The Instant Pot Starter Guide for Me and You

The Instant Pot Starter Guide for Me and You

This is for everyone who ordered an Instant Pot on Cyber Monday, and also, somewhat selfishly, for myself. It's all the links, references, and resources I've collected in eager anticipation of the delivery of my new 9-in-1 rice cooker killer.

Let me start by saying, my road to the Instant Pot hasn't exactly been straight. I like to think I shy away from of-the-moment appliances, and instead, have collected a good number of donabe, flameware, and other clay cooking vessels that I cherish and cook with regularly. But I've been increasingly intrigued by sweeping Instant Pot mania (couldn't be later to the party, I know). Some of my favorite cooks are making magic, or at least dinner, with them. One of them even released Dinner in an Instant: 75 Modern Recipes for Your Pressure Cooker, Multicooker, and Instant Pot. I buy every Melissa Clark book. Every one. So, it seemed like the time to pull the trigger here and have a little fun. Also, the newest Instant Pot has a yogurt function. And eight other functions - pressure, slow cooker, rice cooker, egg cooker, sauté mode, steamer, and on and on. Oh, and people are baking cakes in them? Woah.

Instant Pot Starter Guide

My first impression stepping into this world? It's a lot. My guess is that many of you are either looking for instruction and inspiration (like me), or you are way ahead, and have your own favorite resources. So that's what this post is about. I'm going to include my list here, as I start feverishly googling, including anything that catches my attention, anything I don't want to lose track of - and I'll try to keep this list updated over time. But, please, if you're seasoned in the Instant Pot arts, with ideas, favorite tricks, inspiration, and whatnot - please (please!) leave a comment. As I work on recipes, I'll link to favorites here:

- Instant Pot Minestrone Soup
- Instant Pot Fiasco Beans
- 10 Minute Instant Pot Mushroom Broth

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THE BASICS
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- This is the Instant Pot I purchased: Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1 Also! Note, there are over 1000 questions answered on this page. A lot of good questions, a lot of good answers.

- Alternative: I initially bought the Breville Fast Slow Pro. And I bought it for a few reasons. It slow cooks, it pressure cooks, and it aesthetically sparks much more joy than the Instant Pot. Also, I found a refurbished one deeply discounted on Amazon, which put it striking distance (price wise) of the Instant Pot I was considering. But it arrived and looked like someone took a sledgehammer to it. This gave me some extra time to rethink the Instant Pot (and its yogurt feature!), and read more reviews and comments. So I switched my order and ordered the Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Quart 9-in-1 instead.

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OFFICIAL INSTANT POT
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This is the official Instant Pot site, it has videos, updated information related to the different models available, FAQs, and a recipe database. There is also a lively Facebook community, and Pinterest page.

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THE GUIDES & REFERENCES
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- How To Use an Instant Pot: A Guide by Melissa Clark (NY Times)

- The Instant Pot manual has tables with timing recommendations, this site has more.

- Rancho Gordo Heirloom Beans & Pressure Cooking Guide (PDF)
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LOVE STORIES
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- Why Do Cooks Love the Instant Pot? I Bought One to Find Out (NY Times)

- The Instant Pot Cult is Real (TASTE)

- Send Help: I'm (Kind Of) Falling in Love With the Instant Pot (Food52)

- I Tried The $99 Kitchen Gadget That Everyone's Obsessed With (Buzzfeed)

- After Cooking All My Meals in an Instant Pot for a Week, I Get What All the Hype Is About (Self)

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RECIPE INSPIRATION
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I want to make amazing thali plates with this thing. That's my personal holy grail of Instant Potting.

- Ministry of Curry Instant Pot Recipes

- Ten Instant Pot Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes or Less (The Kitchn)

- Detoxinista / Instant Pot Recipes

- Cook With Manali / Instant Pot Recipes

- Five One Pot Indian Stews (Tasting Table)

- I'm excited about the concept of layering (or, pot-in-pot cooking)! For example, you use racks and containers to cook multiple recipes, like this one. - An explanation of PIP (pot-in-pot) cooking. And here's another one. And a great comprehensive video.

- Instant Pot Hot Sauce (Simply Happy Foodie)

Welcome!

I send an email roughly once a week, sharing new recipes and cooking inspiration. - xo heidi

Comments

I own a similar multi-cooker and I use it at least twice a week. I love it. Your Rasam recipe (which is incredible) works beautifully this way.

Skye

This is fantastic - thank you for posting this! I’ve had my IP for almost a year but have remained a little intimated. I have made some wonderful things (Bare root girl’s Maple Smoked Brisket, for instance) but the thing I make again and again is bone broth. So easy and comes out perfectly every time. I buy “soup bones” (and even chicken feet!) from a local rancher and co-op I’m a part of or I’ll just use carcasses left over from roasting. I fill with filtered water to just shy of the max line (to make room for the veggies I add in later) and pour in 2T apple cider vinegar and let sit for 30min to 1 hour to extract the minerals and gelatin. Then i add a couple of chopped carrots and celery, a few smashed garlic cloves and an onion quartered (skin on for color!), close the lid, set to “soup” mode (high pressure for 2 hrs) and let it automatically switch to warm mode overnight (up to 10 hrs). I strain, cool and jar the next morning! I usually get close to 4 quarts of broth ready to sip, cook with or freeze for later!

Debra

Thanks for this comprehensive resource Heidi. I bought the Breville Multi Chef a few months ago (mainly for different kinds of rice) and it is amazing, cooks any kind of rice in about 12 minutes. But have been looking and looking at Instant Pot wondering whether it will be worth all the hype especially because of the no-meat vegetarian aspect of cooking on most days. Would it really eliminate the need for say a rice cooker, a pressure cooker and a slow cooker? Because that alone should free up a lot of bench/cabinet space. Only problem is, we don't get the Instant Pot here in Australia (just like every other thing out there, we are the last ones to get anything of interest). Will probably have to get one from Amazon UK and replace the cable. It all comes down to whether it is worth all the extra effort. I am very keen to hear how you go with your cooking and will keep an eye out for updates on this post. Love from down under! x

Sneh | Cook Republic

I LOVE my instant pot. I use it once a week a marathon cooking/cleaning session - a week of steel cut oats, a week's worth of brown rice, and whatever soup flavor I'm in the mood for (curried cauliflower, chili, and a potato leek have been on constant rotation the past few months). Within 3 hours, I have plenty of food for the week, and my condo is sparkling since I clean during the pressure process! Looking forward to seeing what you use yours for (maybe an experiment with vegan yogurt??).

Morgan

I ordered the same one as you and it is out for delivery today so this couldn't be more timely! I will bookmark this page and come back to it when I need to, and I'll also check back to see what you're doing with it. Thanks for this list of resources.

Anne

thank you for this.... i found your site when I was a stay at home mom with a limited budget for food, and i wanted to be gourmet... your journal has helped me be gourmet and healthy. i am super grateful for your site. and now i want that instant pot! thank you!

HS: Thanks for the nice note Emily! Much appreciated. xo!

Emily

Those of us with Instant Pots can never get enough. Thank you! I have one little tip that may or may not be covered in your resources... To use your Instant Pot as a slow cooker, you have to ditch the pressure cooker lid altogether and either order the IP glass lid or find one in your kitchen that fits. For some strange reason, it will not generate enough heat to cook anything, even over 10 hours, if you have the IP lid on. Happy cooking, Heidi! I'll be watching for some tasty H. Swanson IP recipes!

Patrice Berry

I'm so curious what you're going to make in this thing! I've been trying to get a feel for how the IP would be better suited to cook vegetarian meals than the good old Dutch oven and haven't really been convinced yet.

Sophie

The InstantPot is an absolutely GAME CHANGER.

Hands down... It is FRICKEN LIFE-CHANGING!

We now own two! Haha.

Kellie

I jokingly call mine the risotto maker as it is the only thing I have found it useful for in the last year of owning it. I will admit we have risotto about once a week now however, so I have gotten use out of it. I actually enjoy having a pot of soup simmering on the stove or something in the dutch oven roasting.

Nicole

I have owned an Instant Pot for about a year and a half now, and I'm still learning the ins and outs of it! Surprisingly, I really like the slow cooker function. My slow cooker bit the dust a few months ago, and I love that I have one less appliance taking up room in my cupboards. Haha!

Erica Kastner | Buttered Side Up

I bought an Instant Pot last year on Black Friday, and ended up returning it after reading the instructions and also seeing how big it was. I have a small kitchen and decided I didn't want to devote the space to this appliance. I am a vegetarian and beyond cooking beans and grains, didn't see much use for it. Maybe I could steam eggs, but I have no problem doing that with a stovetop pot and steam rack. And I love having a pot of beans slowly cooking on the stove on a winter day! I hope you are happy with your purchase, and I'm sure you will come up with lots of original uses for it. Maybe I'll even be convinced at some point that it's worth getting!

Summer

Thanks thanks .... I really needed this introduction in one place altogether. Even if I’m part of the Fb group where is easy to follow and can ask in the moment any question.
The more you know of IP is essential to use it for the everyday simple cooking.
Thanks again!! (From Santiago, Chile)

Luz Santa Maria

Thank you for the resources! i bought one, not sure if I should give it to my granddaughter who does not cook, or keep it for me. I am at the same point, I have a lot of appliances and question if I need one more, but I do feel like I need a pressure cooker and the IP seemed like a logical choice since there are many recipes. I have trusted your blog and cookbooks for several years so thank you for verifying my choice!

Sally

I love my Instant Pot so much and am always looking for new recipes--thanks for those links! Things I use it for the most: boiled eggs--so easy to peel. Melissa Clark has great instructions in her book. Dried beans--since I presoak, I just put them in the cooker with water, salt, and any aromatics the night before, and set the timer so they are ready when I get home from work. Steel cut oats: setting the cooker the night before and having oatmeal ready for the kids in the morning when they get up has been a game changer (I try to time it so it isn't left on "warm" too long as they start to stick on the bottom after a while). And if all else fails, you can whip up a pot of red lentil soup in about 20 minutes flat. Have fun tinkering!

Emily

Hi Heidi, I'd be curious to learn of your experience making yogurt in the IP. I use two aging Salton 1-qt. yogurt makers no longer available except when one stumbles upon them on eBay or in a thrift store. They're great, making delicious, creamy yogurt, but I doubt they'll last another 25 years! Getting a workable alternative yogurt maker with the IP may just tip me over to the "actual" last convert! p.s. I love your attachment to cooking tools - I share that particular obsession.

Susan Stone

You missed some of the best sources of Ip recipes -especially for newbies: this old gal, pressure luck, two sleevers, dad cooks dinner, nom nom paleo. Tried and true recipes!

HS: Thanks Nancy - I'll try to do some recipe highlights in the future that highlight their veg-centric recipes!

Nancy travers

I have mine for about a year, and haven't used it much. I find that many recipes I find are not all that healthy (i.e. heavy on sauce (and spice), neither of which I like) but some of the ones on your links look good. Yogurt was one of the reasons i bought it, but once I looked at the instructions, I decided to stick to my "heat, cool, put into glass jars in the oven with the oven light on" method. it actually takes less time than the IP yogurt recipe.

HS: Hi Peri - I'm hoping I can come up with some recipes that tick all the good boxes! :)

Peri

Thanks so much- I missed the cyber Monday deal but hope to get an IP soon. I have to say, I received a Breville Fast Slow Cooker as a gift and it's been a huge disappointment. Very uneven. I thought that maybe because it had too many functions, and toyed with the idea of getting just a plain ol' slow cooker. But after reading so many great reviews- and now yours- I think I am sold.

HS: Hi Susan! I plan on playing around with the Breville a bit as well at some point. I'll let you know what I think! So far, I'm into the IP, and am going to play with the slow cooker function this week - more soon!

Susan Iseman

While I'm drawn to these multi-cookers, I'm having a hard time justifying the purchase and having another appliance around. I have a slow cooker that I use maybe twice a month; I'm retired and time is not usually an issue for me; I love to cook and try new recipes. Can anyone give me a good argument for why I should buy one? Thanks!

Arlo48

I love my Instant Pot and use it weekly to cook grains and dried beans - I tell fellow vegetarians that if you find no other use for an IP try this. Am starting to move into soups and stews with the onset of winter, mainly just by playing around with my usual favorites and trying them in the IP instead of stovetop. As a vegetarian, I feel I have to work harder to find "main dish" recipes for it (same with my crockpot), so I'm really excited to see what you cook! I have made a few recipes from the cookbook "Vegan Under Pressure" by Jill Nussinow and recommend it.

T

I have had my IP for about 2 years now, we love it
2 words hardboiled eggs

Isabella

Hi Heidi! So glad you are doing Insta-Pot recipes because I’m getting one for Christmas. Cannot wait to try it and see what the craze is all about which I am sure it’s a good kind of craze.. bye!

Caroline

Heidi, would you, please, share how you decided about the size? I haven’t seen the instant pot in person and can not decide between the 6 and 8 qt. Thank you, klara

HS: I think I would have been happy with either? The 6qt. just seems more reasonable for my kitchen. It's not huge, not small either. If I was regularly cooking for 4+ I think I'd get the 8 qt. - for the leftover factor. With the 6 qt. you wont end up with as many leftovers. :)

Klara

Hi,
I just looked on amazon and there is a 3qt version. As a single gal with no kids this may be perfect. However its not the plus style. Is there much of a difference between the two versions I wonder. The price point is double for the 6qt plus.. Anyone have the mini version?

claudia

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