Who got an Instant Pot for Christmas? I did! I have to say I was a bit intimidated at first. The first time I used it, I made my kids leave the room in case it exploded. Yes, I know that seems silly! However, the “pressure” part of the pot is like stepping into an unknown world if you have never pressure cooked a day in your life. Coincidentally, my brother and sister got an Instant Pot for Christmas and I wanted to put together a few dos and don’ts for all of us that I didn’t realize were important.
1.Clean the lid and pot before you use it.
That may be a no brainer for you but some don’t do it.
2. Read the user manual.
Pressure cookers can be very dangerous so skipping the user manual is really non-negotiable. You will learn where the buttons are and what they do. You will learn about the valve and components of your pot.
3. Do the water test.
The water test on page 14 of your Instant Pot manual will help you become familiar with the buttons as well as the valves.
4. Understand the difference between Natural Release and Quick Release.
This was like a foreign language for me at first.
Natural Release (NPR) has to do with the metal pin by your valve. After your food is done cooking, you leave your Instant Pot alone for 10-40 minutes, depending on the amount of food in the pot. The metal pin will drop down when it’s done releasing, and you can open your pot.
Quick Release (QPR) is a manual release. You will turn the valve from sealing to venting yourself. DO NOT put your hand over the valve. You will burn yourself. Make sure you do this from the side to prevent burns.
If you food starts splattering with Quick Release, turn the handle back to sealing position. Allow the pot to natural release.
5. DO NOT force the lid open.
Please don’t open it prematurely! It’s so dangerous! Wait until the pot has completely depressurized and the pin has dropped before opening the lid.
6. Clean the anti block shield after 5 uses or when cooking food that splatters.
See the video below to see where it is located.
7. Your Instant Pot can slow cook and saute.
You even have a delayed start button as well that also helps.
8. You can use the handles of the Instant Pot to hold the lid!
9. Always check your sealing ring in your lid.
Ensure your ring is in place and that it is cleaned properly. Your ring should not have to be replaced for 2-3 years per the company.
10. It will take longer than the cooking time in your recipe.
Your pot has to heat up so it can add a few minutes before it starts to pressurize.
Do you have any Instant Pot tips for beginners? Tell me in the comments!
Happy Instant Potting!
Author: Betsy Ramirez
Betsy is a registered dietitian/nutritionist, homeschool mom, & fairy tale junkie, who loves getting crafty. Being on my bike and lifting weights are my therapy. Thinking outside the box is my jam!