Hopefully, you’re a beginner in the instant pot world. And you don’t know the proper use of the several settings of your instant pot. Furthermore, you need some instant pot tips and tricks as a beginner. If so, then don’t worry.
Being a professional chef, I know some instant pot tips and tricks for beginners which will make anyone professional in using an instant pot. In this blog post, I’m going to share those instant pot tips and tricks with you.
So keep reading this article to become a pro chef.
Instant Pot Tips And Tricks For Beginners:
Instant pots are used for quick cooking. But it’s not easy to operate. You need to know about lots of tips and hacks for using an instant pot. Once you learn the basic tricks and tips, you can use the instant pot without any hassle. Every professional instant pot user, such as me, knows these tips and tricks.
1. Turn Off The Sound On Your Instant Pot:
It’s very annoying to hear the sound of an instant pot. Sometimes, it also startles people. Instant pot sounds can also awaken a baby. Instant pot has a function of turning sound off. You can turn the switch button off with the start of cooking sound.
You can easily switch off the sound of your instant pot in a few seconds. There is a minus button and press it for at least three to four seconds. After that you would see “S Off” written.”S Off” means your sound will be off until the cooking is done in your instant pot.
2. Turn On The Sound On Your Instant Pot When It’s Needed:
Maybe, you want your instant pot to alert you while cooking beforehand. If your instant pot isn’t making a sound. It means the sound on your instant pot is off. To turn on the sound you have to do the opposite thing.
There is a plus button on the side of your instant pot. Press the plus button for 3 to 4 seconds. On the screen, you would see “S On” written. After that, you would be able to hear all sounds without any trouble.
3. Proof Bread Dough In Your Instant Pot:
You can proof bread dough in an instant pot by using the duo option. Sometimes, the instant pot hasn’t any duo option. In this situation, you can use a yogurt option for proofing the bread dough.
By using the yogurt option you can proof your bread dough at the right temperature. Also, the yogurt option helps to proof dough faster than doing it normally.
4. Learn How To Pressure Instant Pot:
It’s very easy to pressure an instant pot. All you have to do is to keep this tip in your mind before cooking. You can use hot water or boiling temperature water while cooking in an instant pot. Hot water helps cook faster using pressure.
If you want to warm up your water fast, you can microwave water for 1 to 3 minutes max. You can also use instant hot water from the tap. This hot water will help the pressure take action fast.
5. Preheat Your Instant Pot:
It’s important to preheat your instant pot before pressuring. Preheating helps create pressure faster for cooking food. You can use saute mode for preheating instant pot. It will help your instant pot to get preheated quickly.
6. Use Instant Pot Base As A Stand:
You can use an instant pot base as a stand by using duo pots. Choose one side of the pot base according to your need. Then you should use that base side as a stand for the lid.
There are two sides which you can choose as a base for the stand. This tip will be useful when you need to open up your instant pot from the middle of cooking. Make sure your family knows about the stand. Otherwise, they can snap the stand thinking it as a lever.
7. Yogurt In An Instant Pot:
You can make yogurt using an instant pot with or without “Yogurt Button”. It’s absolutely delicious. You can make different flavoured yogurt using an instant pot.
To make yogurt in an instant pot, you need a yogurt starter of any kind from the market. You would need milk. You can use any kind of milk according to your need. It’s better to use unsweetened milk for yogurt. You can add any kind of natural or artificial sweeteners according to your need. Just turn on the button of yogurt and your yogurt will be ready in half time.
However, every instant pot doesn’t have a yogurt button. Even you can make yogurt without any yogurt button. For that recipe, you can read my other article. Check this on.
8. Use Your Instant Pot As A Food Warmer:
As instant pot makes food quickly, anyone would be worried about food getting colder. But the instant pot has a function by which you can keep your food warmer.
It helps you save the cost of a hot pot. Usually, I try to set my instant pot near the clean counter. Due to the lid in an instant pot, it helps keep the food warm for a long time.
So don’t open the instant pot lid. Otherwise, it won’t work as a food warmer and your food might get cold. If you follow this tip you would be tension free about the coldness of food. Also, there is a button in some instant pots known as a food warmer. You can simply click on that for keeping the food warm.
9. Use Your Instant Pot As A Slow Cooker:
You can make your instant pot act as a slow cooker. Some people waste money by buying both a slow cooker and an instant pot. Because they don’t know instant pot can also do slow cooking perfectly.
Simply click on the slow cooker button in your instant pot and let the food cook slowly. Instant pot makes food at the right temperature. So you don’t have to worry about food taste.
10. See Your Instant Pot To Cook Eggs:
Eggs are the most important nutrient food that is suggested to eat every day. But due to time shortage, people don’t eat hard-boiled eggs. You can boil eggs faster and safer than cooking on the stove.
Also, it’s very easy to peel off the outer shell of an egg if it’s cooked in an instant pot. You can also make Korean steamed eggs by turning the steam option in your instant pot. And it’s completely safe to do so.
11. Align The Back Of The Lid With Base:
It’s hard to put back the lid with the base. Oftentimes people don’t understand and break the lid. Follow my tricks to carefully put back everything. There is an arrow on the front of the base that doesn’t follow up to the back of the lid. Also don’t move your lid too much.
Take the steam valve apart from the lid, then try to match it with the adjacent part of the base. Finally, link it up on that side and twist it gently.
12. Detach The Cord:
You want to go camping out and want to take an instant pot with you. seems impossible, right? But actually, it’s possible. Instant pots of three to six quarts sizes are allowed to detach their cord. You can detach the cord and take it on a tour.
But don’t try this with a size above six quarters. Because their cords are attached to the device. So you can break your instant pot if you try to do it.
13. Make Boxed Macaroni And Cheese In The Instant Pot:
Personally, I love cooking box mac and cheese in an instant pot. Because it’s fast to make and hassle-free. All you have to do is put mac, milk, water, and seasoning and wait until your instant pot cooks it.
It will take half the time to cook than a stove. Also, it will save your time and energy.
14. Turn Off The “Keep Warm” Mode:
Instant pot turns on the food warmer automatically. But if you don’t want your food to be in the warm mode you can turn it off. By doing this you will change the default settings of keeping food warm.
You can set the food warmer again on it if you don’t want to turn off the “keep warm” mode permanently.
15. Use The Timer Setting For Delayed Cooking:
You can set a timer setting in your instant pot. Maybe you are busy with work and that’s why you want to cook food within a certain time to get hot piping food. In this case, you can use this timer setting and start cooking according to the time you set.
The only problem with this setting is that you can’t store food in your instant pot for a long time to start delayed cooking. It could be unsafe to eat.
To set the time you have to press the timer option. Press once for changing the hours and press two times for setting minutes. It will start cooking according to the timer.
16. Use Lots Of Water:
Instant pot cooking is basically pressure cooking. Your food will soak up water type liquid faster than normal cooking. Also using a lot of liquids will help the food not stick on the inner pot.
If your food is milked-based, you can use milk to cook any kind of curry. You can also use coconut water in an instant pot. But ensure you kept water. Otherwise, food can stick to the instant pot.
17. Cut Food Into Smaller Pieces:
This tip is useful to people who need to cook their food faster.
Larger food takes time to cook. A whole chicken roast or a whole sweet potato cooking in an instant pot will take a lot of time to cook.
If you are really short of time and want to cook a meal fast, then use this tip. Just cut the food into smaller pieces and let it cook in an instant pot. It would take ¼ of the time on the stove. This tip works really well with any type of meat and vegetables.
18. Make Bulk Quantity Foods:
The instant pot is best for making bulk foods. Instant pot helps cook food instantly. That’s why professional chefs and restaurant holders use them. You can boil a batch of eggs in them. Also, you can make meat stock and shredded meat at the same time.
Lots of people use instant pot to steam the bulk of momos. This trick would help you over a family dinner. It will help you save time and energy as well.
19. Insert Steaming:
Steaming is inserted for fast heating of instant pot. This fast heating will help create more pressure and cook food faster.
Try to depressurize before opening the lid. You can insert a steamer, heat-safe ceramic, metal or glass bowl and foil to add any ingredients in an instant pot. It will help reheat the instant pot faster.
Some curry needs to be thick and creamy. Normally everyone uses cornstarch or flour to thicken up the curry. But if you use instant pot don’t put anything to thicken up the curry.
Instant pot can’t control the thickening. But you can remove the excess liquid from any dish. Keep the dish in saute mode. Then with the help of simmering, it will help the dish to thick up on its own.
21. Clean Using Vinegar:
If you want to clean the outer part of the instant pot, then you can use vinegar. It can clean up your instant pot without doing any harm to your pot. You can also use lemon and water instead of vinegar to clean up.
Vinegar and lemon contain a small amount of acidic substance that helps remove all kinds of bad odor from the instant pot. This trick is not something new. But it’s more useful than normal dish soap.
I know washing is the most difficult part after cooking. But for using a dishwasher you don’t need to clean many things. You can put the inner pot and other parts of an instant pot with a dishwasher. But you can’t wash the lid and outer instant pot with a dishwasher.
Make sure you are not washing any electrical plug along with your instant pot. If you use a glass lid for slow cooking don’t put them in the dishwasher. Rather gently wash them in water.
23. Plan Your Meals:
It is suggested by every instant pot user that you should plan your meals before cooking. The instant pot has many functions so it’s confusing to decide the right option to cook a dish. This decision is time-consuming and confusing. So it’s better to plan meals ahead.
Fix which meal you want to cook. Put it into the instant pot. Then put up the fixed function. It will help you sort out things in the kitchen efficiently.
24. Try Not To Overfill Ingredients:
Instant pot helps to cook food under pressure. It’s mentioned in the manual that you should not overfill ingredients because all kinds of food releases water while cooking. Instant pot also contains a lot of fluid for cooking.
Overfill might burst your instant pot because it gets more pressure. So try to keep this important tip in mind. Never overfill your ingredients. Otherwise, while you cook food, things would get hectic due to overflowing.
25. Boil Chickpeas Without Soaking:
The most difficult part of cooking chickpeas is waiting for them to soak. Normally chickpeas are soaked overnight for cooking. You can’t cook them softly without Soaking them. Even if you soak them overnight it would take at least an hour to boil.
But you can easily cook it in half an hour on an instant pot. The best option to cook chickpeas is in an instant pot. Just put the chickpeas and the perfect amount of water. Add a pinch of baking soda and mix with the water. Then start the pressure cooking option. You would get soft chickpeas without Soaking them.
26. Try To Use Different Seal Rings:
Lots of people don’t realise the reason behind another food’s odor in their freshly cooked food.
Usually while cooking in an instant pot the odor of the food remains in seal rings.
So it’s better to use different seal rings for cooking different types of food. You can buy seal rings on amazon according to your instant pot size. Otherwise, food odor will mix up easily and it might smell nasty.
27. Be Careful Using Dairy:
Those who have lactose intolerance read this carefully. Dairy can be spoiled while cooking in an instant pot. Rapid heat can curdle up milk easily. So be extra careful using dairy. You should put rice and milk together if you want to make rice pudding.
It’s best to cook dairy products in saute mode. If you are just boiling milk for drinking or making yogurt, just try to use saute options. It will simmer the milk slowly which will protect the milk from forming a curdle.
28. Use Glass Lid:
It’s better if you don’t use the instant pot lid. While slow cooking in your instant pot, try to use a glass lid. Slow cooking doesn’t use pressure so there is no risk of bursting.
Put food liquid according to your cooking needs. So you should use a glass lid. Also, you can check the cooking process clearly by using a glass lid.
29. Lid Holder:
Food steam or liquid would stay on the lid. So you can’t put the lid beside anything. Surprisingly your instant pot is your lid holder. There is a small place on the outside of the instant pot, just out the silicone ring.
You can stand your lid there and use it as a holder. Lots of people don’t know this trick for which they have to keep the dirty lid on the sink or plate.
30. Clean Silicone Ring:
If you don’t want to use two different silicone rings then this tip is for you. Silicone rings keep food odor after they are cooked. So try to clean silicone properly. You can use lemon or vinegar along with water and steam it.
Then it will transfer the good smell to the silicone ring. But to have a clean silicone ring every time after cooking one dish. It might be time-consuming but you will notice the difference by yourself.
31. Test Your Instant Pot:
You should test your pressure cooker if your instant pot is new. Lots of beginners don’t know this. But it’s best if you can boil a batch of eggs together. Hard boil the eggs and notice the timing.
Everyone should test their instant pot before using them for any recipes. Many professional cooks use this tip to check if your instant pot works properly or not.
32. Pick Up Instant Pot Recipes:
Picking up certain recipes is an important thing to do like planning a meal. There are lots of recipes using instant pot recipes. Many famous authors have books published and you can get free recipes on the internet.
There are some certain recipes which would help you find the best recipes according to one’s personal diet. So search up for those before cooking a meal.
33. Steam In Right Place:
Always people make this mistake and they let the steam of instant pot release from under the kitchen cabinet. Kitchen cabinets are mainly made of wood and they try to suck the steam into the cabinets.
That’s why try to vent out the steam in a place where it can openly release steam without any obstacle. This tip will help you keep a calm environment in the kitchen.
34. Steam Divider:
This trick is for those who don’t have open space in their kitchen. You can simply put a steam divider. As it’s made of silicone, so it’s not harmful. A steam divider will help release the steam without touching the kitchen cabinets.
You can open the window of the kitchen and put the head of the steam divider outside. So all the steam smoke that was created will leave your kitchen. It’s best to use if your kitchen has a ventilation option.
35. Pot In Pot:
It’s a hassle to cook food one after one in an instant pot and clean them twice or three times. By using this trick you can cook two or three foods at once. You can use the pot in pot method while cooking.
You can put potatoes and water below the trivet. Put a small pot over the trivet and cook a dish. This will help you in two and save you lots of time. If you have a larger instant pot you can make 3 in 1 dish.
36. Use Of Silicone Sling:
Silicone sling helps take out hot food. You can use a silicone sling for lifting hot foods that are below the inner pot. You have to hold the two sides of the silicone sling and pull out the dishes. I would suggest this to beginners because you can burn your hands without using them.
Every cook should own one silicone sling if they use an instant pot. While buying a sling, try to check the materials before buying. Some dishonest businessman sells plastic sling. These plastic slings can make your food harmful.
37. DIY Sling For Instant Pot:
If you don’t want to waste money buying a silicone sling. You can make a DIY sling for instant pot. You have to take two folded foil papers. Then put inside the two sides of the trivet. Then take out holding the two sides of the DIY sling and take out the food.
Try to use a hard foil on the handle. Otherwise, it might break while taking out the food. This DIY hack won’t work forever. So it’s only a temporary option.
38. Don’t Burn Your Hands:
Beginners might burn their hands while removing the steam from an instant pot. Try to use a wooden spoon or spatula. Then put it at the back under the release valve. This would help to have a slow quick release.
Be cautious while removing it. If you are not experienced with cooking that much. Then learn from someone expert to release the steam without burning your hands.
These 38 instant pot tricks and tips for beginners will make you an advanced instant pot user. Just follow these tips and tricks and utilize them while you use an instant pot.
Read our other articles related to the instant pot to know more.