25 Genius Instant Pot Hacks You’ll Regret Not Trying Sooner
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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!
Today I’ll be sharing some fun tricks and tips if you’re new to Instant Pot cooking, and even some foods you may not know can be EASILY prepared in the Instant Pot!
I mean… 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? 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. 🙌
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.
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.
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!
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.
6.) Making homemade Instant Pot yogurt is a game changer!
I recently Instant Pot 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.
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 made this easy Instant Pot Applesauce, and then puréed it right in the pot afterward using my immersion stick blender!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
14.) Make DELICIOUS popcorn in your Instant Pot!
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.
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 springform pan that’ll fit perfectly inside the Instant Pot. You can also use it to make lasagna and meatloaf right in your 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.
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!
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. Check out this handy rice cooking guide for a breakdown of times.
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.
21.) Cook a whole pumpkin.
If you’re interested in making your own pumpkin purée, the process is super simple. Learn how to cook a pumpkin in your 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! Even better, the eggs are crazy easy to peel.
23.) Use cheaper cuts of meat.
Inexpensive stew meat or a chuck roast with lots of marbling does well in the Instant Pot! No need for expensive cuts of beef as it can tenderize even the most stubborn cuts of meat.
Hip Tip: Do take your time and use a natural pressure release when possible – especially for roasts.
24.) Skip cleaning with this slow cooker trick.
After a melty mess from making all these mouthwatering recipes, these liners will come to the rescue when you just don’t feel like cleaning. The slow cooker liners can definitely be used in an Instant Pot as long as you’re using the Instant Pot’s slow cooker function — any other function has the potential to burn the bags. It’ll turn your agony of cleaning up to a 5-second process of simply tossing away the liner afterward! Better yet, they’re less than $4!
25.) 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.
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 such a great idea!
Do you have any creative Instant Pot hacks or tips? Let us know in the comments!