If you are like me you are just now jumping onto the Instant Pot craze. I was a die hard slow cooker user, probably 2-3 times a week especially in winter. When my beloved slow cooker ceramic liner cracked and because it was 14 years old the manufacturer did not make that model anymore I was out of luck in finding a new insert. So you got an Instant Pot, now what? A foolproof guide to using your new Instant Pot. Will help you navigate your new kitchen toy and provide you with some helpful tips on cooking certain foods.
I had been hearing about this amazing kitchen gadget the Instant Pot for some time now. A kitchen tool that is 7 in one, you could cook frozen chicken to tender and shreddable in 13 minutes! AMAZING right!! So when it came time for me to delve into the Instant Pot world I was pretty excited.
I read up on the Instant Pot and techniques for cooking certain meats. I thought I was ready, OK lets do this! My first foray was making super tender and shreddable chicken for tacos one night. I followed the recipe to the letter and what came out definitely was not shreddable and tender, it was tough and rubbery. Into the garbage it went. Through trial and error I have learned some tricks to cooking times that I will share with you as well as a foolproof guide to using your new Instant Pot functions. Hopefully this will answer some of the many questions you have with using your new Instant pot!
Let’s start with the functions first!
Instant Pot Functions:
Manual– An all purpose button for pressure cooking. You can adjust the time by pressing the + or – button next to the time.
Keep Warm/Cancel– You can use this function after you have completed cooking and want to keep your food warm.
Timer– For delayed cooking set your other functions then hit timer. Add or subtract time by hitting the + or – button.
Saute– Use this fuction as you would a skillet on the stovetop. You can brown meats or saute vegetables.
Pressure– Use this for pressure cooking. You can alternate between high and low pressure.
Slow Cooker– Use this function like you would your regular slow cooker. You can adjust temperature to low, medium or high as well as the time.
Soup– The Soup function allows you to cook soup or broths at a long period of time with a steady temperature.
Meat/Stew– This function allows you to cook beef similar to the Poultry function. Ensure that your meat is covered with liquid wither broth or water to ensure that it does not dry out.
Poultry– This function allows you to cook tender chicken. When cooking frozen chicken ensure that you add enough fluid to the pot to cover the chicken such as broth or water. This will ensure that you have tender chicken that is cooked all the way through. No nightmare chicken dinners here!
Bean/Chili– This function uses high pressure to cook any meal with beans and ensure they do not end up mushy.
Rice– This function cooks perfect rice! No kidding. This is the only function where you can not adjust the time. The Instant Pot automatically adjust based on the weight of the rice.
Multigrain– Use the Multigrain function when you cook grains other that white rice, such as Wild rice, Farro, brown rice, etc. These grains have a longer cook time and this function adjusts for that additional time.
Porridge– The Porridge function is perfect for cooking steel cut oats and grits/cream of wheat. Overnight soaking of steel cut oats is not required. You just add the water and oats to the Instant Pot and Voila you have perfectly cooked Oatmeal!
Steam– This function is perfect for fresh vegetables , fish or shellfish. You need to use the steam rack that comes with your instant pot or steam basket, this ensures that the veggies or fish remain out of the steaming liquid.
Yogurt– Low pressure cooking for creating delicious creamy yogurt.
Instant Pot Buttons:
+/- Buttons– Allow you to adjust cook time. Don’t forget that these buttons can not be used with the Rice function.
Adjust– This button allows you to switch through different modes of a function.
Manual– This button allows you to make magic with your Instant Pot. Manual allows you to adjust to high or low pressure as well as adjust cook time. Using this button is a lot of trial and error so do not get discouraged! This button is great for making cheesecakes.
Timer– This button allows you to delay cook times
Last but not least the steam valve. There are two settings for the steam valve, venting and sealing. Pressure will be released when venting. There are two options for venting, Natural and quick release. For natural release when the Instant Pot shuts off after cooking you do not release the valve and pressure is released naturally over time. This can take 15-20 minutes. Quick release is just that you move the steam valve to quick release and it immediately releases the pressure and steam. Make sure your face is away from the valve to spare yourself from a nasty burn.
Meats Cheat Sheet: I am only including a meats cheat sheet in this post since ruining a pot roast can be more disappointing and cost more than a bag of carrots! ; )
I recommend when cooking beef that you allow for a natural, slow, release of pressure. I find that when you open the valve for a quick release the meat tends to be tougher.
Pot Roasts – 30 – 40 minutes
(that will cook it but I do add more time to my roast about 30 minutes for that falling apart goodness)
Stew Meat – 15 – 20 minutes
Ribs – 25 – 30 minutes
Ground Beef, frozen – 25 minutes
Whole – 6 minutes per pound
Boneless – 8 minutes
Boneless, frozen – 12 minutes
Bone-In – 10 – 15 minutes
Boneless Breast – 15 – 20 minutes
Bone-In Breast – 25 – 30 minutes
Legs – 15 – 20 minutes
Ham, re-heat boneless fully cooked – 6 – 7 minutes
Ham, shoulder – 25 minutes
Roast, butt – 45 – 50 minutes
Roast, loin – 55 – 60 minutes
Ribs – 20 – 25 minutes
Chops – 5 – 6 minutes
Whole – 5 – 6 minutes
Whole, frozen – 7 – 10 minutes
Fillets – 2 – 3 minutes
Fillet, frozen – 3 – 4 minutes
If you haven’t already jumped on the Instant Pot craze, you can purchase one HERE!
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