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What Is An Instant Pot, And Why Is It Awesome?

The Instant Pot is part of the new wave of countertop pressure cookers, and it has reviewers swooning about how versatile it is and how easy it makes cooking.

While pressure cookers were one of the popular kitchen gadgets back in the 1950s and 60s, the Instant Pot is not your Granny’s pressure cooker. This smart kitchen gadget has a digital settings screen, it’s programmable, and it sits on your countertop, so there’s no juggling stove temperatures. Plus, it cooks two to six times faster and uses 70% less energy!

It’s much safer than pressure cookers of yesterday. It has a sensor to detect the lid position, it automatically controls temperature, and it regulates pressure. And there’s a fuse that automatically cuts off power if the internal temperature exceeds safety limits.

In fact, there’s so much love for the Instant Pot that it even has its own Facebook fan page with more than 1.3 million members.

When Should I Use My Instant Pot?

If you’re having a crowd over to your one-bedroom apartment, use your Instant Pot to make a large meal. It’s so fast that you won’t get stuck spending all of your time in the kitchen. And if you’re keeping it casual, it’s easy for people to pop into the kitchen and help themselves when they want some more.

For healthy eaters who haven’t yet abandoned their New Year’s resolutions, cooking with the Instant Pot is a great way to stick to your diet plans. Cooking your own meals will have much less fat than takeout, much less salt than frozen prepared dinners, and be much more delicious than those takeout salads you’ve been trying to convince yourself were tasty.

The time-savings of the Instant Pot make it so helpful when you want some home cooking but you’re on-the-go lifestyle doesn’t leave you much time. And there’s so much variety in what you can make! Use it for some comfort food like homemade Mac & Cheese, or cook an #Adulting meal that can impress a date or your parents.

You can also use your Instant Pot for a #SundayPrep technique to prepare big meals on the weekends for weekday meals that save you time, money, and calories. Want to know how to do it? Read our Meal Prep Guide for Beginners.

But How Exactly Do I Use It?

To use your Instant Pot, start by placing the inner metal pot into the device. Next, place your ingredients in the inner pot. Follow your recipe here, but you should be using at least 1 cup of liquid at this step because the Instant Pot relies on steam.

Take the Instant Pot lid and make sure the sealing ring is in place along the lid edge. Place the lid on top of the pot and twist it to secure. Flip the valve to the “sealing” position.

Now you’ll turn to the front display of the pot to adjust your settings. To pressure cook, press the “Manual” button and then use the plus or minus buttons to adjust the cooking time. Wait a few seconds, and then the Instant Pot will automatically turn on.

When the display reads “On,” the machine is building pressure. This time will vary based on your machine and what you’re cooking. Don’t worry about that because this time doesn’t count toward your actual cooking time. When the machine is at full pressure, the display will start counting down your time, and the silver button next to the sealing valve will be raised flush.

After the cook time has elapsed, the machine will by default switch to “Keep Warm” mode, and the display will begin counting up.

When you’re ready to eat, you will need to release the pressure. This can be done either with the Natural Pressure Release button (which is the silver one next to the sealing valve) or by using the Quick Release valve to vent the steam. Keep in mind that you can only release the pressure while it’s in “Keep Warm” mode or if you “Cancel” your cook time to stop the heating function.

Instant Pot Recipes to Try

Feeling at a loss for what to cook? Instant Pot offers an app with recipes that are perfect to cook with your gadget. Download it on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

Or, try some of these recipes:

Faux-tisserie Chicken that’s just like rotisserie

Beef and Bacon Chili, because bacon makes everything better

Short Ribs with a side of garlic mashed potatoes

Tasty Thai Red Curry made just as spicy as you like

Chicken Wings for a crowd, choose BBQ or Buffalo

Go Asian with your chicken soup with a Vietnamese Pho or Ramen Bowl

Salted Caramel Cheesecake that cooks in 35 minutes

Crustless Broccoli Cheddar Quiche that’s perfect for brunch

Steel Cut Oatmeal, with a super fast 3-minute cook time

3 Instant Pot Hacks

Stacking multiple foods: If you want to make spaghetti and meatballs as a one pot wonder, all you need to do is layer your ingredients. Put the meat and sauce on the bottom, and throw the pasta on top, which will cook from the steam.

Things Not To Forget: If your Instant Pot is still new, it’s easy to make common mistakes like forgetting to put the Inner Pot back into the device before pouring your ingredients in, forgetting to put the sealing ring back in before cooking, forgetting to flip the venting switch, or forgetting to add water.

Have a slow-cooker recipe that you adore? Most recipes can also be made in the Instant Pot. Use this ratio to convert your slow cooker recipe to an Instant Pot recipe. If your recipe calls for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high in your slow cooker, your Instant Pot will only need 25-30 minutes to cook. So fast!

About :

Amber is the Director of Content Marketing for ForRent.com and has been with the company since April 2007. In her role, Amber strategizes, executes and optimizes a content and social media plans across multiple channels and platforms. This includes blogs, social networks, video sharing sites, and other conversational media. She spends a great deal of time building relationships with consumers, social media influencers, and bloggers to generate awareness of the ForRent.com brands. In her free time, Amber loves running, #hashtags, and DIY projects.

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