No one wants to buy something they can’t operate. Or you find you’re the only one in the whole house who can’t operate it.
So, are instant pots easy to use? Yes, they are easy to use. First, they come with a manual that explains step by step how to use them. Apart from that, they have photos to demonstrate how to use them for visual people.
The instant pot has become the most popular kitchen appliance. Its many functions have made it so. To show you how easy it is to use an instant pot, we have come up with a guide. The guide contains different parts of the pot and functions and a guide on how to use the instant pot.
What is an Instant Pot?
An instant pot is a multicooker that serves different purposes like a pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, rice cooker, steamer, searing pot, and warming pot. It is a pot that, in most cases, whatever you cook with, takes less than one hour.
It can cook faster due to its pressure cooker function. The pressure cooker functions by locking the steam in the pot hence maintaining the pressure and enhancing fast cooking.
That way, food takes less time to cook. It’s not your ordinary pressure cooker, which is unsafe to use, or you need lots of precautions when cooking with it. For an instant pot, it has a lid that locks the steam in and safely releases the steam.
When you know and understand each feature in any appliance, it becomes easier to use in all the functions. In this case, we have come up with a list of features in an instant pot and the functions. That way, it becomes even easier to use your instant pot for different functions.
Parts of an Instant Pot
The base unit or the outer pot is the stainless exterior responsible for housing heating elements, the detachable cord, and the control panel.
The inner pot is a removable stainless pot that is stove friendly, which means you can use it as the regular pots. Also, the inner pot can be washed using hands and a dishwasher.
this is the part that is responsible for closing the instant pot. It helps in making sure all the pressure is sealed. The lid is washed on the top rank in your dishwasher or using hands with water containing soap.
it helps in catching drips from the condensation which hits the lid. It is on the back base unit. It is washed the same as the lid.
The three pongs detachable cord is plugged into the back of the instant pot. It’s good to note that different instant pot models have an attached power cord.
Other accessories that come with the instant pot
include a spoon, measuring cups, and the trivet. The trivet helps to elevate the food above the liquid in the pot. Also, different instant pot models come with different accessories.
Some may lack the spoons and the measuring cup. Just like most parts of the instant pot trivet can be washed using a dishwasher or the hands.
The steam release handle
this is the handle that fits on the steam release pipe or valve. It helps in allowing the pressure in the instant pot to get released. When using the instant pot, the steam release handle should be in a sealing position when you are icing the pressure cooking function.
this is the part responsible for sealing the steam. In that case, it helps the instant pot to remain pressurized when cooking.
Parts of the steam release
Steam release handle
it helps in the regulation of the temperature inside the instant pot. The handle should be wobbly, but also it must be pushable in all ways. To relieve the pressure, you should turn it from seal to valve.
Steam release pipe
it helps in the traveling of steam from the inner pot to steam release.
Internal parts of the lid in the instant pot
it helps in sealing the float valve and makes sure it remains in position.
The lid locking pin
is a safety mechanism that helps prevent the lid from opening even under pressure.
it is a silicone seal ring that allows the sealing of the instant pot.
Sealing ring rock
helps in holding the seal ring in position.
Anti block shield
is responsible for preventing food from getting out through the steam release pipe.
How to use the instant pot
Using the instant pot depends on what you are cooking as different methods require different settings and hence different use. Below is a basic method of using when cooking meat to give you basic tips on using it.
Start by setting the instant pot on the saute mode. After that, add oil or any other fat you intend to use. Wait until your meat is brown. In this step, you can add aromatics like garlic and onions to brown in the process.
After the meat is brown, cancel. Tap the manual and then the pressure. After that, tap it again to go to high-pressure mode. Here, use the minus + plus buttons to help you set the time you want it to cook.
After that process, it’s time to lock the pot by placing the lid for the meat to cook. This is how you should close the lid.
Start by placing the lid on the pot. Ensure the lid’s arrow mark is lined up with the open lock sign, which is up the right corner on the control panel. If the lid fits in the right way, it will produce a little sound. After that, turn the lid clockwise to a point you hear another sound.
At this point, ensure the valve on the lid is sealed to ensure no pressure comes out. After the pot gains enough pressure, a red button will light, and the cooking time will start. The time the instant pot takes to acquire enough pressure depends on what you are cooking.
After cook time is over, it’s time to release the pressure. This can be done naturally or manually.
Using the natural method, the valve on the sealing position will dissipate due to pressure with time. That process can take from 20 minutes to one hour, depending on what you are cooking.
When what you are cooking is a low liquid meal, it will take less time, while those with high liquids like soup will take more time.
Using the manual method to release pressure, you carefully move the valve from the sealed position to the venting position. The steam will come out, getting rid of the pressure in the pot.
The method is fast compared to the natural method. Although it’s good to note, high liquid food will still take longer to release the pressure, which is around 15 minutes.
With natural methods, even during that process or releasing steam, cooking is still happening as the pressure is still high. With the manual method, once you open it stops cooking fast. If you want to cook fast, set enough time to cook, and then release the pressure manually.
When the food is ready, it’s time to remove the lid. You can only remove the lid after all the pressure has been released. Start by turning the lid clockwise until you hear a sound. At this point, the arrow should be lined up to the open symbol on the base unit. Remove the lid by lifting.
Features that make the instant pot easy use
There are models of instant pot that come with a smart wifi program where you connect your pot with wifi, and you only need to do it once.
The program helps you to control the instant pot from your mobile phone. You can control, adjust, and monitor the cooking from your phone.
The instant pot APP
comes with many different recipes that will guide you in all your cooking. The app is compatible with almost all phones from Android to iPads.
Some instant pot models contain the BlueTooth feature that helps you connect your phone with the pot and helps you control, adjust, and monitor the pot from your phone. These features make it easy to use.
Tips to have in mind when using an instant pot
When using the pressure cooking function, always make sure you put some liquid to help build up the pressure that will help in the cooking process. Ensure you put at least a ½ cup of sauce.
Also, ensure the valve is completely sealed. When the valve is not sealed, the pressure will not build up, and hence it won’t cook. Ensure you clean your instant pot as it will start accumulating smells.
Instant pots are easy to use as well as easy to clean. The manual is clear and direct to the point. The control panel on the instant pot is clear and direct. All you need is to ensure you follow the guide given, and you are good to go. The smart features make it even better to use as you can control and adjust the cooking from your phone at a distance.