I admit it, I was scared. It took me a whole 6 months after buying my Instapot pressure cooker to actually use it. I had heard so many great things about it but also couldn’t escape the horror stories of people getting seriously hurt. Finally, after a long day of working and dealing with the kids, thawing something out and waiting for it to bake was NOT in the cards for me anymore. I had to give it a try.
Known for revolutionizing our time spent in the kitchen, one must wonder: exactly how does an Instapot work? According to instapoteats.com, when heated, the liquid inside the inner pot boils and turns into steam. Without an escape route, the build-up of steam creates pressure. It will then maintain that high-temperature heat and pressure cooking the food at a much faster rate.
For some strange reason, the first thing I decided to make was a sweet potato. I guess since traditionally I knew it took hours for it to soften in the oven, I needed to see if all the hoopla was true. In the end, it did cut the time down dramatically but I had to keep repeating since the middle was still hard. Hey, it was the first time …
I honestly don’t think I’ve even mastered the whole process. I’ve yet to truly utilize all its capabilities of cooking rice, yogurt, etc. I can now agree – it has made cooking less of a hassle and saves so much time. Thankfully there are tons of videos, support groups, articles, and websites of helpful material for beginners.
However, here are a few tips and tricks I learned on my own through trial & error!
- When setting the timer, remember that the clock starts AFTER the pot pressurizes – that process can take about 5 minutes.
- Use the Saute setting first when trying to brown the outside of meat before pressure cooking.
- There should always be some kind of liquid (water, broth, sauce, etc.) on the bottom of the pot to prevent the “burn” notification to allow steam to be created.
- Don’t over/under estimate cooking time. Only 1 minute is actually needed for pasta whereas a potato could take longer than expected.
- Never forget to release pressure before opening.
- NEVER let anyone else in the house operate it