The first and most important step of using your Instant Pot is knowing what everything is. Here’s a quick guide to getting to know your Instant Pot! The video is below the first paragraph.
For the new year, I thought that I would focus a little more on Instant Pot and one-pot/one-pan cooking. A lot of you have told me that you follow Chattavore for Instant Pot recipes, so I want to give the people what they want! This includes an overhaul of my YouTube channel to focus on Instant Pot techniques and recipes. Step one: getting to know your Instant Pot.
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What Does Everything Mean?
On the front of your Instant Pot, there’s a control panel. You can choose a mode depending on what you are cooking, or you can steam, slow cook, sauté, or make yogurt. Truth be told, I generally use the manual setting when I am pressure cooking. The “pressure” button allows you to set low or high pressure (the Instant Pot defaults to high pressure). The adjust button allows you to select a temperature (less/normal/more in slow cook or sauté mode). The +/- buttons allow you to set the cook time. Finally, you can use the “timer” button to set a start time for your Instant Pot. The keep warm/cancel button allows you to turn your Instant Pot off after your cook time ends or set it to hold your food warm for a specific amount of time.
On top of the Instant Pot lid, there is a steam release handle. All of the pressure modes (including rice and steam) require you to use the steam release handle in the “sealing” mode. You can turn the handle to “venting” to quick release the steam. Next to the steam release handle is the float valve. When the float valve is in the “up” position, that means that your Instant Pot is fully pressurized. You will not be able to open the Instant Pot until the pressure has released, which can be achieved by moving the steam release handle to “venting” until the float valve drops or by allowing the Instant Pot to stand after the cook time ends until the float valve drops on its own.
On the underside of the Instant Pot lid, the anti-block shield prevents the float valve and exhaust valve from getting gummed up. Newer models have a round anti-block shield that only covers the steam release valve. Under the anti-block shield, the float valve is on the left and the exhaust/steam release valve is on the right. The sealing ring around the inner edge of the lid aids in sealing and must be in place for the Instant Pot to seal.
Pro-tip: store the lid upside down on top of the Instant Pot OR separate from the Instant Pot to keep smelliness at bay.
Instant Pot Accessories
There are several accessories included with the Instant Pot. A measuring cup (not a standard measuring cup) is included to allow you to measure water and grains. The utensil on the left is a soup ladle and the utensil on the right is a rice paddle. A steamer rack is included. You can set large pieces of food on top of the steamer rack to cook or steam or you can set another steamer rack on top of it.
So, those are the bare basics of getting to know your Instant Pot. Comment below to tell me what you want to know, what you want to learn to make in your Instant Pot, or Instant Pot experiments that you are a little too nervous to try yourself!