24 Genius Instant Pot Hacks

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large spoon scooping out beans from Instant Pot

Have an Instant Pot pressure cooker?

If you’ve crossed over into Instant Pot heaven, you likely know what a lifesaver this appliance is on busy nights. I’ve had mine for a few years now and it’s been so fun trying new and exciting Instant Pot hacks with it!

Even though it can take the Instant Pot about 15 minutes to come to pressure before cook times start, I personally enjoy the hands-off cooking experience the Instant Pot provides, along with the time-saving aspect of most ideas.

Hip Tip: Be sure to browse all of our yummy and easy Instant Pot recipes here!

dry beans going into pressure cooker

Today I’ll be sharing some fun tricks and tips you may not have known if you’re new to Instant Pot cooking, and even some foods you didn’t know it could EASILY prepare!

I mean… who knew your Instant Pot could be this snazzy, though?

using the lid rest of the instant pot

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

Whaaaat?! Did you know the lid can rest open on the top like this? I have to admit I had no idea about this feature for about a year into cooking with Instant Pot.

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

dishwasher safe lid

2.) You can wash the entire lid in the dishwasher!

According to InstantPot.com, “The inner pot of the cooker (the stainless steel cooking pot), the sealing ring, the lid, and the steam rack are all dishwasher safe.” The cooker base with the heating element is NOT dishwasher safe, however.

steam cleaning the basin of pressure cooker

3.) Freshening up a stinky ring or lid can also be done right in the pot.

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.

steamed corn

4.) Cooking veggies is a breeze!

I love using my Instant Pot for easy side dishes. Perfectly cooked corn on the cob takes just a few minutes! Place the corn on the trivet and pour in a cup of water. Seal lid, and set cook time for 3 minutes on high. Do a quick release afterward, and enjoy!

iced tea in the instant pot

5.) The Instant Pot can brew some great iced tea!

I was so excited to try this Instant Pot hack, and I am happy to report that this easy method of brewing sweet tea works perfectly and yields some smooth and delicious iced tea! It kinda reminds me of sun tea, but minus all the time involved! I followed the Instant Pot Iced Tea instructions from TwoSleevers.com, and loved the result.

instant pot yogurt in jars

6.) Making homemade Instant Pot yogurt is a game changer!

I recently tried using this popular cold start method to create easy 3 ingredient yogurt, and it worked brilliantly! The key is to buy ultra-pasteurized milk like Fairlife and then you just need a sweetener of choice and a little bit of prepared yogurt as a starter. There is a yogurt function on the Instant Pot, and I cooked mine overnight for 8 hours, then chilled it for a few hours in my fridge.

The result is thick Greek-style yogurt that’s creamy and can be served with fruit or preserves. This is such a good money-saving idea because compiling yogurt cups from this homemade yogurt is much less than buying from the store! I’m thinking of buying these cute glass yogurt jars to prep yogurt in my fridge.

instant Pot Apple Sauce

7.) Homemade applesauce is so easy you’ll never want store-bought again!

If your kids love applesauce like mine, this is a must-try idea as it takes just 5 minutes on high pressure to cook the apples. I used this easy applesauce recipe from Delish.com, and then pureed it right in the pot afterward using my immersion stick blender!

instant pot pinto beans

8.) Beans from scratch are so easy and require no soaking!

I can never seem to remember to soak beans overnight to cook them the next day and the Instant Pot can hack that! I cooked these amazing homemade Instant Pot Charro beans using dried pinto beans and bacon in a little over an hour! They made the BEST side dish and I will be doing this again soon.

sterilize baby bottles in the instant pot

9.) Sterilize baby bottles in the Instant Pot!

Here’s a useful way to use the Instant Pot that doesn’t involve cooking! The Instant Pot can quickly sterilize bottles, nipples, sippy cups, or breastfeeding equipment with just water and 2 minutes on high pressure! Visit PopSugar.com for the full video and easy instructions.

saute function to brown meat

10.) Use the Sauté function. It’s Everything!

You can sauté and brown meat and onions before pressure cooking to add DELICIOUS flavor to your EASY one-pot meal. Sauté also comes in handy for thickening recipes and for making gravy after cooking!

Get this comforting Hamburger Stroganoff recipe HERE.

cooking frozen meat in the instant pot

11.) 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 cooking time if it’s a frozen solid block of meat. Same for frozen chicken breasts.

12.) Cook eggs and potatoes at the same time for quick potato salad!

It’s so convenient as there’s no need to boil these two foods separately to prepare delicious homemade potato salad. I love to bring this recipe as a side dish to cookouts, and always use my Instant Pot to prepare now!

instant pot vs crockpot

13.) 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?

popcorn inside an instant pot

14.) Make DELICIOUS popcorn in your Instant Pot!

Use the Sauté function and a glass lid with this easy and fun popcorn Instant Pot hack! Go HERE for the exact directions I followed. My family LOVED it. YUM!

shredded italian beef

15.) Meal prep 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.

instant pot cheesecake pan

16.) 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!

close up of screen on instant pot

17.) Skip the microwave and reheat 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.

fettuccine noodles in pressure cooker

18.) 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! 🙌 You can also make Instant Pot Spaghetti as a one-pot meal as well as Stuffed Shells with meat sauce!

rice made from the instant pot

19.) 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.

instant pot with small turkey in front

20.) 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.

pumpkin in the instant pot cooked

21.) 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!

boiled eggs using the instant pot

22.) 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.

instant pot with ingredients for easy meal

23.) 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).

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

traveling with instant pot in the trunk

24.) Vacation or travel 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! If you’re cooking in an RV or camper, this appliance can be super helpful and convenient to have on hand.

woman with an instant pot on the counter

Yep, I’m pretty much obsessed with trying all the hacks to use on my Instant Pot.

It has so many brilliant uses and saves me when I forget to plan ahead and put something in the slow cooker for dinner. I’m always so happy when something as awesome as the Instant Pot yogurt turns out to be a great idea!

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

Check out all the reasons why I love my air fryer, too!

Join The Discussion

Comments 215

  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!

      • Kath

        Hi Annie,
        Thanks for your comment. Would you be willing to share what recipes/website you use for insta-pot recipes. We have an 8oz and I have only used it a handful of times in the two years we’ve owned it. I am much more used to my slow cooker but want to use our insta pot more. I’ve read that many people use it a lot like you too. Thanks

        • Flowerannie

          Look on Pinterest for everything u want to know + recipes galore, also just type in Google what recipe you specifically want to make.

        • SJ

          Besides Lina’s great posts here, search YouTube Six Sisters. Their recipes and videos are great.

          • runnergirl838

            Agree! Six Sisters Stuff has great tips and recipes!

        • Jessica

          If you are on Facebook, search for Pressure Luck. He has amazing instapot recipes posted.

        • AmyJo

          Try 365daysofslowcooker website. She has great recipes for slow cooker and instant pot!

    • Tina

      I have an 8 quart and a 6 quart. I like the 6 a lot more. It comes to pressure quicker and releases pressure quicker than the 8 quart. I only really use the 8 quart for family gatherings, broth, large amounts of meat and when i have 2 separate meals going.

    • Ben Gabus

      Get the 6 qt if you like, but that 8 qt will come in handy come Thanksgiving.

    • SJ

      I bought a 5 quart a few years ago as it is just 2 of us. I like the size as it is easy to use & store. It has still been big enough for me to make chili, pulled chicken, soup, etc for a picnic or a few guests.

    • Vera

      Try the Cooks Essential 3 quart from QVC….it’s the two of us and it’s more than enough…i think you will love it..

    • Matthew

      I agree entirely, do it without hesitation. We are a couple as well and the smaller one is sufficient enough.

    • Loren

      We have the 3 qt pot, its plenty for the 2 of us, and enough for leftovers the next day as well. Its a lot lighter and easy to drag it out of the cabinet as well.

    • SJ

      Hi Pam, I bought a 6 qt about 4 years ago. It is just my husband and I. I understand other’s logic, however I have never had an instance where it was not big enough, even when making a double batch of mac & cheese or pulled chicken for a party. It is easier to clean the smaller components. To have a bigger bulkier IP all the time for maybe needing a larger one at some unknown point in future, didn’t make sense for me.

  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.

  10. Jackie

    Anyone have any luck cooking pot roast? I followed directions but it turned out tough to cut through. I was able to shred flavor was good but tough. I put carrots & potatoes on bottom pot roast on top.

    • Shelly Mitchell

      I cut my meat into cubes (for both pork and beef), season, sauté a little and then pressure cook with onions and broth for about an hour or what is recommended based on the size. And then I add veggies after the meat has cooked. It always turns out good and the flavor is great.

  11. Betty

    This is what I do to cook a roast. First put olive oil in and sauté the outside of the roast (you can sprinkle some seasonings on the roast such as garlic salt or salt and pepper) in the instant pot. After each side is brown, pour 2 cups of water in the pot with the roast, add 1 package of French onion soup mix and put the lid on and cook on high pressure for 1 hr 15 min for small roast or I have cooked it for 1 hr 40 min for medium size roast. Once it’s done, I put the roast in a casserole dish and into the oven on warm. I pour the juice into a frying pan and add equal parts of cornstarch and warm water and pour into beef stock to make gravy. I cut up some potatoes into quarters and pour into instant pot for 25-35 min depending on how many you cook. Once the potatoes are done, the roast staying warm in the oven is very tender and I pour my gravy onto my potatoes and roast on my plate. Mmmmmmm…

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Nice! Thanks for sharing that Betty!

    • Marg G

      This is my receipt for a 3 pound roast. I use the sautés feature and olive oil. I use seasonings, garlic salt, Montreal Steak spice etc. When the roast is browned I remove it and add 2 cups broth (I use Better than Bouillon from Costco), scraping bottom to get the little bits off. I return the roast and add a couple of tablespoons of onion soup mix. Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes, then let it rest in the cooker for about 20 minutes. Release pressure and put the roast on a plate, and cover with foil. If you remove the roast as soon as it is done, you could use it for a door stop! It needs to rest. I make a slurry of cornstarch and water, turn the pot on to sauté and make the gravy. Excellent every time.

      • kerri

        I took a screen shot of ur recipe. Im soo going to try it. Sounds incredible. Thanks for posting ! 😊

  12. Ben Gabus

    Great Grits! No Stirring! One part any kind of Grits to five parts water or milk or any combination of milk and water. (five to one) , Salt to taste and however much butter (or oleo) >Use pot-in-pot system, using the same dish you will serve it in, placed on trivet. one cup water in outer pot and STEAM for 22 minutes. let out pressure naturally. I have let it set, closed, for over an hour with very little change in quality

  13. Lisa K.

    Thanks for the tips Lina! I can’t wait to try making Iced Tea in my Instapot!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yes!! It’s so good 😊 Enjoy!

  14. patricialavenz-goff

    I am going to try some of these in my crock pot. Who knew……… LOL Thanks so much for giving us all these new ideas. Love it.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Perfect! Enjoy and thanks for stopping by today ❤️

  15. Andrea

    When u make the iced tea is a half cup sugar enough to make it sweet? We love sweet tea but no one will drink it unsweetened. Thank you.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Ya I would think so for sure. It’s not bitter at all. I used a little Swerve sweetener because I don’t prefer super sweet, but adjust to taste 👍

      • Andrea

        Awesome! Thank you Lina

    • patricialavenz-goff

      We won’t drink anything unsweetened or eat it either. LOL We eat it in moderation though so it doesn’t matter.

  16. PrincessMom

    I keep trying, desperately, to find SOMETHING to make in my Instant Pot that I’m going to enjoy but it hasn’t happened yet. Glad I kept my Crock Pot.

  17. Susan

    Regarding yogurt: for cold-start you need to buy ultra-PASTEURIZED for it to work. Ultra-filtered is a bonus (generally gives thicker yogurt), but there is ultra-filtered milk that is not ultra-pasteurized and it won’t work. If it’s not ultra-pasteurized you need to use the boil method.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks! Just updated that word – appreciate it Susan! 👍

      • Em C

        Wait, now I’m confused: the comments for other post (here: https://hip2save.com/recipes/instant-pot-yogurt/ ) say that ultra-filtered is the important part, and that an ultra-pasteurized milk that isn’t ultra-filtered won’t work. Which do we want, ultra-filtered or ultra-pasteurized? I’m a beginner here so I really appreciate any help! 🙂

        • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

          Hi for the easy cold start method it’s ultra-filtered (says that on the container) and the
          Fairlife brand (pictured) is what my grocery store has. Hope that’s helpful. Sorry for the confusion. I’m going to update that here.

  18. Jane

    I have made so many of your recipes over the years and I have loved them all! I saw this post and decided to try the IP potato salad today. It’s in the fridge chilling, but the taste test I had was ahhhmaaazing! And it was sooooo easy! Thank you for another great recipe, Lina =)

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yay! That made my day <3 Thanks for sharing Jane. Enjoy!

  19. Deidra

    I haven’t fallen in love with my IP yet :/ I do LOVE making hard boiled eggs in it (I will never make them any other way again) but I made a roast in it once that came out tough and I haven’t tried it since. Do you guys recommend any specific places I should check for dinner recipes I should try?

    • Ella

      I personally found that roasts do end up a little tough, but I love my IP for so many other things. There’s a fabulous made from scratch Mac and cheese recipe on delishably.com (called “best-ever pressure cooker mac and cheese”) But I also just make a lot of regular things in the IP. Whole chickens come out juicier than rotisserie. I love making my meatloaf in the IP as well. I put the trivet in and put in quartered potatoes, then put the meatloaf on top and layer carrots around it. I set it to 23 min for a 1.5 lbs meatloaf and everything gets done in one pot. Chickpeas for hummus turn out super creamy and I also make chili and soups. I’ve found most of your own recipes can be adapted and you can google to get the cooking times.

  20. Sheldon Smith

    Hey Gena, loved your hacks! Love it for instant pot oatmeal, eggs, rice, chili, butternut squash soup, pot roast, pork loin, etc!

  21. Carol Webb

    The ENTIRE LID can go in the dishwasher???? MIND BLOWN!

  22. Nancy

    Anyone have any tips on making yogurt if you have an instant pot without the yogurt setting!🤔

  23. Em C

    Lina, can you tell us more about the pinto beans with bacon? The recipe you linked doesn’t use bacon.

  24. Matthew

    I purchased a 3 litre one yesterday, but it didn’t include a glass lid which is suitable for certain recipes. Is it ok. To use any glass Lid that fits the rim?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Yep- I think it is. Theres nothing special about it that I can tell besides fitting perfectly.

  25. Tina

    Lena, you made my day with this post! I’m pretty new to the IP game so your tips and tricks will really help me out. I always look forward to your posts, but this particular one takes the cake!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh yaaayyyy!! You’re gonna love the IP…and thanks for the feedback Tina!

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