Have you purchased and used a "Instant Pot" yet? Have you even heard of the "IP"? Well, let me enlighten you, if you are not part of this craze!
If you have been keeping up with Wee Bear and I, you know we purchased a motorhome, a 34 foot beauty we named "Aria"! We are planning to explore the United States with our son and family, and anyone else that is brave enough to come along! More on that later......and possibly a new blog in the makings....I have purchased and created the domain name "whereRVgoingtoday"! Stay tuned!
Okay, on to the "IP" ......I was outfitting Aria with her dishes, pots, pans, etc. and read about the "Instant Pot". I was interested, and read more. Basically, it is a programmable pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, egg cooker, warmer, saute and steamer all in one! This is perfect, as any RV owner knows, space is limited in the RV, no matter how big you are! I read reviews and ......well, I dove in! Reading about IP users making their favorite recipes and 5000 other delicious things they have been cooking in their Instant Pot. I have joined several IP groups on Facebook and read about their experiences. This weekend I made my first few dishes, New York Cheesecake with strawberry compote, Crispy Carnita's, Monkey Bread, Spanish rice.....and a few more. All this, after doing the "Water Test".
The "Water Test". This test will tell you if your IP pressure cooker is working properly. This is definitely something you do first, after purchasing the IP.
1. Check the silcone ring is properly seated.
Check and make sure the venting valve and floating valve are unobstructed.
Place the inner pot in the IP
Pour 2 cups water into the 500ml and 3 cups water into the 750 ml.
Close lid- closing in a clockwise direction, lining up the arrows.
Turn the venting knob to the sealed position.
Initiate the test by pressing the manual button or the steam button. Either one will work.
Press the "-" until it reaches 2 minutes. This means we are pressure cooking for 2 minutes.
Once the steam has been generated inside the pot, the floating valve will pop up. You SHOULD NOT see steam escaping from the pot at this point. Once the steam builds up inside the pot the valve pops up.
Once the pressure has reached high pressure the indicator will switch from "on" to "2", this means the cooking time has started and will pressure cook for 2 minutes.
After the two minute pressure cooking cycle has finished the Instant Pot will automatically go into "keep warm mode".
Press the keep warm/cancel button to turn off the instant pot.
The indicator will switch to "Off".
At this point you can release the pressure and open the lid.
Voila! You have passed the "Instant Pot Water Test"!!!
NEXT- How to release pressure in your Instant Pot- Quick Release vs. Natural Release
Quick Pressure Release (QPR or QR) & Natural Pressure Release (NPR or NR) are 2 methods to release pressure of your Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot.
It is super easy to master these 2 pressure release methods.
First, let’s learn a few basics of your pressure cooker’s lid:
Look closely at your Instant Pot Pressure Cooker’s lid. There’s a Floating Valve (metal pin) and a Venting Knob. Noticed the Sealing Position and Venting Position on the lid?
After the cooking cycle finished, carefully move the venting knob from Sealing Position to Venting Position to quickly release the pressure inside the pressure cooker. This usually takes a few minutes to release all the pressure. Wait until the Floating Valve (metal pin) completely drops before opening the lid.
The steam shooting out maybe intimidating at first. Using a wooden spoon or wear oven mitt/silicone glove to move the Venting Knob may help. You will get used to it
What’s the advantage?Quick Pressure Release is great for quickly stopping the cooking process to prevent overcooking. It’s ideal for food such as quick-cooking vegetables (e.g broccoli, bok choy, corn, etc.) and delicate seafood (e.g salmon, crab, lobster, etc.)Washing the rim of the IP- I found by trial and error that this is tricky! I ended up using a craft foam paint brush that fits perfectly into the lid rim.
What’s the catch?
What’s the catch?
- Not suitable for food with large liquid volume or high starch content (e.g. porridge, congee, soup, etc.). Food content may splatter out from the Pressure Release Valve.
- Foamy food may clog the Pressure Release Valve.
- Food, especially beans may break apart due to the sudden change in pressure/temperature.
- If the recipe is designed for Natural Pressure Release, the food may come out undercooked.
Handy extras for the Instant Pot
I receive no kick back from this advise. I am only giving the links I used.
A three pack of silicon rings -is one of the top tips! I bought mine at this link on Amazon. Right now the supplier is giving a free pair of IP mitts, which I didn't think I needed until I got them. They are just thick enough to protect you from burning and thin enough to get the inner pot out easily. You need extra rings, as once you start using your instant pot, you will notice the silicon ring retains odor of the food cooked. these rings will have a shelf life, so, check periodically for knicks and cracks.
Mitts- I love them, you can buy at this link.
Foam Brushes- for cleaning as above in my example. You may already have some in your craft cabinet, or in the garage. For your convenience here is a link to a four pack.
Extra liner- Next if you are making multiple items for one meal, It may be handy to have a extra liner. I bought a ceramic non stick for my second pot. I like it for rice and casseroles. I bought mine at this link.
Mesh Basket/colander- You may have one in your kitchen, 7 1/2- 8 inch size fits perfect. I use it to boil my eggs, make chicken stock(hold the bones when you lift it out) and I also steam my vegetables in it.
Instant read meat thermometer- You will want to see that your met is done. You may already have one in the kitchen. If not this is a handy one on this link.
Other things I use are ramekins, 8 inch spring form pan (for cheesecake etc.), mini loaf pans, trivet (mine came with one) and tongs. A lot of these things you may already have in your kitchen, and you may be able to improvise, as in ramekins, I have used some that I had in my kitchen and I have used 4 ounce wide mouth canning jars. Get creative!
Okay, I have given you some basics you might want to know to get started with your Instant Pot!
For Instant Pot Recipes click on Master Recipe List! Go have some fun!