Cooking Tips







GENERAL

  • For accessories and replacement parts, visit the Instant Pot Online Store: www.store.instantpot.com.
  • The condensation collector can be found in the accessory package. Check inside the measuring cup if you have trouble locating the condensation collector.
  • Each recipe may be slightly different depending on the author. Before beginning to cook, read through the entire recipe so you know what ingredients to add and when to add them, which pressure level to use, the cooking time and the release method.
  • Prior to starting, ensure the inner pot is positioned in the cooker base.  If you have added water, ensure the exterior of the inner pot is dry before positioning in the cooker base.
  • Allow meats to “rest” 5-20 minutes (depending on size of cut) after cooking to ensure juiciness.
  • The cooker handles are also a lid holder. The lid has been designed with lid fins that fit perfectly inside the right- and left-handed cooker base handles.
  • Remember to turn off your Instant Pot. On older models the ‘Keep Warm/Cancel’ buttons are the same, so ensure that when selected, the display indicates OFF.
  • Do not touch the lid’s hot surfaces during or after cooking.
  • Replace the silicone sealing ring every 18-24 months, as they will stretch over time with normal use.
  • Always ensure that the steam release handle/valve, steam release pipe, anti-block shield, float valve, and heating element are clean and free of food particles and debris before cooking.
  • Cut larger pieces of food into smaller uniform sizes for even and thorough cooking.
  • To hasten pressurization when cooking large cuts of meat, allow meat to “rest” at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before cooking.
  • High-Altitude Cooking: Higher altitudes will affect cooking results. To adjust your recipes, follow the chart below:
At or Above  Increase Cook Time  Or Multiply By 
2000 ft  5%  1.05 
3000 ft  10%  1.1 
4000 ft  15%  1.15 
5000 ft  20%  1.2 

Note: Adjustment is not required below 2000ft.


PRESSURE COOKING

  • The cook time you input is not how long the recipe will take. The cook time starts when the cooker reaches full pressure. The cooker goes through 3 stages when pressure cooking:
    • Heating & Pressurization: The cooker will begin turning the cooking liquid into steam pressure. Once enough pressure has built up, the float valve will rise on its own and the cooker “pressurizes”.
    • Cooking: Within 5 minutes of pressurization, the cooker will beep once and begin counting down the selected cook time.
    • Depressurization & Keep Warm: The cooker needs to release steam and “depressurize” after cooking. 
      • Note: Whether or not Keep Warm is ON after cooking completes, the cooker will cool sufficiently over time to naturally release pressure—but it will cool faster if Keep Warm is turned OFF!
  • The time it takes your pressure cooker to pressurize and depressurize will depend on a variety of factors. For this reason, we suggest that the heating cycle may take anywhere from 5-40 minutes, or more.
  • Cold or frozen foods will increase the amount of time it takes your cooker to pressurize, and may require a few additional minutes of cooking time.
  • Recipes may indicate to use the Manual or Pressure Cook Program. These terms are interchangeable.
  • Certain food (such as applesauce, cranberries, pearl barley, oatmeal, split peas, noodles, etc.) may foam, froth, or spatter, and can clog the steam release pipe and/or steam release handle. Extreme caution must be used when cooking and venting these foods—do not fill the appliance over “— 1/2” line.
  • When cooking foods that expand such as rice or beans, do not fill the appliance over the “— 1/2” line, as indicated on the inner pot.
  • Do not fill the inner pot higher than the “PC MAX — 2/3” line, indicated on the inner pot.
  • Keep two genuine Instant Pot sealing rings on hand — one for sweet and one for savory dishes! Visit www.store.instantpot.com for details.
  • For the best results, once cooking has completed use the venting method as directed by your recipe.
  • Pressure cooking pasta – choose dry noodles with a minimum cooking time of 8 minutes (a shorter time will not pressure cook well), then cut that time in half (8 minutes becomes 4 minutes). Follow your recipe for liquid levels. Submerge pasta if possible, but do not stir.
  • Use the steam rack to lift foods out of the cooking liquid. This will ensure even heat distribution, prevent nutrients from leeching into the cooking liquid, and stop burning on the bottom of the inner pot.
  • All programs except Rice default to High Pressure.  For Rice, the default is  Low Pressure.
  • For the best rice results, leave lid on after the cook cycle for an additional 5-10 minutes before quick releasing pressure.
  • When pressure cooking, always ensure the steam release handle/valve or quick release button is in the “Sealing” position.
  • Pressure cooking liquids must be water-based, such as broth, stock, or juice.

SLOW COOKING

  • Add cooking liquid in order to evenly distribute heat.
  • The Instant Pot tempered glass lid vents excess moisture, and is ideal for monitoring cooking while using Slow Cook. Visit www.store.instantpot.com
    for details.

YOGURT MAKING

  • For extra thick yogurt, run the “Pasteurization” cycle twice.
  • Go Greek! For a creamy Greek-style yogurt, strain liquid whey from yogurt with a cheesecloth. This thick style of yogurt is ideal as a low-fat cooking substitute for sour cream.
  • Milk must reach a minimum of 161°F / 72°C for 15 seconds for pasteurization to occur.
  • If using store-bought yogurt as a starter, make sure bacterial cultures are active.
  • Make yogurt faster – use “ultra-pasteurized” milk and skip the Pasteurization phase.
  • After fermentation finishes, let your yogurt sit in the fridge overnight to develop the flavor.

SOUS VIDE COOKING

  • Use high quality, fresh ingredients when cooking sous vide to ensure the best possible flavor.
  • When seasoning with salt, it is better to use less than you might add normally, especially with meats, poultry, and fish. We recommend salting to taste after cooking.
  • Use garlic powder rather than raw garlic. Raw garlic can become bitter and overpowering when cooked sous vide. Pure and high-quality garlic powder will provide the best results. Do not use garlic salt in place of garlic powder!
  • Reverse sear your meat: pat it dry, then briefly sear the exterior with Sear/Sauté, or a cast iron pan, browning torch, or grill.
  • Longer cooking times may alter food’s texture.
  • Thickness of meat should be measured once it has been vacuum-sealed.
  • Thinner cuts of meat will cook faster.
  • If your dish is not going to be consumed immediately, plunge pouches into ice water to reduce temperature quickly, then keep refrigerated until ready to use.

BLENDING

  • Soak nuts and seeds up to 24 hours before blending. The longer the soak, the creamier the texture!
  • Lightly toasting dry oats before blending gives them a more robust flavor.
  • Add your favorite cooking oil when preparing rice or oat milk to ensure a smooth, creamy texture.
  • Pitted dates, maple syrup, agave, stevia, and honey may be added along with the recipe ingredients to sweeten your beverage.
  • Vanilla, cinnamon, salt, coconut and cocoa powder are all delicious flavors that may be added to milk alternatives before or after straining.
  • Stacking Smoothies: When blending cold ingredients, the order in which ingredients are placed in the pitcher may affect the blender’s performance. It is best to add liquid ingredients first and then add dry ingredients after.
  • When blending thick contents, do not fill the pitcher higher than 1000mL to avoid overheating the motor.
  • Some food ingredients take longer to break down than others. Run a manual blending program after adding firm or woody ingredients.
  • To clean and sharpen blender blades, put 4-5 egg shells (shells only) in the blender with 1-2 cups of water, then set the blender to Pulse. Discard mixture after blending and rinse with clear, warm water.