Instant Pot, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! Recently the handy device has taken the internet and, really, the world in general by storm, with people in all directions clamoring for Instant Pot recipes!
The wonderful thing is that many of the wonderful recipes can already be found all over the internet and in your favorite coobooks. Slow-cooker recipes in particular really lend themselves well to being converted from slow to Instant through pressure cooking, probably the most common setting used by Instant Pot owners.
Rejoice! Now your tattered and stained cookbooks or recipe cards can, in fact, be rewritten or converted so that you can cook them in that brand new, shiny Instant Pot that you have been yearning to use!
Make Sure You Are Cooking With Enough Liquid
The pressure cook setting on your Instant Pot uses the liquid inside to build up the required pressure with which to cook things soooo speedily. Make sure you are adding at least one cup of liquid (whether it’s wine, stock, water, or a mixture of vinegar and soy sauce, like in this amazing chicken adobo recipe). Thick liquids like condensed soups and tomato pastes do not count — they are simply too dense to conjure the necessary steam!
If you are trying to slow-cook a piece of meat, adding any liquid could compromise your end result — but you can use the trivet that comes with the Instant Pot to ensure that your meat is sitting above the essential steam-making liquid. Easy peasy!
Slow-Cooking to Pressure Cooker Time Difference
If you are cooking a braised meat dish that calls for eight hours of slow cooking (or four hours on a high setting), your Instant Pot should render it perfectly cooked in just 25-30 minutes! Always make sure to turn the vent to the “sealing” position (not “venting”) in order to build up the necessary steam to pressure cook. If you are cooking chicken, the time is decreased even more — using the “poultry” setting, you can cook chicken (from frozen, no less) in as little as 15 minutes.
Use the Natural Release If You Have the Time
Although you may be tempted to auto-release once the cooking time is up — the whole process is pretty thrilling after all — try to resist the urge and let the internal steam release naturally. You will end up with meat that is much more tender and fall-off-the-bone delicious; it will be worth waiting the extra 10-20 minutes.
Do Not Add Dairy Until the End of the Recipe
With their tendency to scald when cooked at high heat, dairy products are just not going to work when pressure cooking. Instead, add your dairy at the end of the cooking process, stirring it in when everything is cooked and ready to go, so you get all of the great flavor and creaminess with none of the risk.
Do Not Overfill Your Instant Pot
This is a rule to abide by no matter what setting you use: Do. Not. Over. Fill. Your. Instant. Pot. There is a line indicating the point that you should not pass, and you really should stick to that guideline. Not only do you risk clogging the valve on your Instant Pot, but if you do overfill your Instant Pot, you run the risk of preventing pressure from building up, which means no instant cooking — or cooking of any kind!
Be Cautious When Cooking Grains
Because grains tend to double in size when cooking, only fill your Instant Pot halfway. If you fill it to the max fill line, and things get starchy and start foaming (as they tend to do when cooking), you may end up with some clogged vents, which you certainly do not want.
So there you go: Now you are fully armed and ready to go forth and cook a plethora of wonderful recipes, be they designed for the Instant Pot or not. May we suggest starting with these 20 essential Instant Pot recipes?