(Inside: Instant Pots can be fun and cut down on cook time significantly on some of your family’s favorite dishes–but they can also be kind of daunting. These are my favorite 5 Instant Pot mistakes and some tips on avoiding them–so you know, you don’t end up like Jack.)
It is a fascinating thing to have an instant pot in your home.
No more planning hours ahead setting up the slow cooker making post roast or hours wasted cooking carnitas in the oven.
Just a fun, simple way to cook in a LOT faster setting.
However, having an Instant Pot can be daunting if you make some small mistakes that most people do while using them.
Below are some of those Instant Pot mistakes I’ve made and how you can avoid them.
5 Instant Pot Mistakes to Avoid
Overfilling the instant pot
Have you ever crammed your instant pot with liquid and food up to the maximum line?
Even maybe let it go beyond the max line?
Overfilling your Instant Pot clogs the venting knob.
An Instant Pot NEEDS to vent.
Don’t screw this up.
Solution: Be careful when putting food and liquid inside the pot so that it does not exceed the Max Line.
For pressure cooking, ensure that the pot is 2/3 full or less.
If you are cooking food that expands during the cooking, e.g., beans, let it be ½ full.
In case you overfill it accidentally, use the natural release.
And expect splash…
Using the quick release of foamy food
Most new users make a mistake of using the quick pressure release or the natural release when you’re not supposed to do the one or the other.
Honestly, until you’ve been at it a while, it’s easy to be not sure of when to use the two.
When cooking food such as grains, some users use the quick release when the food becomes foamy instead of the natural release.
Solution: If you are cooking foamy food or when your pot is overfilled, always use the natural release.
You can also release pressure gradually without turning the venting knob to the venting position so that it can release pressure.
Want a handy checklist/guide for when to use quick release vs. natural release on the Instant Pot? Check this out.
Using too much liquid
Most people put too much liquid on the instant pot, and this increases the overall cooking time.
It also takes more time to get pressure and release the pressure naturally.
It can also possibly make the food to overcook.
And, on top of that, too much liquid also interferes with the flavor of the food.
Which makes for sucky food nobody wants to eat.
Don’t do that.
Solution: Use a maximum of 1 cup of liquid unless the recipe recommends more than that.
Just 1 cup.
Using the rice button to cook all types of rice
Have you ever experienced nasty-can’t-eat-this-mush or it’s-so-dry-I-wouldn’t-serve-it-to-my-worst-enemy results after cooking rice using your instant pot?
That’s weird–me too.
Sometimes this happens when you use the rice button to cook all types of rice.
Remember there are different types of rice and all of them cannot be cooked using one type of button in the instant pot.
Each rice is different. Just like each meat is different.
Solution: Every type of rice needs a certain amount of water ratio and cooking time.
If you need best results, you might have to use the manual button to control your cooking and observe the time, too.
Seriously look up a recipe for each type or rice you want to cook–because they’re all different.
Using a hot liquid in a recipe that needs a cold liquid
When it comes to cooking, there is always a difference between using hot and cold water.
Sometimes your instant pot meals might be undercooked–and the reason being that you started cooking them using hot water.
Hot water shortens the cooking period as the instant pot will take a short time to get pressure.
Typically, food starts to cook when the instant pot begins heating and getting pressure.
But if the water was hot already, that can reduce the pressuirzing time…and just screw everything up.
Food may, therefore, be undercooked if you use hot water on a recipe that needs cold water.
Solution: Always use cold water when using an instant pot so that it can cook using the recommended time.
Unless the recipe calls for hot water. Then go with that.
Instant Pots can be fun to use if you use them in the right way and avoid basic mistakes.
Other Instant Pot mistakes involve failing to take advantage of the sauté function on your instant pot to sear, failing to clean the silicon ring of your instant pot and forgetting to put the sealing ring back in the lid before starting to cook.
But, these are just my favorites–I’ll save the others for a rainy day soon.
Just know you can easily avoid the above mistakes and enjoy using your Instant Pot, even if it’s a little daunting at first…
And, so you can keep these Instant Pot mistakes in mind and maybe remind yourself later, I made this neat pin graphic so you can save it forever and always as a link…so pin it for me, would ya?
Party on, dude! Catch you the flip side.