Getting Started with an Instant Pot

Chef Brainy

Getting Started with an Instant Pot

Welcome to the world of Instant Pot cooking! The Instant Pot is a versatile and efficient kitchen appliance that can make your life much easier. In this blog post, we will cover some tips to help you get started, as well as two easy recipes you can try right away.

Tips for Getting Started with Your Instant Pot

  1. Read the manual: Before you dive into cooking, make sure to read the user manual that comes with your Instant Pot. It will provide important information on how to safely operate your appliance, as well as guidance on how to properly clean and maintain it.
  2. Get familiar with the buttons and functions: The Instant Pot comes with a variety of preset cooking options, such as pressure cooking, slow cooking, and sautéing. Spend some time getting to know these functions so you can confidently use them in your recipes.
  3. Do a water test: Before you start cooking with your Instant Pot, perform a water test to ensure that it is working properly. Add 3 cups of water to the inner pot, close the lid, and set the steam release valve to the sealing position. Select the “Steam” or “Manual” button and set the timer for 5 minutes. When the time is up, release the pressure by carefully turning the steam release valve to the venting position. Once the pressure has been released, remove the lid and check that the water has heated up.
  4. Always use enough liquid: When pressure cooking, you need to have enough liquid in the pot to create steam. A general rule of thumb is to use at least 1 cup of liquid for recipes that cook for 30 minutes or less, and 1.5 cups for recipes that cook for more than 30 minutes.
  5. Don’t overfill: To ensure proper cooking, never fill your Instant Pot more than two-thirds full. For recipes that expand during cooking, such as grains or beans, limit the contents to half full.
  6. Release pressure safely: When your recipe is finished cooking, it’s important to release the pressure safely. Use either the natural pressure release method or the quick release method, depending on the recipe. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully to avoid injury.

Easy Recipes

Chicken and Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Add chicken to Instant Pot and season with basil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add rice, chicken broth, and water to the pot.
  3. Close the lid and set the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  4. Once the cook time is up, use the quick release method to release pressure.
  5. Stir the chicken and rice together and serve.

Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb beef stew meat
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Instructions:

  1. Add beef to Instant Pot and season with thyme, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add onion, garlic, cream of mushroom soup, and beef broth to the pot.
  3. Close the lid and set the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 20 minutes.
  4. Once the cook time is up, use the quick release method to release pressure.
  5. Stir in sour cream and serve over egg noodles.

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed

Instructions:

  1. Add macaroni, water, and salt to the Instant Pot. Close the lid and set the steam release valve to sealing.
  2. Select “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” and set the timer for 4 minutes.
  3. Once the cooking time is up, carefully perform a quick release of the pressure.
  4. Stir in the milk, butter, and cheeses until fully melted and combined. Serve immediately.

Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Place chicken breasts in the Instant Pot, and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  2. Pour salsa and chicken broth over the chicken.
  3. Close the lid and set the steam release valve to sealing.
  4. Select “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” and set the timer for 12 minutes.
  5. When the cooking time is up, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then perform a quick release.
  6. Shred the chicken with two forks and serve with rice or tortillas.

Final Thoughts

The Instant Pot is a versatile and efficient appliance that can help you save time and effort in the kitchen. With a little practice and experimentation, you can create delicious and nutritious meals in no time. Try these two easy recipes to get started, and don’t be afraid to get creative and try new things!