Did you decide to get an Instant Pot and find yourself wondering how to use an Instant Pot? We will give you step by step tips on how to use an Instant Pot as well as simple recipes to get started today!
How to Use an Instant Pot
I remember when I first got my Instant Pot. I got it a little bit after everyone starting raving about it. I ordered it on Amazon and it arrived. I remember sitting there staring at the box, wondering why this machine had so many buttons. I instantly felt overwhelmed!
So to help you get past the overwhelmed stage I am going to help you learn to set it and how to get started cooking some very simple and delicious Instant Pot recipes.
Before you start using your Instant Pot
Before we get started let me first welcome you to the Instant Pot family. I promise you that the Instant Pot will change your life. Seriously it has changed mine with so many recipes that have made cooking so much easier. Be sure to join our Instant Pot community to share tips and recipes that you love and also find great new recipes to try!
So let’s get your Instant Pot out of the box and get started!
Unpacking your Instant Pot
The first thing you will want to do is to take your Instant Pot out of the box. There is no reason to be nervous and keep it in the box. The longer you let it sit in the box the more likely you are to never use it.
After you have taken it out of the box you will want to remove the lid by turning it clockwise. It will unlock and you will be able to lift it off.
Once the lid is off remove all the plastic and the accessories from the inner pot.
You can put the lid back on by setting it on the pot and turning it counterclockwise. It will lock into position.
First Steps to using your Instant Pot
Before using your Instant Pot you will want to wash all the parts. This includes the lid, the steam release valve, and the inner bowl. They say these are dishwasher safe, but I always recommend handwashing.
Be sure that you wash the base unit by hand and never immerse it in water.
Instant Pot Safety Tips
If you pulled out and started reading the Instruction manual you will know that there are a lot of safety warnings. Here are the most important ones to remember!
- Never put your face or body parts near the steam release valve. The steam that will come out of this valve will be hot and will burn you. I always wear an oven mitt or flip the release valve with a kitchen utensil.
- Never attempt to open the lid prior to all the steam being releasing from the pot. Be sure to wait for the float valve to fall. Do not use an object to force the float valve down so you can open it.
Prior to cooking your first recipe, you will want to conduct a water test. This helps you get to know your Instant Pot a bit and also ensures that it is working properly.
Must-Have Accessories for the Instant Pot
While there are so many accessories on the market for the Instant Pot I recommend 10 must-have Instant Pot accessories.
Some of my favorites on the list are:
- glass lid Consider ordering a glass lid if you don’t own one yet. It is great to use for when you use your saute setting, or you are keeping the food warm. It acts just like a regular lid for a pot, and great for lifting off and serving your food up to your guests.
- egg steamer racks ( you need this in your life! Perfect for hard boiling eggs!)
- egg bites molds (If you love egg bites this is an absolute must! Be sure to try some of our egg bite recipes below!)
- push pan (if you are planning to make fail-proof Instant Pot cheesecakes then add this to your collection!)
Natural release vs Quick Release
Depending on the recipe, it will call for a natural release or a quick release.
A natural release is when you allow the steam to release from the pot on its own. This is a slow-release of pressure.
A Quick release. Is when you release the steam out of the pot quickly. You do this by switching the steam release valve to the venting position. Steam will quickly release out of the pot. Be sure you do not have any part of your body in the way of the steam. It is very hot and will burn you.
If a recipe calls for a natural release for a set amount of time then you will naturally let it release for that amount and then switch the valve to vent to get the rest of the steam out of the pot prior to opening.
Let’s get cooking with your Instant Pot
Now that you have conducted your water test and have cleaned your Instant Pot, it is time to make your very first Instant Pot recipe!
You will want to start with some easy recipes to get the hang of using your Instant Pot. I have included a great list of easy first time recipes, Must Try Instant Pot Recipes, Egg Bite Instant Pot Recipes, & Things you never thought you could make in the Instant Pot.