By now, you’ve most definitely heard of the Instant Pot, or as we call it “the Swiss army knife of the kitchen appliances”. It’s the hottest kitchen staple for obvious reasons. Instant Pots make dinner prep a breeze, save both time and energy, and make cooking easier than it has ever been.
I honestly don’t know what I’d do without my Instant Pot Duo now that I’ve been cooking with it for over 10 years. I’d probably feel like one arm was missing. It’s useful in so many ways that I couldn’t have imagined when I bought it.
There are tons of great Instant Pot tips and hacks that will help you get the most out of this magic kitchen appliance. So stick around to find out 25 ways to exponentially boost your Instant Pot potential.
Instant Pot Tips, Tricks & Hacks to Make Cooking Even Easier
1. Proof your bread in yogurt mode
We all can agree on just how amazing the yogurt preset on the Instant Pot is. Homemade yogurt in no time! I was sold on this alone. But, for all the baking gurus out there, do you know you can proof your bread in the Instant Pot too? Just use the yogurt preset and your bread will be proof in no time.
2. Preheat in sauté mode
Does your Instant Pot take forever to pressurize? Cut down on the pressurizing time by preheating the Pot on sauté mode. You only need to heat it for 5 minutes before adding your food, sealing the lid, and starting the cook time, but it will shave off anywhere up to 10 minutes from the initial pressurizing time.
3. Use warm liquids
Another tip to reduce the initial pressurizing time is to use warm liquids. Whatever liquid you plan on adding, whether it is a broth, juice, or just plain water, if you add it already hot your pot will pressurize in no time.
4. Instant Pot as a food warmer
The Instant Pot can also function as a food warmer. Whether you are hosting a party or your family just eats at different times, use the “keep warm” function and your Instant Pot will keep your food at the perfect temperature until you’re ready to eat it.
5. Use the Instant Pot as a Hot Pot
An Instant Pot is designed to be a kitchen catch-all, there’s no doubt about that. However, with a little creativity, it can also serve a few extra purposes. For example, you can use your Instant Pot to make a hot pot or Shabu Shabu.
Hot pot is the Asian cooking method of simmering thinly sliced meat, seafood and/or vegetables in a pot of broth. You can use your Instant Pot in place of a dedicated hot pot, which is exciting for those of us with small kitchens. You can first cook the broth in the Instant Pot, then set it in the middle of the table on keep warm, so everyone can dip their food in and cook it.
6. Delayed cooking with the timer setting
The delayed cooking timer setting lets you prep your meal beforehand and set it to cook at a specific time, like if you want to set beans or rice to soak for a specific time before cooking, or you want to prepare steel cut oats to be ready when you wake up.
Note: With delayed start, do keep in mind that perishable foods should not be held in the Instant Pot for longer than 1-2 hours for proper food safety.
7. Perfect hard-boiled eggs
Follow the 5-5-5 method to cook perfect hard-boiled eggs in the Instant Pot. Place the eggs on the trivet in the Pot with 2 cups of water and set to cook on high pressure for five minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for five minutes, and then give your eggs an ice bath for 5 more minutes. You will get perfect hard-boiled eggs every time.
8. Instant Pot as a double boiler
Another tip for baking enthusiasts, the Instant pot can also function as a double boiler. Pour in a cup or two of water. Place a heat-resistant bowl, over the top of the Pot. Voila! The double boiler is ready.
9. Pot-in-pot method for 2-in-1 meals
Cooking pot-in-pot is a great way to cook two different foods at once in the Instant Pot. You can make 2-in-1 or even 3-in-1 meals, if you have the right containers to use. For instant, you can cook rice in the base of the Instant Pot while cooking chicken tenderloins on the trivet above. You can cook rice in one container and potatoes in another container.
10. Turn your Instant Pot’s sound off
If you are not a fan of that high-pitched beep your Instant Pot makes every time you press a button, you can easily turn it off. Press the minus button three times and the display will read “SOFF” i.e. sound off.
11. Tempered glass lid
The Instant Pot has a heavy lid for the purpose of pressure cooking. But a glass lid will come in handy in recipes that require slow cooking or keep warm function. If you’re simmering soup in the pot, or holding food on keep warm, use the glass lid to cover the pot.
12. Use a silicon lid
A silicone lid is a useful addition to your Instant Pot accessories. When marinating meats before cooking, put them directly into the inner pot, cover them with a silicon lid, and pop it in the refrigerator. If you make a large pot of bone broth, you can cool it directly in the pot, put the silicon lid on and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to divide it up. There are so many uses for the lid!
13. Instant Pot Air Fryer
You can switch out your Instant Pot lid with an Instant Pot Air fryer lid. Most Instant Pot models are compatible with the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid, which converts your Instant Pot into an air fryer. The gadget can air fry, roast, bake, broil, reheat, and dehydrate, adding to the Instant Pot’s already extensive list of capabilities.
14. Have more than one inner pot
The Instant Pot comes with an inner pot you use to cook your food, but many Instant Pot owners like to have multiple inner pots at their disposal. This allows you to cook multiple dishes in one cooking session without having to wash the pot in-between; making it easier to cook multiple recipes in one single Instant Pot.
15. Have more than one sealing ring
Keep more than one ring and use them alternatively for savory meals and desserts. This is because the sealing rings tend to retain the aromas of previously cooked foods, and you don’t want your wonderful cheesecake to smell like yesterday’s chicken stew.
16. Handles as lid holders
Placing the lid on the countertop annoys you right? It leaves that water and food ring that stains your marble counter tops. Yeah, no one likes that! That’s why it’s amazing that your Instant Pot handles can also function as your lid holder. No more stained countertops!
17. Dishwasher safe parts
Most parts of your Instant Pot are dishwasher safe. Yeah, even the lid. Just pop the lid in your dishwasher and it will be sparkly clean.
18. Accessorize your Instant Pot
Although Instant Pots are multifunctional appliances, you can unlock a plethora of cooking methods if you accessorize your Instant Pot. Some very useful accessories are springform pans, steamer baskets, and stackable racks.
19. Use flavorful liquids
Add flavor to your food by using liquids other than water. Flavorful liquids like broths, juices, and stocks can add a lot of flavor. By replacing the water with a mixture of tomato broth and chicken broth, then adding a few sautéed onions and garlic, you can transform plain rice into a delicious side dish.
20. Vent safely with a utensil handle
When ventilating your Instant Pot it is important to never place anything directly on top of the steam release valve. If the gushing air scares you, try a long utensil handle and release the pressure in short bursts while standing away. You can also get a steam diverter that directs the steam safely out to the side.
21. Temperature adjustments while cooking
Make temperature adjustments while cooking. You might think you can only set the temperature once but that’s not true. When using the sauté or slow cooker modes, you can change the temperature. This allows you to get the ideal cooking temperature for any meal you’re preparing.
22. Vinegar steam clean
If your Instant Pot smells of foods you cooked previously, do a quick steam clean. Just add water and lemon or vinegar and pressure cook for 5 minutes. The scents will be gone. You may need to change your sealing ring if the smells linger.
23. Detachable cord
Most Instant Pots come with detachable cords. If your model has that, detach your cords while storing your Pot to save the cord from bending and breaking. I store mine inside the Instant Pot when it’s put away.
24. Storing your Instant Pot
Store your Instant Pot with the lid upside down and cord removed. The food aromas can linger in your Instant pot for a long time. Storing like this will reduce the smell and allow the pot to breathe.
25. The right placement for Instant Pot
The steam from the steam release valve can damage the undersides of your kitchen cabinets. Be strategic about your Instant Pot placement; ideally, a ventilated space such as under the range hood or on a counter with nothing overhead works best.
Why Use An Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot is one of the most useful kitchen appliances you can buy, because it drastically cuts down on the cooking time for developing flavors in soups and stews, getting tough cuts of meat tender, and even baking a cheesecake. And there are many accessories that will help you get more out of your Instant Pot.
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Angela loves to cook and has been making Instant Pot recipes for nearly 12 years. Thanks to inspiration from her family, she has developed an adventurous palate and a lifelong love for all things food.