An Instant Pot is a combination cooking appliance. It can work as a pressure cooker, a slow-cooker, a rice cooker, and if you choose a more advanced model, a yogurt maker. The Instant Pot can boil a small roast or keep slow-cooked food warm after baking it. But can you use it to boil water?
Boiling Water in Instant pot
Yes, you can, though it isn’t a conventional setting. The simplest method is setting the instant pot at the saute function since it is designed to heat up the water quickly.
That setting is intended to boil away the extra water after you used the pressure cooker. I’ve already mentioned that instant pots aren’t made specifically for boiling water the way a tea kettle on the stove or a coffee pot is.
The saute mode can take anywhere from four to eight minutes to boil water, depending on how much water is in the pot.
How can you boil water in an instant pot?
If the goal is to boil water to make pasta or use it for other temperature-sensitive recipes, leave the pressure cooker lid off.
You don’t want to use high pressure when boiling water at the conventional boiling point to make pasta. This means the process starts by adding water to the inner pot, then set the instant pot to saute without putting a lid on. Let the water heat up until it is boiling.
There are conflicting opinions on whether you can cook the pasta in the boiling water in the instant pot or if you’ll want to put the water in a pot and boil it that way.
If you’re making ramen noodles, then the boiling water from the instant pot is enough to make an edible noodle meal. If you’re making spaghetti or macaroni, you’ll want the water to remain hot and boiling for several minutes. However, if you have a pot and a working stove, use that to boil the water instead of the instant pot
Can you use an instant pot to boil unsafe water to make it safe?
The short answer is: it depends. If the water is unsafe due to lead or toxic chemicals, the answer is no. If the issue is possible bacterial contamination, the answer is yes.
You can put unpurified water in the instant pot. Seal it, and use it to boil the water for ten minutes or more in saute mode. This will kill almost all bacteria. In fact, you can use this same process to sterilize baby bottles, pacifiers, and baby food jars for reuse.
And you’ll do so much faster than if you had an open pot of boiling water on the stove to sterilize these items. A side benefit is that there is no open pot of boiling water you or someone else could spill and cause serious burns
What happens if water boils in the instant pot when you didn’t want it to do so?
The instant pot uses higher pressures to reduce the boiling point of the water. This allows you to cook meat, vegetables, and other foods somewhat faster than you would if putting them in an oven or pot of boiling water on the stove.
That’s why they’re called “instant” pots. The higher pressure means you’re getting food cooked at 200 degrees or a little less, reducing energy usage. This will generate hot water vapor that can burn your skin, though it is cooler than the steam rising up from an open pot on the stove.
It is common for steam to rise from the liquids in the instant pot. In most cases, you want to keep the steaming juices sealed inside of the pot, so that the food doesn’t dry out.
This has the side benefit of reducing the odds the food gets burned. If the food is steaming or the water boiling when you don’t expect it to do so, the likely reason is that you have it on a setting that is too hot for the food you’re cooking.
For example, if the food you’re using to keep dinner warm is boiling instead of gently warming, you have it in the wrong mode. Likewise, yogurt should be warm but not boiling. Change the setting to fix this. Don’t remove the lid to let the steam out, because that destroys the temperature profile needed to properly cook the food.