As much as I love and use my Instant Pot, I don’t pretend to know every single thing about it. In fact, I don’t even think that the makers of the Instant Pot know everything there is to know about this versatile kitchen appliance! But in my opinion, that’s also part of the fun of using it. :-) There’s a vibrant community of Instant Pot owners online who are constantly discovering and sharing new tips and tricks!
Every once in a while, I stumble across Instant Pot hacks while I’m researching something online. These tips are usually short and sweet, so I end up tucking them away to use later. I recently realized that my little collection of Instant Pot tips had reached double digits, so I decided that it’s high time to share them with you guys!
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In today’s post, you’ll find 11 brilliant Instant Pot hacks of all shapes and sizes. They cover all sorts of topics, from cooking tips to using accessories to keeping everything clean. I know these genius hacks will enrich your Instant Pot experience as much as they have for me! :-) (And for tons more info about cooking with the Instant Pot, be sure to check out my eBook Everything Instant Pot! You can buy it in my shop, or get it for free if you’re an OGT Plus member!)
11 Clever Instant Pot Hacks
1. Pot-in-Pot Cooking
I’ve recently begun experimenting with the “pot-in-pot” cooking method, which allows you to cook two different foods at once in your Instant Pot. There is a bit of a learning curve at first, but once you get the hang of pot-in-pot cooking, it’s amazing what you can do with it! Check out my post at the link below to get all the details on pot-in-pot cooking, which includes recommendations for easy recipes that will help you master this method.
2. Pressure Release Tool
When you use the Quick Release method to depressurize your Instant Pot, steam comes shooting out of the pressure release valve. Turning the release valve can be a little scary, but there’s a simple way to do it without having to worry about steam burns!
Just use the end of the ladle that came with your Instant Pot to turn the release valve to “Venting.” The end of the ladle is curved so it grabs onto the valve easily, and you can stay safely away from the shooting steam.
3. Never Overcook Anything
It’s easy to overcook delicate foods like fish and veggies when you’re pressure cooking them. But there’s a simple trick you can use that will make sure you never overcook anything again!
When you start the cooking process, set the timer to “0.” This tells the Instant Pot to stop cooking immediately after it comes to pressure. Then use Quick Release to depressurize, and fetch your perfectly cooked food out of the pot.
4. Built-In Lid Rest
Wondering what to do with the lid after you take if off of the Instant Pot? There’s actually a convenient place to rest the lid, and it’s built right in! There are rectangular notches in the handles on either side of the Instant Pot, which perfectly fit the rectangular protrusions on either side of the lid. Just slide the edge of the lid into one of the notches in the handle, and it will hold your lid there until you’re ready to clean up.
5. Ready-To-Reheat Leftovers
To make them Instant Pot-friendly, freeze your leftovers in round containers. Then you can easily dump the food into the inner pot to reheat! And if you freeze your leftovers in an oven-safe container like glass, you can reheat the whole thing in your Instant Pot. Just set the container on a trivet in the inner pot, pour some water into the bottom, and cook.
6. Defrost Food
You can use your Instant Pot to heat up leftovers, thaw frozen vegetables, defrost soups, and more! Read my post at the link below for everything you need to know about cooking frozen foods in your Instant Pot.
7. Deodorize The Sealing Ring
The silicone ring that sits inside of the lid of your Instant Pot is crucial for forming an airtight seal during the cooking process. But one of the drawbacks of silicone is that it tends to absorb the odor of the foods you cook in your Instant Pot. But there’s an easy method you can use to deodorize a smelly sealing ring!
Pour 1 cup of water, 1 cup of vinegar, and a few slices of a lemon into your Instant Pot. Put the lid on as usual, and cook on “Pressure Cook” for about 3 minutes. Use Quick Release to depressurize, and your sealing ring should be much less smelly afterwards. (I also recommend getting an extra sealing ring, so you can use one for cooking savory foods and one for cooking sweet foods!)
8. Wash The Lid In Your Dishwasher
The lid of the Instant Pot doesn’t contain any electronics, so it’s safe to wash it in the top rack of your dishwasher. Just make sure to remove the small parts from the lid before doing it. Place the small parts in a zippered mesh laundry bag before putting them in your dishwasher so you don’t lose track of them!
9. Use Hot Water
The hotter the contents of your Instant Pot are, the faster it will be able to come up to pressure. So when you add water to your Instant Pot, boil it in your stovetop or in a kettle before pouring it into the pot. It’s an easy way to shave a few minutes off the cooking time!
10. Take It With You
Traveling or going camping? As long as you have access to an outlet or power source, you can use your Instant Pot to prepare food! Make your favorite Instant Pot recipes, even when you’re far away from home.
11. Tin Foil Sling
Removing hot foods or pans from the Instant Pot can be tricky. But I recently stumbled upon a brilliant tip that makes it so much easier! Before putting your food, steam basket, or other accessories into the pot, make a simple tin foil “sling.” (Just fold up a long piece of tin foil so that it’s long and narrow.)
Place the tin foil sling in the bottom of the pot first, making sure the edges will be easy to grab. Then place your food or accessory over the top of the sling. After cooking, you’ll be able to pull out the hot food with the sling easily, and without burning yourself!
What’s your best tip for cooking in the Instant Pot?