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Thanks for this introduction on how to use the instant pot.
I often like to have pasta dishes. As a simple example, let’s say I want to make a simple mushroom pasta dish with diced onion, chicken broth, and strips of boneless chicken.
Q1. Can I include all the ingredients in the pot at one time to prepare? (raw mushrooms, noodles, diced onion, and chicken) Or, do I have to go through some pre-saute process first? If can all be included at the same time, what would be an appropriate amount of pressure cooking time? Thanks. Jerry. Tokyo, Japan
You can make pasta in the Instant Pot! But if you want to add all the other ingredients at the same time, I think your result won’t taste so good. Chicken, onion, and mushrooms usually taste better in pasta when they are sauteed first. The other issue is the cook time. They might not all have the same cook time, and by the time the pasta is cooked the mushrooms are mushy, or vice versa.
I wish I had an answer that was more what you are looking for, but sometimes in life, to get good results, we have to do a little work. Do keep experimenting, though. I’ve made macaroni and cheese in my IP and it’s pretty good.
I have a 6qt duo plus. How do I set the timer to six minutes? I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong because it stops at for minutes and doesn’t go higher than that. I guess I have to cook my meal for an additional two minutes. Any guidance on this please.
I’m glad you commented, because since I wrote this guide, I’ve played around with a few different, newer IP models, and I realize the interface is not the same for every Duo! My Duo is 5+ years old. I’d say you should watch this IP-produced video or contact the Instant Pot customer service chat. They’ll be able to diagnose your issue with more authority, and they have been responsive to me. Good luck! And fellow readers, if any of you can help Cheryl, chime in!
I think the “small plastic measuring cup” you gave your child as a toy is an attachment called a Condensation Collector.
Thanks Sara. These were the best instructions I can remember – I read all the way through. Where can I find other instructions and recipes you have written? I know you linked to a few things, but I doubt that covers all your culinary writing.
Hello, Zane. Thank you for taking the time to make my day.
Correct, in the profile link above you can see all my work for Simply Recipes (I’m fond of the Guide to Vanilla). I have two cookbooks out, which you can read about on my website. You can also see the backlog of things I’ve done for Serious Eats and Paste Magazine.
Hello again! Water test has finished! The timer is now counting up in the keep warm setting as you have described. For the natural release should I wait for the counter to reach 30 again or wait for the pressure indicator to fall?
Just wait for the indicator valve to fall for the natural release. You can also turn off the KEEP WARM function, or simply unplug the cooker. This helps the pressure come down naturally a little faster.
This was very helpful. I haven’t tried my pot yet so I am just getting familiar with it by reading pins like yours. I am a bit apprehensive to use it because I bought the 8 qt size in the event we need a quick and larger meal or decide to do weekly prep. From what I have gathered the differnce in cooking with the 6 qt compared to the 8 qt is assuring there is at least 2 cups of liquid. It also seems to be tricky and may need added changes or tweaking when cooking items that absorb such as rice and pasta. Any tips with this larger size or should I exchange this 8 qt for the standard 6 qt instant pot considering I am a new user?
I’ve not had any of the issues you’re talking about. You’ll be a new user no matter which size IP you have, so stick with the 8 quart. Try making something basic, like rice or chicken soup, and then see how you feel about it. Baby steps! You can do it!
I just got mine out. And started using it. Didnt follow the water test. Should have I started with beef stew following a food network recipe and it didnt even get to pressure and the IP said burn. I have no idea what I did wrong. Some places say no tomato base recipes some say more liquid
What model do you have? The Lux is a little touchier on recipe conversions and burn warnings, I’ve found. It’s possible you used a flawed recipe. I cook with canned tomatoes in my IP all the time and have no issues. Try our IP beef stew recipe, which is great! But do a water test first ;) https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pressure_cooker_guinness_beef_stew/
I am diabetic and need the information on carb counts and nutrition. I cannot find it on any of these recipes. How do I get this information? I did learn a lot from the article.
We don’t currently calculate nutritional information on our recipes. I’d recommend using an online nutritional calculator like this one. Thanks!
Great info. I was worried when my insta read “LO00” after my water test. Glad to know that was the correct read out. My little booklet that came with it didn’t explain it thoroughly.
First of all, I have never EVER left a comment on any type of blog or Pinterest recipe. I am leaving one here because THIS IS AWESOMELY HELPFUL!!! I just got my Instant Pot Lux for Christmas and I am equally excited and intimidated by it. I love this guide so much better than the user’s manual and the recipes in the provided book? Um..nope. Great job, Sara. I will be using this robot next week for the first time (using your method for cooking water first) and I am not AS intimidated!
thank you for the information. I got a 3 quart IP for for Christmas and got none of the things you listed except the pot and trivet thing. My question: Can I stack the silicon molds for egg bites on top of each other in the IP?
I looked up the specs for the silicone egg bites mold mentioned in the recipe, and it looks like it won’t fit in a 3-quart. (Readers or Cat, let me know if I’m wrong, or if you have ideas for alternatives!) Those 3-quart IPs are comparatively tiny. But in ANY model of Instant Pot, you can stack items on top of each other when steaming–just as long as the lid fits on. Good luck, and happy pressure cooking!
I received my Crock pot express Air frying Pressure cooker for Christmas and have been terrified to touch it until I found your page, Thank you so much! This helped me out a great deal and made me want to experiment with the cooker; so out the box it came! Thanks again for all your helpful info.
I do have a question….. Do you have any tips or recipes that I could use with the air fryer and also the pressure cooker? I am very new to this and am trying to figure it out! Still a bit intimidated by it but am working on getting over it!
Air fryers use dry heat, and pressure cookers use wet heat–so they behave very differently. The recipes that would make sense for both an air fryer and a pressure cooker are few and far between. But here’s our Air Fryer Guide that might help out with the air fryer some.
Keep enjoying your kitchen appliances, and I’m so proud of you for overcoming your fears in using them.
I just received an IP for Christmas and was so excited. Not sure what I did wrong when I cooked a beef roast with potatoes and carrots. The beef roast was tender, but the veggies were mushy. I used a recipe I got online. It called for the veggie To be placed on bottom with roast on top. Could that have been the problem? Thanks,
Hi, Sandra! I think the problem is that the vegetables cook much more quickly than the roast, so that by the time the roast is done, the vegetables are mushy. It’s a little more labor intensive, but try our recipe for Pot Roast in the Instant Pot, which cooks the vegetables separately as the roast rests. Enjoy!
Thank you! Great article that breaks it down easily.
Reading this really made me excited to open my Instand Pot that I got for Christmas. I cant wait to go home and try it out with your easy steps. Thank you!!
Just got an instant pot for Christmas. Followed your test run with water and it worked perfectly!! Thank you for such an easy to read step by step article!
I’ve had my Early Christmas Insta Pot sitting on my kitchen floor, still unopened, for over a week. Afraid to open and try it. Thanks to your post, I feel a lot better and will unbox it tomorrow. Nice job explaining everything. Really, really appreciate it .
You just saved my Instant Pot’s life! Thank you so much. I think you should have been the one to have written the manual!
Because the lid is hollow, how do you clean inside the lid?
Hi, Mollie! Remove the silicone ring and clean that separately. Wipe down the inside of the lid with a soapy sponge. Food does not get inside the lid (it’s hollow, but sealed), so doesn’t need to be cleaned. Hope that helps!
Oh the Dear Lord, tried mine today for the first time (Santa came Early) love love it. Now to get some Recipes.
Yay Patsy!! We are so excited for you! Can’t wait to hear all the new things you’ll be trying!