Use An Instant Pot

How To Use An Instant Pot®

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Can you use some instructions on how to use an Instant Pot®? I have you covered today with pictures because I’m a visual person. If I can SEE it, I can do it. I have used a Fagor electric pressure for a few years, maybe five years.

I took several pressure cooker classes from Chef Brad and he recommended a Fagor and that’s what the store was selling where I taught some classes. My friend, Tiffany suggested I try an Instant Pot®.  She has been using her’s a lot and loves it!

She and I did a joint Instant Pot® giveaway right before Christmas. It was an extremely popular giveaway. The woman who won was so excited when she received the email that she had won the Instant Pot® because she had heard so many people rave about it. I really wanted to try one BEFORE the giveaway in December.

Well, I got it just in time to try making some chicken tenderloins in it. They were perfect in every way! I wish every family could have a pressure cooker in their homes to make healthier meals fast! I decided to do some potatoes today in a pressure cooker because a reader asked me how to do them. You basically need to look at the charts I made for pressure cookers, or use the book that came with the one you purchased. My PRINTABLE charts are posted below. I washed the potatoes and started the process.

How To Use An Instant Pot®:

I need to explain two things before I go any further. There are two ways to release pressure after cooking:

  1. Quick release means releasing pressure instantly after the food is cooked. When the meal is finished you push “cancel” and turn the valve to “venting” and cover the valve with a washcloth (be careful with the hot steam) so the steam doesn’t burn you after you switch the valve from sealing to venting. I wear hot pads as well.
  2. Natural release means the food continues to cook after you press “cancel,” but the residual heat and steam wait for the pressure to come down on its own naturally. This will take about 20 minutes or more depending on how full the pot is filled. Then it’s ready to unlock the lid and serve. There is still steam, so please be careful when you turn it to “venting”.
Instant Pot

I checked my vegetable chart and decided to cut my Russet potatoes into chunks and I left the peelings on. Easy, right? I added one cup of water to the potatoes in the pot.

Instant Pot

Next, I placed the lid on top of the base and turned it until it locked in place, and I turned the pressure valve to “sealing” and pushed the “manual” button, then the + symbol until it showed eight minutes.

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I made sure the pressure button was on high. You can adjust the time for a longer time period if needed. It takes a few minutes before you will hear it beeping, which means it’s starting to build up pressure. You will see a little bit of steam come out of the valve. No worries, it’s just getting ready to pressure cook your food.

Instant Pot

You can see the “manual” button below and the “High Pressure” light is on and it shows 8:00 for eight minutes.

Instant Pot

You will see the time 8:00 or whatever the time you need and then the flasher will show ON.

Instant Pot

When you hear the beeping after it’s cooked, you place a washcloth over the regulator vent and turn it to “venting” to carefully release the VERY HOT STEAM. You can get burned, it’s very hot, so be careful. You can then remove the lid if you want “quick release”, which is what I wanted to do with these potatoes. These potatoes can be fried, mashed or eaten as is. I love how easy it is to set and forget this pressure cooker.

Instant Pot

Let me know if you have a pressure cooker and tell me what foods you like to cook in yours! Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. It’s critical we know how to cook from scratch…..May God bless you for your efforts.

Pressure Cooker Temperatures-Vegetables

Pressure Cooker Temperatures-Meat

Pressure Cooker Temperatures-Rice, grains, beans

My favorite things:

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  1. Hi, Linda. The grandkids and I made our traditional sweet rice yesterday in the Instant Pot (don’t worry, I did the hot parts) . We had always used a regular rice cooker, but yesterday’s was the unanimous favorite for being more “puddingy”–they ate the entire batch! From now on, though, we will reduce the cinnamon sticks from 3 to 1, because the Instant Pot extracts so much more flavor.

    1. Roxanne that is awesome! I could eat sticky rice every day, literally. I love having a rice cooker and a pressure cooker because sometimes I have both of them going. Love making quick dinners that are healthy! Hugs! Linda

  2. BTW, thank you SO much for the charts; the instructions that came with my pot are VERY limited. My question is: how do I know whether to let the pressure release on its own, or do a quick release?

    1. Roxanne, I was very frustrated with the lack of instructions that came with the Instant Pot. Thank goodness I had been using another electric pressure cooker because I just used my charts and the one cup of water. I never could find the minimum amount of water required for the Instant Pot. Good grief! This is why I shared my charts to help people. Okay, now about your question about whether to use natural release or quick release. I use quick release for meats because if I need to pressure it a bit more, I start it again because I want my meats very tender. I use the quick release for potatoes and most vegetables. About the only time, I use the natural release is when I am cooking rice or quinoa. You could use it for beans as well. Think of it this way, if the food can cook a little longer without going mushy, you can use natural release. You will quickly learn which one you like to use. I use quick release more than natural release. Oh m gosh, if you like corned beef for St. Patricks Day you will love pressure cooking that tough piece of meat! Have fun, Hugs! Linda

  3. Thanks, Linda, that makes sense. Made soy yogurt yesterday for 1/5 the cost of store-bought. Instant Pot will pay for itself very quickly!

    1. Hi Debie, I’m glad you asked, it is 8 minutes to cook these potatoes in a pressure cooker (with one cup water). It’s amazing this is why people are starting to realize pressure cookers are such a popular cooking device. I’ve been using a pressure cooker for many years, and my mother used one on the stovetop when I grew up. It’s nothing new, it’s just people are just now learning about them. Linda

  4. help….how do I use my 3 quart mini instant pot? I’m having problems understanding how to set the time and am not quite sure about the different settings. ty carol h.

    1. Hi Mc Haley, I do not have a 3-quart mini instant pot. I got so frustrated with my 6-quart Instant Pot, that was the “rave” all over Facebook that I gave it away. I will now only use my Fagor pressure cooker. It’s sturdier than the Instant Pot. I was so frustrated with the instructions included in the Instant Pot. I think the company has improved their instructions. I would look to join a Facebook Instant Pot Group. I wish I could help. Linda

  5. I agree with the other’s. The instructions are not very helpful. I have several friends ask me how I like my instant pot and I have told them, I haven’t used it because the instructions are very hard to follow. Because of this problem, mine has set in the box. I would really like to use it but I’m afraid I will make a big mistake.

    1. Hi, Linda, I gave my Instant Pot away. I prefer my Fagor Pressure Cooker over the Instant Pot. The Fagor is sturdier, stronger and so much easier to use. It was the BIG Hooray item all over social media. Well, not for me. It was a HUGE disappointment. I wouldn’t give up on the one you have. Or you can sell it and I can call you and walk you through how to use a Fagor. I have always said buy right the first time. I do not like buying a cheaper unknown product only to find out it’s not worth the money. I know a lot of people love them, I think its because it’s a pressure cooker and those are awesome. But if you have never had a really good one you wouldn’t know the difference. You will not make a mistake. If you follow the directions on my blog using the Instant Pot, you can make meats tender and meals so much faster. Please don’t give up! The right pressure cooker is awesome! Linda

  6. I love my Instant Pot!!! I have always had the old-fashioned pressure cooker that has the jiggling lid. There were many things that I couldn’t cook in it (beans, eggs, etc.) It was always worrisome to use because of the danger. My mother-in-law blew food all over the ceiling once and I never forgot that. Now, I can cook many wonderful recipes in just a short time. Everything I has tried so far, has ended up fantastic. I’m always looking for new recipes and am enjoying my “new” way to cook. One thing I am curious about is the fact that if a recipe calls for the pressure to be high, I can’t adjust the control. Of course, I can adjust the timer; however, on Manual setting, it does it’s own thing!!! It doesn’t change to high or low…just to normal. Am I doing something wrong?

    1. Hi Sandy, I saw a few different Instant Pots. It’s crazy some have a manual button, some have a high and low button. That’s a very good question. I cook everything on high and it always turns out. If your recipes are turning out great, you are not doing anything wrong. Here is what I found on their website: I quote “Manual or Pressure Cook (newer models): Use Manual/Pressure Cook program to set custom time and/or pressure level when you pressure cook”. You may have a newer model because mine does not have a manual button. I’m so glad to hear you love using it! Linda

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