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Put That Instant Pot to Good Use with THESE Helpful Tips, Hacks, and Recipes

30 Comments

instant pot tips, hacks, and recipes – side view of an Instant Pot

Instant Pot still sitting in the box? 🤷🏼‍♀️

Whether you just purchased an Instant Pot on Amazon Prime Day or simply want more use out of yours, we’ve got helpful tips, hacks, and recipes to help you get started!

instant pot tips, hacks, and recipes – Instant Pot coming out of a shipping box

Helpful Tips:

  1. Read the manual. This may sound silly but it really is filled with a lot of helpful information that you’ll need to know, like how to properly clean your pot, easy recipes, etc.

  2. Join the Instant Pot Facebook Community! With over one million members, you’ll find all sorts of helpful information on this page. You can post questions, comments, successes, fails, and even get helpful tips… not to mention browsing through a TON of yummy recipe ideas!

  3. Be safe. Keep your face and hands away from the pressure relief valve when releasing pressure. Use a potholder or long spoon to push the steam vent to avoid burning yourself. Facebook Community members have shared other helpful steam-diverting tips, too.

  4. Invest in a few handy accessories. You don’t need to buy every item – only ones you’ll use. Check out our post on six popular accessories that work well with Instant Pot cookers!

  5. Don’t be scared! Start with a simple recipe (like Mac and Cheese) and work your way into more complex recipes. If it takes a few tries before you get it right, it’s OK! Just keep trying and don’t be afraid to ask for help or get advice (see #2). Also, the new Instant Pots have built-in safety features to ensure things will go smoothly, so you don’t have to fear using your pot.


instant pot tips, hacks, and recipes – lifting the lid off of an instant pot

How do I use all these buttons?!

There are so many buttons on an Instant Pot pressure cooker and each model can vary. It’s important to be sure and read your manual in depth for a better understanding of how your model works.

However, most Instant Pots have three main buttons that you’ll need to know about when you’re just starting out with pressure cooking (the names of these buttons will vary slightly by model):

Manual/Pressure Cook. This button is likely the most used – if a recipe says to cook at High Pressure, this is the button you need. Just press it, then use the [+] and [-] buttons to change the cook time. After a brief pause, the Instant Pot will beep to tell you it’s beginning the pressure cooking process. Note that the exact name of this button will depend on your Instant Pot model.

Sauté. Press the Sauté button to brown meats, sauté vegetables, and simmer ingredients in the pressure cooking pot. Adjust Sauté to less for simmer, normal to sauté, and more for browning.

Keep Warm/Cancel. Use this button to cancel a function or to turn off your Instant Pot. If pressed while in standby mode it will activate the Keep Warm function which can be used with or without the lid in place. Use the [+] and [-] keys to manually select the time, shown on the display.


instant pot tips, hacks, and recipes – macaroni and cheese is an easy first recipe

Ready? Whip up these simple Instant Pot meals:

instant pot tips, hacks, and recipes – shredded meat on a plate

instant pot tips, hacks, and recipes – meat in a pan in the Instant Pot

instant pot tips, hacks, and recipes – pumpkin inside of an Instant Pot

AND, not only can you cook a whole pumpkin or turkey in this gadget, but you can also make the best, easy-to-peel hard boiled eggs and much more with these 16 Instant Pot hacks! Plus, did you know that your Instant Pot comes with a built-in lid rest? Who knew!

Do you have any Instant Pot tips, tricks, or favorite recipes? Please share!

Happy Cooking! 👩🏼‍🍳

Join The Discussion

Comments 30

  1. Maggie

    thanks for the Recipes! 🙂

  2. Kathy

    I make a dozen hard boiled eggs in my Instant Pot every Sunday for our lunches throughout the week. I’ll never go back to doing them on the stove top again. I’ve also made mac & cheese, it’s super easy! I’ve even ventured out and made cheesecake! It’s so good and I’ve made it at least a half a dozen times so far. I’ve had a few fails with some meals where I’ve had a burn message. Beans burning on the bottom, not sure what happened. I followed the recipe to a T. That doesn’t stop me from trying again.

    Oh…corn on the cob is super easy in the IP too. I love my Instant Pot!

    • Sisi

      I agree with you on the eggs! My husband takes them to work. He loves them. They are so easy to peel.
      For those interested – you need 1 cup water for 6qt or 1 1/2 cup for the 8qt. Put the eggs on the trivet and set on low pressure (closed vent) for 3 min. After they are done open the vent manually and put the eggs in either ice bath or cold water to stop the cooking process.

      • mel

        3 mins wasn’t enough for me, they yolks were still oozy. I do mine for 5 mins on low, manually release and immediate ice bath. Yolks are cooked, but not overdone.

    • Jen

      I’ve made cheesecake 1 time and it was delicious, but the make shift foil lifter ripped as I was lifting the pan out of the instantpot:/ do you have any tips for removing it successfully;) or should I just use heavier duty foil;)?

    • PC

      Usually the burn message appears when there is insufficient liquid…especially w/ thicker sauces and foods like beans that expand a lot and absorb all that water. I’d just add slightly more liquid and then Saute it off to evaporate it.

  3. Melissa

    I never made Creme Brûlée until I got my Instant Pot. It so easy! The recipe is in the booklet that comes with the pot. Or at least with mine it did.

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      YUM! That sounds amazing!

  4. Linz

    I follow the site by Amy & Jacky called pressurecookrecipes.com
    I find it very helpful and they will answer questions if you have them.

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing Linz!

    • Yolie

      Thank you, Linz!

  5. Shannon

    There’s some helpful you tube videos out there. The best tips I saw were to put a kitchen towel over the vent knob when you’re releasing the pressure. That way a mess doesn’t go everywhere! Another tip was that the lid actually fits vertically into the side handle so you don’t have to find a place to put it down when you’re opening it.

    • Mary (Stellar Sidekick)

      Thanks for the tip Shannon!

  6. Jackie

    Thank you!

    • Amber (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      You’re welcome!

  7. Yazzay

    I love this H2S community! I’ve already learned so much just from reading the comments! Thanks everyone!!

  8. DeeC

    Thanks for the recipes…love my IP

  9. SquirrelGirl

    Took me several bad recipes until I realized that for EVERY SINGLE RECIPE, I needed to subtract at least a minute from the pressure cooker time that was given. No idea why. It’s the same Instant Pot everyone else uses, yet when I make it exactly as others do, it’s overcooked. So weird.

    • SleepyDean

      It might be your altitude? that can affect cook time. I notice I get perfect hard boiled eggs at 4-5-5 as opposed to the 5-5-5 everyone else gets but no idea why.

    • DFW

      Altitude makes a difference for cook time, as the other poster said. Also, different people just prefer different levels of doneness…especially w/ things like meat, pasta, and certain veggies. Some like things to have a bit of a bite and others prefer them a lot softer and cooked further.

    • Donna

      That’s too funny, Squirrel Girl, because I need to add a few minutes to my Instant pot! Go figure!🤔 (love your name!)

  10. Lexie

    My family eats $15 worth of yogurt a week. I’m just finishing my second batch of yogurt in the instant pot. Pretty easy and we’re saving so much money and a lot less sugar too!

  11. PC

    Another tip- use boiling water or broth to make the IP come to pressure faster.

  12. muquee

    I am so inept when it come to winging it with cooking. I want to cook chicken breast in my IP so it gets tender (but not completely done) before my husband grills it for a big cookout we have coming up. Would someone be able to suggest what setting/temperature/length of time I should do it? Any words of wisdom? LOL

    • AZ

      Tender but not completely done? So it’ll be uncooked then, and uncooked chicken isn’t tender…it’s still raw. Chicken breast cooks very quickly, so why not just grill it from start to finish? You can have it sliced thinner instead of using whole breasts (or use a meat mallet to thin it out a little) so that it cooks faster on the grill. But cooking it twice (IP + grill) will likely just dry it out and make it chewy. The other option is to cook it fully in the IP and then sear it off quickly on the grill…I’m talking like, for ~30 seconds just to give it grill marks.

    • SunnyS

      Bacteria with chicken is a risk you shouldn’t take.

  13. Dee

    How do I decrease the time. It starts at 15 minutes . However, I can seem to figure how to reduce time. Help.

  14. DJ

    I ended up purchasing two Instant Pot because the one I thought was stolen was eventually processed by the apartment management office. I called amazon to have them charge me for the replacement Instant Pot that was thought to have been stolen. I opened the second pot on Friday to cook up some beans because I had used the other one to make white rice.

  15. Jaci1717

    a whole dozen? i just had epic fail with my 6qt

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