Instant Pot Frequently Asked Questions

Instant Pot FAQ - These are the most frequently asked questions by Instant Pot users.

Instant Pot is a fast-growing brand that manufactures the Instant Pot Pressure Cookers.

Instant Pot DUO 60 is on sale on Amazon. Also check out Our Handpicked Best Instant Pot Accessories

This mighty little Instant Pot Pressure Cooker has swept across the nation, stormed into homes and is slowly taking over the world kitchen! 😉

Maybe you have got an Instant Pot for Christmas, snatched a great Instant Pot Deal on Amazon Prime Day, or kept hearing from your friends who simply couldn’t stop talking about their Instant Pots.

What is the Instant Pot fuss all about?

So, we’ve gathered some of the most Frequently Asked Questions for Instant Pot below.

If you couldn’t find the answer to your question or if you have a great answer to a commonly asked question that’s not listed below, please give us a shout in the comments below.

Before Purchasing Instant Pot

1. What is an Instant Pot? Is it the Same as a Pressure Cooker?
2. Instant Pot vs. Slow Cooker?
3. Why is Everyone Raving About Their Instant Pots?
4. Is it Easy to Cook with an Instant Pot?
5. Does Instant Pot Really Speed Up the Cooking Process?
6. Are there any Disadvantages with Cooking in Instant Pot?
7. Is Instant Pot Safe to Use?
8. What is Instant Pot’s Working Pressure?
9. Can Instant Pot be Used for Pressure Canning?
10. Can I Use Instant Pot for Pressure Frying?
11. Which Instant Pot Makes Yogurt?
12. Which Instant Pot Should I Buy?
13. Which Size Should I Buy?

After Purchasing Instant Pot

14. What Instant Pot Accessories Do I Need?
15. What Accessories or Containers Can I Use in Instant Pot?
16. I Just Got My Instant Pot. What Should I Do First?
17. What is the Water Test?
18. I’m Confused With All the Instant Pot Terms and Acronyms.
19. Where Can I Find Instant Pot Recipes?
20. How to Do a Quick Release?
21. How to Do a Natural Release?
22. I Live in a High Altitude City. Do I Need to Adjust the Cooking Times?
23. What is the PIP Method?
24. Is it Called an InstaPot or Instant Pot?

 


Before Purchasing Instant Pot

1. What is an Instant Pot? Is it the Same as a Pressure Cooker?

Instant Pot is a Third Generation Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker. In fact, it’s currently one of the most popular electric pressure cooker brands!

Besides pressure cooking, you can use the Instant Pot to slow cook, cook rice, brown meat, steam food, keep food warm, and make homemade yogurt!

Comparing to traditional stovetop pressure cookers, Instant Pot gives you the freedom to “set-it-and-forget-it”, no more standing by the stove to babysit the pot as it cooks.

Also, instead of using an external heat source (stovetop pressure cooker), Instant Pot uses an internal heat source powered by electricity.


2. Instant Pot vs. Slow Cooker?

Slow Cooker (aka Crockpot) heats food at a lower temperature than common cooking methods such as boiling, baking, frying. Thus, takes longer to cook food.

While Instant Pot, most often used as a pressure cooker, heats food at a higher temperature due to a sealed cooking environment. Thus, cooks faster.

However, as mentioned above, Instant Pot also offers the Slow Cook function. Since we love pressure cooking so much, we rarely use our Instant Pots for slow cooking.


3. Why is Everyone Raving About their Instant Pots?

We love our dear Instant Pots for many reasons, and here are some of the top reasons:

  • Huge Timesaver – Cooks most food faster
  • Easy to Use
  • Safe to Use – UL & ULC certified with 10 or more built-in safety mechanisms
  • Quiet – Unlike loud & noisy traditional stovetop pressure cookers
  • Budget-Friendly – Instant Pot available below $100 USD
  • Hands-Off Cooking – “set-it-and-forget-it”
  • Can Saute/Brown Food Directly in the Pot
  • Yogurt! Yes – you can make yogurt!

4. Is it Easy to Cook with an Instant Pot?

Yes! There’s definitely a learning curve to cook with pressure cookers and Instant Pot, especially if you’re new to the method of pressure cooking.

But no worries! Once you get the hang of it, it’s relatively easy. Besides, you’ve got us right here helping you along the way! 🙂


5. Does Instant Pot Really Speed Up the Cooking Process?

Cooking in any pressure cooker is almost always faster.

It may not be noticeable for some quick to cook food such as broccoli, eggs or shrimps.

However, tender and juicy pulled pork can be done in under 90 minutes, when it usually takes 2 – 4 hours to make in the oven.


6. Are there Any Disadvantages with Cooking in Instant Pot?

One disadvantage of cooking with any pressure cooker is that you can’t inspect, taste, or adjust the food along the way.

That’s why it’s essential, especially in the beginning, to follow tested Instant Pot Recipes with accurate cooking times, seasoning, amount of liquid to ensure the food quality.


7. Is Instant Pot Safe to Use?

Modern day electric pressure cookers such as the Instant Pot are quiet, very safe and easy to use.

It has 10 or more UL Certified proven safety mechanisms to prevent most of the potential issues. Here are some safety tips.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Safety

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8. What is Instant Pot’s Working Pressure?

The current Instant Pot models have working pressure in the range of 10.15~11.6 psi.


9. Can Instant Pot be Used for Pressure Canning?

This is a direct quote from Instant Pot’s official website: “Instant Pot has not been tested for food safety in pressure canning by USDA.  Due to the fact that programs in Instant Pot IP-CSG, IP-LUX and IP-DUO series are regulated by a pressure sensor instead of a thermometer, the elevation of your location may affect the actual cooking temperature.  For now, we wouldn’t recommend using Instant Pot for pressure canning purpose.


10. Can I Use Instant Pot for Pressure Frying?

Please don’t attempt to pressure fry in any electric pressure cookers! The splattering oil may melt the gasket.

KFC uses a commercial pressure fryer (modern ones operate at 5 PSI) specially made to fry chickens. This Pressure Cooker Chicken is probably as close as it gets.


11. Which Instant Pot Makes Yogurt?

All Instant Pot DUO, DUO Plus, Ultra Models have the Programmable Yogurt Function for making Instant Pot Yogurt!


12. Which Instant Pot Should I Buy?

Instant Pot currently offers 4 lines of Instant Pot products:

Which Instant Pot you should buy highly depends on your budget, cooking needs, the amount of food you normally cook, or how tech-savvy you are.

For More In-Depth Instant Pot Review: Which Instant Pot to Buy


13. Which Size Should I Buy?

Instant Pot comes in 3 different sizes: 3 Quart, 6 Quart, and 8 Quart. (Instant Pot Company has discontinued their Instant Pot 5 quart models).

The right Instant Pot Size depends on what type, size, and quantity of food you’ll cook with your Instant Pot. See in-depth comparison chart here.


After Purchasing Instant Pot

14. What Instant Pot Accessories Do I Need?

Here’s our hand-picked list of the most popular Instant Pot Accessories among fellow Instant Pot users: Instant Pot Accessories & Instant Pot Steamer Baskets


15. What Accessories or Containers Can I Use in Instant Pot?

You can use any oven-safe accessories and containers.

Take note that different materials will conduct heat differently, so cooking times may vary when you use different containers.

We recommend using stainless steel containers as they conduct heat quickly.


16. I Just Got My Instant Pot. What Should I Do First? 

Congratulations and welcome to the Instant Pot Tribe! 🙂

Time to overcome your fear and unbox your Instant Pot! Here’s a Step-by-Step Guide: Instant Pot Setup

Then, you should conduct a Water Test with your brand new Instant Pot!


17. What is the Water Test?

It’s simply running a test run before you start experimenting with food. It also allows you to get a feel of how the pressure cooker works (i.e. which buttons to use, how to do quick release).

Here’s a Visual Step-by-Step Water Test Demo Video:

For Step-by-Step Instructions: Instant Pot Water Test


18. I’m Confused With All the Instant Pot Terms and Acronyms.

IP? HP? 5-5-5? Confused with all the Instant Pot Lingo?

Instant Pot Glossary: Guide for Instant Pot abbreviations & jargon that will get you off your feet as a newbie.


19. Where Can I Find Instant Pot Recipes?

There are more things you can make with your new kitchen toy – Instant Pot – than you’d imagine!

Here are some popular easy beginner recipes among Instant Pot users: Easy Instant Pot Recipes

Easy Instant Pot Recipes (Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes) & step-by-step Instant Pot Videos and Tips for you to learn how to use Instanst Pot Electric Pressure Cooker.


20. How to Do a Quick Release?

After the cooking cycle ends, carefully move the Venting Knob from Sealing Position to Venting Position.

This rapidly releases the pressure in the pressure cooker. This usually takes a few minutes.

Wait until the floating valve (metal pin) completely drops before opening the lid.


21. How to Do a Natural Release?

After the cooking cycle ends, wait until the Floating Valve (metal pin) completely drops before opening the lid.

Always turn the Venting Knob from Sealing Position to Venting Position. This ensures all the pressure is released before opening the lid. It usually takes 10 – 25 minutes.

In our recipes, you may see “15 mins Natural Release” – this means after the cooking cycle ends, wait 15 minutes before turning the Venting Knob to manually release the remaining pressure.

More In-Depth Instructions & Demo Video: Pressure Cooker Release Methods


22. I Live in a High Altitude City. Do I Need to Adjust the Cooking Times?

Yes! Our Instant Pot Recipes are developed and tested at close to sea level.

So, when you live in a high altitude city (over 3000 ft above sea level), use our Pressure Cooker High Altitude Cooking Time Adjustment Chart to adjust the cooking times in our Instant Pot Recipes.


23. What is the PIP Method?

PIP means Pot in Pot or Pan in Pot. It is an efficient way to cook multiple dishes (with similar cooking time) in the pressure cooker at the same time. Here’s an example 🙂


24. Is it Called an InstaPot or Instant Pot?

Many users call it InstaPot, IP, or IPPY.

The correct name is Instant Pot, but call it whatever you like. In fact, some users even named their cookers – “Husband” 😉


Have fun cooking with your awesome Instant Pot Pressure Cooker!

*Let us know in the comments if you have any other Instant Pot questions. 🙂

Instant Pot FAQ - These are the most frequently asked questions by Instant Pot users.

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rayna
User
rayna

My question is about consecutively using the IP.. lets say i cook beans, dump them out so i can re use the IP again to cook rice. Ive noticed that things dont cook as much when the IP is already hot.. so how much time should you add when using a hot instant pot.. or better to let it cool?

Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot DUO 80
Kathy
User
Kathy

Is there a setting to warm food up that is stored in the liner in the fridge? Is it safe to use the liner when it’s cold from being refrigerated? I get home late, so I prefer to have the meal all prepared, just needing to be warmed up. I bought the mini duo a few months ago and have tried 2 of your recipes, both were great!

Susan Gibbons
User
Susan Gibbons

Hello, I made a cheesecake in the IP. My experience was not good.I did follow the recipe.
When finished the cheesecake did not steam in the middle of the cake…..disaster…..
So what was the issue.Not cheap for the ingredients, and to have a fail….Help!
Thanks,Susan

Christine S
User
Christine S

Hello, thanks for the info. I just got an IP. I looked online for easy chicken breast. What I didn’t understand on what the difference is between Pressure Cook button and all the other buttons, for instance the Poultry button. Are these other button, like poultry, stews, beans and so on, are they also pressure cooking too? And how would I know how much time for these things? Thanks.

Cecilia Hendrix
User
Cecilia Hendrix

I have recently got my first IP and tried my first recipe (specific to IP) followed the directions specifically even made my husband double check me. The recipe was for Sweet and Sour pork but the sauce never thickened it looked more like a pork soup when I took the lid off…any suggestions? Thank you…love you blog so helpful for us “New IP users” blessings! 🙂

Lynn Helton
User
Lynn Helton

While I mostly use my Instant Pot for pressure cooking, I used it today for slow cooking and was wondering what the high temperature of the slow cooking setting should be, with it set on MORE. It seemed to be cooler than my traditional crockpot. When we measured the temperature it was about 190 degrees – is this normal?
–LYNN

Jennifer
User
Jennifer

Hello,

What elevation do you make your recipes at? Do we have to adjust the time from the recipe based on that?

Thank you!

Jane Fiore
User
Jane Fiore

Hi! Firstly, I love your blog. Your beef strog was the first recipe I ever made with my Instant Pot and it was fantastic! I work for Williams-Sonoma and always recommend you to customers! I have a question that I haven’t been able to find online, maybe you can help. There is a delay between the float valve popping up/sealing and the countdown timer beginning. Just now making a batch of meatballs in sauce, it was probably 2 minutes before the timer finally hit. It IS one of the larger volume recipes I’ve made, but was right at fill line.… Read more »

Shelky
User
Shelky

Hi

Yes it was cut in half. The spaghetti squash was steaming after the 7 minutes but very hard inside

Rachelle Roth
User
Rachelle Roth

Amy and Jackie
I just bought an Instant Pot and wanted to make spaghetti squash in it. (I have done this before in my FAGOR pressure cooker) . I followed the directions as followed. 7 minutes high pressure. I add water to the bottom as required. However when the time is up the spaghetti squash is steaming but still hard inside. Do you know why this isn’t cooking?

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