As a new user, it is best to aim for one cup of total liquid when pressure cooking meat. Too much liquid will dilute the flavor and add the “going up to pressure” time and pressure release time.
*Instant Pot recommends using at least 1 1/2 cup of liquid, but it is totally safe with 1 cup of liquid.
Please follow recipes for food such as beans or grains that absorb lots of water.
3.2. Thick Liquid Generates Less Steam
Thin the Liquid: If the pressure cooking liquid is too thick, Instant Pot may not be able to reach the desired pressure to start the pressure cooking cycle. Consider thinning out the liquid by adding chicken stock or water.
Add Thickeners After Pressure Cooking Cycle: Unless a trusted recipe indicates otherwise, always add thickeners such as flour, cornstarch, potato starch, arrowroot after the pressure cooking cycle.
4. How to Brown Meat & Deglaze
Brown Meat: when possible, always brown meat using Saute Function (Press Saute Button) or Saute More Function (Press Saute Button and Adjust Button Once). Maillard reaction adds lots of flavor to the dish.
Deglaze: pour cold liquid into a hot pot, then scrub the brown bits off the bottom. These brown bits are very flavorful.
5. Never Force Open the Instant Pot
Always make sure pressure has been fully released before attempting to open the Instant Pot. Once all the pressure has released from the pot, the floating valve will drop.
Always turn venting knob to venting position to ensure all the pressure has been released.
6. Safest Way to Open the Lid
The safest way to open the lid is to slowly tilt it away from you. The lid acts as a guide to direct the steam away from you. Accidents do happen in kitchen. In extremely rare situation (user error), the lid also acts as a shield to protect you.
7. How to Double the Recipes
For most dishes, you do not need to increase the cooking time when doubling a recipe.
Please keep this Important Safeguard in mind when doubling a recipe:
Do Not Overfill – Overfilling may clog the Pressure Release Valve and develop excess pressure.
All Pressure Cooking Programs: Do not fill the unit over 2/3 full.
For Food that Expands During Cooking (i.e. grains, beans, and dried vegetables): Do not fill the unit over 1/2 full.
From page 3 of the Instant Pot DUO60 manual.
8. Pot-in-Pot (PIP): What & How?
Pot-in-Pot = 2 in 1 (2 dishes in 1 pot)
The Pot-in-Pot method allows you to cook 2 or more dishes separately in Instant Pot at the same time.
Example: You can cook chicken thighs at the bottom of the pot, and a bowl of rice on top with a steamer rack lifting it up (separating it from the chicken).