The Instant Pot is a pressure cooker that also also sautés, slow cooks, makes poultry tender and juicy and can even be used for canning. While all the buttons, valves settings and accessories may seem daunting, we've rounded up some of our best tips to make you a skilled Instapot user.
Read more: 5 reasons you should own an Instant Pot
But first, an explainer
Whether you're eyeing an Instant Pot or are a longtime owner, start with this explainer about the Instant Pot. It covers how it works, what you can cook in it and basic tips, like using the pressure release valve. Our friends at Chowhound also have a handy guide to the Instant Pot worth reading.
Use all the Instant Pot's buttons
The Instant Pot has a lot of buttons -- don't overlook them. Here's a guide on how to use all of the buttons on your Instapot.
Natural vs. Manual pressure release
Learn how to use the natural and manual pressure releases. Sharon Profis has a great explainer on how to release pressure in this article.
Always add enough liquid
In order to build enough pressure, the Instant Pot needs to have liquid. Always add 2 cups (480 ml) of water or other liquids -- like broth -- when pressure cooking. Without liquid, the cooker won't pressurize properly. If you're cooking juicy meats, like chicken or brisket, you can lower the amount down to 1 cup (237 ml).
Know the safety rules
With any pressure cooker, safety is a must. While the Instant Pot is much safer than traditional cookers, there are still a few things to remember.
Keep your hands and face away from the steam valve to avoid scalding burns. In fact, use a wooden spoon to turn the valve to venting after cooking to keep your hands far away from the hot steam.
Be careful with how you fill the pot, too. Only fill your cooker to the two-thirds line. If you're cooking cereals -- like rice -- and beans that will expand, only fill the inner pot halfway.
The red/silver button by the valve will tell you when it is safe to open the lid. If it's up, the pot is still pressurized. If it's down, it's OK to open the lid. Even when the pressure is released, the inner pot is still very hot. Use potholders to lift it out.
Cleaning the Instant Pot
With enough usage, the Instant Pot can start to take on food stains and even unpleasant smells. Never submerge the main cooking unit to get it clean. Instead, use these cleaning instructions.
Recipes and cooking ideas
You could probably survive by cooking with just the Instant Pot alone. There are so many recipes on the Internet, especially Facebook communities, but here are some of the best.
Throw an Instant Pot dinner party
We love the idea of not using anything but your Instant Pot to entertain family and friends.
Convert slow cooker recipes
Converting slow cooker recipes to Instant Pot versions is easy. Here's your guide to switching up your favorite recipes.
Use it as a rice cooker
Here's a great recipe for getting rice perfectly fluffy in an Instant Pot, which is as close as you'll get to a dedicated rice cooker.
Breakfast options in the Instant Pot are endless! Our friends at Chowhound rounded up some of their favorite breakfast recipes.
Bake and proof bread
Make quick bread by steaming it. Here are step-by-step instructions and some recipes for Instant Pot quick bread.
Cook "rotisserie" chicken
Have a whole chicken and not a lot of time? Use your Instant Pot to turn it into fall-off-the-bone chicken. Here's the full recipe for Instant Pot rotisserie-style chicken (and other recipes).
Discover CNET's favorite recipes
Lots of CNETers are obsessed with their Instant Pot. Here are our favorite Instant Pot recipes.
Smart home compatibility tool: Find out what smart home platforms work with your existing kit and vice versa.
CNET Smart Home: We transformed a real house into a test lab for the hottest category in tech.