Getting Started With Your New Electric Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot

Wondering how to use your new Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, Crockpot Express, Power Pressure Cooker XL, or other brand of electric pressure cooker? Let me help you get it out of the box and into your meal plans with this Getting Started Guide—I have all the details you need to get you cooking and loving your machine!

Getting Started Guide for Your Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Other Brand of Electric Pressure Cooker

Happy Holidays and welcome to Pressure Cooking Today! If you’re just getting started with your electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot—whether it’s new or or even if you’ve had it for a while—you may have questions, and I have answers.  

Electric pressure cookers make cooking faster and easier than ever before, so I know you’re going to love it! As with any new tool, there are a few things you’ll need to know before you get cooking—let’s get started!

Getting to Know Your Electric Pressure Cooker

Don’t be intimidated by the word “pressure” because new electric pressure cookers are super safe and easy to use! The earliest pressure cookers were created around a simple concept: Food cooks hotter and faster inside a pressure-sealed pot. 

(The science behind the pressure cooking magic involves raising the boiling point of water under pressure, which means food in a pressure cooker can cook about 40 degrees hotter than than you could cook on a stove top.)

Today’s electric pressure cookers have built on this science and have added in a slew of built-in safety features to prevent mishaps, including automatic pressure control, heating and pressure sensors, lid detection, and heating plates that distribute heat evenly. These features work together to ensure you get faster cook times and consistent results. 

Instant Pot Mini Side by Side Comparison

The Getting Started Guide

For your convenience, I’ve created a getting started guide that will walk you through getting your pressure cooker out of the box and into your daily routine!

1. Pressure Cooker Parts Reference Guide
To begin, I break down the basic parts of electric pressure cookers, with specific details for the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, Crockpot Express, Power Pressure Cooker XL. 

2. Choosing a Pressure Release Method
Quick pressure release or natural pressure release? It’s one of the most common questions I get. Let me explain the difference and when to use each method!

3. Water Test Run for the Instant Pot / Electric Pressure Cooker
The water test is a no-worry way to familiarize yourself with your machine. You’ll learn hands-on how your pressure cooker comes to pressure and get used to the steps of pressure cooking. 

4. Make Your First Meal in Your Pressure Cooker
You’re ready to get cooking in your new electric pressure cooker! For this post, I break down one of my 30-minute meals into detailed steps, including what buttons to push for the major brands of electric pressure cookers.

5. Easy Recipes to Make in Your New Instant Pot / Electric Pressure Cooker
I’ve compiled a list of easy-to-make pressure cooker recipes for you to start off with and build your confidence using your Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, Crockpot Express, or other brand of electric pressure cooker. 

Ninja Foodi pressure cooker, closed with the air fryer lid on

Before you know it, you’ll be making fabulous pressure cooker meals and wondering how you ever cooked without it!

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Getting Started Guide to Pressure Cooking