Many people have the instant pot on their list of favorite kitchen equipment and there is a good reason for that. This cooking appliance has proven itself extremely useful and practical and more and more households around the globe can’t imagine preparing family meals without it. However, if you never used one, it can be quite overwhelming at first sight.
However, there’s no reason to worry. It’s all pretty simple; it just needs some getting used to. Before you plug it in and start trying out recipes, these are some of the basics that will make things run smoother.
What is Instant Pot?
Most of us can probably remember the pressure cooker our grandparents used. Well, Instant Pot is a modernized version of it. Using this device will significantly reduce the time you spend preparing meals. How? The steam created inside of it stays locked, produces higher temperatures, and makes food cook faster.
However, differently from its older cousin, this one is safe and easy to use. The most important safety measures you need to pay attention to are – don’t put your face above the steam release valve while it’s on and never open it if the pressure has not been released.
Often described as an all-in-one device, it can sauté, slow cook, steam vegetables, make perfect rice, and much more. As experts from CorrieCooks know well, even some more difficult dishes are easily prepared in Instant Pot. Most of the time, it will take you less than an hour to serve juicy and tasty meals your family and guests will enjoy.
Handling the electric pressure cooker for the first time can be daunting but in no time, you will start wondering why it took you so much time to make this appliance part of your kitchen equipment. Although specific models might differ in small details, the system is overall the same.
You need to go by several rules, no matter what type of cooker you have. To create steam and pressure, this device needs water. So, as a general rule, you want to use at least one cup of liquid every time you prepare dishes. Depending on the recipe, the amount of water you’ll need will vary and that’s why it’s important to follow a method from a trusted source.
On the inside pot, you will see 1/2 and 2/3 lines. Whatever you plan to cook, the food or liquid you put inside shouldn’t go above the 2/3 line. And when it comes to food that expands, such as rice and beans, never pass over the 1/2 mark.
‘Pressure Cook‘ or ‘Manual‘ button is used to start a basic cooking cycle while +/- are there so you could adjust the time. After this cycle ends, the device will automatically go into the ‘Keep Warm’ mode. If you’re ready to serve your food immediately, turn it off. To switch between modes Less, Normal, and More, you have an ‘Adjust‘ button, while the one labeled as ‘Pressure‘ will allow you to regulate between high and low-pressure settings.
Although you can adjust cooking times yourself, there are also programs such as Soup/Broth, Egg, Rice, Porridge, Yogurt, and Bean/Chili that comes with pre-set cook times. Also, you need to understand the difference between cooking and total time. Before the device starts preparing the food, it will need to reach an adequate pressure level. This usually takes about 10 minutes, but it will depend on the pot’s size, type, and amount of food. It would help if you also accounted for the time needed to release the pressure after the cycle has ended.
As we already mentioned, it’s essential to remove the lid safely. That means waiting for the pot to become depressurized. Please wait for the float valve (pin) on the lid to drop down, which will let you know that it’s safe to open the pot.
Double Recipe, Double Cook Time?
If you’re about to have more people over and want to put twice as many ingredients as specified in the recipe, you don’t have to double the instant pot cycle period. However, the size of the meat or vegetables you use will affect the cooking time. , the smaller portion of chicken breast will need to be cooked less than the larger.
Instant Pot is practical on multiple levels. It’s time-efficient and can prepare even complex dishes in a reasonable time period. Also, the food cooked will preserve its natural flavor and juice. Your guests will remember your meals as some of the best there ever had the chance to taste.