21 Cooking Tips and Recipe Ideas for Your Instant Pot

Instant Pot

In the two months since I bought my Instant Pot, I’ve done a lot of experimenting and have determined that while not a foolproof appliance, it is pretty amazing, and will likely have a permanent place in my kitchen. I tend to use it for the same types of recipes (listed below), yet constantly stumble across something new to try.

If you already own one, or are simply Insta-curious, here are a few of my tried and true cooking tips, as well as a list of ideas (with links where possible) of what to make in your Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Cooking Tips

Read the manual that comes with the machine and keep it handy for any questions that may come up while you’re becoming familiar with your pot.

Use boiling water from a kettle for the liquid, if possible. It will jump-start the pressurizing process. If you want to use stock, heat it in the microwave to shave several minutes off your preheating time.

You can cook food and prepared meals right from frozen, however be sure to allow for a little extra time for the pot to come to pressure and to cook the food.

Be cautious of pressure cooker recipes calling for dairy and flour as both are subject to burn. I add both ingredients after the pressure has been released (and I continue cooking with the sauté function).

If you aren’t following a recipe specifically created for the Instant Pot, it will take a lot of trial and error to determine the exact cooking times. Play around with your ingredients and if you’re cooking meat, keep a thermometer handy to check for doneness. The more you use a multi-cooker, the easier it will be to cook in it.

Cooking in an instant pot reduces the cooking time by 60 – 70%.

When cooking pasta, the general rule of thumb is that if you cut the conventional cooking time in half, that should yield the correct doneness.

When cooking a conventional recipe in an instant pot, you’ll need to cut back on liquid by about half, as moisture is trapped and you don’t get the same evaporation as you do in a pot.

To turn your slow cooker recipes into Instant Pot recipes, this handy guide will help to determine the proper cooking times.

What to Cook in an Instant Pot

Here is a list of some of the things I have tried to make in my Instant Pot, with great success:

  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Risotto (I suggest Emma Waverman’s recipe)
  • Pulled Chicken (frozen chicken thighs + BBQ sauce)
  • Whole Chicken (can be made from fresh or frozen chicken – recipe to come)
  • Bone broth or regular chicken stock
  • Cheesecake
  • Turkey Stuffed Peppers
  • Dried Beans
  • Chickpeas (especially for hummus)
  • Curries, Soups, Stews and Chilis
  • Hard-boiled eggs (they peel beautifully!)
  • Chili Mac (if you make a batch a batch of chili on the weekend, this recipe can have a crave-worthy weeknight dinner on the table in minutes)

Tell us, what are you cooking in your Instant Pot these days?


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