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16 Genius Instant Pot Hacks That Will Blow Your Mind

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If you’ve crossed over into Instant Pot heaven, you already know what a lifesaver this appliance is on busy nights. Who knew your Instant Pot could be this snazzy, though?

1.) Use the handy built-in lid rest!

Whaaaat?! Did you know the lid can rest open on the top like this? #TheMoreYouKnow

Here’s a video to show how the magical lid rest works. 🙌

2.) Use cheaper cuts of meat.

Inexpensive stew meat or a chuck roast with lots of caramelizing does well in the Instant Pot! No need for expensive cuts of beef (it can tenderize the most stubborn cuts of meat).

Pro tip: Do take your time and use a natural pressure release when possible – especially for roasts.

3.) Vacation with your Instant Pot.

Save time and money by bringing your Instant Pot along while traveling or camping. This can be especially money saving for a larger family!

4.) No time to defrost? No worries!

Cooking meat from frozen is no problem with the Instant Pot. Just note that you’ll need to add additional cook time according to meat thickness. For instance, for a recipe that calls for fresh ground beef, you’ll need to double the cook time if it’s a frozen solid block of meat. Same for frozen chicken breasts.

5.) Turn slow cooker meals into Instant Pot meals.

Even though the Instant Pot kinda looks similar to a slow cooker, they cook in completely opposite ways. As a general rule: If the meat dish cooks in eight hours on low or four hours on high in the slow cooker, it will cook in 25-30 minutes in the Instant Pot. Also make sure to add at least a 1/2 cup of liquid to Instant Pot.

Speaking of slow cookers, did you see this post – Instant Pot Versus Crock-Pot?

6.) Make DELICIOUS popcorn in your Instant Pot!

Use the Saute function and a glass lid with this easy and fun popcorn making method. Go HERE for exact directions I followed. My family LOVED it. YUM!

7.) Freshen up a stinky ring or lid.

Try steam cleaning your Instant Pot naturally by running it on the Steam function for a few minutes with one cup of water, one cup of vinegar, and a few lemon slices inside.  If the issue doesn’t resolve, consider buying additional sealing rings for savory and sweet recipes.

8.) Meal plan like a pro!

Make a big batch of shredded chicken, beef, or pork to use in multiple meals for the week! Try this Italian Beef Roast for delicious shredded beef. SO good.

9.) Make a cheesecake in your Instant Pot.

One of the advantages of Instant Pot pressure cooking is the diverse meals and dishes you’re able to cook with it. Check out this popular Instant Pot Cheesecake recipe and consider using a  7 inch Non-Stick Spring Form Pan that’ll fit perfectly inside the Instant Pot. You can also use it to make lasagna and meatloaf right in your Instant Pot!

10.) Skip the microwave and re-heat food in the Instant Pot.

This could come in handy for warming leftover soups, chili, or a large amount of food you need to re-heat for a family meal! Just use the Warm or Slow Cook functions.

11.) Make pasta and meat together for a brilliant, one pot meal.

Check out this easy and delicious Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo recipe the entire family will enjoy and it’s all done in the instant pot! 🙌

12.) Steam rice perfectly.

For amazing steamed white rice EVERY time just use a 1:1 liquid to rice ratio. For instance, add 1 cup of (rinsed) rice with 1 cup of liquid. Set on high pressure for 5 minutes. Let naturally release for 10 minutes. (Tip: I also add a little oil and salt.)

Note: Times will vary for each type of rice. Go HERE for a handy rice cooking guide.

13.) Make an entire small turkey, turkey breast, or chicken.

This especially comes in handy because it frees up oven space for the holidays. Check out how I made delicious turkey and gravy in my Instant Pot.

14.) Cook a whole pumpkin.

If you’re interested in making your own pumpkin puree, the process is super simple. Go HERE to learn how to cook a pumpkin in your Instant Pot!

15.) Make easy-to-peel hard-boiled eggs.

Cooking a batch of hard boiled eggs has never been easier than in the Instant Pot because there’s no boiling water on the stove!  An easy way to remember how to cook them is the 5-5-5 method.

Just put eggs on the cooking rack that comes with your pot or in a steamer basket. Add a cup of water, then set on Manual (High) for 5 minutes. Let pressure naturally release for 5 minutes, and then place in an ice bath for 5 minutes! The eggs are crazy easy to peel.

16.) Use the Saute function. It’s Everything!

Saute brown meat before pressure cooking to add DELICIOUS flavor to your EASY one pot meal. Saute also comes in handy for thickening recipes and for making gravy after cooking!

Get this comforting Hamburger Stroganoff recipe HERE.

Do you have any creative Instant Pot hacks or tips? Let us know in the comments!


Join The Discussion

Comments 166

  1. Pam

    I just bought the 8 quart instant pot by Viva and I am thinking returning it for a 6 qt. It’s the 2 of us and I think this pot is huge. Any suggestions?

    • Gena Andujar

      I also purchased the 8 quart Instant Pot for my husband and myself. It is a big one for sure but my way of thinking, in this 8 quart I could always make less food but in the 6 quart I could never make more. Like when our children come home for a visit, holidays, or just having company over and we need more food. We decided we were definitely keeping the 8 quart. I hope this might be something helpful to think about, Pam. 😃

      • Nazli Arshad

        I agree with Gena.8 Quartis is better if we decide to make more quantity so far I cooked Rice on default setting and it turned out perfect.

    • Vita

      Hi, you also can use PIP (Pot in Pot) alternative. I find bigger instant pot is better. You can cook for big crowd or for small crowd (Pot in Pot). Hope this is helpful.

    • Jo

      You can also freeze the extra food and have a meal or two to defrost and eat another day.

    • carrie barrie

      insta pot now makes an insta pot mini. its only 3 qts!!

    • Annie

      I have 3 instant pot, different sizes, can’t think of any excuse not to buy another one. I have bought several over the years and gave it to a few dear friends and family during christmas. They all love it and also got hooked to it. I rarely use my other pots and roasting pans that are way more expensive and also of good quality. I still oven bake some entrees sometimes, maybe for ones that are tomato based , for more intense oven roasted flavor but for interest of time and still really good flavor, IP is priceless!😊
      They will be tested again during the coming holidays to cook all side dishes in no time. Can’t wait to invite friends to an IP “showdown”party!

  2. MV

    Thanks for the tips!

  3. Margaret Hibbard

    I found that reheating chicken from the deli is better the second night than it was on the lst night. I put the blooming trivet in the pot with one cup of water, place chicken on trivet and steam for 4 minutes. Release pressure manually. Yumm!!!

  4. Jackie

    Gena Andujar:
    I also bought the 8 qt. There are 3 of us at home. It was so big and cumbersome, I took it back. Bought the 6qt. Love it, use it all the time. If our older kids come visit. I can still cook a lot of food in this pot. I usually make a variety of foods we the all come so no issues anyways with the size. Very happy with 6qt. Much easier to manage daily and store

  5. K S

    I had no clue you could do popcorn! Can’t wait to try it! Thanks!
    Another hack is you can use the slow cooker bags for easy clean up and you don’t have to worry about it sticking to the pan.

  6. Jana Lackey

    Your popcorn recipe isnt working

  7. Iris Buchanan

    Can I cook a frozen 3lb pork roast in my IP?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yes – a quick google search told me that 30 minutes per pound on high would be appropriate for a frozen roast. So 90 minutes in this case. I have not personally tested it yet. Hope that helps!

  8. Nora ISAACS

    Hi, I make tamales during the year, since I have IPduo6 qrt, Has any one tried steaming theirs in the IP? if s please tell us how they did it! Nora authentic Mexican food fanatic.

    • Shan

      Yes, there are plenty of recipes on Pinterest! I’m new to IP so I only have pinned recipes sans any experience.

  9. Nora ISAACS

    I just got an I P duo 6 quart, I steam homemade tamales through out the year.
    Has anyone tried them in the I P ? please send cooking recipe, AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR DOING THIS. THX Nora

    • Patty

      We did this year! Covered trivet with foil paper, open end of tamale up, 1 cup of chicken stock in the bottom. Steamed for 20 min and naturally released pressure. Worked really good.

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