Designed to be a multi-purpose cooker, the Instant Pot is capable of multiple functions; not only can it be used as a saucepan, but it is also capable of cooking rice, and even making yogurt. Officially released in 2010, the small appliance significantly reduces the time needed for food preparation, by cooking 2 to 10 times faster than the traditional cooker. Highly versatile and convenient, it also uses up to 70% less energy compared to other cooking methods. If you’re interested in preparing healthy, yet easy-to-make dishes, the Instant Pot is designed for you.
Like most electronics, however, potential consumers are bound to have questions about the product. How does it work? Does it really perform as well as it’s advertised? How safe is it? On this page, we will be answering some of the most frequently asked questions about the Instant Pot. By doing this, hopefully, you will be able to have a better idea of how the small appliance works, and be able to determine whether or not it’s suited for your lifestyle. Without further ado, let’s move forward to the FAQ.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Instant Pot
How Safe is it to use Instant Pots?
Compared to other varieties of pressure cookers, the Instant Pot is a much safer alternative. Designed with safety in mind, it features multiple features including:
– A Pressure Regular: Helps to ensure that the cooking pressure is under the safety limit
– An Anti-Blockage Vent: Prevents food and debris from blocking the pot’s vent
– A Safety Lid Lock: Prevents the lid of the cooker from accidentally opening while it’s pressurized
– Automatic Temperature Control: The computer automatically regulates the temperature based on the cooking setting
– A Sensor for Lid Position: Determines whether or not the lid is currently in an unsafe position
In addition to all that, the Instant Pot is also capable of cutting off power if the international temperature is to exceed preset safety limits. With all that said, however, it, like other kitchen appliances, should also be used diligently.
Are Instant Pots and Pressure Cookers the Same Thing?
Yes, the Instant Pot is a type of electric pressure cooker. To clarify, there are two main varieties- stovetop and electric. While they’re both capable of “pressure cooking”, those of the electric variety tend to be able to do more. Complete with smart built-in programs, it can be programmed to complete an array of tasks.
One thing that’s also often overlooked is the fact that you can swap stainless liners with an Instant Pot.
Are Instant Pots and Crock Pots the Same Thing?
No, while the Instant Pot capable of performing multiple functions, the Crock Pot serves only as a slow cooker. In fact, the former also has a slow cooking setting that can be used.
If you’re solely wanting to slow cook foods, a Crock Pot may suffice. If, however, you’re interested in doing more with a small appliance, the Instant Pot is probably the way to go.
How do you Clean an Instant Pot?
Seeing as how the Instant Pot consists of multiple components, it should also be washed component by component.
To clean the exterior of the cooker, you can use a damp cloth; for the inside, you can also use a slightly damp cloth, though it’s crucial that the cooker be kept dry at all times. If cleaning is needed around the edges, an old toothbrush can be used. Never place the cooker in the dishwasher.
As far as the inner pot and steam rack goes, both items can be safely put in the dishwasher. For periodic cleanings, you may also choose to place one cup of white vinegar at the bottom; after letting it rest for five minutes, rinse well with water.
The lid of the Instant Pot is also dishwasher safe, though it’s recommended to remove the anti-block field and sealing ring for thorough cleansing. In order to prevent it from retaining doors, place the lid upside down on the put after it’s been washed.
The layer underneath the lid, the anti-block shield should be cleaned separately after each use. After washing it with warm, soapy water, simply rinse and dry with a cloth.
Last but not least, the sealing ring can either be placed in the dishwasher or washed by hand. Remember to allow it to dry completely before re-inserting it back into the lid.
How to Steam Foods in an Instant Pot
The Instant Pot works as an excellent steamer. In order to steam foods, you’ll want to place at least one cup of water into the bottom of the inner pot. Next, place the steamer basket inside- on it, you’ll want to place the ingredients that you’d like to steam. After you’ve done so, close the lid, and set to sealing. From there, you’ll want to input the cooking time after pressing the “Steam Button”.
Once the food is finished, be sure to manually release the pressure, before removing the items from the pot.
What Can an Instant Pot Do?
Marketed as a convenient, 7-in-1 kitchen appliance, the Instant Pot is designed to prepare and cook a number of different dishes. Not only is it able to steam food, but it can also be used to cook rice, make yogurt, warm food, saute items- all at an incredibly quick rate.
Are Instant Pots Safe?
As mentioned earlier, the Instant Pot consists of a number of different parts. While the cooker itself, should never be placed in the dishwasher, many components are dishwasher safe; these include the inner pot, steam rack, lid, and sealing ring.
Are Instant Pots Worth It?
Like most things, whether or not an Instant Pot is worth it depends on what you’re looking for in a cooker. For instance, are you simply interested in cooking rice (if so, using a rice cooker may be a better option)? Or are you wanting to do more, such as making yogurt, pressure cook or steam foods?
The wonderful thing about the 7-in-1 Instant Pot is that it is capable of performing numerous functions. If you’re interested in more than one of its functions, it’s probably worth it.
How do you Saute Items Using an Instant Pot?
The newest Instant Pots are equipped with an advanced sautéing function. To sauté items, simply place the ingredients in the inner pot, and press the “Sauté” function key. Unlike some of its other modes, the lid must remain open at all time, in order to prevent pressure from building up. There are three different temperature settings, Normal (320F), More (338F), and Less (221F).
How do you Make Yogurt Using an Instant Pot?
If you’ve looked at your Instant Pot, then you’ve probably noticed the “Yogurt” button- that’s right, you can make your own home-made yogurt using the cooker!
First things first, you’ll want to heat a good amount of milk (e.g. 1 gallon) in the pot. Simply pour the liquid inside, press the “Yogurt Button”, and select the “Boil” option using the “Adjust” button.
After the milk has been heated thoroughly (it can type up to an hour), double check using a food thermometer that the liquid has reached 180F.
Once you’ve confirmed the milk has reached 180F, you’ll want to cool it to 100F. To do so, simply remove the inner pot, and set it on a cooling rack.
Next, you can add your yogurt starter (e.g. plain yogurt with live/action cultures) into the mixture. Afterward, return the inner pot back into the cooker and press the “Yogurt” button again. Using the “Adjust” button, keep the yogurt at the right temperature for eight hours- this allows for the cultures to work its magic.
Why Does My Instant Pot Say Burn?
When the word, “Burn” is displayed on the Instant Pot, it means that something has burned at the bottom of the pot, due to insufficient amounts of water, that are necessary for pressurization. To fix this, you’ll want to open the pot and clean the scorched foods off of the bottom. Starting over, you’ll want to ensure an adequate amount of liquid has been added.
Why Won’t My Instant Pot Seal?
There are a few reasons why the lid of your Instant Pot may not be sealing correctly, this include:
– There are bits of food debris on the rim of the pot
– The sealing ring is not properly placed in the pot
– There is debris (typically from starchy foods) coming up through the valve
To fix these issues, you’ll either want to make sure that the sealing ring is properly seated before closing the lid, wipe off the inner pot’s rim, or purchase a new sealing ring.
What Type of Instant Pot Should I Get?
While there are many different models of the Instant Pot, they all essentially do the same thing. The one major difference is size. How much food will you be cooking? If you plan on cooking for 4-6 people, the 6 qt will probably suffice. If not, there’s the option of the 8 qt model. Likewise, there’s also a small, 3 qt model, if you’re looking to prepare small portions of food.
With that said, let’s go over some of the different series:
Lux: An older model, does not have yogurt making functionalities; does not offer low-pressure cooking
Duo: Capable of both pressurizing foods at high and low settings; capable of making yogurt
Ultra: Features greater temperature control, as well as app and Bluetooth connectivity
What Instant Pot Accessories Should I Get?
There are many accessories that you can purchase for your Instant Pot. For instance, you can purchase more than one sealing rings for different foods if you’re sensitive to smells (especially if you’ll be making sweet items), or steamer inserts if you’re fond of steaming foods.
Some other popular accessories include a steaming basket, a tempered glass lid for slow cooking, stackable pans, and the plastic lid.
Where is the Instant Pot made?
Currently, the Instant Pot is manufactured by the Midea Group, a well-known Chinese electrical appliance manufacturer, in Guangdong, China.
Can the Instant Pot Make Rice?
Yes, you can easily cook rice with an Instant Pot. To do so, simply add rinsed rice and water in a 1:1 ratio (only applies for white rice) into the inner pot. Next, you’ll want to press on the “Rice” button after locking the lid and setting the valve to “sealing.” Make sure it’s set to high pressure, and cook for five minutes.
Can the Instant Pot Make Bread?
In a way, yes. While you won’t be able to make traditional white bread, quick bread such as banana bread is possible. In fact, you can even use the Instant Pot to make a variety of cakes.
Can the Instant Pot be Used for Canning?
While canning is possible with the Instant Pot, it’s generally not recommended as it does not reach the necessary pressure that most stove top pressure cookers are capable of for canning.
Can you Deep Fry Using the Instant Pot?
Generally, you will not be able to deep fry using an Instant Pot as its highest temperature, 284F, is not high enough for deep frying. If you desire to deep fry various foods, it may be a better option to use a dedicated deep fryer.
Can the Instant Pot Cook Eggs?
Yes, you can easily make soft/hard boiled eggs with the Instant Pot, using the “Steam” setting. To do this, place the steamer rack inside the pot, with one cup of cold water. Next, gently place the eggs on the rack. From there, close the lid, select the pressure setting, and cook anywhere from 5 to 14 minutes, depending on your preference. After the eggs are finished cooking, you’ll want to place them in a cold water bath to prevent further cooking (as they are still hot).
Can the Instant Pot Boil Water?
Yes, you can boil or heat up water using an Instant Pot. When adding the liquid, however, you want to be sure that you don’t fill it “too high” as you don’t want it to go down into the floor of the outer pot.
Can the Instant Pot Cook Frozen Meat?
Yes, you can easily cook frozen food using an Instant Pot, including meat. With that said, it’s important to note that raw meat should not be left at room temperature for over two hours. Typically, it’s advised to pre-cook meat, before using the “Keep Warm” setting to maintain it at the proper temperature.
Can the Instant Pot go on the Stove?
Assuming that you’re using the Instant Pot for its intended purposes, there shouldn’t be a reason to use it on a stovetop. If anything, you can cook the ingredients using the cooker itself.
Can the Instant Pot go in the Oven?
Similar to the above situation, there shouldn’t be a reason for putting the Instant Put in the oven. With that said, the inner pot could be removed, and placed in the oven as it is made of stainless steel.
Will the Instant Pot Beep When the Food is Done?
Yes, once the food is complete, the Instant Pot will alert you by beeping. If you want to turn off the beeping, however, that is also possible by turning off the sound in settings.