What is an Instant Pot?
So what’s the difference between a pressure cooker and a slow cooker? With a pressure cooker, steam builds pressure, raising the boiling point so food cooks faster.
You can have stew on a school night and still have time to do homework. However, a slow cooker uses low temperatures and a lot of time to cook a meal.
In other words: Throw ingredients in and forget it. With the Instant Pot, you get the best of both worlds.
You don’t just save time; you add diversity to meal planning and simplify your life in the kitchen by getting everything in a single appliance.
No more cluttered countertops— a Big bonus for anyone living in an apartment or home with a small kitchen.
The many functions of the Instant Pot provide a versatility that you could never achieve with just a slow cooker or pressure cooker alone.
Take the sauté mode (one of our favorites): Yes, it does the obvious, and sautés onions and garlic to bring out their authentic flavors; but it also sears meat to lock in flavor and form that desirable golden-brown crust, and it simmers sauces, so you can reduce them down to the perfect consistency.
This article will present 2 recipes suitable for your Instant Pot, including old-fashioned favorites, such as Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette.
It will also inspire you to stretch and experiment with delicious new flavors in dishes like Braised Lamb Souvlaki and Pozole soup.
We also tell you what you need to know about the Instant Pot, including what the buttons do and what rookie mistakes to avoid.
We use everyday ingredients in the recipes, nothing exotic or difficult to find.
What you need to Know before using your instant pot.
It is pretty normal to be eager to start using your Instant Pot as soon as you get it, so in this section, we have compiled the essential things you need to know to get started:
How to release the steam when pressure cooking, the function of the buttons on the digital display, and the most common mistakes first-time users make— fortunately, we made them so you don’t have to!
THE BUTTONS To change the time for any function, use the + or – keys to increase or decrease the desired time.
The [ ADJUST ] button changes the slow cook temperature from “less” to “normal” to “more.” It will also adjust the sauté temperature.
When using the [ MANUAL ] setting, adjust to cooking on low or high pressure by pressing the [ PRESSURE ] button.
Then use + or – to set the time. To sauté, press the [ SAUTÉ ] button.
It is automatically set to “Normal,” which we used for all our recipes. But if you would like less heat or more heat, press the [ ADJUST ] button to change between “Less,” “Normal,” or “More.”
When the temperature has been reached, the display will show “Hot.” This is for open-lid cooking only.
When slow cooking, press the [ SLOW COOK ] button and then the [ ADJUST ] button to select “Less,” “Normal,” or “More.” Then use the + or – to adjust the time.
We used the “More” setting for 8 hours for all our slow cooker dinners.
To steam, press the [ STEAM ] button and then the [ PRESSURE ] button to adjust for low or high pressure.
Then use the + or – to adjust the time. When using the Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, or Poultry settings, each one has a specified pressure and amount of time.
You can change them to high or low pressure by pressing the [ PRESSURE ] button and changing the time by using the + or – buttons.
Kitchen Tools You Will Need
These are the kitchen tools that we have found to be especially useful when cooking with the Instant Pot.
Keep a roll handy because we ask you to use foil to cover the desserts before they go into the Instant Pot. We also use foil to make a “sling” that helps lower a tight-fitting dish into the Instant Pot and lift it out.
To make a sling, tear off a 20-inch (51 cm) piece of foil and fold it over lengthwise into thirds (about 3 inches or 7.5 cm wide) to create a sturdy contraption that can be used multiple times.
From the 6 x 3-inch (15 x 7.5 cm) round cake pan to the 7-inch (18 cm) tube and springform pans, these will suit your Instant Pot baking needs.
The Instant Pot contains measurement lines, but we found it a little easier to use actual measuring cups when developing recipes and cooking.
This versatile 8 x 3-inch (20 x 7.5 cm) round porcelain dish maximizes the space in your Instant Pot, fitting in just perfectly with little room to spare.
This inexpensive steamer differs from the steam rack included with your Instant Pot.
It has a collapsible basket that will expand to the size of your pot, maximizing the number of vegetables you can steam. The holes are smaller, too, which means nothing will fall through.
Tongs are one of the most efficient tools to have on hand. Use them to stir, turn, grab, pluck, and lift. We like the 9-inch (23 cm) size that locks closed for storage.
- WOODEN SPOONS
These are useful for all spoon-related reasons. But we particularly like a wooden spoon for scraping up the yummy brown bits from the bottom of the pot because it won’t scratch it. Both rounded spoons and spoons that are squared off are recommended.
Instant Pot Recipes
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) packed dark brown sugar\
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 pounds (907 g) pork shoulder, cut into 3-inch (7 .5 cm) pieces
- 1 cup (240 g) ketchup
- ¼ cup (85 g) unsulfured molasses
- ½ cup (120 ml) water
- ¼ cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon (7 .5 g) chili powder
- 1 tablespoon (11 g) Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ¹⁄ 8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 rolls or buns, split, Your favorite coleslaw
To make the spice rub, combine the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne in a small bowl.
- Season the pork with the rub.
2. To make the sauce, mix the ketchup, molasses, water, vinegar, brown sugar, chili powder, mustard, Worcestershire, and cayenne in a medium bowl.
3. Turn the Instant pot on to [Sauté]. Heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, occasionally stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the sauce and mix to combine. Press [Cancel].
4. Add the pork to the sauce and turn to coat. Lock the lid. Here you can either slow-cook or pressure-cook (don‘t do both!).
To slow-cook: Press [Slow Cook], leave the vent open and cook on “More” for 8 hours. To pressure-cook: Press [Manual] and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes.
Use the “Quick Release” method to vent the steam, then open the lid.
5. Transfer the pork to a bowl. Press [Cancel], then press [Sauté] and simmer the sauce, occasionally stirring, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Press [Cancel].
6. Using 2 forks, shred the pork, return it to the pot and toss to coat.
Pile the pork and coleslaw on the bottom halves of the buns and sandwich with the tops.
YIELD: 4 servings
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 8 hours 20 minutes (slow cook), 1 hour 5 minutes (pressure cook)
Potato Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
- 2 pounds (907 g) of small new potatoes (about 16)
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (11 g) whole-grain mustard
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 half-sour pickles, cut into small pieces, plus 1 tablespoon (15 ml) brine
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
- ¹/ 3 cup (20 g) coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Insert the steam rack or steamer basket into the Instant Pot and add 1½ cups (350 ml) water.
Place the potatoes on top of the basket and lock the lid. Press [Manual] and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
Use the “Quick Release” method to vent the steam, then open the lid.
Transfer the potatoes to a colander and run under cold water until cool enough to handle.
2. Whisk the oil, vinegar, mustards, brine, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, then stir in the onion.
3. Cut each potato into quarters, transfer to the bowl with the vinaigrette, and toss to coat. Add the pickles and parsley, and toss to combine.
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 8 minutes
Read Next: How to Clean an Instant Pot
The many functions of the Instant Pot ® provide a versatility that you could never achieve with just a slow cooker or pressure cooker alone.
Product SKU: B0B96KNQ7T
Product Brand: Instant Pot
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: $79 - $280
Price Valid Until: 2022-08-31
Product In-Stock: InStock
- prepare quality food in less time
- great for the do-it-yourself food enthusiasts
- easy maintenance
- At first, some might find it difficult to use.