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Everything You Wanted to Know About the Instant Pot

If you have a rice cooker, an electric pressure cooker, a yogurt maker, and a slow cooker in your kitchen, then you’ve cluttered the space. 

Imagine having one appliance that does all those functions and more. You’d save on space and experience much more cooking convenience. 

Well, the instant pot combines all the different devices into one kitchen appliance. 

It’s time to declutter your kitchen and buy the instant pot for the ultimate cooking experience. 

Here are a few pointers on how to get the most out of your instant pot. 

What do you cook in an instant pot?

One of the things that you’ll love about the instant pot is its multipurpose function. 

Unlike other gadgets such as the rice cooker, the instant pot cooks different foods. 

First, you can prepare your rice in the pot. The instant pot functions as a rice cooker, giving you the best fluffy rice ever.  

If you’re the type who loves making their own bread, then the instant pot is for you. Yes, you can bake bread in the instant pot. So, don’t worry when your oven fails you when you need to make some bread. Just pull out your instant pot, and you’re all set. 

If steamed food is your cup of tea, then you’ll have plenty of it with the instant pot. Put your food in the pot and use the steam function. You’ll have a hearty meal in no time. 

Cooking with the instant pot gets better because you can brown your chicken or stew it in the same place. This saves you time if you want to brown your chicken before stewing. 

Try slow cooking your meat in the instant pot. You’ll love the soft, tender, and flavorful beef that you’ll get.  

How about sautéing onions, mushrooms, peppers, and other vegetables? The instant pot sautés food well and fast, unleashing all their flavors for you to enjoy when you eat.   

The instant pot’s pressure cooker function allows you to boil your hard beans soft in under an hour. 

The meals that you can cook in your instant pot are limitless. The instant pot has all the functions of the other cooking devices in your kitchen. 

So, think of whatever you’d slow-cook or steam and use the instant pot for cooking it.  All you need is a little creativity to transform everyday meals into instant pot recipes. 

How to use an instant pot

The instant pot is an excellent appliance to have in your home. But for it to serve you well, you must know how to use it. 

First, understand that the mechanics of the instant pot are like that of a pressure cooker. This means that the instant pot relies on building pressure from steam to cook your food. 

Like any other cookware, you begin the cooking process by placing your meal inside the pot. 

Cover the lid and make sure it fits well. This locks the content of the pot and allows pressure to build. 

Set the valve to ‘sealed’ before you start cooking. Sealing the instant pot prevents steam from escaping. The steam builds the pressure that cooks your food fast. Also, the steam is pushed back into your food, thereby enhancing its taste. 

When you add your food to the instant pot, ensure it does not go beyond the two-thirds mark. You should not fill your instant pot to the brim. You need to leave some space for the steam to build up. 

Once you put your food in the pot, choose how to cook it using the buttons on its side. Select slow cook if that’s what you intend to do. You can also choose to steam the food or sauté it. 

Also, set the time for how long you want the food to cook. Most meals last between 30 minutes to 1 hour in the instant pot.  Set the time your food will take to cook according to the recipe you’re using. 

Once your food is ready, don’t rush to open the lid. You risk burning yourself when you do that. Remember, the instant pot is also a pressure cooker. 

Thus, you should first release the pressure by allowing the steam to escape.

Let the steam out either naturally or manually.

Manually letting out steam means you set the valve to the vent position. This allows the steam to escape from the instant pot fast.

Using the natural method of venting the instant pot is a bit slower than the manual method. The natural method releases the steam slowly and can take up to an hour. The best part is your food continues to cook as the steam escapes.  

Advantages of an instant pot

Your whole cooking experience will change once you have an instant pot. It comes with a truckload of advantages for you to enjoy.

Fast cooking

The instant pot cooks food fast. As mentioned, it uses pressure built from the steam produced to reduce cooking time. Like your regular pressure cooker, the instant almost halves the time it takes to make food. 

Multipurpose

If you ever need an appliance that will serve you best based on the number of tasks it can perform, the instant pot is your answer. You don’t need a separate steamer, pressure, slow-cooker, or yogurt maker when you have the instant pot. 

Use the proper settings from its controls, and you’ll enjoy all types of recipes with the instant pot. 

Healthy meals

Eating healthy should be a habit that everyone adopts. You prevent diseases and live a more fulfilling life when you eat healthy meals.

The instant pot helps you to eat healthy by eliminating the need for using cooking oil. The appliance uses steam released from the food to cook it. Thus, you avoid artery-clogging fats and oils that also harm the environment. 

Energy and water efficiency

The instant pot monitors the amount of pressure in it while you cook. When the pressure reaches a given point, it stops heating. This ensures that the heat is off for close to 40% of the time when you cook for long. 

Plus, the instant pot technology concentrates heat on its inside. The surface of the instant pot remains cold or lukewarm while the interior is hot when you cook. This limits energy waste and ensures that you use less electric energy in the cooking process. 

Also, not releasing steam as the food cooks means that the instant pot uses less water to cook your food. You don’t have to open the lead to keep adding water to your meals. The steam ensures that your meal cooks well and consumes less water. 

Convenient

When you are busy running errands, set the instant pot to start at a given time before you leave the house. Be sure to put the food you want to cook in the pot, add ingredients and water before leaving the house. You’ll come back to a hearty and healthy meal waiting for you. 

Concerns over instant pot use

The main concern over instant pot is that the cooking process is not instant, as its name suggests. Instant cooking implies that food is ready within seconds. 

The instant pot takes up to one hour to cook food that would need more time on standard cookers. It also takes some time to release the pressure.  

Another concern is that the instant pot is quite costly, especially if it has any features. 

Verdict

It’s high time you gave your kitchen a facelift by getting the instant pot. You get a healthy meal fast when you use it. Also, it’s versatile and adaptable to different functions. You save space by getting this multifunction appliance. Something that really stands out is the high safety standard that the instant pot has. The steam release system is designed to be risk-proof; hence you can’t burn yourself. Also, there’s no risk of burning when you accidentally touch the instant pot as you cook because it concentrates all the heat inside to cook the food. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to use an instant pot?

Yes, it’s safe to use an instant pot. It’s designed to release the pressure inside it and not explode. The instant pot stops working if the pressure inside becomes excessive to avert the risk of explosion. 

Is the instant pot bad for health?

No, there are no health risks when you eat food cooked in an instant pot. In fact, the food is healthy because you use little or no oils at all. 

How do I know when the natural release process is done?

You’ll know the natural release process is complete when the float valve drops on the lid. 

Why doesn’t my instant pot open after I finish cooking?

If you notice that the instant pot doesn’t open, it’s likely still releasing the pressure. Give it some time before trying again. The lock is a safety feature to prevent you from burning with the hot steam inside.

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