The Best Instant Pot for Beginners Quick Guide

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When my mum introduced me to the Instant Pot, my life changed forever! Having chronic illness and being a busy mum myself means I often struggle to have energy and time to cook healthy and nutritious meals. Standing over the stove cooking a meal often takes a lot of my time and energy.

Despite these struggles, I’ve always loved meal planning. My mum taught me well! She is the best!  Planning meals in the instant pot is not only helping me to save money and stick to a budget. The Instant Pot has been a game changer for my family and I knew I had to share this Instant Pot for beginners guide to help others get started.

Using The Instant Pot for Beginners

Today’s Instant Pot is yesterday’s slow cooker, but faster and better! What is the Instant Pot? Simply put, it is an electric pressure cooker. Yes, like your mother used to use – but new and improved.

It doesn’t stop there though. The Instant Pot is a faster, healthier, more eco-friendly way to cook. It is the absolute best way to cook if you are busy, have a family, work, and even if you want to eat healthier.

The Instant Pot is fantastic for someone like me with chronic illness! 

How Does an Instant Pot Work?

Using water or any other cooking liquid in a sealed stainless steel pot (that means no chemicals) and a sealed top, the liquid creates steam which causes pressure to build up inside.

This raises the temperature quickly, cooking your meals faster while sealing in the nutrients and vitamins that are usually lost with slower methods of cooking.

What does this mean for you?

You can cook meals up to 70% faster and retain all of the flavor and taste as well as all of the nutritional value of your food by cooking with your Instant Pot.

It also saves time and money, so I call that a win-win!

Pssst… check out my Instant Pot Conversion Chart while you’re here!

What Can You Make in an Instant Pot?

The Instant Pot is very versatile. You can cook every meal with your pressure cooker, including desserts. You heard that right even desserts! For troubleshooting check out the Instant pot manual.

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Speaking of versatility, there are a ton of other things besides cooking that you can use your Instant Pot for.

You can:

sterilize baby bottles
— recycle crayons
— make elderberry syrup
— make cough syrup

Check Out My Latest Instant Pot Meme! 

graphic image for Instant Pot for beginners showing the sloth from Zootopia next to an Instant Pot

Do the Instant Pot Water Test

Before you use your Instant Pot for the first time, you need to do a water test. This is basically just to get acquainted with your machine and make sure it’s working properly. When it comes to must-do things with an Instant Pot for beginners, the water test is the first!

Here is a water test instructional video to help you get started.

How to Clean an Instant Pot

It’s important to keep your Instant Pot clean. Do not submerge your appliance in water. Unplug before cleaning. Using a damp cloth, wipe down the exterior of the Instant Pot to remove residue.

You can use a Q-Tip or small brush to get into the nooks and crannies where food may have been left over.

If you continually leave food particles behind, your Instant Pot is going to smell … bad.

Wash the lid and inner pot of your Instant Pot with warm, soapy water.

If you find some burnt on food after cooking (or getting a burn notice… eek!), you can clean your Instant Pot with a mixture of baking soda, dish soap, and water.

Bring to pressure, release steam, and pour out the water. Wipe the remaining gunk off with a paper towel.

If your inner pot is discolored, use white vinegar to clean it.


the inspiration 1

Instant Pot Quick Tips

Once you remove the lid to your Instant Pot, you can rest it on the handle. This keeps it off the counter and out of your way.

If you’re following a recipe that calls for flour or cornstarch as a thickening agent, add it after cooking.

Use a long spoon (instead of your fingers/hand) to vent the pressure cooker, so you don’t get hot steam blown into your face.

Also be sure to keep your Instant Pot on the counter with nothing over it. The steam is going to go upward and you don’t want it to ruin your cupboards.

Use the saute feature to brown veggies and large chunks of meat with the lid off before cooking.

Do not overfill your Instant Pot. There is a MAX FILL line; pay attention to it.

If white vinegar isn’t doing the trick, clean the inner pot with this magic cleanser.

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Let’s Get Cooking!

Now it’s time to get your Instant Pot out of the box. I know it’s been collecting dust and has most likely become a fixture in your house, but it’s time. 😉

Instant Pot Desserts

Best Instant Pot Cheesecake Recipes
Spiced Bundt Cake
Instant Pot Apple Crisp
Instant Pot Brownies With Nuts

Best Instant Pot Recipes 

Instant Pot Potato Recipes
Easy Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners
Instant Pot Beef Roast
Instant Pot Cheesy Ranch Chicken
Instant Pot Asparagus Soup
Easy Instant Pot Chicken Stew
Instant Pot Ground Beef Chili

Instant Pot Marinara Recipe

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  1. This is such a great post, full of useful tips for beginners. Instant pots are a great way to cook when you know how!

  2. This is such a great guide to using an instant pot. I’ve been putting off getting one for ages, think I’ll bite the bullet and get one, they sound so easy to use!

  3. What a wonderful post! I know a lot of people that are uneasy about using the Instant Pot, I will point them to this post for these great tips.

  4. Such great tips and tricks for using an instant pot! It’s been on my wishlist for a while. I’m even more tempted after having a look through that list of recipes you’ve provided – those instant pot brownies have my name on them!

  5. The white vinegar is a great tip! I hadn’t thought to use that for cleaning. I use my instant pot for chicken stock all the time but can never get that smell out!

  6. Great write up! I love my instant pot so much! I can make just about anything in it and it’s amazing!! Such helpful info in your article!!

  7. I’ve been cooking in my Instant Pot for over a year now, yet I LEARNED SO MUCH FROM THIS ARTICLE! Thanks for sharing your Instant Pot wisdom! This was a great read! ❤️

  8. I have not joined team Instant Pot, mainly because I don’t need ANOTHER appliance 🙂 But I do have, and love, my pressure cooker. These are really good tips for those beginners who do have one

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