5 Things You Can Do in Your Instant Pot Today

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Buying a new instant pot can be exciting, but it can also be intimidating.  It arrives at your door in a great big box and suddenly you’re thinking, “What was I thinking?”  Well, it doesn’t have to be that way.  There are a lot of easy things you can do with your instant pot as soon as it comes out of the box with little or no effort at all.  You’ll be thinking you’re an instant pot expert in no time.  At the very least you’ll feel like you can try new things.

1. The Steam Test

The first thing I did in my instant pot was the steam test.  I recommend you do this too because it doesn’t involve actual cooking and it gets rid of your fears about how long it takes to come to pressure–it seems like a very long time the first time.  Here is a simplified version of the water test found on page 17 of your user manual:

  1. Make sure you have removed all the packaging from the instant pot and that the ring is inserted correctly.
  2. Put the stainless liner in the pot and fill water to the “3” mark on the inside of the pot.
  3. Put the lid on and turn it until you hear it sing to you and move the valve to sealing.
  4. Press the steam button and then press the minus button until you reach 2 minutes.
  5. That’s it.  Just wait until you hear the beep.

It will take a little time to come to pressure, so be patient.  I promise, it will work.  Do some dishes.  Read a book.  Distract yourself until you hear the beep.  When it’s done, dump the water out of the pot and you’re ready to start your first recipe.

2. Hard Boiled Eggs

A good next thing to try is boiled eggs.  This was the next recipe for me.  I was so excited that I posted the results on facebook, because you know, everyone wants to see a plate of perfectly peeled boiled eggs on their face book page.  Here’s the actual picture I took. I know.  Right?boiled eggsLots of people have different methods and this one left my eggs a little green around the edges.  I have since perfected the method and you can find the instructions in this post:  Instant Pot:  In Search of the Perfect Boiled Egg.

3. Irish Oatmeal

Another easy thing I like to make in my instant pot is oatmeal.  I’ve never made the regular kind, so I’m not talking about that.  We like the texture of Irish oatmeal, sometimes called steel cut oatmeal.  At our HEB they have a quick version, so I buy that.  It takes about 7 minutes in the instant pot using 1 cup oats and 3 cups water with a little salt. You can also add things like raisins, dried fruit etc.  It will look watery when you first open the lid, but stir it up and let it sit a minute and it thickens up.   Our favorite way to eat oatmeal is to add canned peaches.  With peaches, the recipe varies slightly, so you can find that recipe in this post:  Instant Pot Easy Peachy Steel Cut Oatmeal.

4. Mashed Potatoes

Everyone loves mashed potatoes and the instant pot makes potatoes that are creamy smooth.  The only draw back is that it’s important to choose the right potato. I would recommend using russet potatoes. They break down easier and take less effort to mash so you avoid all those starches breaking down that make your potatoes gluey.  You can also mash them before you add the milk and butter to help with this problem.  In any case, you can find the complete instructions for mashed potatoes in the instant pot in this post:  Mashed Potatoes in the Instant Pot.

5. Dulce de Leche

One of the easiest, but scariest things I’ve ever done in the Instant Pot was dulce de leche.  The reason it’s scary is because you put an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk into the instant pot, cover it with water, and let it cook for 30 minutes.  I don’t know why, but something about the pressure in the instant pot keeps the can from exploding.  Even knowing this, it was difficult for me to try it.  One day I just thought, “What the heck?  A lot of other people are taking the leap.  I will too.”  Oh. My. Goodness!  This was so delicious I considered giving it as gifts for Christmas!  We make it almost every week at our house to dip apples in.  Carmelly goodness.  Here are the easy steps if you think you’re ready to try it.

  1. Take the paper off the can of sweetened condensed milk.
  2. Put the rack in your instant pot and set the can on top of the rack.
  3. Fill the instant pot with water until the can is completely covered.
  4. Set the instant pot to manual 30 minutes and press start.
  5. Release pressure and remove from the instant pot to the counter to cool.
  6. Once the can is cool, you can open it and inside will be carmelly goodness.

That’s it!  So easy and so delicious.

I promise.  All of these things can be done today in your instant pot with little or no effort and you’ll still feel like an expert.  Well, at least less afraid.  lol.  Here’s the list one more time:

  • Steam test (Found on page 17 of your user manual.)
  • Boiled eggs (The first thing I attempted after the steam test.)
  • Oatmeal (Be sure and try the peachy kind, it’s delicious!)
  • Mashed Potatoes (The only way to make this everyday side dish.)
  • Dulce de Leche (Carmelly goodness!)

There are hundreds of recipes out there for you to try, some right here on our site :), but these are perhaps the easiest and will help you to feel more confident about using your instant pot.  Enjoy!

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