Why I Love the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker

The Instant Pot has been a life-saver for me. This electric pressure cooker makes cooking much easier and faster. With the Instant Pot, I can quickly make tender stews and soups that usually take hours over the stove -- just by putting all the ingredients in, pressing a few buttons and leaving it to do the cooking! 

Why an electric pressure cooker vs. a regular pressure cooker?

Pressure cooking, which is cooking under high pressure, reduces cooking time. The Instant Pot is unique in that it automatically controls the temperature to maintain the pressure. Instead of spending time to look after and manually adjust the temperature of a pressure cooker on the stove, the Instant Pot does it for you! With the Instant Pot, you just need to put all your ingredients in, press a few buttons, and the Instant Pot will do the rest!

I got an Instant Pot after I burnt one too many pots that I had forgotten on the stove!

Why the Instant Pot vs. other electric pressure cookers?

One advantage of the Instant Pot over other electric pressure cookers is that it has a stainless steel inner pot. Many other electric pressure cookers have teflon (non-stick) coated pots. I prefer stainless steel over non-stick coatings to minimize unwanted chemicals and toxins in my food.

What can I make in the Instant Pot?

Anything that you normally steam, stew, slow cook or boil can be cooked in the Instant Pot.

The "Slow Cook" function of the Instant Pot completely replaces the slow cooker in your kitchen! In order to slow cook, you need to keep the lid on the "Venting" position, so that pressure does not build up in the pot.

The Instant Pot also has a "Saute" function, allowing you to brown or pan fry aromatics before pressure cooking.

There are many recipes for the Instant Pot. I recommend following recipes when you first get the Instant Pot to familiarize yourself with the difference in cooking times with Instant Pot.

Here are some of my favorite websites for Instant Pot recipes:





I use my Instant Pot almost everyday, and here are some of my own favorite recipes!

One Pot Beef Ragu Pasta



instant pot electric pressure cooker chicken noodle soup recipeOne Pot Chicken Noodle Soup



Pork Rib Adobo



Ok, I'm finally convinced I should get the Instant Pot. Where can I buy one?

I'm glad you are ready to take the plunge! It will be life-altering once you get used to the Instant Pot and find recipes that you like!

The manufacturer sells it directly, at https://instantpot.com/store/home.php.

You can also get it from Amazon, with free 2-day shipping.

I have the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker, 6 quarts.

The usual price of the Instant Pot is around $130 from Amazon. During Black Friday 2015 there was a humongous Instant Pot sale, when it only cost $78.50. I don't know if it will ever drop to that price again though.

A good way to keep track of any drop in prices for the Instant Pot on Amazon is to enter the Instant Pot into www.camelcamelcamel.com, a site that notifies you by email when it drops to your desired price. Pretty nifty, right? 

Any gadgets that will help cooking with the Instant Pot?

There is a useful steam rack with two handles that comes with your Instant Pot. It keeps your food away from the water below while steaming. It's good for steaming large items such as squashes or a whole chicken. 

There are a few items that I found to be useful for my Instant Pot cooking:

A glass lid was the first thing I bought to use with my Instant Pot. It is perfect for covering the pot when I saute aromatics that tend to splatter all over. I learned the hard way that the pressure cooker lid does not function well after I used it to cover up oil splatter. The lid is also useful when I am storing Instant Pot left overs in the fridge.

Note that the official Instant Pot Lid has a hole to let out steam.

I actually purchased a Fagor 8.5-inch lid from Amazon, but it's not in stock anymore. It doesn't have a steam hole on the lid. It fit perfectly on my Instant Pot, but after a year of use, it seems to be a bit tight on the pot. Does anyone have any experience with the official Instant Pot lid not fitting exactly over time?

A stainless steel vegetable steamer works quite well if you have small loose vegetables to steam. Just pour a cup of water at the bottom of the Instant Pot, then put your vegetables on top of the steam rack.

It's also quite useful as a separator when you are cooking two things in the Instant Pot that you don't want mixed together. I have used it to separate out the bones from the vegetables that I cook together in a pot of soup. 

Um, yes, that's a dog bowl right there...

I have a 2 cup stainless steel bowl that I use in the Instant Pot to steam rice along with the stews that I make. It fits perfectly into the Instant Pot. I bought it from Daiso, a Japanese dollar store. It looks exactly like this dog bowl that is selling on Amazon. I guess I had bought a dog bowl at Daiso...I guess as long as it's safe for dogs, it should be safe for us?  In any case, it's the perfect accessory for the Instant Pot, as it allows you to cook rice along with your dish! 

And to take out your steaming bowl of rice or cooked squash, a plate holder tong such as this will save you from burning your fingers!




 Any tips on how to use the Instant Pot?

After using the Instant Pot almost daily for the past few years, here are my tips for reliable, safe and easy cooking with the Instant Pot!

Let me know what you think of the Instant Pot and your favorite thing to make with the Instant Pot!

Happy Instant Potting!

Why I love the Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker 

8 Instant Pot Tips for Reliable, Safe and Easy Instant Pot cooking

8 Instant Pot TipsAfter several years of using the Instant Pot almost daily, I've learned some quirks and tricks to using the Instant Pot.

I hope these 8 tips will help you cook reliably, safely and easily with the Instant Pot!

Eight instant pot tips

Instant Pot Tips, how to reliably build up pressure

The first major hurdle is ensuring the Instant Pot builds up pressure, signified by the float valve (the silver metal cylinder) popping up.

Instant Pot Tips, wipe inner pot rim after all ingredients inTip #1 - Wipe the Inner Pot Rim

after all the ingredients are put in.

I cannot tell you how many times the lid not seal correctly, leading to no pressure build-up and my pasta dish becoming a sad mush.

Whatever dish you make, make it a habit to wipe down the inner pot rim after all the ingredients are in.



Instant Pot Tips, Wipe inner pot rim

Instant Pot Tips, Keep lid clean

Tip #2 - Keep the Lid Clean

Only put the Instant Pot lid onto the pot when you are ready to pressure cook.

I made the mistake many times where I used the Instant Pot lid to cover my sauting food. I would often find that the pressure did not build correctly afterwards. 

If you want to cover sauting food to avoid splatter, I recommend you buy a regular glass lid that fits the Instant Pot.

If the Instant Pot lid's silicone ring has some food particles or oil/liquid splatter, wash it well with soap before putting it on for pressure cooking. 




 Instant Pot Tips, Press handle of lidTip #3 - Press the Handle of the Instant Pot Lid

if the float valve hasn't popped up, and you see steam coming out.

Sometimes the Instant Pot lid just needs a little help to seal up. I find that using both hands to give the lid a little push down helps the float valve to pop up.




Instant Pot Tips, Safely open lid

One of the scariest thing you need to get used to with the Instant Pot is opening the lid! When cooking is done, and you need to do a quick release (QR) to open the lid, you can do it very safely without ever getting a steam burn.

Instant Pot Tip, cover vent with cloth

Tip #4 - Cover Vent with Cloth 

If there is a chance that liquid or food particles will come out of the vent with quick release, this prevents liquid or food particles from spraying all over your kitchen walls.

I cover only the half of the lid with the steam release handle, and I do not cover the handle of the lid. This is so that the steam does not heat up the lid handle so you can turn the lid handle without burning yourself. 




Instant Pot Tips, Cover lid with cloth

Instant Pot Tips, Use long utensil to open vent

Tip #5 - Use Long Utensil to Open Vent

NEVER use your hand to flick open the steam release handle!!

Always use a long utensil. In this picture I'm using a pair of tongs. A spatula, a long spoon, a pair of chopsticks - these will all work.

You need to flick the steam release handle (under the cloth) towards yourself to open it. 



Instant Pot Tips, Use a long utensil to open vent

Instant Pot Tips, Close vent if hear liquid spewing out

Tip #6 - Close Vent if You Hear Liquid Spewing Out

Sometimes when there is more liquid in the pot, the high pressure difference during quick release can make the liquid come out of the steam release handle.

If you hear a lot of liquid coming out, it may be best to flick the steam release handle back away from you (to close it), wait a few minutes for the contents of the pot to cool down a little before opening the steam release handle.



Instant Pot Tips, How to easily clean up

Once you enjoyed your Instant Pot deliciousness, it's time for clean up. Here are some easy ways to clean your Instant Pot!

Instant Pot Tips, Fill inner pot with water, then manual for 2 minutes

Tip #7 - Fill the Dirty Inner Pot with Water, Manual Cook for 2 Minutes 

It's especially hard to clean the one pot pasta when there is pasta stuck to the bottom of the pot.

After taking all the pasta out, I would put about a cup (or two) of water into the bottom of the inner pot, so that the stubborn food particles are covered by the water. Then, manual cook it for 2 minutes. You can quick release or slow release depending how much time you have. This will steam clean the inner pot. 

Give the pot a good scrub, then put it in the dishwasher!

Instant Pot Tips, Hand wash 4 items

Tip #8 - Hand Wash 4 Items: Sealing ring, Anti-block Shield, Steam Valve and Condensation Collector 

There are little things to hand wash, but it's often easy to forget them.

Remember the number 4!

The sealing ring, anti-block shield and steam valve are all on the lid.

The condensation collector is at the back of the Instant Pot.  

 I hope these tips will make your Instant Pot cooking even more enjoyable and safe! I love my Instant Pot, and I know you will too!

Eight instant pot tips for reliable, safe and easy instant pot cooking.