The versatility of an instant pot makes it a must-have in any modern kitchen; it’s a nice appliance that can get different tasks done. It is the perfect pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker; you can steam foods, and so much more. The popularity of instant pots stems from the fact that they are affordable, take little space, and can get crucial kitchen tasks accomplished.
If you’ve just purchased your first instant pot, or received one as a gift and are a bit intimidated by the numerous buttons and preset programs; this guide is for you. Below, read everything you need to know about instant pots, and how to use them;
How to Exactly Use an Instapot?
1. Understanding pressure cooking
pressure cooking is a form of cooking that entails sealing food inside a vessel that has a liquid; the liquid and heat combine to create steam that makes the food cook faster. The vessel/appliance releases the pressure at intervals; the method helps food retain its flavor as well as its nutrients. Instant pots are often used as pressure cookers and with amazing results.
2. How instant pots are used
most models of instant tops can be programmed to perform various tasks like slow cooking, steaming, rice cooking, pressure cooking (you can choose from settings when cooking stew, poultry, etc), sauté/browning, warming food, making yogurt, and so on. Other models have additional programs to enable you to make eggs, even bake cakes.
3. Types of Instapots
there are over 20 different types of instant pots today, each unique and with its pros and cons. Usually, they are categorized according to their sizes, and the tech features they come with. Mind you, today we have Instant Pots that have smart Bluetooth capabilities; you can monitor and control them using your Smartphone. The different Instapot models available today include Instant Pot Max, Instant Pot Ultra, Instant Pot Nova, Instant Pot Duo, Instant Pot Viva, Instant Pot Smart Bluetooth, to mention but a few.
4. How to use your instant pot
the front of the instant pot looks a bit intimidating for the first time; but once you learn how to operate the controls, everything becomes very easy. Each button represents a different cooking method. You’ll see 3 different columns; BUTTON, PRESSURE SETTING, and COOK TIME. ‘High’ in the pressure settings means that you’re cooking at high pressure; the lid has to be closed so as to keep the air trapped. Basically, the settings are easy and straightforward, you just pick the cooking mode you want and press the button.
5. Releasing the pressure
releasing pressure safely from your instant pot can be done in two main ways. You can use the natural method or rely on the quick release. Foods with more liquids take longer before depressurizing. Alternatively, you can use the quick release method by manually turning a steam valve that vents out the steam. This mode cools the cooker faster; this is recommended for foods that you don’t want to overcook; think of veggies, salmon, broccoli, and so on.