How to Saute in an Instant Pot: 5 Simple Steps

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If you’re new to the Instant Pot, or just new to cooking with one, you may not know that you can saute in the Instant Pot. Sauteing is a great way to brown meat or cook onions and other aromatics before adding liquid and pressure cooking. In this post, I’ll show you how to saute in an Instant Pot!

How To Saute An Instant Pot

When to Use the Saute Button

You can use the saute function any time you want your Instant Pot to cook the same way you would cook something in a pan or pot on the stove.

Brown or Saute Ingredients

There are many recipes that call for browning your meat or sauteing vegetables before you pressure cook them. Instead of using another pot or pan, you can do it right in the Instant Pot.

saute mushrooms in the instant pot

Thicken Sauces or Stews

If you want to thicken a sauce or stew that you’re cooking in the Instant Pot, you can use the saute function to do it. Be sure to turn off the keep warm function first, so you can use the saute button.

Finish Cooking Your Food

You can also use the saute function to finish cooking food that may be almost done, but not all the way done.

How to Saute In An Instant Pot

If you’re new to the Instant Pot, or just looking to expand your cooking horizons, sauteing is a great place to start. It’s simple and quick and can be used for everything from meats to vegetables. Here’s what you need to do:

Push the Saute or Sear Button

Depending on the Instant Pot that you have, you will need to push either the saute button or the sear button. Wait for the pot to display that it is Hot.

Add Oil or Butter

Once the pot is hot, add your oil of choice. We prefer olive oil, but you can use whatever you like. You could also use butter if you prefer. Let it heat up for a minute or two.

Add the Food

Next, add your food. For meat, you will want to sear it on both sides to seal in the juices. You want it to be a golden brown on both sides. For vegetables, you can cook them until they’re as soft or as brown as you like. Stir the food occasionally to make sure that it’s cooking evenly.

Deglaze the Instant Pot

Hit cancel to turn off the saute function. Once the food is sauteed, deglaze the Instant Pot. This means adding a liquid (like water, broth, or wine) and scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any bits of food that may have stuck to it. This step is important because it helps to prevent the Instant Pot from burning food.

Add Liquid and Pressure Cook

Now it’s time to add your liquid. For most recipes, you will want to add at least 1 cup (250 ml) of liquid. This can be water, broth, wine, or any other liquid that your recipe calls for. Once the liquid is added, put the lid on the Instant Pot and pressure cook according to your recipe.

What Foods Can I Saute?

You can sautee just about anything in an Instant Pot! Here are some of our favorite things to sautee:

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Zucchini
  • Peppers

Tips For Sauteing in an Instant Pot

  • Wait for the pot to get hot before adding your food.
  • Always add cooking oil or butter before adding the meat or vegetables.
  • Don’t use oil or butter if you are browning ground beef, sausage, or bacon.
  • Do not move the meat until it has formed a browned crust on the bottom.

Recipes To Try

Knowing how to saute in an Instant Pot is a great way to create delicious and healthy meals. It’s also a great way to save time and energy. So, the next time you’re looking to make a quick and easy meal, remember that you can saute in your Instant Pot!


If you want to learn more about the Instant Pot, or other kitchen appliances, be sure to check out our Facebook Group: Instant Pot Recipes For Beginners.

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