and letting the steam release slowly.  With this method you won’t hear a whooshing noise because it is taking its sweet time to release.
  • Positioning on the counter can be important otherwise you might be steaming the front of your cabinets.
  • Using frozen chicken is a possibility, but I find that it depends what I’m making how this actually turns out.  I will typically put frozen chicken in the microwave on high for 3 – 4 minutes and then follow my typical timelines.  If I’m making something that has rice or pasta in the same pot the rice or pasta gets too mushy.  If I’m just cooking chicken in the pot, then I will use frozen chicken without thawing and will set it on manual for 22 minutes and let it naturally release for at least 5 minutes instead of quick release.

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