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Black Friday 2018

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16 Genius Instant Pot Hacks That Will Blow Your Mind

104 Comments


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!

Written by Lina for Hip2Save. Lina is a proud mom of 2 kids who loves photography, all holidays, cooking, thrift store makeovers, bargain shopping, and DIY makeovers. Her goal is to create a beautiful life and stylish home on a dime! To see all of Lina’s DIY/Crafts created just for Hip2Save, click here.

Join The Discussion

Comments 104

  1. Evan

    You just blew my mind with “lid-rest”

  2. newyear2

    I needed this hip2save topic in my life 😊.. I’ve been stumped on how to it now that I own one

    • Lina D

      Oh have fun trying things out! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Christie

      Check out Pinterest for great ideas /recipes for the Instant Pot

  3. Nicole

    I’m a fan of the instant pot but my husband is not. He feels pressure cooked food lacks flavor. Any tips? He likes everything seasoned heavily or marinated.

    • Babs

      I’ve just discovered “Better than Bullion” for adding tons of flavor. Target or amazon.

      • Lina D

        I love this as well! Costco has the bigger jars 👍

        • Jenny l

          I absolutely love this product as well. Buy it at Costco myself

      • lovespring

        Is there msg in it?

        • Traci combs

          The organic version of the beef and checken do not have msg. My husband is very allergic to msg and we use these two Better Than Bullion products.

      • Debbie B

        I love this stuff. The flavor is so rich, It gives the taste of cooking all day to any great meal.

    • Stephanie

      This is exactly why I don’t like it. All the meals I have tried from friends have been bland and the typical “crock pot” taste of the meat (stringy)…I haven’t found it to be worth my money to get one…is this typical or are my friends bad cooks? Haha

      • Alison Matalanis

        I’m not a huge fan of crock pot meals because I feel like they lack flavor and are watery. I love my Instant Pot. As a another comment said, you need to use the sauté function to get the initial browning that you want prior to adding liquid. I highly recommend America’s Test Kitchen’s book Pressure Cooker Perfection. Great recipes for your Instant Pot such as weeknight Pot Roast and weeknight Chili. Yum!

      • Charlotte

        Stephanie, your friends may not be comfortable with their IP yet. There is absolutely no reason why food should be bland because it’s cooked in the IP.

    • 50ShadesofLipstick

      Are you using Sauté mode first to brown the food? And accounting for the lack of evaporation in pressure cookers? If not then I can see why the food would taste a bit bland and flavor would be watered-down.

    • Monica

      You don’t have to use water as your liquid for pressure cooking in the IP. I have the 8 qt. duo and love it! I use marinades either premade or make my own, and all meats come out so full of flavor.

    • Jaime

      you just have to season your food more heavily. they key to cooking whether it is stove top, crock pot, instant pot or whatever…is to taste, taste, taste and adjust seasonings as needed 🙂

  4. Mel

    OMG! The lid rest!!!! I never know what to do with the kid when I remove it. 🤨 THANKS SO MUCH! 😊

    • Lina D

      Haha neither did I! It’s helpful

  5. Bryant

    My rice cooker looks just like this except it has few buttons. Guess it can do almost the same things as outlined here?

    • Heather

      Does your rice cooker cook with pressure?

  6. 50ShadesofLipstick

    A word of caution: the lid can easily get knocked over when you use the notch as a lid rest. It’s not a very stable place to stand the lid up- unless it’s out of the way entirely and not liable to get bumped accidentally

  7. Karen

    So…..I have not bought one although they look awesome. Have read multiple bad reviews online about InstantPots stopping working suddenly. Anyone heard of this? CrockPot brand has problems with a dreaded E6 error. A lot of money to commit to something that only works a few times…….looks great when it works though?

    • Heather

      Go with instantpot.

    • Bethany

      I wanted a pressure cooker and they were out of stock for quite awhile on Kohls before Christmas so I went with a knock off nuwave brand one. I used it about 8 times and loved it and then had potatoes in it the other day and the thing totally died. Won’t even turn on. Thankfully Kohls is awesome about returns. I brought it back and ordered the instant pot brand today. Waiting for it to arrive in the mail 🙂 I’ve heard it’s better…and I’m hoping it’s true!!

    • Shelby

      My Instant Pot I got for Christmas didn’t make it to New Year’s Eve before it was dead. They replaced it but it took a while. I bought an inexpensive Chefman at Ollie’s Bargain Outlet while I was waiting that seems to work just as well and hasn’t given me any issues.

      • Lina D

        Oh no -sorry to hear you had issues.

    • Sue

      I have the Mealthy multi cooker and I absolutely love it. It’s available from Amazon. Although I haven’t used their customer service, I understand it is excellent. Mealthy has a web site as well as a Facebook page. I forgot to say that it is less expensive than a comparable Instant Pot. It’s well made and comes with an additional sealing ring, steamer basket, trivet, spoons, and silicone mitts.

  8. tracy

    I heat up my liquid (using the saute function or in the microwave) while I prep my vegetables and meat. It reduces the time to pressurize.

    • Lina D

      That’s super smart! Thanks for sharing 👍

    • 50ShadesofLipstick

      If you add boiling water, then it’s even faster.

  9. Bebe

    I love my IP, but pasta makes the consistency of the food weird. I tried it twice and both times I wished I had cooked it separately. It does everything else really well!

    • Vanessa

      Bebe, I make Alfredo in the instant pot all the time. I add uncooked pasta, once the meal is cooked. I just mix the pasta into sauce/veggies/meat and close the pot, without turning it on. The leftover heat from the pot cooks the pasta to perfection. Be sure to add extra sauce or some water, so that your meal doesn’t dry out.

    • LaDonna

      I agree I always cook my pasta separately

  10. Ashley

    What about those that don’t have the Insta pot pressure cooker?

    • Holly (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Hi Ashley! We have lots of recipes that don’t require an instant pot including several yummy slow cooker ones! 😉 Here ya go:

      https://hip2save.com/recipes/

  11. Erin

    Rice cooks fine, but it sticks badly.

    • Meg

      Have you tried rinsing it before you put it in the instant pot it helps get rid of some of the starch.

    • Lina D

      Have you tried a little oil?

  12. Jane

    The single most important function for me is the fail proof yogurt setting. I use it for yogurt, ferment batters, dough.
    For those that find rice sticky, Google pot in pot method.works like charm.
    I make pasta in bulk when I cook to serve at the shelter

    • Mandi Trefcer

      I didn’t realize you could proof dough in it. Thanks for sharing that info!!

    • Jane

      I just borrowed a friend’s to try making yogurt. It turned out her instant pot didn’t even have a yogurt button but I was able to make it work. I did a little research and learned I can just make it using a heating pad I already had. It was fun to try but I didn’t love cleaning it and I don’t think I want to store one either.

  13. Nina

    I don’t know, I personally find that the wait time to come upto pressure n the wait time to come down in pressure and cook time in total is just about the same or more as cooking something on the stove top so I end up making something on the stove top versus using the IP. Good to have though if you can get it on sale.

    • 50ShadesofLipstick

      If you use boiling water or stock then it comes to pressure faster. Also for many things you can either Quick Release right away or wait a few min and let release the pressure yourself. Even ovens need time to preheat etc. so nothing cooks instantly, unfortunately.

      • Lina D

        Great tips!

      • Ronna J

        It does not cook instantly, but once it is all in the pot, the kitchen and all the dishes can be cleaned up and just waiting for the actual food. It is such a time saver!

    • Lina D

      Yes I agree not always faster then the stove but defiantly more hands off ☺️

    • Lina D

      Oh interesting! Thanks for sharing 👍

    • Radhika

      Hi so we can use our normal utensils in the Instant pot can we?

    • Shelly

      How?

  14. Rachel o

    Instant Pot makes the best boiled eggs EVER!! I’ve made several dozen now, AND they’re easy to peel if you move them straight to an ice water bath after cooking.

    • Lina D

      Awesome – thanks for sharing!

  15. thrifty55

    I finally took it out of the box after a year about 2-weeks ago. I cooked a whole chicken. Then I made bone broth with the bones in 30 minutes-vs- 2days on the stove. I did a whole spaghetti squash last night. Tonight I made spaghetti sauce. I took the spaghetti squash and sauce and
    made lasanga.

    • Lina D

      How smart and I bet that was yummy!

  16. SquirrelGirl

    I’m actually not impressed with my Instant Pot. I’ve made two pressure cooked meals with it and both times the meat wasn’t tender AT ALL. Definitely didn’t shred easily. I followed the recipe exactly. I don’t know what I did wrong. Tips?

    • Karla

      I increase the time if the meat is frozen. Plus, allowing it to do the natural release gives it more time to become tender and shred. Don’t give up. Once you figure it out, you’ll LOVE it.

  17. Nina

    Yes, just a matter of preference I guess. Like using the stove for certain things n air fryers and counter top ovens for certain things and the IP is good for certain things. Depends on the situation.

  18. jd

    I do my eggs with even less work!
    I put in 12-18 eggs, set manual for 0 minutes (yes, ZERO). I let it release naturally. You don’t have to ice bath them or anything. Throw them in a container and stick them in the fridge.
    Easy to peel from day 1 to the end of the dozen+

    • Lina D

      Oh interesting! Thanks for sharing 👍

      • Carmela Gonzalez-Shalaby

        I don’t understand. Set at zero, then for how long and at what cooking setting?
        How does it come to pressure? I am new to using a multi cooker so please excuse my lack of understanding.

        • GMCostner

          Carmela, the time it takes for the IP to come to pressure, your eggs are cooking. I have used this method for cooking tender vegetables. As soon as it hits zero, it will start counting down to de-pressurize.

  19. Dawn

    I adored my original IP, but it was flooded during Harvey. I have since bought one and received one as a gift. These 2 new ones constantly give a “burn” message, even when it’s not and in no danger of burning. My first never did that, and I made tons of meals in it. But in all 3 of my IPs, none of them work as a slow cooker. I rarely need to slow cook anything, but still… it would be nice if it would.

    • 50ShadesofLipstick

      I’ve learned that “Normal” = a slow cooker’s Low setting and “High = a slow cooker’s High setting. On the IP, Low on Slow Cook is just “Keep Warm”.

    • Joyce

      There is a place on pinterest that tells about the burn message on the IP. They all have it except for the first IP that came out. It also tells how to avoid the burn messages.

  20. olgraygirl

    I Love my IP and thanks to you guys, I have great fun experimenting and trying your recipes. Please keep these articles coming!! Like others of you, I am blown away by the lid rack–who knew?? I don’t have much experience with it yet, but the two recipes I have made using pasta have been successful–just precisely followed instructions.

    • Lina D

      Yay – thanks for sharing!

  21. Rusti

    I love to cook and thankfully usally have tbe time to cook “the old fashioned ” way but where my Instant Pot really shines is things that have a long cook time or things i just dont cook because I have had trouble grtting them to come out right like egg custatd,rice pudding and cheese cake and yogurt is perfect everytime!

  22. Anneln155

    I have two. One is just for yogurt and one is for all other cooking. I have made everything from ribs, to entire chickens to chicken stock in my IP. The best so far is risotto. You heard right, risotto. No more standing at the stove, stirring, adding liquid and stirring. Some recipes add the cheese in while it’s cooking. I found it’s easier to always add cheese after cooking is over.

    • Lina D

      Thanks for sharing!!

    • Lina D

      I love that idea!!!

  23. Kathy

    The best for steel cut oats! I make a double batch (2 cups), add some fruit and/or nuts if I want & 10 minutes later, breakfast for the week.

  24. Sharon

    Love these ideas! Great post, Thanks for the great tips

    • Lina D

      Thanks Sharon!

  25. David

    I see a lot of ladies on here but not a lot of single guys! My sister bought me one of these insta pots and I can say without even batting an eye it is hands down the best tool I have in my kitchen, from pot roasts to boiled peanuts and everything in between it is by far the greatest invention since the wheel! And kudos to the folks that mentioned pinterest, there is an endless supply of new recipes to try!

  26. Jennifer S

    I’ve had my Instant pot for over a year. I’ve used it 4 times. For the life of me I cannot figure it out and have never been able to make anything quickly or easily or even tasty. No clue what I am doing wrong. It seems like there are so many steps instead of a regular crock pot where you toss it in and you’re done. 🙁

    • steph

      it’s really not that complicated, it uses pressure to cook and so liquid doesn’t evaporate as much. most likely if the food is bland you are using too much water. it takes time to pressurize but unless you are cooking something starchy/foamy you can use quick release. try following a recipe specifically for instant pot and see if you like it more.

  27. Liz

    Pork ribs are the best thing I have ever made with my IP. Use your favorite rub, roll the ribs up and place on the trivet1 cup of water in the pot, 20 min on high pressure with a natural release. Finish off with sauce on the grill…YUM!

    • mickeyfan

      Or under the broiler if it’s the middle of winter and too cold to go to the grill. We also love ribs in the IP!!!

  28. Brenda

    I have a Best Products brand IP. When I first used it I had no problem with pressure leaking around the lid. However, the last few times pressure has leaked. It is like I am not putting the lid on properly although I try two or three times. The pressure does not build up because of the leakage. Any suggestions? I have not used it much. Could I already need a new rubber or gasket?

    • Lina D

      Hmm..I would contact that brand and ask. I haven’t had that issue with my gasket on the IP.

  29. Carol

    To keep my sealing ring fresh-smelling, I always put the lid upside-down in the pot when not in use.

    • Lina D

      Great tip!

    • Jodi P

      Good idea………..with all my cookware that gets stored with the lid, not only do I put the lid upside down, but I also roll up a sheet of paper towel, fold it over, and stick it under the lid to keep it open a bit, so air can circulate. Tupperware I never seal the lids to the conainers. The interiors of everything smell kind of funky when air and moisture has been trapped.

  30. Mandy

    My husband brought me pressure cooker for present he knows I’m good cook.im very happy that he got for me I use it three or four times a week cooking fresh food from the pot👨‍🍳👩‍🍳😋

    • Lina D

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing 👍

  31. Carri

    One can find things wrong with everything you buy. My thought on this is try it out for myself and totally disregard the negative other’s have to say. You may buy it and hate it, I may buy the same one and love it. With these IP’s they’re so many tricks that it is unreal. I think I even overpaid for mine as well as my Air fryer but I would die fighting over my IP. As I said, after you get it you will find little tricks you never would have thought of. As for the Air Fryer, I also over paid for it and at this point I honestly cannot give an opinion on it because I don’t feel that I have used it enough. After i’ve Used it for a while I will give my opinion on it. As for the IP, the only problem I have had was after I washed it as well as the racks it slipped my mind to dry it right away. Each leg that was on the bottom of the IP had a rust spot. Made me a little angry at myself but honestly I do believe with the right product I will be able to get it out.

  32. Von

    In Australia I have a pressure cooker which is Tefal brand and finding even one affordable cook book for pressure cooking is quite difficult, so I am thrilled to bits with all the great recipes on Pinterest, when I read the comment on making risotto I feel exactly the same, the only stirring I had to do was at the end to finish it off when I added the butter and parmesan cheese. ( and then it was only 2 minutes) so what ever type of cooker you have, please hang in there. mine paid for itself pretty quickly, no need to use expensive cuts of meat or fancy ingredients to get decent meals. Plus electric ones have all the safety issues taken care of. Thank heavens!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing!

  33. Bev

    What do you do if your Instant Pot doesn’t have a manual button”

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Manual equals HIGH on some models I believe. Thanks!

  34. Sandra

    I have found that the best way.to remove odor from sealing ring is to wash with dish soap, rinse and hang outside for a few.hours.

  35. Hannah

    Corn on the cob is amazing and so easy in there. Shuck corn, place on trivet criss cross the pieces. 4 pieces are done in 3 minutes.

  36. Lisa Dreps

    I dugg some of you post as I cerebrated they were very helpful very useful

  37. Rachel

    I put my lid on the top rack of my dishwasher to get the smell out! My IP still works fine!

  38. macel

    I bought the Bella brand which is exactly like the insta pot for $39.99 and love it!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I’m so glad! Thanks for sharing ❤️

  39. Lacey

    I’m obsessed with making “egg loaves” (cracking all the eggs in a Pyrex bowl on the trivet, 1 cup of water under then 5 minutes cook & 5 minutes natural release. Perfect for egg salad/chicken salad/tuna salad/chef salads/etc. And no pain of peeling eggs!!! 😀

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      That’s a great tip! Thanks for sharing. 👍

  40. Lowell

    I bought 3 new seals for my IP on Amazon the price was good they came in different colors. When I am cooking something that has a lot of spices I use the red seal then change it the next time and wash the red one and let it dry.

  41. Katherine kirklin

    Love the LID REST😁😁😁

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks – that is handy!

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