It’s a slow cooker! It’s a rice cooker! It’s a steamer…no wait, it’s an instant pot. If you haven’t heard, this 7-in-1 kitchen appliance can multitask, functioning as an electric pressure cooker, sauté/browning pan, warmer, and yogurt maker. Yes, yogurt maker.
As much time, money, and space as the thing already saves you, there are always a few instant pot tips and hacks to make the most of the full wonderfulness of this kitchen sorcery.
Instant pot hack 1. Know how to convert your favorite recipes for the instant pot.
You should already know by your basic knowledge of the instant pot that cooking in a pressure cooker is definitely not the same as traditional stovetop or oven.
One example is how milk and high heat don’t do well together. If your recipe does call for some dairy products, add them AFTER your meal is cooked and the appliance depressurized. This will prevent your meal from getting burnt and ruined.
Insta-pot hack 2. Use this cheat sheet for instant pot cooking times.
Foods don’t all cook the same in the pot. To avoid the confusion of keeping track of the individual cook times of every ingredient, use this handy electric pressure cooker time chart. Stick in a sheet protector and tape to the cupboard just above your beloved instant pot for easy reference.
Instant pot tip 3. Use the pot-in-pot method to cook multiple items at once.
You don’t necessarily need to use a pot for this, but any oven-safe glass container or even this stackable stainless-steel steamer basket will do. The idea is to keep foods you don’t want mixing together separated yet still cooked in one go.
Pro tip: Cut down your cooking time, literally. If you’re worried about the different cook times of your food items with the pot-in-pot method, cut the foods that take longer to cook into smaller pieces. You should also place these foods on the bottom, and quicker cooking foods on top for the best use of heat.
Instant pot hack 4. Get acquainted with sauté mode.
The pressure cooker function can already cut your cooking time in half, but it still takes 10-20 minutes for the pressure to build up before your Insta-pot can do its speedy cooking thing.
One workaround is to set to sauté mode and throw in some foods that could use sautéing. Use the time to prepare the rest of your ingredients, toss in, then switch to pressure cooking, since the heat builds up faster this way.*
Insta pot Balsamic Mushroom Risotto
Yields: 5 ½ cups
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 jar of Bellisari’s Balsamic Shallot and Black Garlic Spread
1 lb. wild mushrooms, trimmed, sliced
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups carnaroli or arborio rice
½ cup white wine
3 ½ cups vegetable or chicken stock
Chopped parsley and finely grated Parmesan (for serving)
Set Instant Pot on medium heat or "Sauté" and pour oil into cooker insert. Add mushrooms and cook until any moisture they've released is evaporated and they start to brown, about 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add onion, stir to combine, and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add rice and stir until chalky white, about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook until mostly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in stock. Lock on lid, making sure steam-release valve is in the proper sealed position. Select “Manual” and program for 5 minutes at high pressure (it will take about 10 minutes for the pressure to build before cooking automatically begins).
As soon as the time has elapsed, turn off cooker, “Quick Release” the steam, and unlock lid. Add the 1 jar of Bellisari’s Balsamic Shallot and Black Garlic Spread. Stir with a wooden spoon; season with salt and pepper. Divide risotto among bowls. Top with parsley and Parmesan and serve.
*Adapted from mommyoverwork.com article