There are a lot of kitchen appliances designed to help make our lives easier. You discover some of these devices because you bought them out of curiosity or someone gave it as a gift. There comes a point where the kitchen will be overloaded with appliances and most of them are not being used. In our attempt to make more room, we give them away, or worse, wind up throwing them away if no one is going to take it. To prevent this from happening, is good to practice keeping only the really useful kitchen devices that you will use every day. The Instant Pot is one of those devices. This appliance has won the trust of millions of users around the world. In this article, we will guide you on how to use this very efficient device.
What is this appliance for?
To put it simply, the Instant Pot is a programmable electric pressure cooker that has a huge number of additional features. It has so many features that there is a good chance you will not be able to use some of the at all. The main feature of the Instant Pot is the pressure cooker mode. The is the most used feature. This feature significantly reduces cooking time compared to other traditional methods of preparing food or cooking in a slow cooker. As you've noticed, we keep using the term ‘pressure cooker’, because in a way, it is also a pressure cooker.
This appliance is equipped with an airtight lid that fits snugly against the pot. When you are using the Instant Pot for cooking, the pressure will build up inside the device, which is caused by a sealed lid and boiling water. This pressure will significantly increase the boiling point of water, which will then affect the cooking time. The Instant Pot is being advertised as a 7-in-1 device because it can replace seven kitchen appliances, like a rice cooker, electric yogurt maker, steam cooker and slow cooker. The best thing about the Instant Pot is it does its job exceptionally well, whatever mode you will set it into.
Advantages of the Instant Pot
The multi-purpose Instant Pot has several advantages. This is why a lot of people, and we mean a lot, use it. If you don't believe us, here are a few advantages that it can provide you:
Made of stainless steel - Compared to most electric pressure cookers, all the surfaces that come in contact with food are made of stainless steel. The housing on the other hand is made of dielectric plastic(which really isn't anything noteworthy). The more important thing is that the Instant Pot doesn’t have Teflon or other harmful coatings in contact with food. So you can rest assured that the food you will be cooking will not be contaminated.
Wide range of application - As mention above, the Instant Pot has a wide range of uses. It can replace a multi-cooker (slow-cooker), rice cooker, sauté pan, and steam cooker. Some users even swear that they now use Instant Pot so often that they forgot that they own a regular stove and oven.
Time Saver - If you ask us, this is the most advantageous thing about Instant Pots. It will save you lots of time preparing food. It takes only an hour to cook a dish in the Instant Pot. But if you use a slow cooker to cook the same food, it will require 6-8 hours to cook it. That is at least 5 hours of doing something else. The Instant Pot is especially useful during working days when food needs to be prepared quickly during dinner time.
Several programmable features - Another advantage that the Instant Pot has over simple pressure cookers and other slow cookers is the abundance of programmable features it has. There are times when there is no need to start cooking immediately as soon as ingredients are placed in the Instant Pot. You can just leave the ingredients in the pot and set it to start cooking after a specific number of hours. Aside from that, it also has several pre-set cooking modes for ease of use.
Energy efficient - Since it has its own built-in electric heating element, it does not need an additional electric or gas stove, which in reality, is more energy consuming. It also uses a self-regulating heater, which makes it safer and easier to use.
Can be cleaned easily - The inner pot has a quick-release button so that you can easily clean it either by hand or in a dishwasher.
Instant Pot Settings and How to Use Them
The Instant Pot has 16 different settings you can use for different types of cooking. You can check which button number corresponds to each setting on the housing. Each button will set the appropriate cooking type and will include a pre-set cook time. Keep in mind that the settings will affect whether it will be cooked in the pressure cooker mode or the regular mode without pressure.
Here's an overview of all the 16 settings:
1. Soup – allow you to cook soups in just 30 minutes with high pressure.
2. Meat/Stew – when this setting is selected, cooking time will be set to 20 minutes on high pressure. It will still vary depending on whether you use fresh or frozen meat, the size of pieces, etc.
3. Bean/Chilli – will use high-pressure cooking to get your meal ready in just 30 minutes.
4. Poultry – used to cook chicken in just 15 minutes with the help of high-pressure cooking. The cooking time will still vary whether or not you use frozen chicken or large portions.
5. Rice – it will cook your rice faster even on low steam pressure. Take note that the cooking starts at 12 minutes.
6. Multigrain – this setting allows you to cook various cereal, rice, quinoa, and other mutligrains. It can get your meal ready in 40 minutes using high-pressure cooking.
7. Porridge – this setting allows you to cook porridge within 20 minutes using high steam pressure cooking.
8. Yogurt – allows you to cook yogurt. It has fully-automated mode that offers three programs to cook yogurt, pasteurized milk, and fermented rice.
9. Sauté – this setting will replace a skillet in your kitchen. You can cook without a lid to brown your meat with this mode. You can also set temperature as less, normal and low.
10. Slow Cook – this mode cooks without pressure. You can set the cooking time between 30 minutes and 20 hours. You can also adjust the cooking mode to normal, more or less.
11. Steam – to use this mode, you will need a rack to prevent food from burning. You can cook healthy food in just 10 minutes when set to this mode.
12. Manual – when you choose this mode, you can switch between low and high pressure when cooking in the pressure mode.
13. Timer – this mode is where you can program the Instant Pot for a delayed start. It can be used for pressure cooking and slow cooker modes.
14. Pressure – in this mode, you will be able to adjust steam pressure to high or low
15. Adjust – this will allow you to adjust the temperature when set in slow cooking and sauté modes.
16. Keep Warm/Cancel – this mode acts as a warmer. You can set the Instant Pot to keep your food warm or cancel this mode with this button.
The Instant Pot is an excellent kitchen appliance that can change the way you cook. You can now free up time for your favorite activities, because it can cook food quite quickly. And because of the loads of options you can choose from, you and your family will be able to enjoy a variety of delicious dishes in less time.