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.