Becca here, with a quick "Instant Pot" pressure cooker recipe/tutorial. I have been an avid Instant Pot user for seven years now, and am actually on my second Instant Pot, after an unfortunate incident with the lid being left too close to our gas stove, and melting. When we had a major water leak at our home, requiring my family of myself, my husband, and our five kids, to live in a hotel for exactly sixty nights, my Instant Pot is the one kitchen thing I brought with me, and enabled us to eat somewhat normally some of the time, while living in a hotel! I'm super excited that they have become really popular lately, and recipes are showing up all over, so I thought I would add some of my favorites to the mix now that it's something many more people have in their kitchens!
One thing that I commonly use mine for is to make perfect "baked" sweet potatoes. To get great results, with non-mushy sweet potatoes, you'll want to get out the steam rack that came with your instant pot. It looks like this, once placed into the bottom of the stainless steel pot insert (which I have two of, and often use each of them every day!). You want to make sure that it is feet side down. Pour in 1 cup of water. The water will not be touching the bottom of the steam rack.
Insert sweet potatoes. It is okay to stack them up, as long as the lid will fit on without touching them. I can generally fit about five pounds of sweet potatoes in mine at one time. I have a larger than typical family, so this is two meals worth for us. We usually eat them 'baked' the first meal, and then I put the leftover ones into a square casserole dish with a bit of maple syrup, cinnamon, and sprinkled with pecans and coconut oil on top, for an oven-ready side dish for another meal.
You want to cook the potatoes for 30 minutes at high pressure. You may do that by pushing either one of two buttons. Either the Bean/Chili button I'm pointing to here, OR
the "Soup" button I'm pointing to here. You could also manually set the pot to high pressure for 30 minutes, but I'm not sure when you would go to the extra trouble when either of these buttons work perfectly with preset settings!
The Instant Pot will pause for a moment, and then switch to the screen reading "On". This means that it is heating up, and building up pressure. This will take several minutes.
When the Instant Pot has reached the correct temperature and pressure settings, it will start counting down the remaining time "at pressure". I think this is confusing to people sometimes, because a 30 minute setting actually takes quite a bit longer, allowing for the Instant Pot to heat up and reach pressure, and then naturally release pressure, unless you're in a hurry, and to a quick pressure release. These are often abbreviated in Instant Pot Recipes/Groups as NRP (natural release pressure) and QPR (quick pressure release). Natural pressure release simply means that you don't do anything at the end of the cooking time, and let the Instant Pot automatically switch to the "warm" setting, and open the pot to eat when you're ready. Quick pressure release means that you move the valve on the top of the pot, to "open" to let the big burst of heat and pressure out, so that you can then safely remove the lid and eat, before the pot has naturally and slowly let the steam and pressure out itself.
At the end of the cooking time, the Instant Pot automatically switches to a "warm" setting, where the screen looks like this, and it counts up the warming minutes, or hours, if applicable, and slowly starts lowering the pressure. Because it is an airtight and sealed environment, I have found that even something like rice can stay on the warm function for several hours without any loss of quality at all.
What are your Instant Pot questions or recipe requests? Or favorite tips? Let us know in the comments here, or on our Facebook Page!!