Prepare your best recipes in an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker | Digital Trends Spanish
An electric pressure cooker is much more than just a pot. It is used to cook rice, prepare yogurt, cook eggs, make bread and even cakes, among many other exquisite recipes. One of the most popular alternatives is the Instant Pot, known colloquially as Instapot. And although at first glance it may seem intimidating, don’t be fooled by all its buttons, as it is easier to use than you imagine.
What is pressure cooking?
The primary function of most Instant Pot models is to pressure cooking, which is what gives it its versatility. But what exactly is pressure cooking? It is a method of preparing food in a pot with liquid; uses heat to create steam, which increases the pressure in the container. The appliance traps or releases steam to control the pressure level. With more pressure, the boiling point of the liquid increases and the food cooks faster at a higher temperature. Pressure cooking retains the flavors and nutrients of the food, saves energy and gives you much more delicious results.
How do I use the settings?
The front of your Instant Pot can look very complicated, with all the buttons denoting various functions. But once you understand what all those buttons mean, it’s very simple. Basically each button refers to a different cooking method and has a preset cook time and pressure settings to make the pot more user friendly.
How to configure
|Button||Pressure setting||Cooking time|
|Slow cook||Normal||4 hours|
|Pressure||Low or high||Handbook|
|Beef stew||High||35 minutes|
|Beans / chili||High||30 minutes|
|Handbook||The default is high (can be adjusted)||Handbook|
|Adjust||N / A||N / A|
|Minute||N / A||Handbook|
|Keep warm / cancel||N / A||–|
On some models, there will only be one pressure level button that you will press to change these settings. A high pressure setting indicates, as you might imagine, that the Instant Pot is cooking at high pressure, and the lid is sealed to keep the pressure trapped. A low pressure setting indicates just that, even though the appliance continues to cook under pressure.
When it comes to cooking times, some recipes come with preset times, while others require you to manually enter how long you want the cooking process to last. The “Keep Warm” setting will automatically turn on when cooking is complete.
Some Instant Pot models have additional features. For example, the Instant Pot Duo SV has a cooking program sous vide and the Instant Pot Duo Crisp has an air fry function.
How the pressure is released
There are two methods to safely release pressure from the Instant Pot: natural and quick-release. The natural release allows pressure to dissipate on its own slowly, depressurizing as heat is released from metal parts. This process can take between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on the amount of liquid in the pot. Recipes with more liquid will take longer to depressurize. This alternative allows the food to remain intact, as there is less movement inside. It is best for dishes with a lot of liquid. According to Instant Pot, to speed up the process, you can place a cold towel on the metal part of the lid.
To use the quick release method, you can manually turn the steam release valve to the “Vent” position. This cools the pot faster and only takes one to two minutes to fully depressurize. The company considers the steam release handle to be a safe mechanism to allow steam to quickly escape from the pot. The quick release method is great for foods like salmon and crab, which you don’t want to cook for a long time, or vegetables like broccoli and bok choy (bok choy), which cook quickly. However, this option is not recommended for recipes that are high in starch.
It is crucial that you wait until all the steam is released from the Instant Pot before removing the lid. Never try to open it before depressurization is complete, as this can be very dangerous. Your Instant Pot should have safety locks so that you cannot open the lid before depressurization is complete.
How to clean an electric pressure cooker
Keeping an electric pressure cooker in good condition is relatively easy compared to other appliances in your kitchen. For daily cleaning, you just need to wash the pot and clean the outer shell. If you don’t properly seal your pot during the cooking process, it will probably need a more thorough cleaning. Remove the sealing ring from silicone to clean all debris. Other small parts, such as the vapor release handle, anti-lock guard, or float valve, can accumulate grease over time; check them periodically to remove all residue. Also check the handle and edges to make sure no dirt is trapped.
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