It is no secret that quick cooking has extreme value; so, when you seek out how to use an instant pot, you want the best tricks and most efficient tips. We’ve all tried cooking in a single pot before- the unparalleled ease coupled with drastically limited dishes. It’s ideal. That said, pots overflow and require our supervision. Instant pots are the best of single-pot cooking; no mess, no oversight, and all the flavor and efficiency.
If you’ve never used one of these handy tools before, it will forever change cooking in your kitchen. In this article we breakdown the best instant pot dishes and all the secrets to their operation so that you can cook like an expert.
Preparing the Meal
The first (and most tedious) step in instant pot cooking is prep work. Frankly, this is the only part of instant pot cooking that requires some work (but don’t worry, the work is quick). From there, it is easy to get a delicious, home-cooked meal ready.
Rinse the pot
Give the pot a rinse and make sure there is water between the ceramic container and the element underneath. This is a safety precaution that prevents burning and keeps your food tasting how you want it to. Replace the ceramic pot and set aside the lid. Now the fun part begins.
Whether you are using water, broth, or sauce, your food will need a fluid base to bring it all together. These pots are not designed for dry food since the liquid keeps the food cooking at a low temperature for the required amount of time. If you don’t have both, consider water with salt and some basic spices. Try out lemon and garlic. Or consider black pepper and thyme. Maybe brown sugar and ketchup. The options really are endless. There are tonnes of flavor options- choose the one you like.
It is safe to say that your meal will need some vegetables. Whether these are onions for flavor, potatoes for starch, or greens for vitamins, this is a standard step. Due to the fact that slow cookers operate for a significant amount of time (often over a whole day), it is better that we slice vegetables thick. The bulkier they are at the beginning, the more form they hold after cooking.
A Dash of Oil
Though closed-in cooking gives the opportunity for low fat, adding oil is essential to proper cooking. It does not have to be much, though including this fatty feature will prevent burning and improve the quality of cooking. It keeps the food lubricated and helps integrate the flavors.
Place the Meat
This step is last since this reduces chances for contamination. The meat, in order to stay free of dangerous bacteria and other pathogens, should go from fridge to pot right away. If you are making a roast, slice it in half. Otherwise, large cubes hold their form well in the pot. Place them inside the container and close the lid.
Turn on the Instant Pot
Now that your meal is altogether (though not yet cooked), it is time to apply heat to the meal. One of the reasons these pots are so popular is for working individuals. They cook slowly, but successfully. Usually, there are two settings on the machine: low and high. If you are going to be gone for the whole day (for example, leaving to work), leave the system on low. If you are setting up the cooker afternoon, then high is acceptable.
Tips and Tricks
If you are going into a busy week, save yourself time by planning your meals. With instant pot cooking, this can be as easy as identifying meat, a vegetable, and a sauce. From there, you will have a great idea about your shopping needs. This way, at the supermarket, you can efficiently gather all the needed ingredients for a week of easy cooking.
If you are a fan of prep work, consider seeking out storage containers. With these, you can organize your meals before you cook the actual food. Choose five different (large enough) containers that seal items airtight. Fill them with the raw ingredients for your upcoming dinners. This makes easy work during the week.
Make it the Night Before
Depending on your personal style, it may be easier to make the menu the night before. Slice the vegetables and thaw the meat. Set them aside for the morning. When you wake up, place the items into the slow cooker. Turn it on to low and walk away for the day. By the time you return home, there will be a fully cooked meal, exactly how you like it.
Keep Safety in Mind
There are a few implications of safety when it comes to instant pot cooking.
Heat and Burns
When the pot comes out of its container, it will be surprisingly hot. Make sure that you wear oven mitts to protect from burns. The contents, even though heated on ‘low’, are still incredibly hot to the touch. Be careful and leave a few minutes before serving.
Anything with electrical components runs the risk of shorting. This can lead to problems ranging from a broken machine to electrical fire. Proper maintenance prevents most of these pitfalls. Make sure that you store the machine away from debris- on a clean and open counter. Keep all fabric far from the item. Routinely check the element to make sure there are no apparent problems. At least once a week, dry out the element and resupply water into the bath.
Depending on the type of homeowners or renters insurance you have, the requirements differ. Some plans are fine with electrical machinery plugged in while the resident is away. Others are stricter. It helps to take a look at the parameters of your insurance agreement to ensure that you are above board.
Cleanup and Storage
It is essential to take proper care of your machine. After use, take out the ceramic bowl and let it soak. Make sure it does not go too quickly from hot to cold. This could cause cracking. Once the item cools down, clean it thoroughly. The maintenance process includes the element beneath the bowl. Dry out the basin and leave the machine unplugged until you next use it’s a great skill
Slow cooker, or instant pot, cooking is a great way to improve taste while adding efficiency. You will have the best results as a beginner if you diversify your meals. Keep things interesting- switch from fish to chicken, vegetables to stew (at least for the first little while). After a bit, you will be an expert readied with a set of favorites and ideas for new, exciting recipes.