Aren’t we are all searching for ways to make life easier? Especially when it comes to cooking. And thankfully the Instant Pot does just that. And whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to the Instant Pot world, we’re all searching for ways to make cooking with the Instant Pot even easier.
Which is exactly why I’ve rounded up 18 Instant Pot Tips and Tricks that will help you take your Instant Pot cooking to the next level.
From the more fundamental Instant Pot tips to some of those “I would never have thought of that!” Instant Pot hacks, everyone will benefit from this collection of helpful tidbits.
If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you’ve come to realize that I am somewhat obsessed with my Instant Pot. It is almost always in use, from breakfast to lunch and (of course) dinner.
It really is a lifesaver, peeps, especially during those super busy weeks when there just aren’t enough hours in the day. #instantpottotherescue
And fellow IP devotees, throughout this post I have included links to some of my most popular Instant Pot recipes. Because sharing the Instant Pot love is what it’s aaaalllll about. Am I right?!?!
Useful Instant Pot Recipes Materials
KITCHEN TOOLS, UTENSILS & APPLIANCES NEEDED
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, check out my disclosure.
Here are some of the items you will need to make these Instant Pot Recipes.
- 8 qt Instant Pot.
- 3 qt Instant Pot or 6 qt Instant Pot depending on family size.
- Use this convenient Cutting board.
- I use this trivet .
- These Tongs are great for removing food from the pot.
- I use these measuring jugs or cups for measuring out liquids.
- Measuring teaspoons.
- Use these handy bowls with covers.
- For storing your leftover food.
- Meat thermometer.
- Use please this to check the internal temperature of meat.
- You can’t go wrong with this microwave for reheating your Instant Pot dishes.
- I love these perfect sized meal prep bowls for make-ahead lunches and more.
- This freezer is great for storing your meals till you need them.
18 INSTANT POT TIPS AND TRICKS
TIP 1: ALWAYS ADD LIQUID WHEN PRESSURE COOKING.
When pressure cooking in your Instant Pot, always add a minimum of ½ cup of liquid to the Instant Pot insert. And when cooking foods that are more absorbent (like pasta or rice), you will likely need to add even more.
TIP 2: THE COOK TIME IS NOT THE WHOLE STORY.
You need to factor in the time the Instant Pot takes to build and release pressure. A recipe may list 10 mins of cook time, but the Instant Pot will require additional time to come up to pressure, and then for the pressure to release (and whether the recipe calls for performing a quick pressure release or allowing for a natural pressure release).
So make sure to keep this in mind when calculating your total meal prep time.
TIP 3: GO BEYOND THE MAIN COURSE.
Many people think that the Instant Pot can only be used for main dishes, soups and stews. But peeps, the Instant Pot can do sooooo much more. Making homemade yogurt is a particular favorite, and trust me once you try it, you’ll never want to go back to store-bought again.
I particularly love to use my IP for everything from making iced coffee concentrate, proofing pizza dough and even whipping up a batch of homemade strawberry jam. Yeap, the Instant Pot really is a little kitchen miracle.
TIP 4: LAYER YOUR INGREDIENTS TO AVOID THE BURN NOTICE.
Certain ingredients may cause a burn notice when on the bottom of the Instant Pot insert. Thicker sauces, nut butters, tomato-based products (tomato paste, marinara sauce, salsa) as well as cream sauces are not thin enough to build steam. Plus, some sauces may contain fillers like cornstarch and flour that can easily scorch.
To prevent the burn notice from happening, always add water to the bottom of your insert (see tip #1), and then “layer” the ingredients inside the Instant Pot insert.
Start with your meat or produce first, then add the dense and starchy ingredients last on the top, making sure to not stir or mix before pressure cooking as directed.
Get an extra Instant Pot Insert as a backup.
TIP 5: INSTANT POT ACCESSORIES LET YOU DO MORE.
There are sooooo many wonderful accessories for the Instant Pot. From baking pans to extra long tongs and even fun decals to customize your pot, adding accessories to your Instant Pot arsenal will help you cook up even more great-tasting food. I’ve even created a shopping guide that includes some of my favorite Instant Pot Accessories. Yeap, each one of these items makes it even easier to cook up all sorts of great dishes with your Instant Pot.
TIP 6: USE THE 5-5-5 METHOD
You’ve probably heard about the 5-5-5 method for making hard-boiled eggs. And I am here to say it lives up to the hype. I have been using this method for years now, and my eggs come out perfect every single time. It really is just that easy, too. All you have to remember is:
- 5 mins of cook time on high pressure
- natural pressure release of 5 mins
- 5 mins in an ice bath
If you check out my Instant Pot Potato Salad recipe, you can find my step-by-step instructions for using the 5-5-5 method.
TIP 7: STORE THE POT WITH THE LID OPEN.
Folks, keeping the Instant Pot lid open or storing it off the top of the Instant Pot when not in use will help prevent those funky odors from building up.
Did You Know? You can store the lid upright by placing one of the handles on the side of the lid inside the opening of one of the handles on the Instant Pot itself. Genius!
TIP 8: JOIN INSTANT POT FORUMS AND FACEBOOK GROUPS
Yeap, there is a wealth of information out there for you, and forums and Facebook groups are perfect for learning the latest tips and trying out some new hacks. And I would love for you to join my Facebook group! You will find a great group of dedicated IP users, all sorts of lively Instant Pot chat, awesome recipes, and even more helpful tips and tricks.
TIP 9: THE INSTANT POT IS PERFECT FOR MAKING EDIBLE AND NON-EDIBLE (!) GIFTS.
The Instant Pot is just the thing for making sooooo many different delectable dishes and drinks. And that even includes awesome edible and non-edible gifts too. My Instant Pot vanilla extract and Instant Pot cinnamon extracts are both perfect for gifting. And there are even some recipes out there for making lotions and soaps in it too.
The sky truly is the limit when it comes to the wonder that is the Instant Pot.
TIP 10: USE A SPOON HANDLE TO PERFORM QUICK PRESSURE RELEASE.
A quick pressure release (QPR) lets all that piping hot steam out of the Instant Pot valve super fast. To keep your fingers at a safe distance, try using the handle of a mixing spoon to turn the valve to the venting position.
Did you know? The spoon that came with your Instant Pot has a square notch in the end of the handle that is designed to perfectly fit onto the valve so you can safely turn it to the open (venting) position. Sooooo handy!
TIP 11: THE DISHWASHER IS YOUR BFF.
The Instant Pot lid, insert and many accessories (such as the trivet) are all dishwasher safe. So when you’re done cooking, just place them in the top rack of your dishwasher and save yourself a whoooooole bunch of time.
Important Notice –> the Instant Pot cooker unit should always be kept dry, so never ever submerge it in water. If you need to clean it, simply wipe it down with a damp cloth.
TIP 12: HOW TO CLEAN THE INSTANT POT INSERT.
Is your stainless steel Instant Pot insert looking stained and somewhat dingy? This particular Bar Keepers Friend, or a similar product, is sooooo great for returning it to its original shine. Just wash out your insert as usual, then shake in some of this Bar Keepers Friend and use this non-abrasive sponge or a soft cloth to remove the stains. Don’t forget to rinse out your insert well and finish drying with this awesome microfibre cloth before using.
TIP 13: PREVENT YOUR INNER POT FROM MOVING AROUND.
If you find that your inner pot moves and spins when stirring, you can use a large binder clip to stop the movement and keep it in place.
TIP 14: USE CHEAT SHEETS AND CONVERSION CHARTS.
Have a favorite recipe you’d like to make in your Instant Pot? There are all sorts of free cheat sheets and handy conversion charts out there that can help you cook up those beloved recipes right in your Instant Pot.
Use this free Instant P0t Cooking Times Cheatsheet as a starting guide.
TIP 15: HOW TO DEODORIZE THE SEALING RING.
Over time, the sealing ring inside the lid will start to absorb food odors. So to keep your steel cut oats from smelling and tasting like last night’s curry, you’ll want to deodorize it on a regular basis using cleaning vinegar. Here’s how:
- In a large bowl, combine one cup of water with one cup of cleaning vinegar.
- Remove the sealing ring from your Instant Pot lid, place it inside the bowl and let it sit for several hours or overnight.
- Then remove the ring, wash it with dish soap and sponge, rinse well and allow it to air dry.
- For a nice shine you could wipe it with this microfibre cloth.
TIP 16: PURCHASE A SECOND SEALING RING.
To avoid the whole odor-absorption issue altogether, consider purchasing a second sealing ring. That way you can use one sealing ring for making savory items and the other for sweet dishes. I even have a friend who owns several rings and rotates them quite frequently.
Tip 17: USE A SMALL BRUSH TO GET RID OF PESKY FOOD FOMR HARD TO REACH AREAS.
You will sometime find food in hard to reach recess area of the Instant Pot. The best thing to do is use a small brush to clean out this area.
TIP 18: USE THE POT-IN-POT (PIP) METHOD.
The pot-in-pot method simply means placing your food items inside a dish, pan or pot that is then placed inside the Instant Pot insert to cook. The PIP method is a great way to cut down on how often you have to clean the Instant Pot insert, which is helpful if you want to use the IP again right away. Check out this Instant Pot Accessories post for things you can you in your Instantpot.
The biggest benefit of pot-in-pot cooking is that you can make two separate parts of the same meal, at the same time, inside the same Instant Pot. And let me tell you, this is a total game changer!
TIP 19: REGISTER YOUR NEW INSTANT POT.
Make sure to register your Instant Pot as soon as you get it. Whether you choose to register online or use the mail in card, registering means that you can stay informed on product updates or any recall notices. And should you encounter a problem with your Instant Pot within one year of purchase, your guarantee can easily be validated.
Tip 20: USE INSTANT POT COOKBOOKS.
Check out this list of the Best Instant Pot Cookbooks you can get, which can help you get the most out of your Instant Pot.
INSTANT POT RECIPES YOU WILL LOVE
Now that you’ve reviewed these helpful tips and tricks, it is time to get cooking! This Instant Pot hummus is perfect for the beautiful summer weather. And my Instant Pot Mediterranean chicken makes a tasty family meal.
EVEN MORE INSTANT POT RECIPES
Looking for even more delicious recipes to make in your Instant Pot? Check out this list of delicious summer Instant Pot recipes.
Following Weight Watchers? Each one of these Weight Watchers Instant Pot recipes is under 10 SmartPoints.
Love Meal Prep? Then check these 30 Instant Pot Meal Prep Recipes.
Thank you for reading my Instant Pot Tips and Tricks and hacks Post. And please come visit again as I continue dreaming up recipes, traditional African recipes, African fusion recipes, Sierra Leone recipes, travel plans and much more for you. Thanks for supporting Recipes from a Pantry, UK food blog.