I’ve had a run of bad-luck with my Instant Pot. Not the pot’s fault… I have no one to blame but myself! One time I left the sealing ring off, which caused the French Onion Soup to boil over all over the countertops and floor. Another time, the steam release wasn’t properly attached and the pot wouldn’t come to pressure.
But we live and we learn, right?
So today I’m going to help you out and give you the 5 things you should NEVER put into the pot. Remembering to check your appliance is entirely up to you but hopefully these tips will be easier to remember 😉
Tip #1 – Meats You Want Cooked Rare
If you’ve been using the instant pot for awhile now, this one is probably obvious to you. The IP is a pressure cooker and as such, it doesn’t do a very good job at giving you options on how you want your meats cooked. Everything gets cooked to well-done, period.
The exception here is if you have an Ultra Instant Pot (10-in-1) and you want to Sous Vide, in which case you’ll want to check out this YouTube video.
Tip #2 – Avoid Thick Substances
Have you ever got that pesky “BURN” warning on your IP? It’s probably because you added a thick substance to the pot, which scorched the bottom. Avoid things like Peanut Butter, Tomato Paste or Condensed Soup. I know a few people – including myself – who’ll see this warning when they make chilli and that’s likely because it contains the paste or soup.
Now, if you’re making something like a Peanut-Chicken Satay, the trick is to leave the Peanut Butter in clumps at the top where it will melt slowly. Even then, I did still get a slight scorch at the bottom but nothing that prompted a warning.
Tip #3 – No Thickening Agents. Ever.
Adding cornstarch, flour or any other product you’d normal use to thicken soups and stews should ONLY be added after the cooking process. Otherwise, you’ll likely see that “BURN” warning appear. You could also burn the food or prevent the IP from getting to pressure.
Creating a slurry to add at the end is how you’ll want to get those stews and soups to their desired consistency.
Tip #4 – Keep Away from Dairy Products Like Cream and Milk.
Have you ever heated milk on the stovetop and forgot about it? Then when you went back, it was a yucky curdled mess? That’s exactly what happens to cream and milk if you add them at the beginning of the cooking process.
Best to wait until the end before adding dairy. If you’re worried about cooling down your meal, then warm the substance in your microwave or stovetop before adding it to the IP.
Tip #5 – Remove Stuck on Food
If your recipe calls for browning meat or anything else that leaves sediments stuck to the bottom, be sure to deglaze the pot before starting it. Fortunately, this is fairly easy as EVERY IP recipe requires liquid. All you need to do is add some of that liquid after you remove the meat, keep your pot on the sauté function, and work off food residue as the liquid heats up. If you don’t, those pieces will continue to burn during the cooking process.
But don’t toss out that liquid!! It probably has great flavour and will taste amazing in whatever you’re making. Feeling a bit confused about this one? Don’t worry, most Instant Pot recipes will tell you to “deglaze the pan” and now you know why and how!
Thanks for joining me friends! If you’re looking for some new Instant Pot recipes, check out my IP Roundups!