Getting started with your new Electric Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot? Electric pressure cookers make cooking faster and easier than ever before! Here are my tips on using electric pressure cookers and multi-cookers like the Instant Pot, Fagor Lux, Power Pressure Cooker XL, and others.
Happy Holidays and welcome to Pressure Cooking Today! If you’re just getting started with your new electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot, or even if you’ve had it for a while, you may have questions and I have answers.
Getting Started with Your New Electric Pressure Cooker or Multi-Cooker
Don’t be intimidated by the word pressure, the new electric pressure cookers are super safe and easy to use.
First, get to know how your pressure cooker comes to pressure by pressure cooking with just water. Often called a water test, all you do is:
- add a cup or two of water to the pressure cooking pot – you always use the inner pot
- lock the lid in place
- make sure the valve is in the sealing/pressure cooking position
- select a pressure cooking button with a short cook time. The Fish button on the Power Pressure Cooker or Manual and 5 minutes on the Instant Pot for example
- watch while the pressure cooker does all the work. It will take about 5 minutes for the water to heat up and build pressure; when pressure is reached the time will start counting down
The Second thing you’ll need to know is how to release the pressure once the pressure cooker has finished cooking.
The easiest way is to do nothing and let the pressure release all by itself.
When you’re cooking something that cooks quickly, you’ll want to release the pressure quickly so it doesn’t over cook. I did a post loaded with information about how to and when to use a Quick Pressure Release or Natural Pressure Cooker Release.
Third, all the buttons can be confusing. You don’t have to worry about which button to use, almost all the pressure cooking buttons cook exactly the same way – they just have different times programmed for different ingredients. Here’s some links with lots more information about how to use your specific pressure cooker.
Which Instant Pot Button to Use.
How to Use the Power Pressure Cooker XL.
Video: Using the Cuisinart Pressure Cooker.
Video: How to Use the Instant Pot IP-DUO
Video: How to Use the Fagor Lux Multi Cooker
New Features Instant Pot Duo Version 2
Fourth, for best results start with a recipe created for the electric pressure cooker. Here’s my list of Easy Recipes for the Electric Pressure Cooker to get you started.
Once you’ve done the water test, made a couple of easy recipes, then you’ll be ready to convert recipes – How to Convert A Recipe to a Pressure Cooker Recipe. Hip Pressure Cooking has some very helpful charts with pressure cooking times.
If you have an oven safe dish that fits in the pressure cooker, you can use that. But you also may want to buy some accessories to use in your new pressure cooker Best Pressure Cooker Accessories and more ideas in my Gift Giving Guide.
So there you have it! Easy, peasy really. After a few times you’ll have the hang of it and most people wonder how they ever lived without their electric pressure cooker. Have fun!