How Does Instant Pot Work? Here’s All You Must Know
The popularity of Instant Pots has been on the rise in the past few years. It is one of the bestselling kitchen appliances around the world today. Instant Pots are programmable multi-cookers that has certain specific functions based on the brand you buy. Most of these instant pots have the following programs -
- 1. Pressure Cooker
- 2. Slow Cooker
- 3. Steamer
- 4. Rice Cooker
- 5. Yogurt Maker
- 6. Sauté/Browning
- 7. Warmer
A few models also come with programs such as cake maker, egg maker, and sterilizer.
The Instant Pots are also safe to use as the automatic lid lock feature ensures that the user will not be able to open the lid until the pressure is released. Also, the automatic temperature control ensures that the temperature inside the pot is in a safe range.
Presently, there are 4 generations of instant pot in the world, and each one is more advanced than the previous one. Just with a push of a button, users can cook rice, soups, desserts, etc. at almost 6 times faster than the conventional cooking.
Instant pot not only cuts down the cooking time but also keeps your kitchen clutter-free, as you no longer need several gadgets. With multiple cooking modes and amazing timer settings, Instant Pot is a must-have gadget in your kitchen.
Tips and Tricks to Use Instant Pot
1. Use Other Liquids Besides Water to Enhance Flavour of Your Recipes
Flavourful liquids like stocks, juices and broths will enhance the flavours of your dish. Use chicken or tomato broth instead of water to make even the basic rice a flavorful dish.
2. Use the Steaming Rack Effectively
The steaming rack that comes with most of the Instant Pots is great for steaming veggies. However, there are endless ways to use this rack like to make desserts, hard-boiled eggs and to cook meat.
3. Add More Spices
You may sometimes find that the food cooked in Instant Pot is bland. Due to the high pressure, sometimes the seasoning is lost, so you may have to add more spices to satiate your taste buds. You may have to experiment a bit to ensure that your recipe turns out perfect with the right amount of seasoning.
4. Use Pot-in-Pot Method If You Have Multiple Items to Cook
You can use heat-resistant glass containers or stackable steamer basket to cook multiple food items at a time. This will not only keep all the ingredients separated, but they all cook in one go, which cuts down the cooking time.
Instant Pot Weight Loss Recipes
1. Instant Pot Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup
The healthy combination of mushrooms and wild rice makes this instant pot recipe not only nutritious but also satiates your taste buds.
- Yellow Onion – 1, chopped
- Carrots – 5, chopped
- Cremini Mushrooms – 8 ounces, chopped
- Celery Stalks – 5, chopped
- Garlic – 3 cloves, minced
- Dried Thyme – 1 tsp
- Ground Sage – 1 Tsp
- Wild Rice or Brown Rice and Wild Rice Blend – 1 Cup
- • Coconut Milk – ½ Cup
- Water – 4 Cups
- Black Pepper and Salt to Taste
- Combine mushrooms, garlic, celery, rice, thyme, carrots, onion, salt and 4 cups of water in the instant pot. Close the lid and set the valve to sealing. Select Manual/Pressure Cook for 25 minutes on high pressure.
- After cooking, let the pressure be released naturally then move the valve to vent and allow the remaining pressure to release. Remove the lid and add coconut milk.
- Season with pepper and salt. Serve with a dash of lime juice and thyme sprigs.
2. Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Soup
This is a healthy vegan addition to your lunch or dinner menu.
- Yellow Onion – 1, chopped
- Diced Tomatoes – 15 oz
- Celery Stalks – 2
- Carrots – 2, chopped
- Curry Powder – 1 tsp
- Ground Cumin – 1 tsp
- Garlic – 2 Cloves, minced
- Cayenne Pepper – a pinch
- Brown or Green Lentils – 1 Cup
- Ground Black Pepper and Salt to Taste
- Water – 3 Cups
- Fresh Spinach – 1 Cup
- Lemon slices
- Combine carrots, tomatoes, onion, garlic, celery, cayenne, curry powder, cumin powder, black pepper, water and lentils in the Instant Pot.
- Cover the lid and move the valve to seal. Select manual/pressure cook mode and cook for 10 minutes at high pressure.
- When cooking is complete, let the pressure release naturally for ten minutes and move the valve to vent.
- Remove the lid and stir in vegetables and lentils. Add salt and spinach.
- Serve warm with lemon slices.
3. Instant Pot Weight Loss Soup
Packed with a lot of fresh veggies, the soup is flavourful and low in calories and fat.
- Onions – 2 medium sizes, chopped
- Celery – 4 stalks, chopped
- Carrots – 4 medium sizes, chopped
- Chopped Cabbage – 4 cups
- Garlic – 4 cloves, minced
- Zucchini – 1, chopped
- Bell Pepper – 1, chopped
- Olive Oil – 1 Tbsp
- Tomatoes – 1 cup, diced
- Vegetable Broth – 8 cups
- Oregano – 1 tsp
- Bay Leaf – 1 • Basil – 1 Tsp
- Oregano – 1 Tsp
- Ground Black Pepper– ½ Tsp
- Salt – 1 Tsp
- Red Pepper Flakes – ½ Tsp
- Select Saute function on the Instant Pot.
- Add olive oil. Once it is hot, add in carrots, onion, and celery - Fry for 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another minute.
- Add bell pepper, tomatoes, zucchini, cabbage, spices, bay leaf, broth, pepper and salt. Combine Well.
- Cover the lid and move the vent to manual/pressure setting and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
- Wait for the steam to release naturally and then move the valve to vent to release all the steam. Carefully remove the lid and check for seasoning. Serve hot.
Instant Pot Vegetarian Noodle Recipes
1. Instant Pot Thai Peanut Noodles
This is a must-try for those who love Thai Cuisine. The flavourful Noodles is easy to make and will be on your table in just 30 minutes.
- Spaghetti – 8 Oz. broken into half
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Minced Garlic Cloves – 4 to 5
- Green Onion Stalks – 3 (finely Chopped)
- Minced Ginger – 1 Inch
- Red Pepper – 1 medium (sliced thin)
- Carrot – 2 (Sliced Thin)
- Honey – 1.5 tbsp
- Soy Sauce – 2.5 Tbsp
- Sriracha – 1 tbsp
- Rice Vinegar – 1.5 Tbsp
- Water – 1.5 Cups
- Peanut Butter – 3 Tbsp
- Lime – 1 (extract juice)
- Salt to taste
- Chopped Cilantro – 2 Tbsp
- For Garnish – Crushed Peanuts
- On the instant pot, press the button for sauteing. Add oil, when the display shows hot. Add minced ginger and garlic. Saute until it changes colour.
- Now add green onion, red pepper and carrots. Combine well.
- Move all the veggies to one side of the instant pot and add rice vinegar, soy sauce, peanut butter, sriracha, honey and salt. Combine the sauce.
- Add spaghetti into the pot along with water. Make sure the water covers the spaghetti. Press spaghetti with a spatula so that everything is covered with water.
- Cover the pot and cook on pressure cook/manual mode on high for about four minutes. Release the pressure and open the pot.
- Mix all the ingredients and garnish with cilantro, green onions and lime juice.
- Top it with crushed peanuts.
2. Instant Pot Vegetable Hakka Noodles
This is a delicious Indochinese recipe made by tossing stir-fried vegetables and noodles in Chinese sauces. Goes well with sweet corn soup and Gobi Manchurian. This easy to make instant pot dish takes less than twenty minutes to cook.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Noodles:
- Hakka Noodles – 16 oz.
- Dark Soya Sauce – 2 Tbsp
- Vegetable Broth or Water – 3.5 Cups
- Tomato Ketchup – 1.5 Tbsp
- Sriracha Sauce or Red Chilli Sauce – 1 Tbsp
- Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 Tbsp
- Black Pepper and Salt to Taste
- Brown Sugar – 1 Tsp (optional)
- Spring Onion – 2 Tbsp
- Toasted Sesame Seeds – 1 Tbsp
For Sautéing Veggies:
- Sesame Oil – 1 Tbsp
- Sweet Onion – ½ Cup (Finely Chopped)
- Carrot – 1 Cup (julienned)
- Green Beans – ½ Cup (Sliced Diagonally)
- Cabbage – 1 Cup (Thinly Sliced)
- Snow Peas – 1 Cup • Bell Pepper – 1 Cup (thinly sliced)
- Ginger – ½ inch (minced)
- Garlic – 3 Cloves (minced)
- Salt and Black Pepper to Taste
- Mix together vegetable broth or water, all sauces, ketchup, salt, vinegar and stir well.
- Break the noodles into half and spread in the pot. Slightly press the noodles so that it completely dips in the liquid.
- Close and turn the valve to sealing position. Press the pressure/manual cook and set the timer to four minutes.
- Carefully stir the noodles with tongs. Add stir-fried veggies and check for seasoning.
- Cover and rest for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and spring onions before serving.
3. Chili Garlic Instant Pot Noodles
Chili Garlic Noodles is a flavourful dish laced with chilli garlic sauce, veggies and topped with fancy toppings. It’s a perfect weekend recipe.
- Light Soy Sauce – 3.5 Tbsp
- Chili Garlic Sauce – 2 Tbsp
- Hoisin Sauce – 1.5 tbsp
- Rice vinegar – 1 Tbsp
- Brown Sugar – ½ Tbsp
- Sesame oil – 1 Tbsp
- Sriracha Sauce – 1 Tbsp
- Spaghetti Noodles – 8 Oz.
- Finely Chopped Garlic – ½ Tbsp
- Red and Green Bell Peppers Thinly Sliced – ½ each
- Avocado Oil – 2 Tbsp
- Carrot – 1 Medium Size chopped like matchsticks
- Water – 2 Cups
- For Garnish toasted sesame seeds – ½ tsp and Chopped 3 scallions
- Select sauté mode on the instant pot on normal heat setting.
- Add 2 tbsp of oil. When the oil is hot, add chopped garlic and saute for 30 secs.
- Add in water after cancelling the saute function.
- Add spaghetti noodles and gently press it with a spatula.
- Layer the thinly sliced vegetables on the noodles. Avoid stirring anything in the instant pot. Cover the lid and seal the valve.
- Pressure cook for 4 minutes on high.
- After pressure is released open the lid carefully. Do not worry if there is the liquid left out, as the noodles will absorb it.
- De-tangle the noodles gently while mixing the veggies.
- Set on saute mode at low and add in all the sauces into the instant pot. You can mix brown sugar with soy sauce and then add it to the noodles so that the sugar dissolves quickly.
- Toss the sauces and noodles.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions.
- Serve with red pepper flakes and chilli garlic sauce.
Instant Pot Vegetarian Rice Recipes
1. Instant Pot Veggie Rice
This simple rich dish is loaded with veggies and seasoned with spices.
- Long Grain Rice – 1 Cup
- Water or Vegetable Broth – 11/4 Cups
- Olive Oil – 1 Tbsp
- Onion – ½ Medium
- Large Carrot – 1 Medium
- Celery - 2 Ribs
- Bell Peppers – Any Colour
- Mushrooms – 8 oz
- For Garnish – Chopped Parsley
- Curry Powder – 11/2 Tsp
- Garlic Powder – 1 Tsp
- Dried Thyme – 1 Tsp
- Onion Powder – 1 Tsp
- Smoked Paprika – 1 Tsp
- Ground Pepper – ¼ Tsp
- Kosher Salt – 1 Tsp
For Tomato Salad:
- Cherry Tomatoes – 11/2 Cups (Quartered)
- Green Onion – 1
- Chopped Parsley – 1 to 2 Tbsp
- Pepper and salt to taste
- Lemon juice
- Olive Oil
- Set the instant pot to saute function. Add oil. When oil is hot, add chopped veggies (chop the veggies ¼ to ½ inch size). Saute for 4 minutes. Add seasonings and continue to saute for another minute.
- Cancel saute function and add in liquid and rice.
- Close and set valve to sealing and pressure cook for 5 minutes on high. Release pressure by turning valve to vent.
- Open the lid and stir in chopped parsley.
- Combine all the salad ingredients.
- Serve the tomato salad over the veggie rice.
2. Teriyaki Instant Pot Rice
This is a complete and a great mid-week meal. You can use any kind of veggies you have for this recipe.
- Onion – 1 medium (finely chopped)
- Garlic – 4 Cloves (finely chopped)
- Carrots – 2 Medium sizes (cubed)
- Celery – 2 Ribs (chopped finely)
- Sesame Oil – 1 Tbsp
- Bell peppers – 2 large ones (chopped into cubes)
- Brown Rice – 2 Cups
- Water – 13/4 cups
- Coconut Aminos or Soy Sauce– 1/3rd Cup
- Maple Syrup – 60 ml
- Rice Vinegar – 60 ml
- Frozen Peas – 1 Cup
- Red Chili Flakes – ½ Tsp
- Set saute function on the instant pot. When hot, add oil.
- Saute garlic, onions, celery and carrots for 3 minutes. Press keep warm/clear button.
- Add rice and bell peppers. Add all ingredients other than peas. Combine well.
- Cover the lid and turn the vent to seal and cook for 22 minutes on high pressure. Once the pressure releases naturally open the lid of the instant and stir in peas. Allow it to sit for 2 minutes so that peas get cooked.
- Serve immediately.
3. Vegan Instant Pot Rice Pilaf
There are several variations of rice pilaf, and traditionally it is made with meat. However, this vegan variation is also equally tasty and delicious.
- Onion – 1 large
- Carrots – 2 Medium Grated
- Ground Cumin – ½ Tsp
- Olive oil – 1 Tbsp
- Ground Coriander – ½ Tsp
- White Rice – 2 Cups
- Vegetable Broth or Water – 2 Cups
- Raisins – ½ Cup
- Salt- ½ Tbsp
- Set saute function on the instant pot. Add oil and when oil is hot add diced onion and sauté until onion turns translucent. Add grated carrot. Saute for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add coriander, cumin and salt. Mix well.
- Turn off the saute mode and add white rice and vegetable broth or water. Add raisins. Close the lid and set to sealing function.
- Cook for 5 minutes on high pressure. Once the pressure releases naturally open the lid and fluff the rice.
- Serve hot.
Best Instant Pots in India
Instant Pots are a new innovative product that makes your life easy and hassle-free. The best instant pots in India are -
- 1. Instant Pot Duo 7 in 1 – This Instant Pot comes with 7 functions. It is perfect for preparing breakfast and evening meals. It is also an economical buy.
- 2. Mealthy MultiPot 9 in 1 – This has 9 functions with 14 pre-set programs. The controls are easy to adjust and have innovative safety aspects.
- 3. Geek RoboCook 11 in 1 – The appliance comes with 11 features. The Teflon coating ensures that the food does not stick to the bottom. You will enjoy an efficient and mess-free cooking experience.
- 4. Instant Pot Dup Nova – This comes with 7 cooking functions and is ideal for a family of four. It is easy to seal and safe to use.
- 5. Preethi Touch EPC005 – This comes with 15 pre-programmed menus, easy to use controls, water level indicator etc.
Cleaning the Instant Pot
The plastic sealing rink inside the Instant Pot will pick up with the smell as you use the pot to prepare vegetarian recipes. To remove the odour from the Instant Pot sealing ring, soak it in vinegar for a couple of hours. A best practise is to keep the Instant Pot with the lid upside down so that the sealing ring is open to air instead of the lid being closed to the pot. This helps the sealing ring to dry out between use.