Recently I’ve seen a lot of posts by people underwhelmed or overwhelmed by the Instant Pot which is a bummer because it’s an incredible device. Although I am most definitely still a beginning user, I’m hoping I can help a few newbies with some things that I wish I had known when I got my Instant Pot!
- Tell yourself that it is an experiment every time you use the Instant Pot. For me, this has made failure so much easier to take. And there WILL be failure. The learning curve is high. But it gets much easier the more you use it.
- Go online. Have a question? Search and search some more. YouTube is also a great resource. And join an online group or several. I’ve learned so much just from reading the posts in just one Facebook group. . . the feedback for questions/posts is tremendous!
- Make the basics first, like rice, oatmeal, hard boiled eggs, soup, etc, before tackling more complex recipes. For me, it also helped to start with recipes with shorter ingredient lists. I learned so much about how the IP works by initially keeping it simple and those learning experiences gave me confidence to try more things.
- Buy 1-2 IP cookbooks right away and start by following recipes from those cookbooks. Instead of feeling overwhelmed with the endless recipes and different methodologies found on the Internet, I found recipes in the cookbooks that looked manageable and went from there. I never would have known this was a good way to go if the person who gifted me my IP hadn’t included a couple of cookbooks with it.
- Remove the silicone ring after every single use and if possible, place in dishwasher. Or wash by hand and allow to air dry before reinserting it into the lid. I had no idea it picked up odors until it did (a nasty mix of Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal and Vegetable Ratatouille—ewwww) and I went through all sorts of hassle trying to remove the odor. Cleaning it after every single use has helped keep most odor away. (I also bought additional rings but I hardly ever use them.)
- Make notes, lots of notes. I finally figured out that no, I wouldn’t remember to steam a frozen veggie mix for 2 minutes, after having tried it at 5 minutes (mush!), then 3 minutes (still soft, yuck) then finally 2 minutes (for me, the magic number for that particular mix of veggies.) If I write it down, I can just keep referring back to it.
- Don’t get discouraged. It’s such a cool device and the possibilities are endless. It feels like I’ve barely begun to use mine, but I’m excited for years of use!