5 ways you're using your Instant Pot wrong

Up your Insta game with these tips.

Alina Bradford CNET Contributor
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
2 min read
Josh Miller

If you're still a novice Instant Pot cook, then there may be a few key tips you're missing that can make your life easier and your food tastier. Here are five things you may be doing wrong and how to get you on the right track.

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You always leave the lid on

Not every mode on your Instant Pot needs the lid secured for proper cooking. For example, it's perfectly OK to saute or heat up foods with the lid off. In fact, sauteing mode won't brown and crisp your food with the lid trapping in steam. If you're not sure if you need the lid on or off, check your recipe or manual for instructions.

You're handwashing everything

Though you can't submerge the main unit, the inner pot, lids and accessories are dishwasher safe. Yes, you can even put the pressure cooking lid in the dishwasher. No more handwashing for you!

You're only using water

You probably know that you need to add at least 18 fl oz. (500 ml) of liquid for the pressure cook mode to work properly, but you don't have to just use water. Any semi-clear liquid can be used instead. Trading out water for other liquids can add another dimension of flavor to your recipe.

Some good options are:

  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Stock
  • Fruit juice
  • Vegetable juice

You're not using the steaming rack

The steaming rack isn't just for steaming. Be sure to use it any time you want to raise food above the liquid level. Here are some Instant Pot recipes to try using your steaming rack.

You use your slow cooker, instead

It's time to say goodbye to your old friend. Most slow cooker recipes can be converted into Instapot recipes easily. The best part is that in an Instant Pot they can cook around four times faster. Here's your guide to making the transition from slow cooker to Instant Pot.

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Want more Instant Pot tips? Here are our favorites.