The Beginner’s Guide to Using an Instant Pot

  • By: Kitchen Informant
  • Date: May 10, 2024

The Beginner’s Guide to Using an Instant Pot

The Beginner’s Guide to Using an Instant Pot. An Instant Pot is a multi-cooker that has gained popularity in recent years due to its versatility and convenience.

It can be used to cook a wide range of dishes, from stews and soups to rice and even cakes.

If you’re new to using an Instant Pot, don’t worry – it’s easy to get started once you know the basics. Here’s a beginner’s guide to using an Instant Pot.

The Parts

First, let’s go over the different parts of an Instant Pot. The pot itself is made of stainless steel and has a capacity of around 6 to 8 quarts.

The pot is surrounded by a heating element, which is responsible for cooking the food. The Instant Pot also has a lid that seals in the heat and pressure, and a control panel with buttons to set cooking times and modes.

Cooking Modes

Next, let’s talk about the different cooking modes available on an Instant Pot.

The most well-known mode is the pressure cooking mode, which cooks food quickly by using high pressure. This is great for dishes like soups, stews, and beans that would normally take a long time to cook on the stove.

The Instant Pot also has a slow cooking mode, which cooks food slowly over a long period of time, similar to a Crockpot. This is perfect for dishes like roasts and casseroles.

Other cooking modes available on an Instant Pot include a rice cooking mode, a steam mode, a sauté mode, and a keep warm mode. The rice cooking mode is self-explanatory – it cooks rice perfectly every time.

The steam mode is great for cooking vegetables and seafood.

The sauté mode allows you to brown and caramelize ingredients before pressure cooking, and the keep warm mode keeps your food warm after it’s finished cooking.

How to Use

Now that you know the different parts and modes of an Instant Pot, let’s go over the steps to using it.

First, make sure to read through the recipe you’re using and gather all the ingredients and tools you’ll need. It’s important to have everything ready before you start cooking, as the Instant Pot works quickly once it’s turned on.

Next, place the Instant Pot’s inner pot on a stable surface and add your ingredients.

Make sure to follow the recipe’s instructions for the proper amount of liquid to add – the Instant Pot requires a certain amount of liquid to create pressure and cook the food properly. You can also add any seasonings or herbs at this point.

Once the ingredients are in the pot, place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock it in place. Make sure the sealing ring is properly seated in the lid and the pressure release valve is set to “sealing.”

Then, select the cooking mode and time on the control panel. The Instant Pot will take a few minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking time begins.

After the cooking time is up, the Instant Pot will beep to let you know it’s finished.

At this point, you’ll need to release the pressure before opening the lid. There are two ways to do this: the quick release method and the natural release method.

The quick release method involves pressing the pressure release valve to quickly release the steam, while the natural release method involves waiting for the pressure to release on its own, which can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.

The method you choose will depend on the recipe you’re using and the type of food you’re cooking.

Once the pressure has been released, you can carefully remove the lid and serve the food.

If you’re using the Instant Pot to make a recipe that requires multiple cooking steps, like a stew or a casserole, you can use the sauté or slow cooking mode to finish off the dish after the initial pressure cooking.

Just make sure to switch the pressure release valve back to “sealing” before starting the next cooking mode.


It’s important to remember that the Instant Pot works under high pressure, so it’s important to follow safety guidelines when using it. Always make sure the sealing ring is properly seated in the lid and the pressure release valve is set to the correct position.

When releasing the pressure, be careful not to burn yourself on the hot steam. And always use oven mitts or tongs to remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot to avoid burns.


Cleaning an Instant Pot is relatively easy – just wash the inner pot and lid with warm, soapy water and rinse.

You can also use a soft sponge or brush to scrub away any stuck-on bits.

The Instant Pot’s control panel can be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Just make sure not to get the control panel or cord wet, as this can damage the Instant Pot.


Using an Instant Pot can be intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a convenient and efficient way to cook a wide range of dishes.

With a little practice and some basic knowledge, you’ll be using your Instant Pot like a pro in no time.

Graphic for Pinterest of The Beginner's Guide to Using an Instant Pot.